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Moreover, Muslims are not equally comfortable with all aspects of sharia: While most favor using religious law in family and property disputes, fewer support the application of severe punishments – such as whippings or cutting off hands – in criminal cases.
The survey also shows that Muslims differ widely in how they interpret certain aspects of sharia, including whether divorce and family planning are morally acceptable.
In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, Muslims constitute less than a fifth of the population in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique and Uganda; yet in each of these countries, at least half of Muslims (52%-74%) say they want sharia to be the official law of the land.
Conversely, in some countries where Muslims make up more than 90% of the population, relatively few want their government to codify Islamic law; this is the case in Tajikistan (27%), Turkey (12%) and Azerbaijan (8%).
But support for sharia is not limited to countries where Muslims make up a majority of the population.Attitudes toward Islamic law vary significantly by region.