Bahrain (Kingdom of Bahrain)

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Bahrain
Kingdom of Bahrain
StatusIndependent State
Social and Moral Index122nd best
CapitalManama
Land Area1 760 km2
LocationAsia, Middle East
GroupingsSmall Islands
Population21.359 million
Life Expectancy375.182yrs (2012)
GNI3$19 154
ISO3166-1 Codes4BH, BHR, 48
Internet Domain5.bh
Currency6Dinar (BHD)
Telephone7+973

1. Overview

#Islam #UK

In 1783, the Sunni Al-Khalifa family captured Bahrain from the Persians. In order to secure these holdings, it entered into a series of treaties with the UK during the 19th century that made Bahrain a British protectorate. The archipelago attained its independence in 1971. Facing declining oil reserves, Bahrain has turned to petroleum processing and refining and has transformed itself into an international banking center. Bahrain's small size and central location among Persian Gulf countries require it to play a delicate balancing act in foreign affairs among its larger neighbors. In addition, the Sunni-led government has struggled to manage relations with its large Shia-majority population. During the mid-to-late 1990s, Shia activists mounted a low-intensity uprising to demand that the Sunni-led government stop systemic economic, social, and political discrimination against Shia Bahrainis. King HAMAD bin Isa Al-Khalifa, after succeeding his late father in 1999, pushed economic and political reforms in part to improve relations with the Shia community. After boycotting the country's first round of national elections under the newly promulgated constitution in 2002, Shia political societies participated in the 2006 and 2010 legislative and municipal elections. Wifaq, the most prominent Shia political party, won the largest bloc of seats in the elected lower house of the legislature both times. Beginning in February 2011, Bahrain's opposition sought to ride out a rising tide of popular Arab protests to petition for the redress of popular grievances. In mid-March 2011, the Bahraini Government took action to halt the momentum of the growing protest movement by declaring a state of emergency that put an end to the mass public gatherings and increasingly disruptive civil disobedience. Manama also welcomed a contingent of Gulf Cooperation Council forces under the Peninsula Shield umbrella intended to protect critical infrastructure as Bahraini security forces deployed to the protest areas. The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), formed in June 2011 to investigate abuses during the unrest and state of emergency, released its final report in November 2011. The King fully endorsed the report, and since then Manama has begun to implement a number of the BICI's recommendations, including improving policing procedures, reinstating dismissed workers, rebuilding some religious sites, and establishing a compensation fund for those affected by the unrest and crackdown. The opposition continues to express concern about the recommendations that have not been implemented. The summer 2011 National Dialogue between the government and political societies did not ultimately address core opposition grievances, and protests continued. Street protests have grown increasingly violent. A new round of National Dialogue was launched in February 2013 with participation by the government, both opposition and more pro-government political societies, and legislators.

CIA's The World Factbook (2013)8

2. Bahrain National and Social Development

UN's Human Development Index
Country2012
score
Average
1980-2010
1Norway95.587.3
2Australia93.888.9
3USA93.787.8
...
45Argentina81.172.7
46Seychelles80.676.8
47Croatia80.577.1
48Bahrain79.673.8
49Bahamas79.476.1
50Belarus79.375.1
51Uruguay79.271.5
52Montenegro79.176.9
53Palau79.177.6
54Kuwait79.072.8
55Russia78.872.1
56Romania78.672.8
57Saudi Arabia78.270.9
Data Source
Social and Moral Development
CountryScore
1Sweden89.1
2Iceland87.6
3Denmark87.2
...
119Vietnam52.5
120Algeria52.4
121Botswana52.3
122Bahrain52.1
123Uzbekistan52.0
124Tajikistan51.3
125Egypt51.3
126Korea, N.51.1
127Turkmenistan51.0
128Thailand50.8
129Bolivia50.8
130Lesotho50.5
131Sri Lanka50.4
132Kiribati50.1
Data Source

The United Nations produces an annual Human Development Report which includes the Human Development Index. The factors taken into account include life expectancy, education and schooling and Gross National Income (GNI) amongst many others. The values in the chart are factored by 100.

The Social and Moral Development Index is a formulaic aggregation of many factors. It concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2013).

3. Population and Life Expectancy

Life Expectancy (at birth)
1Japan83.6
2Hong Kong83
3Switzerland82.5
...
58Bahamas75.9
59Slovakia75.6
60Vietnam75.4
61Bahrain75.2
62Sri Lanka75.1
63Macedonia75
64Estonia75
65Libya75
Data Source
Fertility Rate
1Korea, N.2.0
2Brunei2.0
3St Vincent & Grenadines2.0
...
67Libya2.4
68Cambodia2.4
69Bulgaria1.5
70Bahrain2.5
71Thailand1.5
72Greece1.5
73Georgia1.5
74Switzerland1.5
Data Source
Population (m=millions)
CountryPeoplePer km2
1China1 353.6m145
2India1 258.35m423
3USA 315.79m35
...
147Gambia1.825m180
148Guinea-Bissau1.58m56
149Gabon1.564m6
150Bahrain1.359m1789
151Trinidad & Tobago1.351m263
152Estonia1.34m32
153Mauritius1.314m647
Data Source

Bahrain's population is predicted to rise to 1.654 million by 2030. This country has a fertility rate of 2.46. The fertility rate is, in simple terms, the average amount of children that each woman has. The higher the figure, the quicker the population is growing, although, to calculate the rate you also need to take into account morbidity, i.e., the rate at which people die. If people live healthy and long lives and morbidity is low, then, 2.0 approximates to the replacement rate, which would keep the population stable. If all countries had such a fertility rate, population growth would end. The actual replacement rate in most developed countries is around 2.1.

4. Gender Equality

Female Vote and Stand
1New Zealand1893
2Australia1902
3Finland1906
...
160Bangladesh1972
161Andorra1973
162San Marino1973
163Bahrain1973
164Jordan1974
165Solomon Islands1974
166Sao Tome & Principe1975
167Cape Verde1975
Gender Equality
1Netherlands0.04
2Sweden0.05
3Denmark0.06
...
42Malaysia0.26
43Hungary0.26
44USA0.26
45Bahrain0.26
46Tunisia0.26
47Kuwait0.27
48Vietnam0.30
49Moldova0.30
Data Source

Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.

Bahrain is on the way towards ending gender inequality but women are still in an unfavourable position much of the time.

See:

5. Religion and Beliefs

#Buddhism #Christianity #Hinduism #Islam #Judaism

How Many Are Religious?
1Estonia16%
2Sweden17%
3Denmark19%
...
82Nepal93%
83Sudan93%
84Kenya94%
85Bahrain94%
86Congo, DR94%
87Algeria95%
88Rwanda95%
89Chad95%
Data Source

Data from the Pew Forum, a professional polling outfit, states that in 2010 the religious makeup of this country was as follows in the table below9:

Christian14.5%
Muslim70.3%
Hindu9.8%
Buddhist2.5%
Folk Religion0.1%
Jew0.6%
Unaffiliated1.9%

The CIA World Factbook has slightly different data, and states: Muslim (Shia and Sunni) 81.2%, Christian 9%, other 9.8% (2001 census)10.

The International Humanist and Ethical Union produced a report in 2012 entitled "Freedom of Thought" (2012), in which they document bias and prejudice at the national level that is based on religion, belief and/or lack of belief. Their entry for Bahrain states:

The constitution does not explicitly protect freedom of religion or belief, but it does make provision for the freedom of conscience, the inviolability of places of worship, and the freedom to perform religious rites and hold religious parades and meetings, in accordance with the customs observed in the country. The constitution stipulates that there shall be no discrimination in the rights and duties of citizens on grounds of religion. However, the constitution also states that Islam is the official religion and that Islamic law is a principal source for legislation.

By declaring Islam as the state religion and Islamic law as the source of legislation, the constitution implies that Muslims are forbidden to change their religion (since Sharia outlaws apostasy). The constitution imposes no restrictions on non-Muslims' right to choose, change, or practice their religion or belief, including the study, discussion, and promulgation of those beliefs. The constitution prohibits discrimination in the rights and duties of citizens on the basis of religion or belief; however, there are no further laws to prevent discrimination, nor procedures to file a grievance.

The civil and criminal legal systems consist of a complex mix of courts based on diverse legal sources, including both Shiite and Sunni schools of Islamic jurisprudence, tribal law, and other civil codes. Sharia governs personal status, and a person's rights can vary according to Shiite or Sunni interpretation, as determined by the individual's faith or by the courts. In May 2009, the government adopted the country's first personal status law, which regulates family matters such as inheritance, child custody, marriage, and divorce. The law is only applicable to the Sunni population as Shiite clerics and lawmakers opposed legislation that would have applied to Shiite courts.

The press and publications law prohibits anti-Islamic media, and mandates imprisonment for "exposing the state's official religion for offense and criticism." The law states that "any publication that prejudices the ruling system of the country and its official religion can be banned from publication by a ministerial order." The law allows the production and distribution of religious media and publications. Islamic studies are a part of the curriculum in government schools and mandatory for all public school students. In 2011, Bahrain experienced prolonged unrest as protestors, predominantly from the majority Shia community, demanded political reform and an end to the political hegemony of the Sunni minority. The sectarian dimension of the political uprising resulted in substantial intra-Muslim conflict, including government attacks on Shi'ite religious buildings and the violent oppression of Shi'ite protestors. Violence has diminished in 2012, but the simmering sectarian tensions remain alongside the demands for political reform.

Cases of Discrimination

In August, 2012, a Bahraini court sentenced a man to two years in prison for making insulting comments about one of the Prophet Mohammad's wives. The man reportedly insulted Aisha in comments online.

"Freedom of Thought" by IHEU (2012)11

Links:

6. The Internet

Internet Freedom
1Estonia10
2USA12
3Germany15
...
36Pakistan63
37Belarus69
38Saudi Arabia71
39Bahrain71
40Vietnam73
41Myanmar (Burma)75
42Ethiopia75
43Uzbekistan77
Data Source
Internet Users in Population
1Iceland95.64
2Norway93.28
3Netherlands90.70
...
41Oman61.99
42Croatia60.12
43Malaysia56.30
44Bahrain54.99
45Italy53.74
46Cyprus53.02
47Bosnia & Herzegovina52.00
48Montenegro51.96
Data Source

Internet access has become an essential research tool. It facilitates an endless list of life improvements, from the ability to network and socialize without constraint, to access to a seemingly infinite repository of technical and procedural information on pretty much any task. The universal availability of data has sped up industrial development and personal learning at the national and personal level. Individuals can read any topic they wish regardless of the locality of expert teachers, and, entire nations can develop their technology and understanding of the world simply because they are now exposed to advanced societies and moral discourses online. Like every communications medium, the Internet has issues and causes a small range of problems, but these are insignificant compared to the advantages of having an online populace.

Links:

7. More Charts and Comparisons to Other Countries

Economic Freedom
1Hong Kong9.0
2Singapore8.8
3New Zealand8.4
4Switzerland8.3
5Canada8.0
6Australia8.0
7Bahrain8.0
8Mauritius7.9
9Finland7.9
10UAE7.9
11Chile7.9
12Estonia7.8
Data Source
Global Peace Index
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
...
114Armenia2.24
115Niger2.24
116Turkmenistan2.24
117Bahrain2.25
118Rwanda2.25
119Kenya2.25
120Algeria2.26
121Eritrea2.26
Data Source
Human Rights Treaties
1Argentina24
2Ecuador23
3Germany23
...
142Dominica12
143Ethiopia12
144Trinidad & Tobago12
145Bahrain12
146Suriname12
147Haiti12
148Guyana11
149Bahamas11
Data Source
Press Freedom Index
1Finland99.0
2Netherlands99.0
3Norway99.0
...
161Sri Lanka99.6
162Saudi Arabia99.6
163Uzbekistan99.7
164Bahrain99.7
165Equatorial Guinea99.8
166Djibouti99.8
167Laos99.8
168Yemen99.8
Data Source
R & D Spending
Country% RDP PPP
1Korea, S.4.2912
2Israel4.1112
3Japan3.5812
...
118Trinidad & Tobago0.0513
119Honduras0.0414
120Colombia0.0415
121Bahrain0.0415
122Guatemala0.0413
123China0.0315
124El Salvador0.0313
125Iraq0.0316
Gross National Income
1Qatar$87 478
2Liechtenstein$84 880
3Kuwait$52 793
...
42Greece$20 511
43Portugal$19 907
44Slovakia$19 696
45Bahrain$19 154
46Poland$17 776
47Estonia$17 402
48Barbados$17 308
49Lithuania$16 858
Data Source
Happiness
1Denmark7.8
2Netherlands7.6
3Norway7.6
...
106Tunisia4.7
107Bosnia & Herzegovina4.7
108India4.6
109Bahrain4.5
110Congo, (Brazzaville)4.5
111Serbia4.5
112Madagascar4.4
113Djibouti4.4
Data Source
Environmental Performance
1Iceland93.5
2Switzerland89.1
3Costa Rica86.4
...
141Mongolia42.8
142Uzbekistan42.3
143Senegal42.3
144Bahrain42.0
145Equatorial Guinea41.9
146Korea, N.41.8
147Cambodia41.7
148Botswana41.3
Data Source
Gay Equality
1Netherlands405
2Belgium350
3Canada280
...
142Egypt-20
143Burundi-20
144Djibouti-20
145Bahrain-20
146Singapore-20
147Guinea-20
148Maldives-20
149Korea, N.-20
Data Source

By Vexen Crabtree 2013 May 01
http://www.humantruth.info/bahrain.html
Parent page: Vexing International Issues

Social Media

References: (What's this?)

CIA
(2013) World Factbook. The USA Government's Central Intelligence Agency (USA CIA) publishes The World Factbook, and the online version is frequently updated.

Crabtree, Vexen
(2013) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2013). Accessed 2016 Nov 01.

Gallup
(2009) Religiosity. gallup.com/poll/142727/.... The survey question was "Is religion an important part of your daily life?" and results are charted for those who said "yes". 1000 adults were polled in each of 114 countries.

IHEU. International Humanist and Ethical Union.
(2012) Freedom of Thought. A copy can be found on iheu.org/...Freedom of Thought 2012.pdf, accessed 2013 Oct 28.

OECD
(2016) Research and development (R&D) - Gross domestic spending on R&D. Data from data.oecd.org. Accessed 2016 Sep 28.

United Nations
(2011) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Published on the United Nation's website at hdr.undp.org/.../HDR_2011_EN_Complete.pdf (accessed throughout 2013, Jan-Mar). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2013) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. Published on the United Nation's HDR website at hdr.undp.org/.../hdr2013/ (accessed throughout 2013). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.

World Bank
Research and Development and a Percent of GDP PPP. Data from databank.worldbank.org. Accessed 2016 Sep 29.

Footnotes

  1. World Bank data on data.worldbank.org accessed 2013 Nov 04.^
  2. UN (2011).^
  3. UN (2013).^
  4. International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard ISO3166-1, on www.iso.org, accessed 2013 May 01.^
  5. Top level domains (TLDs) are managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) on www.iana.org.^
  6. According to ISO4217.^
  7. According to ITU-T.^
  8. CIA (2013) https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ba.html accessed 2014 Apr 27.^
  9. Pew Forum (2012) publication "The Global Religious Landscape: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World´s Major Religious Groups as of 2010" (2012 Dec 18) accessed 2013 May 01.^
  10. CIA (2013) https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ar.html accessed 2014 Apr 27.^
  11. IHEU (2012) Added to this page on 2013 Oct 28.^
  12. OECD (2016) data for year 2014.^
  13. World Bank data for year 2012.^
  14. World Bank data for year 2000.^
  15. World Bank data for year 2013.^
  16. World Bank data for year 2011.^

© 2016 Vexen Crabtree. All rights reserved.