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Sharia should be law of land Muslims who believe sharia should be law who accept death penalty for apostasy % of Muslims who accept death penalty for apostasy
Afghanistan 99% 79% 78%
Pakistan 84% 76% 64%
Egypt 74% 86% 64%
Palestinian territories 89% 66% “59%
Jordan 71% 82% 58%
Malaysia 86% 62% 53%
Iraq 91% 42% 38%
Bangladesh 82% 44% 36%
Tunisia 56% 29% 16%
Lebanon 29% 46% 13%
Indonesia 72% 18% 13%
Tajikstan 27% 22% 6%
Kyrgyzstan 35% 14% 5%
Bosnia 15% 15% 2%
Kosovo 20% 11% 2%
Turkey 12% 17% 2%
Albania 12% 8% 1%
Kazakhstan 10% 4% 0%

41nsHqj5QIL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ The above data is from Pew. Questions were asked only of Muslims. In some nations, such as Turkey, “Muslims” include basically the whole population, at least nominally. In others, such as Malaysia it is somewhat over half the population. The first response column is the proportion of Muslims who wish to enact sharia as the law of the land in a given nation. The second set of responses are those Muslims who agree with the first question, and also agree with the traditional death penalty for apostates in Islam. Multiplying the two out, and you get the total proportion of Muslims in a given country who assent to the traditional death penalty for apostates in Islam. This is probably a floor, in that a minority of those Muslims who don’t want sharia enacted may agree with the death penalty for leaving Islam for a variety of reasons (Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who was neither personally religious or observant, nevertheless defended the killer of a “blasphemer” during the British period on the grounds of communal honor).

What you see above are a range of attitudes, and interesting conflicts with public practice. In Indonesia it is not illegal to convert from Islam to another religion, and this is done. But about ten percent of the population still accepts the death penalty for apostasy, at least nominally. In Malaysia it is very difficult for an ethnic Malay to convert to another religion, as the connection between that identity and Islam is quite close, though there is often more latitude for non-Malays. About half of Muslims accept the death penalty for leaving Islam. The difference between Indonesia and Malaysia probably is a reflection of divergent social norms which arose in different historical contexts (in Indonesia, the conflicts were as much between Muslim groups of various sects and ethnicities, while in Malaysia the cleavage was more between the non-Muslim Chinese and the Muslim Malay). Just because a given percentage agree with the death penalty for apostasy does not entail that they’d automatically kill an apostate personally, but it probably indicates a level of tolerance and acceptance of intimidation and violence directed toward the act of apostasy.

51+cUvOGl1L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ It is instructive to compare Bangladesh and Pakistan. About ~1/3 of Bangladesh’s Muslims (~90% of the population) agree with the death penalty for apostasy, while ~2/3 of Pakistan’s Muslims (>90% of the population) do so. The reason that there is no campaign against secular bloggers in Pakistan is that secular bloggers in Pakistan would be insane to be as public and vocal as their equivalents in Bangladesh. With the majority of the population accepting the legitimacy of capital violence against those who are more extreme in their defiance of religious orthodoxy, the equilibrium state is for that dissent to exist in an underground fashion. Bangladesh is somewhat different because of its peculiar history. As a multi-ethnic nation which was to serve as the state for the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent Pakistan’s attachment to religious identity is nearly necessary. In contrast, Bangladesh’s origins occurred through a rebellion by a left-wing nationalist movement grounded in the ethnic rights of Bengalis within the then Pakistan (and an Indian intervention!), and predicated on a common linguistic heritage. The national anthem of Bangladesh was written by the Hindu Bengali Tagore (compare the lyrics of the Bangladesh anthem with Pakistan’s).

There is a culture-war within Bangladesh, and it is conditioned on an understanding of the nation’s identity in religious terms. This is clear when you notice the official name of the nation: the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, a nod to the dominant party’s affinity with 20th century socialism. But, in 1988 Islam was also added as the “state religion,” a move that was rumored at the time to be motivated by potential aid largesse from Middle Eastern petrostates. In contrast, Pakistan is the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

This is the context of the literal war within Bangladesh between those aligned with Islamism of various sorts and their critics, who range from non-Islamist Muslims to intellectuals from a Hindu background and outright atheists. Over the weekend there was another attack, prompting protests. Here are some relevant aspects:

Hundreds of people, including writers, publishers and bookshop owners, took to the streets of the capital, Dhaka, on Monday to protest against what they said was government inaction over a string of attacks, including the murder on Saturday of a publisher of secular books.

Rallies were also held in other cities and towns to demand more protection for publishers, bloggers and writers, some of whom have fled the country or gone into hiding.

The people who have so far fallen victim to the attacks are thinking people, those who believe in freedom of expression, and those who believe in secular values. A series of killings have taken place but now the focus is on publishers … I feel absolutely traumatised,” said Mohiuddin Ahmed, a publisher in Dhaka.

Fears of Islamic extremist violence have been rising in mainly moderate Muslim-majority Bangladesh after four atheist bloggers were murdered by machete-wielding attackers this year.

Two foreigners – an Italian aid worker and a Japanese farmer – have also been killed, while Dhaka’s main shrine for the small local Shia Muslim minority was bombed last month, killing two people and wounding dozens.

While it was believed to be the first attack on Shia Muslims in Bangladesh, in the past two years banned Islamic militant groups have killed more than a dozen Sufi Muslims and attacked Hindus and Christians.

The killing of foreigners has worried the country’s expatriate community and threatened its fragile economy, which is heavily reliant on foreign aid and a $25bn (£16bn) garment industry making clothing for international brands.

Points I want to note:

* Dhaka is a city of ~15 million, but “hundreds” of people show up at a protest. Lots of people are sitting this out, because they are scared. But, the terror is not such that some people won’t bravely stand up for freedom of expression, even for a group which is uniformly reviled within Muslim societies as traitors.

* Rallies outside of Dhaka suggest that the cultural division here is national, and not a function of metropolitan cosmopolitanism (it plays out a bit in my family, which divided down the middle between more religious and less religious).

* The attacks on intellectuals have a dark resonance for many Bangladeshis. During the war against Pakistan many creative intellectuals were killed in a targeted manner by the army because of their utility to the independence movement. And, it is known that some of the Islamist groups have roots which go back to pro-Pakistan elements during the 1971 war.

* The attacks on Shias indicates that these activists are adopting the norms of international Sunni Islamists, who target Shia. The attacks on foreigners also suggests that they want to move the needle on the climate in Bangladesh in terms of openness, trade, and general tolerance.

* Over the years Bangladesh, despite its corruption and political paralysis, has kept its head down in terms of international entanglements and domestic Islamic violence. This has allowed for the development of a non-aid based economy, and a flourishing NGO sector. The sort of institutional stability needed for this sort of development to proceed could easily be suborned by sectarian violence.

It strikes me that we’re at a precipice. The last time I went to Bangladesh was in 2004. If these killings continue, then I may not go back for decades. The government has a problem, in that it’s not very effective, and, there is probably some popular sympathy for this sort of violence, which the rival center-right Bangladesh National Party will want to tap into.

There are many people whose feelings on this issue are rather confused and inchoate. Here’s something from reddit (in response to someone posting one of my posts):

I feel like its one of those new ‘modern’ trends to declare oneself atheist in Bangladesh. Atheist muslims have always existed and will always continue to exist, its nothing new. As long as you arent shoving your views down other people’s throats or hating on other people’s beliefs (or lack of beliefs), there’s nothing wrong with it at all. Even in Islam, the only time capital punishment is applied to an atheist is when the atheist is going around giving hate speeches against the religion. Religious hate speech is punishable by law under Islam. But as far as your belief goes, how would anyone even know what’s in your heart?? Belief is a very personal thing, and no one can be certain of what’s in someone’s heart but the person and God himself.

I am very religious and very spiritual, but I was born and raised in Canada so I have friends of various faiths. We all share our beliefs and try to see things from each others’ points of views, but we never disrespect each other or put down each others’ beliefs even if something doesn’t make sense to us. The problem with these “modern” attention-seeking atheists is that they try to declare their views (atheism) by insulting the views of others (theism). Just because you have a difficult time comprehending the possibility of a universe outside our material universe, it doesn’t mean that other people can’t grasp this concept. Personally, I really dislike closed-minded, one-sided, ignorant people. Whether that’s an atheist or a theist is irrelevant. The ‘modern’ atheists in BD are all just closed-minded, arrogant, one-sided, ignorant attention-seekers. There’s nothing ‘educated’ or ‘enlightened’ about them at all.

To which one commenter responded: “Sure, but should they be chopped up with machetes in public?”

I can agree that many atheists are obnoxious, including myself on occasion. I find many religious people obnoxious too, but they should be free to practice and preach. Growing up in a Muslim milieu I can tell you that many Muslims were offensive and obnoxious when it came to generalizations about other religions, in particular Hindus. That’s their liberty in the United States of America, we don’t live in India where “hurt feelings” rule the day with an iron grip.

To me it is interesting that many liberals I see on the internet with whom I am on good terms otherwise with seem more focused on policing “Islamophobia” than in the genuine illiberalism which is so common among today’s 1.5 billion Muslims. So in response to the killings I put up a tweet which was self-consciously inflammatory:

The_God_Delusion_UK But, this is the United States, and you can say harsh things about religion. In particular, this religion has been sanctioning death to those who criticize it for a while now, so I take my American liberty to criticize when I can. Nevertheless, some were more curious about the jibe against Islam than the fact that people in Bangladesh are getting killed for criticizing Islam.

The data are what they are. I’ve pasted some of this at the top of the post to show how deep the animus goes against dissenters in Islam. And by Islam, I mean Muslims. Yes, Kosovo is tolerant. But there are fewer than 2 million people who live there. In contrast, Pakistan has nearly 180 million Muslims!

Several years ago the financial journalist Heidi Moore decided to “whitesplain” Islam to me. Her contention was that Richard Dawkins was racist and should not generalize about Islam. Similar barbs have been thrown at Sam Harris. As a point of fact I believe many of the things that Dawkins and Harris have said are not grounded in an empirical basis, nor are their analytic frameworks to my liking. But, I also think it is ludicrous to assume that their attitude toward Islam is rooted in racism, as opposed to a generalized distaste for monotheism, as well as a concern for the intolerance against atheists which is so common within the world of Islam and among Muslims.

The reality is that many liberals who are deeply worried about Islamophobia know as much about Islam as Ben Carson does. That’s a fact. I say this as someone who knows a fair amount about the religion, despite my obvious distaste for it. The arguments that American liberals and conservatives have about Islam are not about Islam, but about each other’s self-perceptions, and their cartoon of what Islam is.

That’s “problematic”, as they would say. There are 1.5 billion Muslims, and many of them are on the move. They’re going to be in your neighborhoods, assuming you aren’t part of the socioeconomic elite, which will no doubt insulate itself from the diversity that it welcomes rhetorically. We had better actually deal with reality of the world out there, rather than our own imaginings.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy, Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Islam 
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  1. The sad thing is that in Canada today, and perhaps the UK (certainly in Scotland), you would risk imprisonment for that tweet.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    well, it's hate speech. *shrug* i hate islam. it hates me. feelings are mutual :-)
  2. @jimmyriddle
    The sad thing is that in Canada today, and perhaps the UK (certainly in Scotland), you would risk imprisonment for that tweet.

    well, it’s hate speech. *shrug* i hate islam. it hates me. feelings are mutual 🙂

  3. The data is scary. There have been several similar polls but it always bothers me they never include Iran in them because I’d be so interested to know where Iranians stand on these issues.

    I wish countries like Afghanistan were successfully annexed by the USSR, maybe it’d be more decent and tolerant today if it had been, and maybe nothing resembling the Taliban would exist there. It looks like communist dictatorship has done a good job in pacifying millions of Muslims.

  4. Meanwhile, in Bangladesh, Muslims are saying– “atheism is a fucking cancer”

  5. @Razib, I know you were not a big fan of Michael Cook’s, “Ancient Religions, Modern Politics,” but these development appear to be evidence of the persistent relevance Islam offers in organizing modern political oppositions, particularly violent ones. It would be nice to see good government stewardship rise to the challenge.

  6. Given recent events, I’m surprised how “secular” Turkey is.

  7. I hate the use of “phobia” as a suffix, used to blandly discredit people’s views, avoiding argument while doing so. First of all, there’s nothing wrong with fear; it is often an appropriate response. Secondly, people speaking out against Islamists are usually not motivated by fear as far as I can tell. It just seems like a stupid insult, since being a coward is the one thing that is held in contempt across the political spectrum.

  8. Corollary: Vast majority of Muslim governments are way more liberal-minded than their populations. Let’s throw some democracy bombs on them!

    Also – curious that Tunisia is the biggest foreign source of fighters to the Islamic State after the Saudis, even though they are the most liberal Arab Sunni Muslim country (which is confirmed in this data).

  9. Perhaps I am sorely misunderstanding what is meant, but it seems that the three columns illustrate the
    http://lesswrong.com/lw/ji/conjunction_fallacy/ .

    A = {Bangladeshi Muslims who believe sharia should be law}
    B = {Bangladeshi Muslims who believe apostates from Islam should be killed}
    C = {Bangladeshi Muslims who believe both these propositions}
    Set C is a subset of set A. Set C is a subset of set B.
    Therefore the proportion of Bangladeshi Muslims in set C (44%) should be less than than or equal to the proportion in set A (82%) and also less than or equal to the proportion in set B (36%). But 44% is *not* less than or equal to 36%. Were the columns mislabeled?

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    A = {Bangladeshi Muslims who believe sharia should be law}
    B = {Bangladeshi Muslims who believe apostates from Islam should be killed | Bangladeshi Muslims who believe sharia should be law}
    C = {Bangladeshi Muslims who believe apostates from Islam should be killed}

    as noted above i assumed that all bangladeshi muslims who reject sharia would also reject killing apostates. B is a % of those who believe in sharia. C is a % of those who believe in sharia + those who do not, assuming all those who do not reject killing apostates.
    , @Jim W
    B is % of Muslims who accept sharia law, so C = A*B, which is roughly consistent with table.
  10. @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)
    Perhaps I am sorely misunderstanding what is meant, but it seems that the three columns illustrate the
    http://lesswrong.com/lw/ji/conjunction_fallacy/ .

    A = {Bangladeshi Muslims who believe sharia should be law}
    B = {Bangladeshi Muslims who believe apostates from Islam should be killed}
    C = {Bangladeshi Muslims who believe both these propositions}
    Set C is a subset of set A. Set C is a subset of set B.
    Therefore the proportion of Bangladeshi Muslims in set C (44%) should be less than than or equal to the proportion in set A (82%) and also less than or equal to the proportion in set B (36%). But 44% is *not* less than or equal to 36%. Were the columns mislabeled?

    A = {Bangladeshi Muslims who believe sharia should be law}
    B = {Bangladeshi Muslims who believe apostates from Islam should be killed | Bangladeshi Muslims who believe sharia should be law}
    C = {Bangladeshi Muslims who believe apostates from Islam should be killed}

    as noted above i assumed that all bangladeshi muslims who reject sharia would also reject killing apostates. B is a % of those who believe in sharia. C is a % of those who believe in sharia + those who do not, assuming all those who do not reject killing apostates.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    as noted above i assumed that all bangladeshi muslims who reject sharia would also reject killing apostates
     
    But can you do that? There may be some-- or many-- who reject sharia, but would still appreciate any excuse for a good ol' Thursday night bloodbath.

    It's certainly fortunate that the Irish aren't Islamic.
  11. @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)
    Perhaps I am sorely misunderstanding what is meant, but it seems that the three columns illustrate the
    http://lesswrong.com/lw/ji/conjunction_fallacy/ .

    A = {Bangladeshi Muslims who believe sharia should be law}
    B = {Bangladeshi Muslims who believe apostates from Islam should be killed}
    C = {Bangladeshi Muslims who believe both these propositions}
    Set C is a subset of set A. Set C is a subset of set B.
    Therefore the proportion of Bangladeshi Muslims in set C (44%) should be less than than or equal to the proportion in set A (82%) and also less than or equal to the proportion in set B (36%). But 44% is *not* less than or equal to 36%. Were the columns mislabeled?

    B is % of Muslims who accept sharia law, so C = A*B, which is roughly consistent with table.

  12. Razib, how about as another control, you try tweeting “Judaism is a fucking cancer”?

    How do you think that one would go down?

    • Replies: @omarali50
    I think any such tweet about Judaism would be widely condemned in liberal as well as pro-zionist right-wing circles, but like any other tweet, the response also depends on the context. If Gaza was under attack by the Israeli Air Force for several days, with many smoking ruins on TV and so on, then such a tweet would likely pass muster on any left-of-center blog in Europe and may not be instantly condemned by everyone in the US either. If it was just a random tweet in the middle of a slow news day, then it would likely be taken as evidence of pathological anti-semitism.
    The same for tweets about Islam. On a day when no new atrocity from ISIS or Bangladesh had appeared in the news, it would be (correctly?) regarded as evidence of pathological Islamophobia. But if a Bangladeshi atheist tweeted thus on the day another Bangaldeshi atheist was chopped up in the streets of Dhaka, then it would be allowed to pass by many people who do not otherwise agree with the sentiment. Something like that.
    In the longer term, it all depends on the standing of the tweeter in history. Both Marx and TS Elliot get away with saying more or less exactly this, so there can be exceptions, even prominent ones.
  13. Razib,

    Let me say once again Its a damn shame and to a large number of Americans intellectual detriment that you were denied that NYT job.

    That bit of apple polishing out of the way, forgive me if you’ve answered this elsewhere, but Im curious as to your policy opinions on the current European migration situation and Muslim immigration to America. How do you think it should be handled?

    Frizzled, is your point that because Judaism cannot be criticized in the same manner, that Islam must also be afforded that same treatment? The other possible interpretation of your comment, that Razib is somehow unaware of the hypocrisy that he couldn’t say that about Judaism without even greater opprobrium, seems pretty laughable.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    but Im curious as to your policy opinions on the current European migration situation and Muslim immigration to America. How do you think it should be handled?

    give lots of money to muslim countries to allow for resettlement. i think that's what's going to happen anyway.

  14. They’re going to be in your neighborhoods, assuming you aren’t part of the socioeconomic elite, which will no doubt insulate itself from the diversity that it welcomes rhetorically.

    I doubt that.

    Eastern Europe is not as whipped as say, France. Neither is it an attractive destination for refugees, as welfare is not generous, neither are wages.

    A survey of the Czech Army found half of its officers would support ‘extreme policies’ against the Roma, who, while a drain on finance and a major source of petty crime and urban blight are not nearly as problematic as say, the Muslim underclass in France.

    http://www.romea.cz/en/news/czech/czech-defense-minister-unshaken-by-poll-revealing-extremism-in-the-army-sociologist-says-it-reflects-society

    I don’t believe eastern Europe would let Muslims riot, destroy property for long. Or that it’d even accept Muslim migration lying down, like Germany.

  15. @frizzled
    Razib, how about as another control, you try tweeting "Judaism is a fucking cancer"?

    How do you think that one would go down?

    I think any such tweet about Judaism would be widely condemned in liberal as well as pro-zionist right-wing circles, but like any other tweet, the response also depends on the context. If Gaza was under attack by the Israeli Air Force for several days, with many smoking ruins on TV and so on, then such a tweet would likely pass muster on any left-of-center blog in Europe and may not be instantly condemned by everyone in the US either. If it was just a random tweet in the middle of a slow news day, then it would likely be taken as evidence of pathological anti-semitism.
    The same for tweets about Islam. On a day when no new atrocity from ISIS or Bangladesh had appeared in the news, it would be (correctly?) regarded as evidence of pathological Islamophobia. But if a Bangladeshi atheist tweeted thus on the day another Bangaldeshi atheist was chopped up in the streets of Dhaka, then it would be allowed to pass by many people who do not otherwise agree with the sentiment. Something like that.
    In the longer term, it all depends on the standing of the tweeter in history. Both Marx and TS Elliot get away with saying more or less exactly this, so there can be exceptions, even prominent ones.

    • Replies: @BurplesonAFB
    Doubtful. Outside of extremist islamic sites, none of the pro-palestinian fervor is directed towards Judaism as an ideology being the cause of 'the occupation'. Always 'Zionism'. Really, nobody talks about Judaism or its tenets at all, outside of the occasional cheerleading article.
  16. Still, 36% of the population wanting you dead doesn’t make for a warm welcome in your native country, Razib!

  17. @Razib Khan
    A = {Bangladeshi Muslims who believe sharia should be law}
    B = {Bangladeshi Muslims who believe apostates from Islam should be killed | Bangladeshi Muslims who believe sharia should be law}
    C = {Bangladeshi Muslims who believe apostates from Islam should be killed}

    as noted above i assumed that all bangladeshi muslims who reject sharia would also reject killing apostates. B is a % of those who believe in sharia. C is a % of those who believe in sharia + those who do not, assuming all those who do not reject killing apostates.

    as noted above i assumed that all bangladeshi muslims who reject sharia would also reject killing apostates

    But can you do that? There may be some– or many– who reject sharia, but would still appreciate any excuse for a good ol’ Thursday night bloodbath.

    It’s certainly fortunate that the Irish aren’t Islamic.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    i sort of said that in the post. that's why i said this is the *floor*
  18. @Reg Cæsar

    as noted above i assumed that all bangladeshi muslims who reject sharia would also reject killing apostates
     
    But can you do that? There may be some-- or many-- who reject sharia, but would still appreciate any excuse for a good ol' Thursday night bloodbath.

    It's certainly fortunate that the Irish aren't Islamic.

    i sort of said that in the post. that’s why i said this is the *floor*

  19. Syria isn’t included in the data – safe to assume it’s somewhere between Lebanon and Turkey?

    • Replies: @PD Shaw
    Could be worse. I would think a sectarian civil war would increase the intensity of support for religious rules and penalties for apostates. Before that I would guess, more like conventional Arab States, like Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq.

    BTW/ I understand why some of the states were not polled, either too much conflict or too much state hostility to polling opinions, but I'm not sure about why Algeria and India were not polled: "This report includes data on every nation with a Muslim population of more than 10 million except Algeria, China, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen."
    , @Razib Khan
    syria had a really high TFR until recently, who knows?
  20. @Tobus
    Syria isn't included in the data - safe to assume it's somewhere between Lebanon and Turkey?

    Could be worse. I would think a sectarian civil war would increase the intensity of support for religious rules and penalties for apostates. Before that I would guess, more like conventional Arab States, like Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq.

    BTW/ I understand why some of the states were not polled, either too much conflict or too much state hostility to polling opinions, but I’m not sure about why Algeria and India were not polled: “This report includes data on every nation with a Muslim population of more than 10 million except Algeria, China, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.”

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    permit raj makes things difficult sometimes.
  21. The conversion of Muslims to Hinduism as a bit of a thing in Indonesia after the 1965 massacre of communists. This massacre, which brought Suharto to power, was partly instigated by conservative Muslims. Their targets were Indonesian nationalists that considered Hinduism the original Indonesian religion (more or less as some Kurds consider Zoroastrism or Ezidi’s the original Kurdish religion). Over the years their has been a steady trickle of conversions to Hinduism by people affiliated by the PNI (Sukarnists party).

    Furthermore in Indonesia a large number of Muslims still practice Hinduistic rituals: A number of Hindu stories are still told via Wayang plays. Most Javanese are still very proud of their old heritage.

    • Replies: @vijay
    Basically, not true.

    Census by religion was conducted in 1961, 1971,1981, 1990,2000 & 2010
    The population was 1.7 M, 2.3 M, 3.182 M, 3.32 M, 3.692, 4.0 Million
    or never more than 2% of the population. You can get the data from "Biro Pusat statistik, Census Penduluk, 1961 and so on. You can find similar data in the book "Population trends in Indonesia" by Widjojo Nitisastro.

    The 1965 massacre was more against chinese and communists; Hinduism is unknown except in Bali, and parts of Sumatra, particularly Medan. neither Bali, nor Medan was greatly unaffected. If anything, the Hindu population increased by 40% in 1961-1971, more than any other sect population.

    Hinduism, as practiced in Indonesia has no Indian style context. Most Hindus in Bali are Hindus + animists. In Indian terms, they can be classified as closer to Manipuris or tribals.

    Hindu Indians fetishize Indonesian Hindus. If they were to visit Bali, you will see nothing like Indian style Hinduism. The second set of people who fetishize th Indonesian closeness to India are Nehruvian socialists and Panchatantra. There was no interest in nonalignment and India outside of a few Sukarno officials.
  22. “obnoxious when it came to generalizations about other religions, in particular Hindus. That’s their liberty in the United States of America, we don’t live in India where “hurt feelings” rule the day with an iron grip.”

    Only for the common man. The rules appear to be totally different if you’re an elite. Check out Akbaruddin Owaisi’s statements about Hindus, which caused a furor but didn’t cause him to hide in fear of frenzied mobs. So whether you can get away with “hurting feelings” very much seems to depend on who you are. I’m not really sure I understand the rules.

    I’m curious whether that’s true of Bangladesh i.e. are there people beyond the reach of the mob even if they insult Islam?

    • Replies: @Numinous

    Check out Akbaruddin Owaisi’s statements about Hindus, which caused a furor but didn’t cause him to hide in fear of frenzied mobs. So whether you can get away with “hurting feelings” very much seems to depend on who you are. I’m not really sure I understand the rules.
     
    It's pretty simple really. As a populist politician, Owaisi has his own group of frenzied supporters who will not only prevent others from attacking him but also attack for him if necessary. I think most provincial politicians in India are just glorified mafia dons.

    Mobs can be gathered in India to threaten or kill, but only at soft targets. Anyone who can call upon their own gang to protect them is quite safe from retaliation, not just for ill-chosen words but also for truly criminal acts.
  23. @Vinay
    "obnoxious when it came to generalizations about other religions, in particular Hindus. That’s their liberty in the United States of America, we don’t live in India where “hurt feelings” rule the day with an iron grip."

    Only for the common man. The rules appear to be totally different if you're an elite. Check out Akbaruddin Owaisi's statements about Hindus, which caused a furor but didn't cause him to hide in fear of frenzied mobs. So whether you can get away with "hurting feelings" very much seems to depend on who you are. I'm not really sure I understand the rules.

    I'm curious whether that's true of Bangladesh i.e. are there people beyond the reach of the mob even if they insult Islam?

    Check out Akbaruddin Owaisi’s statements about Hindus, which caused a furor but didn’t cause him to hide in fear of frenzied mobs. So whether you can get away with “hurting feelings” very much seems to depend on who you are. I’m not really sure I understand the rules.

    It’s pretty simple really. As a populist politician, Owaisi has his own group of frenzied supporters who will not only prevent others from attacking him but also attack for him if necessary. I think most provincial politicians in India are just glorified mafia dons.

    Mobs can be gathered in India to threaten or kill, but only at soft targets. Anyone who can call upon their own gang to protect them is quite safe from retaliation, not just for ill-chosen words but also for truly criminal acts.

  24. @Tobus
    Syria isn't included in the data - safe to assume it's somewhere between Lebanon and Turkey?

    syria had a really high TFR until recently, who knows?

  25. @PD Shaw
    Could be worse. I would think a sectarian civil war would increase the intensity of support for religious rules and penalties for apostates. Before that I would guess, more like conventional Arab States, like Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq.

    BTW/ I understand why some of the states were not polled, either too much conflict or too much state hostility to polling opinions, but I'm not sure about why Algeria and India were not polled: "This report includes data on every nation with a Muslim population of more than 10 million except Algeria, China, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen."

    permit raj makes things difficult sometimes.

  26. @MD
    Razib,

    Let me say once again Its a damn shame and to a large number of Americans intellectual detriment that you were denied that NYT job.

    That bit of apple polishing out of the way, forgive me if you've answered this elsewhere, but Im curious as to your policy opinions on the current European migration situation and Muslim immigration to America. How do you think it should be handled?

    Frizzled, is your point that because Judaism cannot be criticized in the same manner, that Islam must also be afforded that same treatment? The other possible interpretation of your comment, that Razib is somehow unaware of the hypocrisy that he couldn't say that about Judaism without even greater opprobrium, seems pretty laughable.

    but Im curious as to your policy opinions on the current European migration situation and Muslim immigration to America. How do you think it should be handled?

    give lots of money to muslim countries to allow for resettlement. i think that’s what’s going to happen anyway.

  27. @backup
    The conversion of Muslims to Hinduism as a bit of a thing in Indonesia after the 1965 massacre of communists. This massacre, which brought Suharto to power, was partly instigated by conservative Muslims. Their targets were Indonesian nationalists that considered Hinduism the original Indonesian religion (more or less as some Kurds consider Zoroastrism or Ezidi's the original Kurdish religion). Over the years their has been a steady trickle of conversions to Hinduism by people affiliated by the PNI (Sukarnists party).

    Furthermore in Indonesia a large number of Muslims still practice Hinduistic rituals: A number of Hindu stories are still told via Wayang plays. Most Javanese are still very proud of their old heritage.

    Basically, not true.

    Census by religion was conducted in 1961, 1971,1981, 1990,2000 & 2010
    The population was 1.7 M, 2.3 M, 3.182 M, 3.32 M, 3.692, 4.0 Million
    or never more than 2% of the population. You can get the data from “Biro Pusat statistik, Census Penduluk, 1961 and so on. You can find similar data in the book “Population trends in Indonesia” by Widjojo Nitisastro.

    The 1965 massacre was more against chinese and communists; Hinduism is unknown except in Bali, and parts of Sumatra, particularly Medan. neither Bali, nor Medan was greatly unaffected. If anything, the Hindu population increased by 40% in 1961-1971, more than any other sect population.

    Hinduism, as practiced in Indonesia has no Indian style context. Most Hindus in Bali are Hindus + animists. In Indian terms, they can be classified as closer to Manipuris or tribals.

    Hindu Indians fetishize Indonesian Hindus. If they were to visit Bali, you will see nothing like Indian style Hinduism. The second set of people who fetishize th Indonesian closeness to India are Nehruvian socialists and Panchatantra. There was no interest in nonalignment and India outside of a few Sukarno officials.

  28. I think it’s more likely a ceiling rather than a floor. I think you have to expect that many of the people claiming they accept the killing of apostates are – in a word – lying. Surely at least some of them feel dreadful about the idea but are extremely wary of letting on that they feel that way.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    i said that in the post. DID YOU READ IT?
  29. Hi,

    I believe you’re forgetting what the most important source of wisdom in world says on this issue (I of course mean Jewish humour):

    What is the difference between a rabbi and a psychoanalyst?
    – One generation.

    People grow out of the radical posturing. Hard-core catholic countries in Europe have become the least religious on the continent, Jews abandon most of Judaism when they move out of the shtetl, nowadays in France or Germany most Muslim accountants are less Muslim than they are accounts!

  30. @omarali50
    I think any such tweet about Judaism would be widely condemned in liberal as well as pro-zionist right-wing circles, but like any other tweet, the response also depends on the context. If Gaza was under attack by the Israeli Air Force for several days, with many smoking ruins on TV and so on, then such a tweet would likely pass muster on any left-of-center blog in Europe and may not be instantly condemned by everyone in the US either. If it was just a random tweet in the middle of a slow news day, then it would likely be taken as evidence of pathological anti-semitism.
    The same for tweets about Islam. On a day when no new atrocity from ISIS or Bangladesh had appeared in the news, it would be (correctly?) regarded as evidence of pathological Islamophobia. But if a Bangladeshi atheist tweeted thus on the day another Bangaldeshi atheist was chopped up in the streets of Dhaka, then it would be allowed to pass by many people who do not otherwise agree with the sentiment. Something like that.
    In the longer term, it all depends on the standing of the tweeter in history. Both Marx and TS Elliot get away with saying more or less exactly this, so there can be exceptions, even prominent ones.

    Doubtful. Outside of extremist islamic sites, none of the pro-palestinian fervor is directed towards Judaism as an ideology being the cause of ‘the occupation’. Always ‘Zionism’. Really, nobody talks about Judaism or its tenets at all, outside of the occasional cheerleading article.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
    Go to almost any Catholic Church almost any Sunday and you'll hear "...about Judaism..." and "...its tenets..." in the first (OT) Scriptural reading.
  31. @silviosilver
    I think it's more likely a ceiling rather than a floor. I think you have to expect that many of the people claiming they accept the killing of apostates are - in a word - lying. Surely at least some of them feel dreadful about the idea but are extremely wary of letting on that they feel that way.

    i said that in the post. DID YOU READ IT?

    • Replies: @silviosilver
    Actually, you said the exact opposite.

    This is probably a floor, in that a minority of those Muslims who don’t want sharia enacted may agree with the death penalty for leaving Islam for a variety of reasons
     
  32. I recently factor analyzed many of the items in the Pew dataset about Muslims and their beliefs. As one might predict, one really can rank-order both individuals and countries on an extremism of religious belief scale, that is to say, there is a general factor of Muslim beliefs. Furthermore, the factor structure was identical between individuals and between countries, except that the aggregate-level loadings were stronger.

    I’d like to hear some thoughts about this.
    http://emilkirkegaard.dk/en/?p=5485

    I have of course posted the R code, so anyone can examine the question further.

    • Replies: @German_reader
    Is there a specific reason why you didn't include the variables about sharia (such as "should it apply to non-Muslims as well?") or about the veiling of women? I would have thought those are more meaningful for an evaluation of religious extremism than variables like "democracy or strong leader" (and how did you rate that one? If I understand the Pew data correctly, there doesn't seem to be an obvious connection between more extreme religious views and rejection of democracy - whatever may be understood by that term - /support for a strong leader).
    , @PD Shaw
    Interesting graphs. What stood out to me was that by examining more questions, Pakistan ends up having the "worst" numbers overall. This seems to run counter to my assumption that polls of Pakistan understate intensity of conservative or traditional religious belief because a lot of these polls are conducted only in Urdu and in two or three cities.

    This poll was conducted in several language with broader coverage, but still excluded "the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir for reasons of security as well as areas of instability in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan." There is 82% coverage claimed in Pakistan, whereas in Afghanistan the coverage is 94%. I assumed that these omissions, particularly of the FATA, meant significant understatement of religiosity. Seems like my core versus periphery assumptions may be misplaced.

    BTW/ the least poll coverage: Pakistan 82%; Azerbaijan 85%; and Indonesia 87%.
  33. @Emil O. W. Kirkegaard
    I recently factor analyzed many of the items in the Pew dataset about Muslims and their beliefs. As one might predict, one really can rank-order both individuals and countries on an extremism of religious belief scale, that is to say, there is a general factor of Muslim beliefs. Furthermore, the factor structure was identical between individuals and between countries, except that the aggregate-level loadings were stronger.

    I'd like to hear some thoughts about this.
    http://emilkirkegaard.dk/en/?p=5485

    I have of course posted the R code, so anyone can examine the question further.

    Is there a specific reason why you didn’t include the variables about sharia (such as “should it apply to non-Muslims as well?”) or about the veiling of women? I would have thought those are more meaningful for an evaluation of religious extremism than variables like “democracy or strong leader” (and how did you rate that one? If I understand the Pew data correctly, there doesn’t seem to be an obvious connection between more extreme religious views and rejection of democracy – whatever may be understood by that term – /support for a strong leader).

  34. @Razib Khan
    i said that in the post. DID YOU READ IT?

    Actually, you said the exact opposite.

    This is probably a floor, in that a minority of those Muslims who don’t want sharia enacted may agree with the death penalty for leaving Islam for a variety of reasons

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    hey dumbshit, you said: "I think you have to expect that many of the people claiming they accept the killing of apostates are – in a word – lying."

    i said: " Just because a given percentage agree with the death penalty for apostasy does not entail that they’d automatically kill an apostate personally, but it probably indicates a level of tolerance and acceptance of intimidation and violence directed toward the act of apostasy."
  35. @Emil O. W. Kirkegaard
    I recently factor analyzed many of the items in the Pew dataset about Muslims and their beliefs. As one might predict, one really can rank-order both individuals and countries on an extremism of religious belief scale, that is to say, there is a general factor of Muslim beliefs. Furthermore, the factor structure was identical between individuals and between countries, except that the aggregate-level loadings were stronger.

    I'd like to hear some thoughts about this.
    http://emilkirkegaard.dk/en/?p=5485

    I have of course posted the R code, so anyone can examine the question further.

    Interesting graphs. What stood out to me was that by examining more questions, Pakistan ends up having the “worst” numbers overall. This seems to run counter to my assumption that polls of Pakistan understate intensity of conservative or traditional religious belief because a lot of these polls are conducted only in Urdu and in two or three cities.

    This poll was conducted in several language with broader coverage, but still excluded “the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir for reasons of security as well as areas of instability in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.” There is 82% coverage claimed in Pakistan, whereas in Afghanistan the coverage is 94%. I assumed that these omissions, particularly of the FATA, meant significant understatement of religiosity. Seems like my core versus periphery assumptions may be misplaced.

    BTW/ the least poll coverage: Pakistan 82%; Azerbaijan 85%; and Indonesia 87%.

  36. It looks like communist dictatorship has done a good job in pacifying millions of Muslims.

    +1 to this.

    Communism deserves a lot more credit for its good aspects, but I don’t expect many liberal-conservatives to give it much.

  37. Let me please make a completely off-topic comment. I saw that you linked to the following NYT article on your twitter feed: https://t.co/ltlKPZmKYn which suggests that the BJP is to blame for all this.

    Please note the following:
    1. This incident happened in Manipur, ruled by the Congress (and the Dadri incident happened in Uttar Pradesh, ruled by the SP) – and law and order in India is a state subject, not a federal subject.
    2. The incident having happened in Manipur, there is no a priori reason to believe that a Hindu mob was involved at all; in fact, another report: http://www.thequint.com/india/2015/11/06/family-of-the-man-lynched-in-manipur-blames-the-death-on-personal-enmity-with-neighbours-and-bias-against-muslims

    suggests that the murder was precipitated due to dispute with a *Muslim* neighbor and not Hindus and their cows (since you have high reading comprehension, I think I don’t need to add that I am not condoning any murder; just saying the murder is not what you think it is).

    I find that you are really obnoxious about Hindus and India on twitter. Part of the problem is you source you information from NYT and the like, which are worse than college rags when it comes to fact checking. They simply make wild claims, and no one contests them because those news items are about India.

    So I humbly request you to not trust the NYT any more with regards to news about India.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    post that on the open thread next time (this is not a request, that's what you should do). it's a fair point the western media is biased, but

    1) hindus and muslims have been doing this stupid shit for a long time before the BJP. i don't buy that the BJP is causal. riots happened under whatever government

    2) most internet hindus are kind of retarded. that's a prior too

    (any follow up comments on open thread, not here, and don't filibuster me or i'll ban you)

  38. @silviosilver
    Actually, you said the exact opposite.

    This is probably a floor, in that a minority of those Muslims who don’t want sharia enacted may agree with the death penalty for leaving Islam for a variety of reasons
     

    hey dumbshit, you said: “I think you have to expect that many of the people claiming they accept the killing of apostates are – in a word – lying.”

    i said: ” Just because a given percentage agree with the death penalty for apostasy does not entail that they’d automatically kill an apostate personally, but it probably indicates a level of tolerance and acceptance of intimidation and violence directed toward the act of apostasy.”

    • Disagree: Harold
  39. @froginthewell
    Let me please make a completely off-topic comment. I saw that you linked to the following NYT article on your twitter feed: https://t.co/ltlKPZmKYn which suggests that the BJP is to blame for all this.

    Please note the following:
    1. This incident happened in Manipur, ruled by the Congress (and the Dadri incident happened in Uttar Pradesh, ruled by the SP) - and law and order in India is a state subject, not a federal subject.
    2. The incident having happened in Manipur, there is no a priori reason to believe that a Hindu mob was involved at all; in fact, another report: http://www.thequint.com/india/2015/11/06/family-of-the-man-lynched-in-manipur-blames-the-death-on-personal-enmity-with-neighbours-and-bias-against-muslims

    suggests that the murder was precipitated due to dispute with a *Muslim* neighbor and not Hindus and their cows (since you have high reading comprehension, I think I don't need to add that I am not condoning any murder; just saying the murder is not what you think it is).

    I find that you are really obnoxious about Hindus and India on twitter. Part of the problem is you source you information from NYT and the like, which are worse than college rags when it comes to fact checking. They simply make wild claims, and no one contests them because those news items are about India.

    So I humbly request you to not trust the NYT any more with regards to news about India.

    post that on the open thread next time (this is not a request, that’s what you should do). it’s a fair point the western media is biased, but

    1) hindus and muslims have been doing this stupid shit for a long time before the BJP. i don’t buy that the BJP is causal. riots happened under whatever government

    2) most internet hindus are kind of retarded. that’s a prior too

    (any follow up comments on open thread, not here, and don’t filibuster me or i’ll ban you)

  40. @BurplesonAFB
    Doubtful. Outside of extremist islamic sites, none of the pro-palestinian fervor is directed towards Judaism as an ideology being the cause of 'the occupation'. Always 'Zionism'. Really, nobody talks about Judaism or its tenets at all, outside of the occasional cheerleading article.

    Go to almost any Catholic Church almost any Sunday and you’ll hear “…about Judaism…” and “…its tenets…” in the first (OT) Scriptural reading.

  41. I lived in Pakistan for ten years and go back semi-frequently for visits. IMO the poll results overestimate the proportion of Pakistan who really want shariah\death for apostates.

    In Pakistan to be considered a good, observant and socially acceptable Muslim you’re supposed to say you want shariah since it is the legal system God has ordained for Muslims.

    There’s not much of a constituency for actually wanting it in practice which is why the old legal system inherited from the British continues to be used. It’s also why overtly Islamic political parties have never come close to being serious electoral forces compared to the Pakistan People’s Party, the Muslim League, MQM, Awami National Party etc.

    From personal observation, I’d say Islam is a positive force in Pakistani daily life. It’s an extremely Darwinian society and Islam is about the only force encouraging charity, egalitarianism, justice and morality and not completely shitting over your fellow man etc.

  42. Bit late to the discussion, just making some random notes on the data concerning Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan (and I only feel qualified from living in both locations, but of course that doesn’t make me an expert). I read through the report, and there’s some things that the researchers might not have taken into account.

    Kyrgyz are a really small ethnic group, and some of the most populous areas of the country (around Osh) are ethnically Uzbek, even though they hold Kyrgyz passports. The real Kyrgyz I’ve spoken with about religion here in the capital regard Islam as a foreign transplant religion imposed on them by invaders – if asked about what they think about God, etc., they almost all universally lapse into something that sounds like Tengrinism. There’s the sky, the water, the mountains, and we all live in it. And that’s that. There’s a lot of disdain for what they see as extremist Uzbeks in the south – they have tensions with the Uzbeks for a lot of reasons, and mutterings about how they are all a bunch of terrorists certainly makes the list.

    That being said, any Central Asian, being interviewed or surveyed in a way that they think will come back to them, is probably going to say what they think is mostly likely to keep them on good terms with whoever is monitoring them.

    So the questions towards the end of the survey, esp. the ones about how you feel about life and how good the economy is, etc., look fairly positive from the Uzbeks. There is a cultural imperative to always smile and say everything is good, which carries itself to unbelievable extremes.

    Also, that question on whether a Muslim would attend an interfaith meeting in Uzbekistan? Attending such meetings isn’t legal, and wow do you ever not want to end up in an Uzbek prison.

    None of this really adds to or takes away from the point of your post, just thought it might be interesting to have a perspective on the ways survey data can go all funny in this neck of the woods.

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