CAIRO – A new survey by a leading US academic has found that Ireland leads the world in embodying Qur’an teachings of justice and Islamic values in a list where Western societies came at a leading position ahead of many Muslim-majority countries.
“We must emphasize that many countries that profess Islam and are called Islamic are unjust, corrupt, and underdeveloped and are in fact not ‘Islamic’ by any stretch of the imagination,” Hossein Askari, an Iranian-born professor of International Business and International Affairs at George Washington University, was quoted by the Telegraph on Tuesday, June 10.
“Looking at an index of Economic Islamicity, or how closely the policies and achievements of countries reflect Islamic economic teachings - Ireland, Denmark, Luxembourg, Sweden, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Singapore, Finland, Norway, and Belgium round up the first 10,” he added.
In their study, Askari and his colleague Dr Scheherazde S Rehman rated 208 countries and territories as being more compliant with the teachings of Islam and Qur’an.
The unexpected results showed that the top countries in both economic achievement and social values are Ireland, Demark, Luxembourg and New Zealand. Britain also ranks in the top ten.
The first Muslim-majority nation is Malaysia ranking at 33, while the only other state in the top 50 is Kuwait at 48.
“If a country, society, or community displays characteristics such as unelected, corrupt, oppressive, and unjust rulers, inequality before the law, unequal opportunities for human development, absence of freedom of choice (including that of religion), opulence alongside poverty, force, and aggression as the instruments of conflict resolution as opposed to dialogue and reconciliation, and, above all, the prevalence of injustice of any kind, it is prima facie evidence that it is not an Islamic community,” Askari said.
The new results reflected similar records made in Islamicity index released by the Iranian professor in 2010.
"New Zealand, Luxembourg, Ireland, Iceland, Finland, Denmark, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Netherlands; and again only Malaysia (38) and Kuwait (48) make it into the top 50 from Muslim countries,” he said.
“Islam is, and has been for centuries, the articulation of the universal love of Allah for his creation and for its unity, and all that this implies for all-encompassing human and economic development."
Muslims make up 1.1 percent of the 4.5 million people in Ireland, but their ranks are swelling due to immigration, domestic births, and in some cases conversion.
Two decades ago, they numbered about 4,000.
A 2011 census recorded 49,204 Muslims, including nearly 12,000 school-aged children. The numbers represent a 51 percent increase since 2006.
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