By Vexen Crabtree 2013
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Kingdom of Bahrain
|Social and Moral Index||126th best|
|Land Area1||760 km2|
|Location||Asia, Middle East|
|Life Expectancy3||75.182yrs (2012)|
|ISO3166-1 Codes4||BH, BHR, 48|
“In 1783, the Sunni Al-Khalifa family captured Bahrain from the Persians. In order to secure these holdings, it entered into a series of treaties with the UK during the 19th century that made Bahrain a British protectorate. The archipelago attained its independence in 1971. Facing declining oil reserves, Bahrain has turned to petroleum processing and refining and has transformed itself into an international banking center. Bahrain's small size and central location among Persian Gulf countries require it to play a delicate balancing act in foreign affairs among its larger neighbors. In addition, the Sunni-led government has struggled to manage relations with its large Shia-majority population. During the mid-to-late 1990s, Shia activists mounted a low-intensity uprising to demand that the Sunni-led government stop systemic economic, social, and political discrimination against Shia Bahrainis. King HAMAD bin Isa Al-Khalifa, after succeeding his late father in 1999, pushed economic and political reforms in part to improve relations with the Shia community. After boycotting the country's first round of national elections under the newly promulgated constitution in 2002, Shia political societies participated in the 2006 and 2010 legislative and municipal elections. Wifaq, the most prominent Shia political party, won the largest bloc of seats in the elected lower house of the legislature both times. Beginning in February 2011, Bahrain's opposition sought to ride out a rising tide of popular Arab protests to petition for the redress of popular grievances. In mid-March 2011, the Bahraini Government took action to halt the momentum of the growing protest movement by declaring a state of emergency that put an end to the mass public gatherings and increasingly disruptive civil disobedience. Manama also welcomed a contingent of Gulf Cooperation Council forces under the Peninsula Shield umbrella intended to protect critical infrastructure as Bahraini security forces deployed to the protest areas. The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), formed in June 2011 to investigate abuses during the unrest and state of emergency, released its final report in November 2011. The King fully endorsed the report, and since then Manama has begun to implement a number of the BICI's recommendations, including improving policing procedures, reinstating dismissed workers, rebuilding some religious sites, and establishing a compensation fund for those affected by the unrest and crackdown. The opposition continues to express concern about the recommendations that have not been implemented. The summer 2011 National Dialogue between the government and political societies did not ultimately address core opposition grievances, and protests continued. Street protests have grown increasingly violent. A new round of National Dialogue was launched in February 2013 with participation by the government, both opposition and more pro-government political societies, and legislators.”
CIA's The World Factbook (2013)8
|UN's Human Development Index|
|Social and Moral Development|
|127||Timor-Leste (E. Timor)||50.2|
The United Nations produces an annual Human Development Report which includes the Human Development Index. The factors taken into account include life expectancy, education and schooling and Gross National Income (GNI) amongst many others. The values in the chart are factored by 100.
The Social and Moral Development Index is a formulaic aggregation of many factors. It concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2017).
|Life Expectancy (at birth)|
|3||St Vincent & Grenadines||2.0|
|151||Trinidad & Tobago||1.351m||263|
Bahrain's population is predicted to rise to 1.654 million by 2030. This country has a fertility rate of 2.46.
The fertility rate is, in simple terms, the average amount of children that each woman has. The higher the figure, the quicker the population is growing, although, to calculate the rate you also need to take into account morbidity, i.e., the rate at which people die. If people live healthy and long lives and morbidity is low, then, 2.0 approximates to the replacement rate, which would keep the population stable. If all countries had such a fertility rate, population growth would end. The actual replacement rate in most developed countries is around 2.1.
|Female Vote and Stand|
|166||Sao Tome & Principe||1975|
Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.
Bahrain is on the way towards ending gender inequality but women are still in an unfavourable position much of the time.
|How Many Are Religious?|
Data from the Pew Forum, a professional polling outfit, states that in 2010 the religious makeup of this country was as follows in the table below9:
The CIA World Factbook has slightly different data, and states: Muslim (Shia and Sunni) 81.2%, Christian 9%, other 9.8% (2001 census)10.
The International Humanist and Ethical Union produced a report in 2012 entitled "Freedom of Thought" (2012), in which they document bias and prejudice at the national level that is based on religion, belief and/or lack of belief. Their entry for Bahrain states:
“The constitution does not explicitly protect freedom of religion or belief, but it does make provision for the freedom of conscience, the inviolability of places of worship, and the freedom to perform religious rites and hold religious parades and meetings, in accordance with the customs observed in the country. The constitution stipulates that there shall be no discrimination in the rights and duties of citizens on grounds of religion. However, the constitution also states that Islam is the official religion and that Islamic law is a principal source for legislation.
By declaring Islam as the state religion and Islamic law as the source of legislation, the constitution implies that Muslims are forbidden to change their religion (since Sharia outlaws apostasy). The constitution imposes no restrictions on non-Muslims' right to choose, change, or practice their religion or belief, including the study, discussion, and promulgation of those beliefs. The constitution prohibits discrimination in the rights and duties of citizens on the basis of religion or belief; however, there are no further laws to prevent discrimination, nor procedures to file a grievance.
The civil and criminal legal systems consist of a complex mix of courts based on diverse legal sources, including both Shiite and Sunni schools of Islamic jurisprudence, tribal law, and other civil codes. Sharia governs personal status, and a person's rights can vary according to Shiite or Sunni interpretation, as determined by the individual's faith or by the courts. In May 2009, the government adopted the country's first personal status law, which regulates family matters such as inheritance, child custody, marriage, and divorce. The law is only applicable to the Sunni population as Shiite clerics and lawmakers opposed legislation that would have applied to Shiite courts.
The press and publications law prohibits anti-Islamic media, and mandates imprisonment for "exposing the state's official religion for offense and criticism." The law states that "any publication that prejudices the ruling system of the country and its official religion can be banned from publication by a ministerial order." The law allows the production and distribution of religious media and publications. Islamic studies are a part of the curriculum in government schools and mandatory for all public school students. In 2011, Bahrain experienced prolonged unrest as protestors, predominantly from the majority Shia community, demanded political reform and an end to the political hegemony of the Sunni minority. The sectarian dimension of the political uprising resulted in substantial intra-Muslim conflict, including government attacks on Shi'ite religious buildings and the violent oppression of Shi'ite protestors. Violence has diminished in 2012, but the simmering sectarian tensions remain alongside the demands for political reform.
Cases of Discrimination
In August, 2012, a Bahraini court sentenced a man to two years in prison for making insulting comments about one of the Prophet Mohammad's wives. The man reportedly insulted Aisha in comments online.
"Freedom of Thought" by IHEU (2012)11
|Internet Users in Population|
|47||Bosnia & Herzegovina||52.00|
Internet access has become an essential research tool. It facilitates an endless list of life improvements, from the ability to network and socialize without constraint, to access to a seemingly infinite repository of technical and procedural information on pretty much any task. The universal availability of data has sped up industrial development and personal learning at the national and personal level. Individuals can read any topic they wish regardless of the locality of expert teachers, and, entire nations can develop their technology and understanding of the world simply because they are now exposed to advanced societies and moral discourses online. Like every communications medium, the Internet has issues and causes a small range of problems, but these are insignificant compared to the advantages of having an online populace.
(World Position, 2013-2016)13
|10||Trinidad & Tobago||10|
|Personal, Civil and Economic Freedom14|
|Global Peace Index|
|Human Rights Treaties|
|144||Trinidad & Tobago||12|
|Press Freedom Index|
|R & D Spending|
|Country||% RDP PPP|
|117||Trinidad & Tobago||0.05||17|
|Gross National Income|
Anti-Defamation League. (ADL)
(2014) ADL Global 100, Executive Summary. Accessed on global100.adl.org on 2017 Jan 02. The numbers given are of those who state that racist stereotyped statements about Jews are true; they have to agree to 6 or more of the 11 statements to be counted. An example statements is "Jews are hated because of the way they behave". The data was collected from 53,100 interviews across 101 countries plus the West Bank and Gaza. The global average is 26%.
(2013) World Factbook. The USA Government's Central Intelligence Agency (USA CIA) publishes The World Factbook, and the online version is frequently updated.
(2017) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2017). Accessed 2017 Feb 28.
(2009) Religiosity. gallup.com/poll/142727/.... The survey question was "Is religion an important part of your daily life?" and results are charted for those who said "yes". 1000 adults were polled in each of 114 countries.
IHEU. International Humanist and Ethical Union.
(2012) Freedom of Thought. A copy can be found on iheu.org/...Freedom of Thought 2012.pdf, accessed 2013 Oct 28.
The Fraser Institute
(2016) The Human Freedom Index. Published by The Cato Institute, The Fraser Institute and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Covers data up to 2014. On www.fraserinstitute.org/.../human-freedom-index-2016..
(2011) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Published on the United Nation's website at hdr.undp.org/.../HDR_2011_EN_Complete.pdf (accessed throughout 2013, Jan-Mar). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2013) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. Published on the United Nation's HDR website at hdr.undp.org/.../hdr2013/ (accessed throughout 2013). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
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