To be sure, supporting sharia law doesn’t necessarily make you a radical Islamist who hates modern civilization.
It is, after all, a cultural as well as a legal tradition. There are four distinct schools of sharia jurisprudence, with a long history of internal debate between them. Although some schools are hardline, some are surprisingly liberal. Nor has it even always been particularly illiberal, in relative terms. While giving women have the inheritance might not be all that great, it was an improvement over most other 7th century legal systems, which gave them none.
I do somewhat sympathize with those Muslims who instead of taking the easy road of aping the West are instead trying to modernize their own traditions.
Problem: It’s almost certainly a lost cause because there are so very few of the above. While there might be the occasional Muslim (or quasi-Muslim postmodernist) attempting to derive the legality of gay marriage from the hadiths, in practice there is a remarkably close association support for sharia law, and support for other highly regressive practices that are incompatible with high civilization.
For instance, the correlation between support for sharia law and the death penalty for apostasy is r=0.79 (as per PEW data). You are not going to get very far in an intellectual conversation about the finer points of the Hanafi school’s position on the question of whether brain emulations have a soul with a typical sharia law supporter in a society where support for sharia law is high.
Like it or not, when the statistically average Muslim expresses support for sharia law, he is affirming his Islamic identity and its various correlates, such as death for apostasy and stoning for adultery – and not so much things like equal dialogue of civilizations and solidarity in the international anti-imperialist struggle.
Just as Arthur Jensen argued that IQ can be considered as a central node amongst many other economic and socio-economic variables, the so-called “g nexus,” I suspect that one could also describe a sort of “sharia nexus” to quantify the relative backwardness of Muslim societies on different inter-correlated issues.
A couple of years ago, there was a chart floating about on the /pol/sphere that collated a bunch of PEW polls that queried Muslims on different questions that might be of interest to responsible immigration and anti-terrorist authorities. The sharia nexus is evident even to the naked eye, and is clearly stronger even than just IQ.