KARACHI: Around 78 per cent of Pakistan’s population “strictly supports” that the teachings of Holy Quran should influence the country’s laws, a report said.
A research report issued by Pew Research Center on Wednesday titled “Whether Quran should influence laws in countries” posed the question to respondents from 10 countries with significant Muslim populations.
The question was posed in the following words: “Which of the following three statements comes closer to your view: Laws in your country should strictly follow the teachings of the Quran, laws in your country should follow the values and principles of Islam but not strictly follow the teachings of Quran, laws in your country should not be influenced by the teachings of the Quran.”
The report noted a striking variation in the extent to which people think the Holy Quran should influence their nation’s laws.
In Pakistan, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Malaysia and Senegal, roughly half or more of the full population says that laws in their country should strictly follow the teachings of the Holy Quran, said the report.
By contrast, in Burkina Faso, Turkey, Lebanon and Indonesia, less than a quarter agree for this. While only 13% of Turkish respondents “strictly support” Islamic influence on legislation, Saudi Arabia and Iran were conspicuously absent from the survey despite their considerable Muslim populations.
The second category of respondents – those who feel legislations should be enacted following the principles of Islam but “not strictly” – amassed at 16%.
Only 2 per cent of the approached Pakistani respondents were of the view that the country’s laws should not be influenced by the Holy Quran.
When contacted for a comment, PML-N minority lawmaker Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani told Dawn said that religion should preferably be away from legislation.
“If there is a consensus on following religious practices in legislation then the true essence of the Holy Quran should be implemented — which talks of peace and harmony,” he said.
Dr. Kumar was of the opinion that if Quranic teachings are implemented in legislations then the preaching of other religions should also be used when formulating laws for its followers.
“But this will only see the majority rulings getting approved while those of minorities will face hindrance,” he concluded.
The report shares the main findings of a recent Pew Research Center survey of 10,194 respondents, with results reflecting a full country sample including Muslims and Non-Muslims. -TAUSEEF RAZI MALLICK, DAWN
THE PASHTUN TIMES