Facts about Muslims

By Jubair1985 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Pew Research Center has compiled a list of stats on Muslims and Islam around the world, including their views on ISIS.

The Islam religion has long been associated with terrorism and extremism in general. And because of the recent events across the Middle East, North Africa, and in Europe, Islamophobia is on the rise especially in the U.S. which takes pride in being a “religious-tolerant” country. Many Muslims and non-Muslim experts blame this fear or hatred of Islam to the Western ignorance on the religion itself. The research and analysis group Fact Tank tried to break this ignorance with the release of interesting facts and study results about Muslims and the Islam Religion.

Key findings on Muslim population

Muslims are second to Christians in terms of global population at 1.6 billion members. But according to Pew Research, Muslims will soon overtake Christians by end of the 21st century. The growth rate of Muslim membership is noted to be faster than the expected increase in global population.

Aside from global migration, research shows that such rapid increase can be attributed to the higher fertility rates and a generally younger population among Muslims. In Islamic law and tradition, men and women usually have and even allowed to have higher number of children. And the median age among Muslims in 2010 was 23 making women at their best child-bearing stage.

Contrary to popular knowledge, bulk of the Muslim population is not situated in the Middle East and North African regions. It’s in big Asian countries like Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, etc. Though India is a majority Hindu country, it will soon have the largest Muslim population of 300 million by 2050.

In the United States, only 0.9% of the population or 1.8 million adults are Muslims. This number is projected to increase into 2.1% by 2050. 63% of the Muslim population in the country is a result of migration.

On key Islamic beliefs

There are two main subgroups within the Islam religion; the Sunnis and the Shias. On key Islamic principles like the idea of one God and on the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, all Muslims around the world whether Sunnis or Shias are united. But in terms of certain beliefs and practices, the two subgroups often disagree. Except for countries like Iran, Iraq and Lebanon, most states usually have a predominantly Sunni population.

In the United States, majority of Muslim Americans say that practicing their religion is an important part of daily life. Most Muslims in the country have non-Muslim friends. And when it comes to politics, they are inclined to support the Democratic Party over the Republican. They also feel that Muslim leaders are not doing enough in condemning Islamic extremism.

Muslims views on ISIS

It’s important to note that all throughout the Islamic world, majority of Muslims condemn and don’t favor the extremist views of ISIS. 94% of Jordanians say that ISIS actions are unjustifiable. In Nigeria, it’s 86% and in the U.S., 86% of American Muslims view ISIS in a negative way. Similar to Western nations, Muslim countries also see ISIS as a major threat. Among the most concerned countries include Lebanon and Nigeria.

On Western perception of Muslims and vice versa

Study results show that the relationship between Westerners and Muslims is bad or on the negative side. Americans have a rather cold attitude towards Muslims in the same manner as to how they treat atheists. In Europe, perception on Muslims is generally positive in France, United Kingdom and Germany. Poles and Italians on the other hand are most critical to Muslims.

In another survey conducted, majority of Muslim respondents consider Westerners to be selfish, violent, greedy, immoral, arrogant, and fanatical.

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