CAIRO: Egypt fell 25 spots on the Global Peace Index (GPI) for 2011, coming at 73 among 153 nations ranked according to the “absence of violence.”
One of the ten contributors to the report, released by the non-profit research organization, Institute for Economics and Peace, was Egypt’s Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa.
Uprisings across the Middle East influenced the sharp drop in the GPI of nations in the region, especially Bahrain, Libya and Egypt. Bahrain fell 47 spots on the list to 123 and Libya fell 83 spots to 143 — putting it in the bottom 10 countries on the list.
On a global scale, Egypt scored in the “medium” category alongside China, the United State of America, Brazil and Indonesia.
The Institute for Economics and Peace notes in the report, “Peaceful environments generally create competitive business environments, societies with lower levels of corruption and stronger social cohesion.”
The study also analyzed international news reports and how often reports of violence made the global stage. The study found violence in Egypt was most over reported (compared to the GPI score).
On average over half of international news reports on Arab Spring countries were only covering violence. The “international news tone” while reporting on Egypt was negative in about 45 percent of stories, neutral about 43 percent of reports and positive only about 12 percent of the time.
In regards to international news coverage on the Arab Spring, the report notes that Nile News presented only 11 reports (below average) on the political movements outside of Egypt.
Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa concluded the report with an analysis titled “Egyptian Revolution, One year later, challenges and prospects.”
Gomaa addressed the Islamist’s sweeping win in parliament, saying the rise of these parties can be attributed to a number of factors “not least of which is the weakened state of serious political discourse, and as a result any viable political opposition, under the Mubarak regime.
“As a result, voters were not left with many options that they felt were respectful of their Islamic heritage and their religious sympathies,” Gomaa wrote.
Gomaa also said these parties, and their members, shouldn’t be grouped together since they represent different positions on main issues such as “the economy, minority rights, and the precise role of religion in the public sphere.
“Though I may often disagree with the particulars of their stances, their success should be no cause for serious alarm in the Western world. Indeed, we are optimistic that for the most part, flexibility will take precedence in their political programs over doctrinaire readings of ideology,” he wrote.
As the highest official of religious law in Egypt, he said, “The Islamic faith teaches us that optimism and activism are constituent features of what it means to live a good life —constantly striving to do good works, with a strong faith that those good works will contribute towards the wellbeing on one’s community.”
Although Egypt’s Global Peace index score dropped significantly, it is still ranked in the upper half of the list.