Data collected for further research and quotations.
Note that the breakup of the Ottoman Turkish empire resulted in about 40 new countries, including 22 Arab states.
The Ottomans had their virtues, but they were no friends to public education, independent news media and the printed word. Ottoman culture favored the oral tradition, expressed in gorgeous poetry and music, and integrated the revered calligraphy of the Koran into every possible visual art form, from painting and ceramics to architecture and metalwork. But literacy languished, particularly among Muslim Arab populations. According to historian Donald Quataert, general Muslim literacy rates were only 2 to 3 percent in the early nineteenth century, and perhaps 15 percent at its end. The vast majority of Muslim women remained illiterate well into the twentieth century. Prior to 1840, an average of only eleven books a year were published in the imperial capital of Istanbul.
Books and printed matter in Turkish and Arabic were unknown before the end of the 18th century, and even then they were of limited impact because of widespread illiteracy. Jewish refugees from the Spanish Inquisition established a Hebrew printing press about 1494. Armenians had a press in 1567, and Greeks had press in 1627. These presses were not allowed to print in Turkish or in Arabic characters, owing to objections of the religious authorities. One result of this delay was to give Greeks, Armenians and Jews an advantage in literacy, and therefore an advantage in commerce, and in having a means to preserve and propagate their culture, that was denied to Turks and Arabs. The major result was to retard the development of modern literate society, commerce and industry. The first Turkish printing press in the Ottoman Empire was not established until 1729. It was closed in 1742 and reopened in 1784. The press operated under heavy censorship throughout most of the Ottoman era. Elections were unknown of course, though government decisions were usually reached by consultation of the government, provincial chiefs and religious authorities.
…the whole Arab world translates about three hundred books annually–one fifth the number that Greece alone translates; investment in research and development is less than one seventh the world average; and Internet connectivity is worse than in sub-Saharan Africa.
Fifty-seven Muslim majority countries have an average of ten universities each for a total of less than 600 universities for 1.4 billion people; India has 8,407 universities, the U.S. has 5,758.
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Of the 1.4 billion Muslims 800 million are illiterate (6 out of 10 Muslims cannot read). In Christendom, adult literacy rate stands at 78 percent.
Large numbers of children in African and Arab countries are still shut out of classrooms, with primary school participation at below 60% in 17 OIC countries. More than half the adult population is illiterate in some countries, and the proportion is as high as 70% among women. Four out of 10 children in the African sub-region are out of school, as are a quarter of children in Arab member states.
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Only 26 out of 57 OIC members are on course to achieve the primary education gender equality targets for 2005.
The 57-member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) have around 500 universities compared with more than 5,000 universities in the US and more than 8,000 in India. In 2004, Shanghai Jiao Tong University compiled an “Academic Ranking of World Universities”, and none of the universities from Muslim-majority states was included in the top 500.
The 2002 United Nations Arab Development Report, compiled by leading Arab scholars and intellectuals, reported that fewer than 350 books were translated into Arabic every year, less than one-fifth the number translated into Greek. The 2003 report added that the 10,000 books translated into Spanish every year exceeded those translated into Arabic— over the entire millennium.
Nearly half of all women in the Arab world are illiterate
Nearly one in three people in the Arab world is illiterate, including nearly half of all women in the region, the Tunis-based Arab League Educational Cultural and Scientific Organisation (Alecso) said Monday.
Three-quarters of the 100 million people unable to read or write in the 21 Arab countries are aged between 15 and 45 years old, Alecso said in a statement.
Equally alarming, some 46.5% of women in the region are illiterate, the organisation reported, urging governments to put the fight against illiteracy at the top of their agendas.
There has been a growing concern about the lack of educational qualifications of Muslims in India. While so far statistical information was lacking, the Census of India 2001 for the first time gives detailed educational data across religious groups.
Made available to INDIA TODAY exclusively, the findings are disheartening. The facts irrefutably demonstrate that, on an average, Muslim men and women are far less educationally accomplished than their non-Muslim counterparts, and this is so across almost every state in India.
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In 2001, only 55 per cent of India’s 71 million Muslim males were literate, compared to 64.5 per cent for the country’s 461 million non-Muslim men. Less than 41 per cent of the country’s 67 million Muslim females were literate, versus 46 per cent of India’s 430 million non-Muslim women.
In proportional terms, the all-India Muslim male literacy rate was 15 per cent lower than that of non-Muslim males; this percentage difference increased to 17 per cent in urban India.
Far more serious was the percentage difference in literacy rates between Muslim females and their non-Muslim sisters -an 11 per cent disadvantage at the all-India level increased to over 19 per cent in urban India.
At the basic level of being ‘literate’, Muslim women were proportionately 11 per cent worse off than non-Muslims. The difference widened to 19 per cent for those educated up to middle school; to 35 per cent for those who studied up to Class X; 45 per cent for those who learnt up to Class XII; and 63 per cent for those who were graduates and above.
Muslims, India’s largest religious minority, are “lagging behind” on most things that matter.
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Educational disparities were among the most striking. Among Muslims, Shariff said, the literacy rate is about 59 percent, compared with more than 65 percent among Indians as a whole. On average, a Muslim child attends school for three years and four months, against a national average of four years.
Less than 4 percent of Muslims graduate from school, compared with 6 percent of the total population. Less than 2 percent of the students at the elite Indian Institutes of Technology are Muslim. Equally revealing, only 4 percent of Muslim children attend madrasas, Shariff said. November 2006
The first is the high dropout rate among Muslim students. It is below even SC/ST students, who are generally considered the most educationally backward communities.
6% of girl students are forced to stop their education as parents think that there is no need for them to be educated.
The transition rate of Muslim students from class VII to VIII is very low compared to other communities.
The global standing of Indonesia’s universities has dropped according to the latest world rankings published by Quacquarelli Symonds. The University of Indonesia, remains No. 1 in the country, but is only ranked 273rd globally.
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US and British universities dominated the top 20 in this year’s list, while ETH Zurich was the only university from a non-English speaking country that landed in top 20.
The University of Hong Kong came in as the best performing university in Asia, securing 23rd place, followed by the National University of Singapore at 25th. The Australian National University was also among best performers in the region, finishing in 24th place.
The University of Indonesia was the only Indonesian institution in the top 300, but fell from 217th from last year to 273rd. 
Illiteracy among Nigerian women of child-bearing age is three times as high among Muslims (71.9%) as among others (23.9%). Two-thirds of Nigerian Muslim women lack any formal education; that goes for just over a tenth of their non-Muslim sisters.
Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel while addressing the inaugural ceremony showed his concern over the literacy rate in Pakistan which he said is amongst the lowest in the world. The actual literacy rate in Pakistan is hovering around 30% while this rate is around 15% in the tribal areas and the female literacy rate in tribal areas is around 5%.
Fata comprises of some of the least developed areas of the country, according to official figures, with the literacy rate for women standing at barely three per cent.
Pakistan ranks second in the global ranking of countries with the highest number of out-of-school children with the figure estimated to be about 25 million. Seven million have yet to receive some form of primary schooling. As many as 9,800 schools were reportedly affected in Sindh and Balochistan due to floods. Around 600,000 children of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are reported to have missed one or more years of education due to ongoing militancy.
Pakistan has the lowest youth literacy rate. Only 59 percent females are literate as compared to 79 percent of males in the age group of 15 to 24 years. There are around 51.2 million adult illiterates in Pakistan. Only 65 percent schools have drinking water facilities, 62 percent have toilet facilities, 61 percent have a boundary wall and only 39 percent have electricity.
In Saudi Arabia, the lack of books is accompanied by the struggle to modernize basic educational institutions. In his new book, Prophets and Princes, Mark Weston points out that Saudi Arabia did not have a high school until after 1930, and its first girls’ school was established after 1950. The Saudis have only 250 public libraries to serve a population of 26 million people, and there were no hours for female readers until 2006. The Saudis spend many millions of dollars translating and publishing the Quran into other languages, without devoting similar efforts to making foreign books available in Arabic.
The deputy chairman of Tajikistan’s State Committee for Religious Affairs said Friday the country has more mosques than schools.
Mavlon Mukhtorov said official figures show there are 3,425 regular mosques, 344 cathedral mosques, and 40 central cathedral mosques.
Mukhtorov said on February 16 his ministry issued permits for 45 new mosques to be built in different parts of the country.
Tajikistan’s Education Ministry reports there are 3,793 schools, most of them overcrowded, and in many cases one classroom has up to 40 students.
Pollster Adil Gür of A&G polling company interviewed 3,252 women in 42 provinces across Turkey on the subject of gender-based violence, ntvmsnbc.com reported on Friday.
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Ten out of every 100 women in Turkey over the age of 18 are illiterate. Approximately 30 percent of women surveyed graduated from high school, and only 9 percent have a college degree. Twenty out of every 100 women over the age of 44 are illiterate.
Moroğlu [the head of the Turkish Association of University Women (TÜKD)] stated that only 2 percent of women have access to a university education, which is far below EU standards. She further stated that every two out of 10 women are still illiterate in Turkey.