The country in the world most faithful to the values of the Koran is Ireland according to an Iranian-born academic at George Washingon University in the US. Next are Denmark, Sweden and the UK.
In a BBC interview, Hossein Askari, Professor of International Business and International Affairs at George Washington University said a study by himself and colleague Dr Scheherazde S Rehman, also rates Israel (27) as being more compliant with the ideals of the Koran than any predominantly Muslim country.
Not a single majority Muslim country made the top 25 and no Arab country is in the top 50.
He said that when their 'Islamicity index' was applied only Malaysia (33) and Kuwait (42) featured in its top 50 countries, compared to the US at 15, as is the Netherlands, while France is at 17.
Saudi Arabia rated 91st, with Qatar at 111st.
In doing the study they applied the ideals of Islam in the areas of a society’s economic achievements, governance, human and political rights, and international relations, he said.
On that index “Muslim countries do very badly,” he said and accused them of using religion as an instrument of power.
Last Novembe Prof Askari said that “we must emphasize 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.”
"Looking at an index of Economic Islamicity, or how closely the policies and achievements of countries reflect Islamic economic teachings - Ireland, Denmark, Luxembourg, Sweden, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Singapore, Finland, Norway, and Belgium round up the first 10".
In their 'Overall Islamicity Index', a measure that encompasses laws and governance, human and political rights, international relations, and economic factors, "the rankings are much the same: New Zealand, Luxembourg, Ireland, Iceland, Finland, Denmark, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Netherlands; and again only Malaysia (38) and Kuwait (48) make it into the top 50 from Muslim countries," 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, absence of freedom of choice (including that of religion), opulence alongside poverty, force, and aggression as the instruments of conflict resolution as opposed to dialogue and reconciliation, and, above all, the prevalence of injustice of any kind, it is prima facie evidence that it is not an Islamic community," he said.
“ Islam is, and has been for centuries, the articulation of the universal love of Allah for his creation and for its unity, and all that this implies for all-encompassing human and economic development,” he concluded.
* The headline on this article was amended on Friday, June 13th, 2014