With so much speculation about what role the Muslim Brotherhood might play in any future political system in Egypt, it’s worth looking at some opinion polling data to see what they say they think about the role of Islam in politics. One recent poll says they want a bigger role for Islam in politics, they want democracy and they reject Islamist radicals such as Osama bin Laden. Respondents also showed quite high levels of support for traditional Islamic punishments such as stoning for adulterers, cutting off thieves’ hands and death for apostates from Islam.
Whether and how the views mirrored in these results get turned into policy naturally depends on many factors, so this poll the Pew Research Center published in December cannot be any kind of projection of what to expect. Still, it provides at least some data on what Egyptians may want to see from a future government.
The poll surveyed attitudes among Muslims in seven countries — Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey. The questions in the survey are part of Pew’s Global Attitudes Project, which has been collecting this data since 2002. The results are based on responses from 1,000 adults questioned between April 12 and May 3 in face-to-face interviews in Arabic.
For the detailed results from Egypt extracted from the report, see our Factbox: Egyptians want more Islam in politics: poll.