‘Muslim Majority’ Versus Islamic Nations, Part 2: Sharia Law and Islam as the State Religion

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (left) sparked protests when he handed over two islands to Riyadh after trade talks with Saudi King Salman in April 2016
In Part 1 of this look at the Islamic world, we examined three nations with Muslim majority populations where the future of religious freedom is in question. Next, we will run through the Muslim-majority countries where Islam is the state religion. The nations of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia were all covered in a previous article on President Trump’s executive order to temporarily restrict immigrants and visitors from those points of origin. All name Islam as their official state religion. Afghanistan: America’s investment in blood and treasure to liberate Afghanistan from the Taliban produced a 2004 Constitution that formally identifies the internationally-recognized country as the “Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.” The constitution’s preamble begins, “In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficient, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of Worlds; and Praise and Peace be upon Mohammad His Last Messenger, and his disciples and followers.” “The sacred religion of Islam” is the official state religion, although the constitution stipulates that “followers of other faiths shall be free within the bounds of law in the exercise and performance of their religious rituals.” The U.S. State Department has consistently rated actual religious freedom in Afghanistan as
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