A Pew Research Center study released Tuesday takes an in-depth look at Islam, including how Muslims around the world view extremism, sharia law and the meeting of religion and politics.
The study is a four-year effort by Pew, which conducted 38,000 face-to-face interview in 80-plus languages for the survey. In total, 39 countries and territories were included, all of which had over 10 million Muslims living there.
Here are the report's five major takeaways:
1.) Differences between U.S. and international Muslims are vast
While Muslims in the United States share a belief system with Muslims abroad, the Pew survey released Tuesday and a Pew survey on American Muslims from 2011reveals wide differences between the two groups.
An overwhelming number of Muslims outside the United States told Pew that "Islam is the only religion that leads to eternal life in heaven." Ninety-six percent of Egyptians and Jordanians, 95% of Iraqis and 94% of Moroccan Muslims responded that "Islam alone" leads to heaven.
When all Muslims outside the United States were considered, only 18% said many religions can lead to heaven. In the United States, that number is 56%, according to the 2011 survey.
Additionally, U.S. Muslims were more likely to have friends who were not Muslim.
"About half of U.S. Muslims say that all (7%) or most (41%) of their close friends are followers of Islam, and half say that some (36%) or hardly any (14%) of their close friends are Muslim," the survey reports.
By contrast, an average of 95% of Muslims outside the United States said "most or all of their friends are Muslims."
2.) Sharia law favored, especially by more devout Muslims
A whopping 99% of Muslims in Afghanistan told Pew that they favor sharia law -- a Muslim code that dictates everything from dietary laws to morals -- as the official law of the land.
Though Afghanistan is by far the most supportive of sharia, majorities in countries like Iraq (91%), Palestinian territories (89%) and Malaysia (86%) favor applying sharia to everyone in their respective countries. Support for this viewpoint was particularly strong in Southeast Asia, South Asia, Middle East-North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Analysis of the survey results by Pew found "most Muslims believe sharia is the revealed word of God rather than a body of law developed by men based on the word of God."
Those who approve sharia becoming the law of the land generally pray more than their Muslim brethren.
Muslims who pray several times a day in Russia, for example, are over twice as likely to favor implementing Islamic law as the law of the land. The same split between those who pray several times a day and those who pray less often can be seen in Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Tunisia and Turkey.
3.) Most Muslims believe religion, politics should be intertwined
A majority of Muslims surveyed in Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Middle East-North Africa told Pew that religious leaders in their respective countries should have political influence.
Much like favoring sharia law, religious devotion played an important role in these beliefs.
"Devout Muslims tend to be more supportive of religious leaders playing a role in politics," the survey reads. "In a number of countries, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa but also in Southern and Eastern Europe, Muslims who pray several times a day are more likely than those who pray less frequently to say religious leaders should have at least some influence on political matters."
4.) Around the world, Muslims heralded religious freedom
Despite views that Islam should influence politics and law, an overwhelming number of Muslims told Pew that religious freedom was a good thing.
Ninety-seven percent of Muslims in South Asia, 95% in Eastern Europe, 94% in sub-Saharan Africa and 85% in the Middle East and North Africa responded positively to religious freedom, according to the poll.
"Overall, Muslims broadly support the idea of religious freedom," the study states. "Among Muslims who say people of different religions are very free to practice their faith, three-quarters or more in each country say this is a good thing."
5.) Islamic extremism widely rejected, but still a concern