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Most Muslims Agree: One Way to Interpret Isalm
by Clare Lopez
Recent results of the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion and Public Life multi-year survey of beliefs and practices by the world's Muslims that were published 8 August 2012 are remarkable in a number of respects. First of all, the broad scope of the project—based on 38,000 face-to-face interviews conducted with Muslims in 39 different countries and territories—ensured a wide range of opinions from a diverse sampling of Muslim communities.
The results, however, show a high level of agreement about one of the most debated issues concerning Islam: Whether Muslims believe Islamic teaching is subject to various "interpretations" or only one. As Islamic teaching is derived from the Qur'an, the Sira, and the ahadith (which together are the main sources for Sharia, or Islamic law), in essence this was a question about Muslim beliefs about the fundamentals of their faith.
According to the Pew survey results, a majority (more than 50%) of Muslims in 32 of 39 countries believes that "There is only one true way to interpret the teachings of my religion."
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