If You Desire Political Rights And Civil Liberties, Is Islam
by Omar Malomaari
"2006 Freedom In The World Rankings" gives every country in
the world a ranking from 1 to 7 (7 being the worst) in civil liberties and
another 1-7 ranking in political rights.
I wanted to see if I could find a relationship between the kind of Freedom
House rankings a country earns and the percentage of Muslims in that
country. So I gathered percentages, correlated, and here are my results:
In the 2006 report, countries that are 51%-70% Muslim earn an average
Freedom House ranking of 9.1 (adding the civil liberties ranking to the
political rights ranking).
Countries that are 71%-90% Muslim earn an average ranking of 9.6.
Countries that are 91%-100% Muslim earn an average ranking of 10.4.
To put this in perspective, remember that the best possible ranking a
country can receive is 2, in other words 1 for civil liberties and 1 for
are examples of countries that earned a ‘2’ ranking. Now if you
consider the above-shown rankings for Muslim countries, you see that on
average, the higher the percentage of Muslims in a country (though I only
calculated for countries with Muslim percentages 51% and over) the worse
the civil liberties and political rights rankings earned by that country.
This result, if correct, is not terribly surprising, since Freedom House
statistics reveal the more general fact that the group of Muslim-majority
countries, although they have made progress toward rights and liberties
over the last ten years, nevertheless lag well behind every other major
region in the world. Thus it would seem the really significant threshold
percentages are not those I examined above. The bigger marker is the
transition from minority to majority status, from less than 50% Muslim to
more than 50% Muslim. Of course this is only a generalization and it is
well to remember an exceptional place like Mali. Mali is 90% Muslim and
earned a combined civil liberties and political rights score of 4, which,
though not a 2, is still good enough to put it in Freedom House’s
“free country” category.
According to Freedom House
24 free countries, 1 partly free country
24 free countries, 9 partly free, 2 not free
16 free, 12 partly free, 11 not free
11 free, 23 partly free, 14 not free
3 free, 20 partly free, 23 not free
Muslim-majority countries a decade ago
1 free, 13 partly free, 32 not free
The “2006” Freedom House report shows ratings for the period from
Dec.1, 2004 to Nov 30, 2005. During that time, Mali, Senegal, and
Indonesia were the only Muslim-majority countries to earn a “free”
rating, though none of them received the best possible “free” rating
of ‘2’. But what is it they have that tyrannies like Syria, Libya and
Saudi Arabia so egregiously lack? And can it be exported?
And why is there such a huge liberty lag in Muslim countries considered as
The world is only now waking to the likelihood that the Muslim liberty-lag
is to some significant degree a result of the totalitarian character of
central aspects of the Quran and Hadith.