By Vexen Crabtree 2013
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|Social and Moral Index||114th best|
|Land Area1||155 360 km2|
|Life Expectancy3||74.688yrs (2012)|
|ISO3166-1 Codes4||TN, TUN, 788|
“Rivalry between French and Italian interests in Tunisia culminated in a French invasion in 1881 and the creation of a protectorate. Agitation for independence in the decades following World War I was finally successful in getting the French to recognize Tunisia as an independent state in 1956. The country's first president, Habib BOURGUIBA, established a strict one-party state. He dominated the country for 31 years, repressing Islamic fundamentalism and establishing rights for women unmatched by any other Arab nation. In November 1987, BOURGUIBA was removed from office and replaced by Zine el Abidine BEN ALI in a bloodless coup. Street protests that began in Tunis in December 2010 over high unemployment, corruption, widespread poverty, and high food prices escalated in January 2011, culminating in rioting that led to hundreds of deaths. On 14 January 2011, the same day BEN ALI dismissed the government, he fled the country, and by late January 2011, a "national unity government" was formed. Elections for the new Constituent Assembly were held in late October 2011, and in December, it elected human rights activist Moncef MARZOUKI as interim president. The Assembly began drafting a new constitution in February 2012, and released a second working draft in December 2012. The interim government has proposed presidential and parliamentary elections be held in 2013.”
CIA's The World Factbook (2013)8
|UN's Human Development Index|
|Social and Moral Development|
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|
Tunisia's population is predicted to rise to 12.21 million by 2030. This rise is despite a low fertility rate, meaning, that this country is helping to alleviate problems with growing population in neighbouring countries by accepting immigrants, very likely as a requirement of maintaining an active workforce. This country has a fertility rate of 1.93.
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|
|50||Trinidad & Tobago||0.31|
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 Tunisia and many developing nations, move to cease preventing women from voting. Tunisia is on the way towards ending gender inequality but women are still in an unfavourable position much of the time.
|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 below9:
The CIA World Factbook has slightly different data, and states: Muslim (Islam - official) 98%, Christian 1%, Jewish and other 1%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 Tunisia states:
“The constitution and other laws and policies largely provide for freedom of religion or belief but, in practice, the government enforces some restrictions on this freedom.
Since the Arab Spring revolution, there has been a democratic process to create a new constitution that will better protect international human rights standards. Unfortunately, political Islamists are meeting little opposition in their efforts to insert a clause against blasphemy in the new constitution. Article 3 in the draft constitution says: "The state guarantees freedom of religious belief and practice and criminalises all attacks on that which is sacred." In August 2012, the ruling party, the Islamist party Ennahdha , filed an anti-blasphemy bill which criminalises "curses, insults mockery, and desecration" of Allah, the Prophets, the three Abrahamic books, the Sunnah (the practices of the Prophet Muhammad), churches, synagogues and the Kaaba (the most sacred building in Islam). The bill also forbids pictorial representation of God and Prophet Muhammad. When Sofiene Chourabi, a democracy activist and journalist called for a protest against the blasphemy law he was arrested the next day for "drinking alcohol during Ramadan", which is not a crime under Tunisian law.
Even before the blasphemy ban has become law, there has been an increase in prosecutions and censorship of allegedly blasphemous speech. The legal and political situation remains fluid and unpredictable.
Cases of Discrimination
On 28 March, 2012, two atheist friends, Jabeur Mejri and Ghazi Beji were sentenced to seven and a half years in prison, and to a fine of 1200 Tunisian Dinars (around US $800) each, for posting images on Facebook deemed blasphemous. Mejri,and Beji were put on trial following a complaint lodged by a group of residents in Mahdia. While Jabeur Mejri is in prison, his friend Ghazi Beji sought refuge in Europe. Mejri, and Beji were convicted under Article 121 (3) of the Tunisian Penal Code, which states that: "The distribution, putting up for sale, public display, or possession, with the intent to distribute, sell, display for the purpose of propaganda, tracts, bulletins, and fliers, whether of foreign origin or not, that are liable to cause harm to the public order or public morals is prohibited."
On May 3, 2012, Nabil Karoui was convicted for disrupting public order and violating moral values by airing Persepolis an animated film that some religious leaders say insults Islam. Karoui, the head of Nessma TV a private tv station, was ordered to pay a 2,400 dinar (US$1,500) fine.
"Freedom of Thought" by IHEU (2012)11
|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.
(World Position, 2013-2016)13
|Personal, Civil and Economic Freedom14|
|120||Timor-Leste (E. Timor)||120|
|Global Peace Index|
|Human Rights Treaties|
|Press Freedom Index|
|R & D Spending|
|Country||% RDP PPP|
|Gross National Income|
|86||Dominican Rep.||$8 506|
|89||St Lucia||$7 971|
|104||Bosnia & Herzegovina||4.7|
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.
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.
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