How Would Apostates, Adulterers, And Thieves Fare In A Democratic Egypt?

How Would Apostates, Adulterers, And Thieves Fare In A Democratic Egypt? February 18, 2011

Razib Kahn has a most disturbing chart:


Kahn explains the above:

On the x-axis you see the proportion who accept that adulterers should be stoned. On the y-axis you see the responses to amputation and apostasy. The red points are the proportion who agree with the death penalty for apostates, and the navy points those who believe in whipping or amputation for robbers.

As you can see, there’s a strong correlation between attitudes on these questions. The correlation is 0.97, 0.97, and 0.92, on the national level. So these three questions seem to be tapping on a “are you willing to get medieval!” sentiment in these societies. Compare Turkey to Egypt. They’re in totally different regions of the scatter plot. There is simply no comparison between these societies on these issues, despite both being Muslim and Middle Eastern.

Kahn worries that

to be secular in Egypt may correlate with greater illiberalism toward deviance from the putative religious orthodoxy than to be an Islamist in Turkey!

And highlights this chart:

And notes that:

No one in the Egyptian sample admitted to being an atheist (this is not uncommon in Muslim countries).

Kahn has much more analysis in his full post.

I ask you, informed readers who avoid the extremes of paranoid Islamophobia, on the one side, and head-in-the-sand optimistic support for religion, on the other, what do you think this means for freedom of non-Islamic speech and expression, for religious tolerance, and for tolerance of secular attitudes and beliefs (including outright atheism)?

Your Thoughts?

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