The Human Truth Foundation

Bahrain (Kingdom of Bahrain)

By Vexen Crabtree 2013

#bahrain

Bahrain
Kingdom of Bahrain
StatusIndependent State
Social and Moral Index105th best
CapitalManama
Land Area 760km21
LocationAsia, The Middle East
GroupingsSmall Islands
Population1.6m2
Life Expectancy76.72yrs (2017)3
GNI$37 236 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesBH, BHR, 485
Internet Domain.bh6
CurrencyDinar (BHD)7
Telephone+9738

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)9

Book CoverThis tiny island state is the smallest of all Arab countries, and is one of the most easygoing of the Gulf states. Like an oyster, Bahrain´s rough exterior takes some prising open, but it is worth the effort. From the excellent National Museum in Manama to the extraordinary burial mounds at Sar, there are many fine sites to visit.... Bahrain maintains its gaze not on the island´s minimal land mass, but on the shallow waters that lap its shores. The sweet-water springs that bubble offshore helped bring about 4000 years of settlement [and] encouraged lustrous pearls - the trade that helped to build the island´s early fortunes.Much of Manama´s modern wealth, illustrated in high-profile building projects, rises proudly from land `reclaimed´ from the sea. With the projected effects of climate change, however, the sea may yet have the last laugh.

"The World" by Lonely Planet (2014)10

2. Bahrain National and Social Development

#economics #human_development

UN HDI (2016)11
Pos.Lower is better
Rank11
1Norway1
2Australia2
3Switzerland2
...
44Latvia44
45Croatia45
46Argentina45
47Bahrain47
48Montenegro48
49Russia49
50Romania50
51Kuwait51
World Avg94.3
q=188.
Gross National Income Per-Capita (2011)12
Pos.Higher is better
PPP $12
1Qatar$129 916
2Singapore$78 162
3Kuwait$76 075
...
25France$38 085
26UK$37 931
27Japan$37 268
28Bahrain$37 236
29Iceland$37 065
30S. Korea$34 541
31Oman$34 402
32Italy$33 573
World Avg$17 240
q=193.
Social & Moral
Development Index
13,14
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank13,14
1Taiwan30.2
2Denmark30.5
3Norway30.9
...
102Paraguay89.4
103Lebanon89.6
104Ghana90.1
105Bahrain90.2
106Belize91.7
107Tajikistan91.9
108Nepal91.9
109St Lucia91.9
World Avg86.4
q=195.

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 Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. 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: Which are the Best Countries in the World? The Social and Moral Development Index.

3. Bahrain's Demographics

#birth_control #demographics #health #immigration #life_expectancy #longevity #migration #overpopulation #population

Population:

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.

Population (2018)2
Pos.
Population2
1China1.4b
2India1.4b
3USA327.1m
...
147Slovenia2.1m
148Latvia1.9m
149Guinea-Bissau1.9m
150Bahrain1.6m
151Trinidad & Tobago1.4m
152Estonia1.3m
153Equatorial Guinea1.3m
154Timor-Leste (E. Timor)1.3m
World Avg39.0m
q=195.
Life Expectancy (2015)12
Pos.Higher is better
Years12
1Hong Kong84.16
2Japan83.68
3Italy83.34
...
48Mexico76.97
49Oman76.97
50Maldives76.96
51Bahrain76.72
52Bosnia & Herzegovina76.63
53Argentina76.46
54Slovakia76.41
55Montenegro76.40
World Avg71.27
q=190.
Fertility Rate (2013)15
Pos.2.0 is best15
1N. Korea2.00
2Brunei1.99
3St Vincent & Grenadines2.01
...
67Libya2.44
68Cambodia2.45
69Bulgaria1.54
70Bahrain2.46
71Thailand1.54
72Greece1.54
73Georgia1.53
74Switzerland1.53
World Avg2.81
q=180.
Old-Age Dependency Ratio (2016)16
Pos.Lower is better
Per 10016
1Uganda04.3
2Mali04.5
3Chad04.7
...
56Belize08.3
57Gabon08.5
58Pakistan08.6
59Bahrain08.7
60Syria09.0
61Djibouti09.1
62Tajikistan09.1
63Equatorial Guinea09.4
World Avg18.3
q=185.

Migration:

Immigrants (2017)17
Pos.
%17
1UAE88.4%
2Kuwait75.5%
3Qatar65.2%
4Liechtenstein65.1%
5Monaco54.9%
6Andorra53.3%
7Bahrain48.4%
8Singapore46.0%
9Luxembourg45.3%
10Oman44.7%
11Hong Kong39.1%
12Saudi Arabia37.0%
World Avg9.4%
q=195.
Emigrants (2010)18
Pos.
%18
1Dominica104.8%
2Palestine68.4%
3Samoa67.3%
...
125Burundi4.2%
126Panama4.0%
127Norway3.8%
128Bahrain3.7%
129Gambia3.7%
130Chile3.7%
131Peru3.7%
132Czechia3.6%
World Avg11.5%
q=192.

4. Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance

#Bahrain #equality #freedom #human_rights #politics #tolerance

Bahrain is very poor at ensuring human rights and freedom compared to the rest of the world, and it has cultural issues when it comes to tolerance and equality. Bahrain does better than average in opposing gender inequality19. But that's it. Bahrain has problems. It does worse than average when it comes to commentary in Human Rights Watch reports20, supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms21, LGBT equality22, its nominal commitment to Human Rights23 and in speed of uptake of HR treaties24. And finally, it falls into the worst 20 in its success in fighting anti-semitic prejudice25 (amongst the worst in Asia) and in supporting press freedom26. Things are getting worse, it seems, and in 2017 Bahrain shut down its only independent newspaper and human rights activists were silenced, imprisoned and harassed (including their relatives) and also prevented representation at the UN Human Rights Council and its associated processes27.

For tables, charts and commentary, see:

5. Bahrain's Health

#alcohol #Bahrain #birth_control #demographics #health #life_expectancy #longevity #mental_health #obesity #overpopulation #parenting #population #smoking #suicide #vaccines

Health (2020)28,29
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank28,29
1Hong Kong18.0
2Singapore41.5
3Maldives43.3
...
41Belgium78.4
42Eritrea78.4
43Nepal78.6
44Bahrain79.0
45India79.1
46Cyprus79.3
47Slovenia79.8
48Tunisia80.0
49Slovakia80.1
World Avg92.3
q=187.

The countries with the best overall approach to public health, in terms of both public policy and individual lifestyle choices, are Hong Kong, Singapore and The Maldives28. These countries are worth emulating. And, although often through no fault of the average citizen, the worst countries are S. Sudan, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea28.

The data sets used to calculate points for each country are its average life expectancy, its alcohol consumption rate, its fertility rate, its smoking rate, its suicide rate, its food aid and health contributions and WHO compliance, the prevalence of overweight adults, its adolescent birth rate and its immunizations take-up. The regions with the best average results per country are Scandinavia, Asia and Europe28, whereas the worst are Africa, Micronesia and Polynesia28.

Health:

Bahrain does relatively well in encouraging good health, compared to many other countries. Bahrain comes in the best 20 for its immunizations take-up30. It does better than average in terms of its suicide rate31, its alcohol consumption rate32, its adolescent birth rate19 and in its average life expectancy12. Bahrain does not succeed in everything, however. It does worse than average in its food aid and health contributions and WHO compliance33, its fertility rate15 and in its smoking rate34. The number of overweight adults has increased by 14% during the past 40 years.
Life Expectancy (2015)12
Pos.Higher is better
Years12
1Hong Kong84.16
2Japan83.68
3Italy83.34
...
48Mexico76.97
49Oman76.97
50Maldives76.96
51Bahrain76.72
52Bosnia & Herzegovina76.63
53Argentina76.46
54Slovakia76.41
55Montenegro76.40
World Avg71.27
q=190.
Alcohol Consumption (2016)32
Pos.Lower is better
Per Capita32
1Bangladesh0.0
2Kuwait0.0
3Libya0.0
...
38Tuvalu1.7
39Madagascar1.9
40Tunisia1.9
41Bahrain1.9
42Qatar2.0
43Nepal2.0
44Singapore2.0
45Turkey2.0
World Avg6.2
q=189.
Fertility Rate (2013)15
Pos.2.0 is best15
1N. Korea2.00
2Brunei1.99
3St Vincent & Grenadines2.01
...
67Libya2.44
68Cambodia2.45
69Bulgaria1.54
70Bahrain2.46
71Thailand1.54
72Greece1.54
73Georgia1.53
74Switzerland1.53
World Avg2.81
q=180.
Smoking Rates (2014)34
Pos.Higher is worse34
182Montenegro4 125
181Belarus3 831
180Lebanon3 023
...
123Algeria1 024
122Brunei1 023
121France 993
120Bahrain 969
119Mongolia 957
118Australia 956
117Ireland 954
116Chile 930
World Avg 819
q=182.
Suicide Rate (2013)31
Pos.
Per 100k31
1Haiti0
2Grenada0
3Egypt0.1
...
20Guatemala7.3
21Barbados7.3
22Belize7.3
23Bahrain7.5
24Albania8
25Mexico8.5
26Israel8.5
27Georgia8.8
World Avg20.93
q=91.
Food Aid, Health Contributions & WHO Compliance (2017)33
Pos.Lower is better
Rank33
1Sweden1
2Ireland2
3Denmark3
...
90Uganda90
91Chile91
92Tunisia92
93Bahrain93
94Philippines94
95Bosnia & Herzegovina95
96Namibia96
97Guyana97
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Overweight Adults (2016)35
Pos.Lower is better
%35
1Vietnam18.3
2India19.7
3Bangladesh20.0
...
168Iraq64.6
169Mexico64.9
170New Zealand65.6
171Bahrain65.8
172Malta66.4
173Turkey66.8
174Libya66.8
175UAE67.8
World Avg49.0
q=191.

Children's Health:

Adolescent Birth Rate (2015)19
Pos.Lower is better
Per 100019
1N. Korea0.5
2S. Korea1.6
3Switzerland2.9
...
41Lebanon12.4
42Estonia13.1
43Poland13.4
44Bahrain13.5
45Malaysia13.6
46Latvia13.6
47Australia14.1
48UK14.6
World Avg47.9
q=185.
Infant Immunizations 2011-2015 (2015)30
Pos.Higher is better
Avg %30
1Hungary99.0
2China99.0
3Uzbekistan98.9
...
8S. Korea98.6
9Sri Lanka98.4
10St Lucia98.2
11Bahrain98.2
12Iran98.1
13Finland98.1
14Saudi Arabia98.0
15Luxembourg98.0
World Avg88.3
q=194.

6. Bahrain's Modernity and Learning

#education #modernity #politics #religion #research #science #technology #the_internet

Modernity and Learning (2020)36
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank36
1Finland8.0
2Belgium9.1
3Denmark10.0
...
78Armenia65.3
79Egypt65.4
80St Lucia66.6
81Bahrain67.1
82Kuwait67.1
83Kyrgyzstan67.6
84Fiji68.0
85Qatar68.1
86Dominican Rep.68.3
World Avg69.0
q=180.

Modernity and Education:

Research and Development (2016)
Pos.Higher is better
% RDP PPP
1S. Korea4.2937
2Israel4.1137
3Japan3.5837
...
118Macau0.0538
119Honduras0.0439
120Guatemala0.0440
121Bahrain0.0438
122Colombia0.0438
123Iraq0.0341
124El Salvador0.0340
125China0.0338
World Avg0.84
q=126.
Secondary Education (2018)42
Pos.Higher is better42
1Luxembourg100.0%
2Estonia100.0%
3Austria100.0%
...
91Palestine61.1%
92Suriname60.5%
93Mexico59.7%
94Bahrain59.6%
95Brazil59.5%
96Bolivia58.8%
97Zimbabwe58.7%
98Gabon57.6%
World Avg63.0%
q=169.
Length of Schooling (2018)43
Pos.Higher is better
Years43
1Australia22.1
2Belgium19.7
3Finland19.3
...
44Costa Rica15.4
45Belarus15.4
46Kazakhstan15.3
47Bahrain15.3
48Japan15.2
49Albania15.2
50Barbados15.2
51Hungary15.1
World Avg13.2
q=193.
Intellectual Endeavours (2017)33
Pos.Lower is better
Rank33
1Ukraine1
2Czechia2
3Hungary3
...
112Belize112
113Algeria113
114Bahamas114
115Bahrain115
116Kazakhstan116
117Sri Lanka117
118Rwanda118
119Guatemala119
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Religiosity (2009)44
Pos.Lower is better
%44
1Estonia16
2Sweden17
3Denmark19
...
81Uganda93
82Palestine93
83Nepal93
84Bahrain94
85Congo, DR94
86Kenya94
87Qatar95
88Zambia95
World Avg75.1
q=114.

Technology and Information:

Internet Users (2016)45
Pos.Higher is better45
1Iceland100%
2Faroe Islands99%
3Norway98%
...
13Finland93%
14Qatar92%
15UAE92%
16Bahrain92%
17Estonia91%
18Japan91%
19New Zealand89%
20USA89%
World Avg48.1%
q=201.
Freedom On The Internet (2012)46
Pos.Lower is better46
1Estonia10
2USA12
3Germany15
...
35Thailand61
36Pakistan63
37Belarus69
38Bahrain71
39Saudi Arabia71
40Vietnam73
41Ethiopia75
42Myanmar (Burma)75
World Avg46.7
q=47.
IPv6 Uptake (2017)47
Pos.Higher is better
Ratio47
1Belgium55.4
2Germany41.8
3Switzerland35.1
...
156Greenland0.0
157Brunei0.0
158Aruba0.0
159Bahrain0.0
160Palau0.0
161Equatorial Guinea0.0
162Belize0.0
163Suriname0.0
World Avg3.82
q=176.

7. National Culture

#charity #corruption #happiness #morals #politics

Personal Charitability
(World Position, 2013-2016)
48
Pos.Lower is better48
1Myanmar (Burma)1.25
2USA1.5
3New Zealand3.5
...
10Trinidad & Tobago10
11Netherlands10
12UAE12
13Bahrain13
14Norway13.33
15Malta14
16Indonesia14.75
17Iceland16
World Avg68.1185897435897
q=156.
Corruption (2012-2016)49
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score49
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
...
55Namibia50.0
56Slovakia49.0
57Jordan48.6
58Bahrain48.4
59Croatia48.4
60Saudi Arabia47.4
61Cuba46.8
62Oman45.8
World Avg43.05
q=176.
Happiness (2018)50
Pos.Higher is better50
1Finland7.6
2Norway7.6
3Denmark7.6
...
40El Salvador6.2
41Nicaragua6.1
42Poland6.1
43Bahrain6.1
44Uzbekistan6.1
45Kuwait6.1
46Thailand6.1
47Italy6.0
World Avg5.38
q=156.
Creativity and Culture (2017)33
Pos.Lower is better
Rank33
1Belgium1
2Netherlands2
3Estonia3
...
102Vietnam102
103Armenia103
104Ghana104
105Bahrain105
106Ecuador106
107Uganda107
108Lesotho108
109Georgia109
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Open Trading, Aid and Development (2017)33
Pos.Lower is better
Rank33
1Ireland1
2Denmark2
3Sweden3
...
154Paraguay154
155Grenada155
156Venezuela156
157Bahrain157
158Mauritania158
159Brunei159
160Algeria160
161Papua New Guinea161
World Avg82.0
q=163.

8. Peace Versus Instability

#extremism #human_development #peace #politics #religious_violence #terrorism

Global Peace Index (2012)51
Pos.Lower is better51
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
...
114Armenia2.24
115Niger2.24
116Turkmenistan2.24
117Bahrain2.25
118Rwanda2.25
119Kenya2.25
120Algeria2.26
121Eritrea2.26
World Avg2.02
q=157.
Peacekeeping and Security (2017)33
Pos.Lower is better
Rank33
1Samoa1
2S. Africa2
3Tunisia3
...
156Swaziland156
157Yemen157
158Iraq158
159Bahrain159
160Slovenia160
161Tonga161
162Marshall Islands162
163Guinea-Bissau163
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Refugees and UN Treaties (2017)33
Pos.Lower is better
Rank33
1Austria1
2Germany2
3Netherlands3
...
74Albania74
75Botswana75
76Lebanon76
77Bahrain77
78Sri Lanka78
79Algeria79
80Ecuador80
81Kuwait81
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Impact of Terrorism (2019)52
Pos.Lower is better
Score52
1Togo0.00
2Mongolia0.00
3Swaziland0.00
...
87Jordan3.09
88Italy3.11
89Paraguay3.12
90Bahrain3.20
91Tanzania3.27
92Spain3.35
93Bolivia3.39
94Algeria3.41
World Avg2.78
q=150.

9. The Natural Environment

#biodiversity #climate_change #over-exploitation #the_environment

Forest Area Change 1990-2015 (2015)53
Pos.Higher is better
%53
1Iceland205.6
2Bahrain144.4
3Uruguay131.3
4Kuwait81.2
5Dominican Rep.79.5
6Egypt65.9
7Vietnam65.6
8Ireland62.2
9Tunisia61.9
10Cuba56.9
11Cape Verde55.7
12Rwanda50.9
World Avg02.8
q=184.
Environmental Performance (2018)54
Pos.Higher is better54
1Switzerland87.4
2France84.0
3Denmark81.6
...
93Barbados55.8
94Georgia55.7
95Kiribati55.3
96Bahrain55.2
97Nicaragua55.0
98Bahamas55.0
99Kyrgyzstan54.9
100Nigeria54.8
World Avg56.4
q=180.
Energy to GDP Efficiency (2014)55
Pos.Higher is better55
1Hong Kong26.32
2Sri Lanka20.00
3Panama17.86
...
108Bosnia & Herzegovina04.52
109Russia04.52
110S. Africa04.48
111Bahrain04.10
112Ukraine03.28
113Togo02.88
114Ethiopia02.81
115Mozambique02.47
World Avg09.29
q=119.
Convention on Biological Diversity
Pos.Earlier is better
Signed
1China1993 Dec 29
2Guinea1993 Dec 29
3Cook Islands1993 Dec 29
...
157S. Sudan2014 May 18
158Mauritania1996 Nov 14
159Qatar1996 Nov 19
160Bahrain1996 Nov 28
161Turkmenistan1996 Dec 17
162Laos1996 Dec 19
163Haiti1996 Dec 24
164Croatia1997 Jan 05
World Avg1899 Dec 30
q=197.
Rational Beliefs on the Environment (2011)56
Pos.Higher is better
%56
1Argentina78.3%
2Greece77.6%
3Brazil77.1%
...
103Belgium26.9%
104Syria26.6%
105Qatar26.5%
106Bahrain26.3%
107S. Africa26.2%
108Lithuania25.6%
109Nigeria25.3%
110Armenia25.3%
World Avg39.9%
q=145.

10. Economic Inequality and Poverty

#health #inequality #life_expectancy

Inequality in Life Expectancy (2019)57
Pos.Higher is worse57
184Chad40.90
183Central African Rep.40.10
182Sierra Leone39.00
...
47Maldives6.00
46Kuwait5.90
45Qatar5.70
44Bahrain5.50
43Lithuania5.50
42Latvia5.40
41Bosnia & Herzegovina5.40
40UAE5.20
World Avg14.59
q=184.

11. Religion and Beliefs

#buddhism #christianity #hinduism #islam #judaism #religion

Religiosity (2009)44
Pos.Lower is better
%44
1Estonia16
2Sweden17
3Denmark19
...
81Uganda93
82Palestine93
83Nepal93
84Bahrain94
85Congo, DR94
86Kenya94
87Qatar95
88Zambia95
World Avg75.1
q=114.

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 below58:

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)59.

The International Humanist and Ethical Union produced a report in 2012 entitled "Freedom of Thought" (2012)60, 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)61

Links: