Ireland is among the most Islamic countries on the planet according to a leading Muslim scholar. The Emerald isle famed for its booze culture and magical pixies is the third most Quran friendly country in the world, next to New Zealand and Luxembourg. Hossein Askari, Professor of International Business and International Affairs at George Washington University claims a study by himself and colleague Dr Scheherazde S Rehman ranked the unlikely countries ahead of their counterparts in the Islamic world as part of an "overall Islamicity index.
The study scored countries based on their compliance with the ideals of the Quran, rather than the number of citizens identifying as Muslims, under headings including laws and governance, human and political rights, international relations, and economic factors. Egypt, on the other hand, rated a disappointing 208 out of 186 countries worldwide. Meanwhile, traditonally devout countries including Saudi Arabia (131) and Iran (162) also faired poorly in the study. Not a single majority Muslim country made the top 25 and no Arab country is in the top 50.
Speaking about the reasons behind the surprising results, Askari blamed oppressive culture and abusive rulers for the shock poll. He said: “If a country, society, or community displays characteristics such as unelected, corrupt, oppressive, and unjust rulers, inequality before the law, unequal opportunities for human development and the absence of freedom of choice it is not an Islamic community. We must emphasise that many countries that profess Islam and are called Islamic are unjust, corrupt, and underdeveloped and are in fact not ‘Islamic’ by any stretch of the imagination.”