How Many Muslims in the World?
Punish Mockers of the Prophet:
“We make a call from the podium of the Grand Mosque and the birthplace of Islam, on behalf of Muslims all over the world, that tough punishment should be imposed on those who make a mockery of the Prophet,” the imam said.I'll look for that "tough punishment" any day now. However, this is the more interesting statement from Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais:
"The repulsive cartoons depicting the Prophet have violated the sanctity of 1.5 billion Muslims around the world and their feelings."(Awww, puddin' did you get your little feelings hurt? Poor baby, Abdul.)
1.5 billion Muslims? Come on dude. Please. Every week I hear a higher estimate for this number. I get emails asking why I want to hurt the fragile feelings of 1.3 billion Muslims. I've seen 1.2 billion from the propagandists at CAIR. Remember each tenth of a billion equals 100 million people. These wild fluctuations in the "number of Muslims in the world" are in no way accurate. Where do they live? Let's look at the CIA Factbook which has July 2005 population estimates.
I'll start with the 'I' countries. Indonesia,241 million people, 88% Muslim. That's about 213 million. India, 1.08 billion people, 13.4% Muslims. That's about 145 million. Iran, 68 million people, 98% are some kind of Muslim. That's another 66.6 million. Iraq, 26 million people, 97% Muslim adds 25.3 to our count for a running total of 449 million Muslims. Where, oh where, are the other billion Muslims Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais?
Egypt: 77.5 million people, 94% are Muslims: 72.8 million. Turkey: 69.7 million, virtually all are Muslim. Pakistan: 162 million people, 97% Muslim: 157 million. Malaysia: 23.9 million people, about 51% are Muslim (but it is hard to tell) so let's round up and say 12.5 million Muslims. Nigeria: 128.7 million people, half are Muslim. Add another 64.4 million Muslims. These big countries add 382 million for a sub-total of 832 million Muslims. Holy overcount Sheikh! You're missing 670 million Muslims? Where can I find them?
Now we are counting loose change. Sudan: 40 million people, 70% Muslim - 28 million. Moroccon: almost all of its 32.7 million are Muslim. Likewise Afghanistan, 29.9 million, and Somalia, 8.6 million. Syria: 18.4 million people, 90% Muslim - 16.6 million. Libya: 5.7 million, 97% Muslim - 5.6 million. I'm running out of countries, Sheikh. Chad: 9.8 million people, half are Muslim - 4.9 million. China might add another 19.5 million but we are running on fumes here. Let's be generous and say Europe has 25 million and the US another 3 million. All these add 175 million Muslims.
Our total (drum roll please): 1.07 billion Muslims. That's right. The Sheikh is not even close. Let's say I missed a few million in central Asia, Thailand, Canada, Australia, etc. Let's say the CIA, as part of a plot to undermined the ummah, underestimates the figure. Sure, whatever. If this total is off by 10% that is still 1.114 billion. I'll go so far as to say that I'm off by 20% for a Big Total of 1.2 billion.
But let's get real. It's not 1.5 or even 1.3. Claims like this are just Islamist propaganda. I could just as easily claim there are 2.5 billion Christians and ask someone to disprove it. Any takers?
Update: A comenter pointed out that I forgot Bangladesh (add another 120 million Muslims) Algeria (32 million) and Tunisia (10 million). Thanks. But my larger point is that, even with these countries we are nowhere near the 1.5 billion the Sheikh claimed. Nor are we close to the 1.3 billion. Sure I forgot the 10 million in Mali but a few million here and there do not approach the clear errors of such wild exaggerated claims.
My point is that the Sheikh and CAIR and the various Islamist front organizations are not trying to provide accurate statistics about the Muslim population but are purposefully inflating these numbers as part of their propaganda efforts. They are not interested in facts but in the emotional shock value of huge, and unsupportable, figures.
Update with reply to Lindsay: I have counted less than 1.2 billion. Australia might account for another 3 million but there are virtually no Muslims in Japan. You are getting desperate to find these missing people who don't exist. Again, the point is that claims of 1.3, or 1.4 are exaggerated for political effect. And of course I am blindly accepting that every single human being that counts statistically as "Muslim" is in fact a believer and practitioners of the faith. But honestly we know that this is not true. There are atheists and disbelievers even in Iran and Egypt. Whether that reduces the number by 1% or .5% is debatable but it does reduce the number.
In short, there are not now nor have there ever been 1.5 billion believing Muslims alive on this earth. Period. Claims to the contrary are politically motivated and not based in fact.