A majority of Pakistanis want the Quran to influence the country's laws, with 78% of the country's population being of the opinion that laws should "strictly follow" the teachings of the Islamic holy book, as per a report released by Pew Research Centre on Wednesday. The report shows results of a survey of residents in 10 countries with significant Muslim populations in 2015.
In four of the 10 nations surveyed, more than 50% of the population wants laws of their respective countries to be based strictly on the teachings of the Quran. These nations were Pakistan (78%), Palestinian territory (65%), Jordan (54%) and Malaysia (52%).
In Pakistan, among the remaining population who did not say they wanted laws to "strictly follow" the Quran, 16 percent said the laws should be based on the values and principles of Islam, while 2 percent said the laws should not be influenced by the Quran.
Pew Research Centre, a U.S.-based think-tank, conducted the survey in 10 nations — the other six countries being Senegal, Nigeria, Indonesia, Lebanon, Turkey and Burkina Faso — between April 5 and May 21 last year, interviewing 10,194 respondents overall, both Muslims and non-Muslims.
The strikingly high figure from the Pakistani survey comes weeks after massive protests were held in the country over the execution of a man for murdering a governor who had criticised the country's blasphemy laws. Pakistan's blasphemy laws can invite a death penalty over an "insult" to Islam.
The report, titled "The Divide Over Islam and National Laws in the Muslim World," also shows that more people in Palestinian territories now want laws to be based on the Quran compared to in 2011, when the percentage of support for Quranic laws (35%) was about half of the figure reported in the latest survey (65%).
In Nigeria, while the percentage of the population who wanted laws to "strictly follow" the Quran was low at 27%, the divide was stark among the Muslims and Christians in the country, with 52% in the former community of the opinion that the Quran should influence the law, while only 2% of the latter sharing the same views.