Newsweek’s Map Gaffe

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Last week, Passport mentioned a cartographic error on Newsweek’s map “The State of Islam Around the Globe”: Rather than marking the Palestinian Territories (the West Bank and Gaza) it labeled Israel as such.

While this is a sure fumble, it is easily changed. More problematic is that the map only includes 15 “Muslim” countries, concentrated in the Middle East and Central Asia. Only Nigeria, Indonesia and the Philippines break the mold. But even still here, the Philippines cannot be called a “Muslim country” with a straight face. It’s population is barely 5% Muslim. The struggle in the southern part of the country raises the community’s profile, but this still does not make it a Muslim country and it is disappointing that the Philippines is included in the tally but countries such as, say, Malaysia, Sudan, Mali, Senegal, Tunisia, Gambia or Bangladesh are not. This paucity of valuable information is the most troubling part of the map, not that a small country, with a small number of people is mislabeled on a map that is easily corrected.

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