Top 5 Most Liberal Muslim Countries

Liberal and Muslim in the Same Sentence? 'Tis Very Possible

The media and our history books feed us prefabricated ideas on how the Middle East is a closed, conservative bubble. It's a breeding ground for religious extremists and women have virtually no rights . But this is all wrong .
One cannot simply group countries across three different continents into the same category as radicals. While it is true that some nations such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have strict control over their people's lives, many Arabs enjoy a liberal lifestyle. The following are the most liberal Middle Eastern countries in the world, according to the State of the World Liberty Index.

Jordan - Freedom of religion is upheld in this small state of 5.8 million people; Christians and Jews are allowed to worship freely and they are officially recognized. Women are allowed to serve as cabinet ministers and the Jordanian government is working towards raising the percentage of women in public service. Women are not required to wear the veil, but in some places they wear it out of fear of being ostracized. 

United Arab Emirates - Its GDP per capita is the 5th highest in the world and it has the fastest growing economy in the world. It is not a surprise than neighboring Saudis drive into Dubai and other parts of the UAE for the weekend. The clubs, bars, movie theatres, and world class shopping are abundant and control over print media is lax. Christians, Jews, and Hindi can practice their religions freely in this oasis of liberty in the desert of Islamic conservativeness we call the Middle East.

Turkey - This very secular and democratic Islamic nation has ties with the West through organizations such as NATO and is currently seeking entrance into the European Union. Its constitution protects all religions from discrimination; In particular, the Turkish strive for secularism can be viewed in their law that prohibits religious head garments being worn in government buildings, schools, and universities. The Turkish government invests a good portion of its funds into the promotion of fine arts, theatre, and architecture, moving its popular culture closer to that of Europe's.

Kuwait - It seems like a juxtaposition to have such a liberal Islam state be situated right next to troubled Iraq just to the north and the totalitarian kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the west , though its geography does not let it hinder its liberties. Kuwait has one of  the most vocal media in the Middle East, allowing the flexibility to Kuwaiti journalists to even criticize the government. Human rights in Kuwait have improved with the country’s recent abiding to UN standards.

Bahrain - Its wealth is distributed amongst its middle class, making Bahrain more liberal than its mainland cousins. Religious tolerance is widespread with synagogues peacefully residing next to mosques. It is a Mecca for shopping and vacationing as is Dubai and is lax about alcohol sales and consumption. Bahrain can be said to be the most Western-friendly Muslim nation with the splash of "Arabness" that travels look for when they come. Though Bahrain is the most liberal Muslim nation in the world, people have been arrested for kissing on the lips in public.

p/s : thanks a lot lot lot 4 my sifu ~:)


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