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  • Fred

Maybe We Won't Talk About It.

One of my old friends posted a right wing meme a week or so ago:

At first I was peeved, stupid Jason spreading his right-wing propaganda where I could see it. Even though I disagree with the sentiment, we at Beacon of Speech respect Jason's right to say this. There are no swear words, he is simply making an (incorrect) observation.

If you're on social media, you consume so much crap every single day, very little stays with you. But Jason's post really rubbed me the wrong way, not because of what he said, but because the more I thought about it, I was afraid he might be right. So, since I have my own blog, I can do a little research of my own.

These are the 10 Countries of the World with the largest Muslim population by numbers (percentage of the total population in parenthesis):

  • Indonesia 205,000,000 (87%)

  • Pakistan 178,000,000 (96%)

  • India 172,000,000 (14%)

  • Bangladesh 145,000,000 (90%)

  • Nigeria 76,000,000 (48%)

  • Iran 75,000,000 (99%)

  • Turkey 75,000,000 (99%)

  • Egypt 74,000,000 (90%)

  • Algeria 35,000,000 (98%)

  • Morocco 32,000,000 (99%)

Wow. None of those places are free-thinking hotspots, but who am I in the grand scheme of things? What do the professionals say? So I went over to the think-tank Freedom House and found the Top 10 Least Free Nations:

(With Freedom Score in Parenthesis: 0-Not Free / 100-Free)

  • Syria (-1)

  • Eritrea (3)

  • North Korea (3)

  • Uzbekistan (3)

  • South Sudan (4)

  • Turkmenistan (4)

  • Somalia (5)

  • Sudan (6)

  • Equatorial Guinea (8)

  • Central African Republic (10)

  • Saudi Arabia (tie for 10th)

So far no correlation, but a bit of a trend of where certain countries are. Let's dig a little deeper.

Of the 10 countries listed at the top, how many are listed as Free?

(With Freedom Score in Parenthesis)

  • Indonesia - (65)

  • Pakistan - (43)

  • India - (77)

  • Bangladesh - (47)

  • Nigeria - (50)

  • Iran - (17)

  • Turkey - (38)

  • Egypt - (26)

  • Algeria - (35)

  • Morocco - (41)

Ohhh, only one, not good.

How about the Cato Institute? Let's check out their bottom 10 on their Freedom Index:

(Percentage Muslim in Parenthesis)

  • Angola (>1%)

  • Congo, Democratic Republic of (>1%)

  • Algeria (98%)

  • Myanmar ( >1%)

  • Venezuela (>1%)

  • Central African Republic (Umm, some?*)

  • Syria (93%)

  • Iran (99%)

  • Yemen (99%)

  • Libya (97%)

A vague trend, but not a direct trend.

Since the meme specifically had a Saudi Arabian Flag in the background, let's just focus on Saudi Arabia, home of Mecca, the holiest city in the religion of Islam.

Saudi Arabia - according to the State Department

Saudi Arabia - according to Human Rights Watch

Saudi Arabia - according to Amnesty International

Saudi Arabia - according to the European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights

Saudi Arabia - according to Freedom House

Oh, look at the time, no more time for blogging tonight....


*The Central African Republic is a mess. I tried to understand the conflict, and only became more confused the more I read about it. Ex-Seleka factions are almost entirely Muslim, but I was unable to pin down a percentage of population on any site I had visited due to attrocities, refugees, and well, any real semblance of order.

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