Brian Grim of the Pew Research Center and Roger Finke of Pennsylvania State University have a new book, The Price of Freedom Denied: Religious Persecution and Conflict in the Twenty-First Century. Guess which religion plays the starring role.
Writing about Islam in today’s politically charged climate is difficult, Grim and Finke admit. Many commentators, they say, tend to be either overly critical or timidly uncritical.
The thinly-veiled xenophobes on one end and the overcompensaters on the other.
Among the researchers’ findings:
• Seventy-eight percent of Muslim-majority countries, compared with 10 percent of Christian-majority countries and 43 percent of other nations, had high levels of government restrictions on religion.
• Violent religious persecution is present in every country with a Muslim majority with a population of more than 2 million.
• Sixty-two percent of Muslim-majority countries had at least moderate levels of persecution, with more than 200 people persecuted. In comparison, 28 percent of Christian-majority nations and 60 percent of other countries had similar levels of abuse.
• At the highest levels of persecution, 45 percent of Muslim-majority countries — more than four times the percentage of Christian-majority countries — were found to have more than a thousand people abused or displaced because of religion.
Not the least bit surprising, alas, but it’s useful to have some numbers.
However, one need only consider the role religion played in the Sudanese civil war or what Grim and Finke refer to as the “religious cleansing” of neighborhoods in Iraq based on Shiite-Sunni differences to understand the deadly toll religious persecution is exacting in Muslim-majority nations.
See this is why talking about this kind of thing is not anti-Muslim aka “Islamophobic” – it’s because the people who suffer most from the horrible aspects of Islam are Muslims.