Peace be upon you …

Close to one quarter of the world’s population are Muslim.

Those countries in which the majority of the population is Muslim are shown in colour. For a better look at the map just click on it – you will need to use the back arrow in your browser to return to this page.


That’s approximately 50 countries.

Six make Islam the corner-stone of their constitution …

  • Afghanistan
  • Iran
  • Mauritania
  • Pakistan
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Yemen

A further 14 have endorsed Islam as their state religion. Five, including Indonesia, haven’t made a declaration regarding the official place of Islam. Twenty-three states have gone to the trouble of officially separating state and religion.

Thus if Islam is the religion of peace the 20 countries shown in green should be veritable hotbeds of peace and harmony with the bright green countries leading the way.

Tolerance, democracy and gender equality are not components of the Islamic peace. There are ten countries in the world in which the death penalty is available for homosexuality, all are to be found in the coloured portion of the map and most are coloured green. None of the countries will be found in the list of full democracies in the 2012 Democracy Index. As for women …

Quranic verse 4:34:  “Allah has made men superior to women because men spend their wealth to support them. Therefore, virtuous women are obedient, and they are to guard their unseen parts as Allah has guarded them. As for women whom you fear will rebel, admonish them first, and then send them to a separate bed, and then beat them. But if they are obedient after that, then do nothing further; surely Allah is exalted and great!”
The rules for management of women can throw up some knotty problems
In Saudi Arabia, women aren’t allowed to drive, or even ride bikes, and men aren’t allowed to drive women they’re not closely related to. The kingdom is currently dealing with the dilemma of how to get 367,000 girls to school on buses that can only be driven by men.
There are less amusing examples such as the religious police forcing schoolgirls back into a burning school because they were not wearing Islamic headscarves and black robes as they tried to escape the flames.
Could be enough to make you quit Islam. Hang on a moment. In most of the Muslim world apostasy is a crime. If you’re lucky it could be prison or a flogging but …
The countries surveyed that expressly make apostasy a capital offense are Afghanistan, Brunei, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
Well at least I’m safe from accusations of apostasy, I have no faith to renounce. Duh, did I just admit that? Atheists and other religious skeptics can be executed in at least thirteen nations: Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
I guess a lot hinges on your definition of peace.
As-salamu alayku.

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