Note: Replication data will be made available on the author's website: http://www.msu.edu/~asarkiss.
Religion and Civic Engagement in Muslim Countries
Article first published online: 4 DEC 2012
© 2012 The Society for the Scientific Study of Religion
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Volume 51, Issue 4, pages 607–622, December 2012
How to Cite
Sarkissian, A. (2012), Religion and Civic Engagement in Muslim Countries. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 51: 607–622. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-5906.2012.01677.x
Acknowledgments: A version of this article was presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. The author would like to acknowledge Eric Chang, Jeffrey Conroy-Krutz, Dan Lee, and Corwin D. Smidt, and three anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on an earlier version of this article.
- Issue published online: 4 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 4 DEC 2012
- civic engagement
Previous studies of religion on civic and political participation focus primarily on Western Christian societies. Studies of Muslim societies concentrate on Islamic religiosity's effect on attitudes toward democracy, not on how Muslim religious participation carries over into social and political arenas. This article examines the relationship between religion and civic engagement in nine Muslim-majority countries using data from the World Values Surveys. I find that active participation in Muslim organizations is associated with greater civic engagement, while religious service attendance is not. In a subset of countries, daily prayer is associated with less civic engagement. The main area in which Muslim societies differ from Western ones is in the lack of association between civic engagement, trust, and tolerance. Religious participation is a more significant predictor of secular engagement than commonly used “social capital” measures, suggesting a need to adapt measures of religiosity to account for differences in religious expression across non-Christian faiths.