Muslims on ijtihad and sharia

“The survey asked some interesting questions which I haven’t often seen publicly reported before. They asked Muslim respondents whether they believed that ijtihad (interpretation) remains open – a key indicator of one’s attitude towards a more moderate or radical approach to religion: only 3% in Lebanon, 6% in Palestine, 5% in Egypt, 5% in Jordan, and 8% in Syria said that ijtihad was closed. Almost all Muslims surveyed thought that sharia should be a source of legislation, with almost two thirds in Egypt, Jordan and Palestine saying that sharia should be the only source of legislation. This suggests broad-based support for a moderate Islamism, with sharia viewed as mandatory but open to interpretation – essentially the position advocated by Yusuf al Qaradawi.”

The Centre for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan has just released a major study of Arab public opinion, Abu Aardvark reports.