By Vexen Crabtree 2013
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Arab Republic of Egypt
|Social and Moral Index||141st best|
|Land Area||995 450 km21|
|Location||Africa, Mediterranean, Middle East|
|Population||83.96 million (2011)2|
|Life Expectancy||71.33yrs (2017)3|
|GNI||$10 064 (2017)4|
|ISO3166-1 Codes||EG, EGY, 8185|
“The regularity and richness of the annual Nile River flood, coupled with semi-isolation provided by deserts to the east and west, allowed for the development of one of the world's great civilizations. A unified kingdom arose circa 3200 B.C., and a series of dynasties ruled in Egypt for the next three millennia. The last native dynasty fell to the Persians in 341 B.C., who in turn were replaced by the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. It was the Arabs who introduced Islam and the Arabic language in the 7th century and who ruled for the next six centuries. A local military caste, the Mamluks took control about 1250 and continued to govern after the conquest of Egypt by the Ottoman Turks in 1517. Following the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869, Egypt became an important world transportation hub, but also fell heavily into debt. Ostensibly to protect its investments, Britain seized control of Egypt's government in 1882, but nominal allegiance to the Ottoman Empire continued until 1914. Partially independent from the UK in 1922, Egypt acquired full sovereignty with the overthrow of the British-backed monarchy in 1952. The completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1971 and the resultant Lake Nasser have altered the time-honored place of the Nile River in the agriculture and ecology of Egypt. A rapidly growing population (the largest in the Arab world), limited arable land, and dependence on the Nile all continue to overtax resources and stress society. The government has struggled to meet the demands of Egypt's growing population through economic reform and massive investment in communications and physical infrastructure. Egyptian youth and opposition groups, inspired by events in Tunisia leading to overthrow of the government there, organized non-violent demonstrations, marches, and labor strikes in Cairo and other cities throughout Egypt early in 2011. Protester grievances focused on police brutality, state emergency laws, lack of free speech and elections, high unemployment, rising food prices, inflation, and low minimum wages. Pledges by President MUBARAK for the formation of a new government and additional concessions failed to assuage protesters and resulted in an escalation of the number and intensity of demonstrations and clashes with police. In February 2011 MUBARAK resigned and national leadership was assumed by a Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF). The SCAF dissolved the Egyptian parliament, suspended the nation's constitution, and formed a committee to recommend constitutional changes to facilitate a political transition through democratic elections. Following some delays, elections for a new parliament took place between November 2011 and January 2012; however, the lower house of parliament was dissolved in June after a court ruling deemed its formation illegal. Presidential elections held in May and June witnessed the victory of Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed MURSI, but elections to form a new lower house of parliament, scheduled spring 2013, have been put on hold by the Administrative Court in order to review legal arguments over the process used to approve the amended election law.”
CIA's The World Factbook (2013)9
|UN HDI (2016)10|
|Social and Moral Development|
|147||Papua New Guinea||48.7|
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 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 (2015)11|
|3||St Vincent & Grenadines||2.0|
Egypt's population is predicted to rise to 106.5 million by 2030. These millions of extra people will all need space to live, food to eat, energy to consume, and will increase the burden on the planet's resources. This country has a fertility rate of 2.65.
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|
|Gender Inequality (2015)12|
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.
The 1950s saw a late rush of 43 countries, including Egypt and many developing nations, move to cease preventing women from voting.
|Disbelief In God|
|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 below13:
By adding up the Pew Forum data for the major monotheistic religions we can see that these make up 100.1% of the population. Yet there are simply too many who disbelieve in God for this to be true (0%). This is due to the so-called 'Census Effect', whereby many put down a religion for cultural reasons rather than because it reflects their beliefs. In highly Christian countries, as many as half of those who say they're a Christian lack any connection to a Church, and do not hold Christian beliefs (such as believing in God!).
The CIA World Factbook has slightly different data, and states: Muslim (mostly Sunni) 90%, Coptic 9%, other Christian 1%14.
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 Egypt states:
“The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of religion or belief. However, Article 98(f) of the country's penal code, as amended by law 147/2006, states that "whoever makes use of religion in propagating, either by words, in writing, or in any other means, extreme ideas for the purpose of inciting strife, ridiculing or insulting a heavenly religion or a sect following it, or damaging national unity" should be punished with between six months and five years imprisonment, and/or a fine between five hundred and one thousand pounds. The constitutional situation remains unclear and fluid with continuing political upheaval following the democratic revolution. There has been a marked increase in blasphemy charges in the past year directed at atheist and Coptic Christians, especially since the YouTube video "Innocence of Muslims" (produced by Coptic emigrants from Egypt) was publicized in the country.
Cases of Discrimination
On February 22nd, 2007 An Egyptian court sentenced a blogger, Abdel Kareem Soliman, to four years' prison for insulting Islam and the president. Soliman's trial was the first time that a blogger had been prosecuted in Egypt. He had used his web log to criticise the country's top Islamic institution, al-Azhar university and President Hosni Mubarak, whom he called a dictator.
On Oct. 27, 2007, blogger Kareem Amer was sentenced for Facebook posts deemed offensive to Islam, along with being seditious toward Hosni Mubarak. He was released on Nov. 17, 2010, upon which he was re-detained by security forces and allegedly tortured.
On Oct. 12, 2011, a court gave Ayman Yusef Mansur, 24, a three-year prison sentence with hard labor because he allegedly intentionally insulted the dignity of the Islamic religion with criticism on Facebook. The court did not make available what exactly Mansur posted on Facebook to draw the sentence.
In February 2012, a Christian school secretary named Makram Diab was sentenced to six years in prison for "insulting the Prophet Muhammad." A mob of 2,500 Muslims rallied outside the courthouse and demanded Diab be sentenced to death. Diab was apparently convicted on the testimony of Muslim colleagues, who stated he had made offensive remarks.
On 4 April 2012, An Egyptian court sentenced 17-year-old Christian boy, Gamal Abdou Massoud, to three years in jail for publishing cartoons on his Facebook page that "mocked" Islam and the Prophet Mohammad. Massoud was also accused of distributing some of his cartoons to his school friends in a village in the southern city of Assiut, home to a large Christian population. The child's court in Assiut sentenced Gamal Abdou Massoud to three years in prison "after he insulted Islam and published and distributed pictures that insulted Islam and its Prophet," the court said in a statement seen by Reuters. The cartoons, published by Massoud in December, had already prompted some Muslims to attack Christians, with several Christian houses burned and several people injured in the violence.
September 2012 also saw riots across Egypt over the YouTube video "Innocence of Muslims", which offended Muslims with its portrayal of the Prophet Mohammad. As a result, in November an Egyptian court convicted, in absentia, seven Coptic Christians, allegedly involved in the production of the movie, for "insulting the Islamic religion through participating in producing and offering a movie that insults Islam and its prophet." At the same time, the court convicted an American Christian pastor, Terry Jones, for burning the Qur'an on YouTube. All eight were sentenced to death, but they are all living abroad in countries that are not expected to extradite them to Egypt.
On September 14, 2012, during the riots over the "Innocence of Muslims", Alber Saber was arrested after a mob formed outside his home and demanded his arrest for insulting religion. Saber is a twenty-seven-year-old prominent activist for secular democracy in Egypt. Raised in a Coptic Christian household, Saber is an atheist who reportedly operates the Egyptian Atheists page on Facebook and has been a vocal critic of fundamentalist Islam. Saber was reportedly beaten after a prison guard announced his charges to others in Saber's cell. He faces between six months and five years in prison and/or a fine between five hundred and one thousand pounds. His trial is currently ongoing.
In late July 2012 a Coptic Christian teacher, Bishoy Kamel, 32, was arrested in the southern governorate of Sohag over an accusation that he posted images "insulting" to Islam on his Facebook page. Police were reported by al-Ahram newspaper as saying Kamel could be charged with blasphemy and would face up to five years in prison if convicted. The images he allegedly posted were cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohamed and Egypt's new President Mohamed Morsi. Mohamed Safwat, who filed the charges against Kamel, reportedly argued that that the teacher had also "insulted members of his own family." Kamel admitted to managing the Facebook page under investigation but denied the charges, claiming his account had been hacked. In September 2012 Kamel was sentenced to six years in prison for blasphemy
"Freedom of Thought" by IHEU (2012)15
|Internet Users in Population|
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.
|Alcohol Consumption (2010)16|
|14||Timor-Leste (E. Timor)||0.6|
(World Position, 2013-2016)18
|Personal, Civil and Economic Freedom (2014)19|
|Global Peace Index|
|Human Rights Treaties|
|Press Freedom Index|
|R & D Spending|
|Country||% RDP PPP|
|Gross National Income Per-Capita (2011)11|
|103||Bosnia & Herzegovina||$10 091|
|106||St Lucia||$9 791|
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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 Mar 24.
(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.
Lynn, Harvey & Nyborg
(2009) Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations. Richard Lynn, John Harvey and Helmuth Nyborg article "Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations" in Intelligence (2009 Jan/Feb) vol. 37 issue 1 pages 11-15. Online at www.sciencedirect.com, accessed 2009 Sep 15.
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.
(2017) Human Development Report. Data for 2015. Available on hdr.undp.org/..
World Health Organisation. (WHO)
(2014) Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health. A copy can be found on the WHO website. Accessed 2015 Jan 04. It "presents a comprehensive perspective on the global, regional and country consumption of alcohol, patterns of drinking, health consequences and policy responses in Member States" and was published in Geneva on 2014 May 12.
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