The survey asked Muslims about their views on various dimensions of contemporary life. Muslims see few tensions between their faith and life in the modern world. Most think it is possible to be a devout Muslim and still live in a modern society, and many also dismiss the idea that there is an inherent antagonism between religion and science. Indeed, most Muslims say they believe in evolution.
But Western and Indian popular culture imports elicit mixed reactions from the world’s Muslims. While many Muslims say they personally like Western music, movies and television, most Muslims also agree that Western popular culture has hurt morality in their countries. On balance, more Muslims say they like Bollywood movies and music than say the same about Western entertainment. Muslims also see Bollywood as less harmful to morality than Western popular culture is.
Religion and Modernity
Muslims in most regions surveyed say being a religious person is compatible with life in modern society. In sub-Saharan Africa, however, Muslims in many countries are divided on this issue.
Religion and Science
Most Muslims do not believe there is an inherent tension between religion and science. In just two of the 23 countries where the question was asked do more than half of Muslims say there is a conflict between faith and science. In fact, at least half of Muslims in 17 countries say no conflict exists.
Many Muslims around the world believe in evolution. In 13 of the 22 countries where the question was asked, at least half say humans and other living things have evolved over time. By contrast, in just four countries do at least half say that humans have remained in their present form since the beginning of time.
In 18 of the 38 countries where data are available, at least half of Muslims say they like Western music, movies and television. However, in a number of countries views of Western entertainment are mixed.
Bollywood cultural exports – music and movies from India – are broadly popular in Central Asia, where at least half of Muslims in all the countries surveyed say they enjoy this type of entertainment. But fewer than half of Muslims surveyed in South Asian countries agree.
Impact on Morality
Although many Muslims around the globe say they personally like Western music, movies and television, at least half in the majority of countries surveyed believe Western popular culture harms morality in their country.
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