[ExI] Religions and violence

Tomasz Rola rtomek at ceti.pl
Sun Aug 1 18:46:20 UTC 2010

On Sun, 1 Aug 2010, Tomasz Rola wrote:

> On Sat, 31 Jul 2010, Ben Zaiboc wrote:
> > How do you think Islam could become more humanitarian, more egalitarian, 
> > more tolerant, less violent, stop oppressing women and homosexuals, stop 
> > trying to control people's sex lives, stop trying to convert the whole 
> > world to Islam, etc., and not destroy itself?

While I feel a bit tired (or at least used) and I would like to take a day 
off (or better, week) from Internet, I'd like to make this one 

It seems to me (not the first time actually) that whatever a culture is or 
is not depends heavily on its women. I am rather sure this is not 
innovative idea and it must have been mentioned somewhere by somebody 
wiser than I. For a curious reader, those three pages can give some food 
for thought. But be warned, children (small and grown up) should be kept away 
from it. Some exposure to anthropological themes wouldn't hurt either, I 

1. [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_genital_cutting ]

The page shows interesting map, on which it could be seen that the 
practice is common in only few Islamic countries (of which in Egypt it had 
been banned by their Health Ministry, so at least now it is going to be 
illegal, same in Eritrea). It is occuring to some degree in some other 
countries and is absent in the rest (including yet another Islamic 
countries, like Tunisia, Libya. Algeria, Morocco and few other).

In countries, where it is present, it is hard to tell direct connections 
between Islam prevalence and FGC, like these examples show (HDI is for 
Human Development Index):

[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethiopia#Religion ]

"Christians make up 62.8% of the country's population (43.5% Ethiopian 
Orthodox, 19.3% other denominations), Muslims 33.9%, practitioners of 
traditional faiths 2.6%, and other religions 0.6%"

FGC: 69.7%-94.5% prevalence
HDI: 0.414

[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guinea#Religion ]

"Approximately 85% of the population is Muslim, while 10% is Christian, 
and 5% holds traditional animist beliefs. Muslims are generally Sunni and 
Sufi;[24] there are relatively few Shi'a. Christian groups include Roman 
Catholics, Anglicans, Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and other 
Evangelical groups. Jehovah's Witnesses are active in the country and 
recognized by the Government. There is a small Baha'i community. There are 
small numbers of Hindus, Buddhists, and traditional Chinese religious 
groups among the expatriate community.[25]"

FGC: 98.6% prevalence
HDI: 0.456

[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigeria#Religion ]

"Based on a 2003 survey, 50.5% were Muslim, 48.2% were Christian (15% 
Protestant, 13.7% Catholic, and 19.6% other Christian), and followers of 
other religions were 1.4%.[81]"

FGC: 25.1% prevalence
HDI: 0.511

[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudan#Religion ]

"According to the CIA Factbook, an estimated 70% of the population adheres 
to Islam,[117][118] while the remainder of the population follows either 
animist and indigenous beliefs (25%) or Christianity (5%).[116][117] 
However, these figures appear outdated as about 70% of southern Sudanese, 
and about 16-20% of the overall population of Sudan, are now affiliated 
with Christian churches."

FGC: 91% prevalence
HDI: 0.531

[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egypt#Religion ]

"Around 90% are identified as Muslim.[84][85][86][87][88][89][90][91][92] 
Almost the entire population of Muslims are Sunni.[84] A significant 
number of Muslim Egyptians also follow native Sufi orders,[93] and there 
is a minority of Shi'a."

FGC: 78-97% prevalence
HDI: 0.703

[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libya#Religion ]

"By far the predominant religion in Libya is Islam with 97% of the 
population associating with the faith.[97] The vast majority of Libyan 
Muslims adhere to Sunni Islam, which provides both a spiritual guide for 
individuals and a keystone for government policy, but a minority (between 
5 and 10%) adhere to Ibadism (a branch of Kharijism), above all in the 
Jebel Nefusa and the town of Zuwarah, west of Tripoli."

FGC: 0, according to [1].
HDI: 0.847

BTW, Libya is said to have the highest HDI (Human Development Index) of 
all African countries.

[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algeria#Religion ]

"Islam is the predominant religion, followed by more than 99 percent of 
the country's population. This figure includes all these born in families 
considered of Muslim descent.

Officially, nearly 100% of all Algerians are Muslims. Almost all Algerians 
follow Sunni Islam, with the exception of some 200,000 ibadis in the M'zab 
Valley in the region of Ghardaia.[61]

There are also some 150,000 Christians in the country, including about 
10,000 Roman Catholics and 50,000 to 100,000 evangelical Protestants 
(mainly Pentecostal), according to the Protestant Church of Algeria's 
leader Mustapha Krim.[62][63] Some sources claim more than one million 
Christians in Algeria, most of them live in the Kabyl area where there are 
more than 70 underground churches[64]."

FGC: 0, according to [1].
HDI: 0.754

For me, it is now questionable to what extent Islam as such stands behind 
FGC practice and how much of bad things in fact stem from pre-islamic 
times. Also, it is a bit questionable that economics/development matters 
much, as coutries of similar situation can display totally diffent FGC 
numbers. On the other hand, I did not analysed all countries, so maybe 
there is a tendency that didn't show up.

When I feel like this, I may examine stoning and acid throwing. Today, my 
head is blowing up a little.

2. [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labia_elongation ]
3. [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labia_stretching ]

This is quite interesting, too. Us poor men don't know sooo much about the 
world. Once again, not much dependence on faith/religion, but in this case 
there is less data, so not much certainty either.

Tomasz Rola

** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
**                                                                 **
** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_rola at bigfoot.com             **

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