In their article "Is Religion Really the Enemy of Human Rights?," Wade Cole and Gaëlle Perrier challenge the bottom-up theory of human rights protection and our findings regarding the effects of religiosity and of Muslim governments on human rights protection. Their counterarguments and re-analysis of the data are not convincing. They do not have a coherent alternative theory motivating their empirical re-analysis, and they carelessly use multiple regression to undermine our original findings. Here we present even more evidence supporting the societal religiosity hypothesis and illustrating a large Muslim human rights deficit for nearly all human rights. Poor human rights scores for Muslim countries result from discriminatory policies that are consistent with the tenants of Islam, public opinion in Muslim countries, and descriptions of discriminatory policies contained in human rights reports. To counter the negative effects of religiosity and Muslim governments, we recommend new international and national policy initiatives advancing gender equality.


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pp. 933-958
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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