You may have noticed that often during a conversation about Islam, someone points out that radical Muslims are but a small percentage of the whole Muslim population. That is true, but there is another percentage that rarely gets mentioned: the percentage of Muslims who want to make Sharia law the official law of a country.
A number of years ago, Pew Research interviewed nearly 40,000 Muslims in 39 countries concerning sharia law. Let’s start with the two countries where American troops have been for more than a decade. They found that 99 percent of Muslims in Afghanistan favor making sharia the official law of their country. The same poll found that 91 percent of Muslims in Iraq also believed sharia should be the official law of their country. It will be hard to bring democratic values to countries where nearly all the citizens believe that sharia law, not a constitution, should be the law of the land.
If you look at the list of other countries you see high percentages: 84 percent in Pakistan, 74 percent in Egypt, and 72 percent in Indonesia. In nearly every country surveyed, you had a substantial majority that believed that sharia law should be the official law of their country.
If you come to the United States, the percentages are different because (1) there are fewer Muslims in America, and (2) many Muslims have been willing to accept American democratic values. But that does not mean that sharia has not been implemented even here on a limited basis.
The Center for Security Policy published a paper awhile back that identified 146 cases of sharia law coming into conflict with American law. Granted these are not major cases but they still illustrate the willingness of Americans (both Muslim and non-Muslim) to accept some aspects of sharia law.
Radical Muslims may only be a small percentage of Muslims, however the percentage of Muslims who accept sharia law is a much larger percentage.