The Pew Research Center just released a report this week based on 2012 data which details the use of religious police to enforce what Pew calls “religious norms” and, in one case, “social restrictions.”
The data, and the graphic that accompanies the introductory article, show that 17 nations employ religious police. What the article does not mention is that 15 of those 17 nations are Islamic.
The other two are Vietnam and India.
In Vietnam, the police are not used to enforce religious norms, but to suppress religion. Describing them as religious police is a misnomer. They are an arm of the communist regime and communism is by definition atheistic. Categorizing Vietnam along with the numerous Muslim nations is in fact incorrect.
If Vietnam is included in this study, then China should be as well for its persecution, imprisonment and forced “re-education” of the Falun Gong religious movement followers.
India is not predominantly Muslim but it does have a significant Muslim population.
In the following countries, Islam is the largest religious affiliation; in some cases the ONLY religious affiliation:
- Saudi Arabia
It is worth noting that in Lebanon, religious policing is carried out by Hezbollah, which is stronger than the Lebanese Army in many ways.
Brunei was in the news earlier this month when the Sultan announced that the country would begin imposing Shariah.
This brings us to the elephant in the room. The use of religious police to enforce religious norms is in fact a uniquely Islamic phenomenon and is part and parcel of Shariah. Putting Vietnam in the mix doesn’t change that and much of the religious policing in India takes place in predominantly Muslim areas; India is 13% Muslim and, though its legal system is based on English common law, their legal system allows for religious laws to apply to various religions.
Pew passively acknowledges the connection between Shariah and this religious policing activity in its commentary about Malaysia and Nigeria. But there is one extremely curious aspect to the Pew
commentary on their report:
They detail the activities of the religious police in Saudi Arabia, but never once mention Shariah in their comments on Saudi Arabia. This amounts to intellectual dishonesty.
The Pew commentary claims that the religious police in Saudi Arabia “impose a government-approved moral code.” The reality is that “government-approved moral code” is based on the Hanbali School of
What the Pew Research Center report shows, though Pew is too cowardly, politically correct and intellectually dishonest to say it, is that oppressive government enforcement of “religious norms” worldwide is overwhelmingly the practice of Shariah.