The Cato Institute, a Washington-based Non-Governmental Organization, has compiled a list of freedoms of the world’s Muslim-majority countries, ranking Bosnia and Herzegovina first. The survey covered the state of freedom in 40 of the 51 Muslim-majority countries, based on the 2019 Human Freedom Index. Countries are ranked according to indicators of personal and economic freedoms in relation to the world average. Mustafa Akyol suggests that people should be particularly concerned about the Muslim world because it has an extremely low level of freedom, Klix.ba news portal reports.
“The gap between the freest Muslim-majority states (Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania) and the least free (Syria and Yemen) is actually huge, while other Muslim-majority states are located somewhere in between,” the Cato Institute said in a statement.
The two countries in Southeast Europe, the research suggests, impose themselves as the freest. “Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a freedom score of 8.04 (on a scale of 0 to 10), then Albania with a score of 8.01. These scores are well above the world average (6.98) and are very close to the results of countries such as Greece. (8.07) and Argentina (8.04) “, states the Cato Institute.
After the two Muslim-majority countries in Southeast Europe, Burkina Faso from West Africa (with a personal freedom rating of 7.39) and Kyrgyzstan from Central Asia (with a personal freedom rating of 7.05) are the freest countries with a Muslim majority.
These four freest Muslim‐majority countries have a combined population of about 30 million people. A similar number of Muslims also live in the largely free countries of Western Europe and North America. In contrast, more than 1.8 billion of the world’s 1.9 billion Muslims live in nations where personal freedom is below the world average. These include most of the 40 Muslim‐majority countries measured in this study, along with the two other countries with the largest Muslim minorities: India—which is home to some 195 million Muslims and has a personal freedom score of 6.37, and China, which is home to 28 million Muslims and has a personal freedom score of 5.92. The overwhelming majority of the world’s Muslims, in other words, live under low levels of freedom.
Regionally speaking, the freest Muslim‐majority countries are located in Southeast Europe, West Africa, and Central Asia. In general, these three regions are the freest regions of the Muslim world. In contrast, the least free region is the Middle East and North Africa.