Recently the Pew Reseach Center conducted a poll addressing religious tolerance in the Muslim world (h/t Dawn), titled The World’s Muslims: Unity and Diversity. Of note to Registan readers, they interviewed about 1500 subjects from Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and about 1000 from Uzbekistan. I wish they’d been able to do some sampling in Turkmenistan, or on the periphery of Central Asia in China, India, and Iran, but that’s just sour grapes. The results are fascinating.
As Dawn pointed out, today only half of Pakistan would even grant that Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the father of the nation and a Shia, was a Muslim. I, for one, never realized how superstitious some Turks could be (63% believe in jinns, 69% believe in the evil eye, and 49% believe in witchcraft – higher than Afghanistan). And I wasn’t aware how few Sunnis in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan recognize Shias as Muslims (15% and 14%, respectively), making them arguably the least tolerant of the survey.
Anyway, it’s worth a read, and स्वतंत्रता दिवस मुबारक to our Indian readers.