Islam: A Critical Look at Contemporary Issues

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Islam
Links: Pages on Islam, Other Religions
God(s)Atheist / Monotheist / Polytheist / Other
AdherentMuslim
AdherentsMuslims
TextsQur'an and Hadiths
AfterlifeHeaven or hell
Founding
HeritageJudaism
Area of OriginSaudi Arabia
FounderBy Muhammad in 610CE
Numbers in the UK (Census results)
20011.547 million20112.7 million
Muslims Worldwide (Pew & WM)
World: 20.1%. Somalia (99%), Tunisia (99%), Iran (99%), Iraq (99%), Morocco (99%), Western Sahara (99%), Yemen (99%), Afghanistan (99%), Mauritania (99%), Mayotte (98.6%) 1

Islam is a monotheistic religion based on the revelations of prophet Muhammad as recorded in the Qur'an. The religion was founded in Mecca and Medina in present-day Saudi Arabia. 'Allah' is simply the Arabic word for 'God'. Islam is counted as one of the great world religions2,3. Whilst Europe went through its dark ages of Christian fundamentalism Islam went through a relatively enlightened era, retaining some scientific knowledge, translating some Greek texts and developing maths. But the colonial era saw a resurgent Europe come to rule all 42 Muslim countries (except 4)4. This caused long-term resentment and Muslim cultures still retain an anti-Western outlook that is versed in anti-imperialism. Islam is going through its own dark ages; some signs are that things are continuing to get worse, whilst in some places there are signs of a creeping secularism.


1. Main Pages on Islam

2. Numbers of Muslims Around the World, by Country

TOP 202011
Pew Forum
1
2005
Worldmapper
5
Social & Moral
Development Index

(Lower is better)
1Afghanistan99%99.5%191
2Western Sahara99%99.4%
3Mauritania99%99.1%186
4Somalia99%99%190
5Tunisia99%99%105
6Yemen99%98.9%187
7Morocco99%98.5%125
8Iran99%98.3%155
9Iraq99%96.7%185
10Mayotte98.6%
11Maldives98.4%98.4%60
12Niger98.4%90.4%182
13Comoros98.3%98.3%151
14Turkey98%97.4%106
15Algeria97.9%96.8%137
16Palestine97.6%79.9%146
17Jordan97.2%93.9%111
18Djibouti96.9%96.9%162
19Azerbaijan96.9%87%108
20Tajikistan96.7%84%126
World20.1%
Data Source

The population of 49 countries are mostly Muslim (2011)1. In 2003 a different count placed the number at 446. Comparing those 49 country(ies) to the rest of the world:

Population growth in the world is highest amongst the poor and the uneducated. Muslims have a disproportionate share of such people12, so their numbers are rising. Factors such as war and instability in the Middle East keep the reproduction rate higher. But this will not continue indefinitely. The Muslim world is slowly aging. "In 1990 Islam's share of the world's youth was 20%; in 2010, 26%. In 2030 it will be 29% (of 15-29-year-olds)". But on average, Muslims are starting to age. "The media age in Muslim-majority countries was 19 in 1990. It is 24 now, and will be 30 by 2030. (For French, Germans and Japanese the figure is 40 or over.) This suggests Muslim numbers will ultimately stop climbing, but later than the rest of the population"11.

By Vexen Crabtree 2006
(Last Modified: 2016 Dec 08)
http://www.humanreligions.info/islam.html
Parent page: Single God Religions (Monotheism)

References: (What's this?)

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The Economist. Published by The Economist Group, Ltd. A weekly newspaper in magazine format, famed for its accuracy, wide scope and intelligent content. See vexen.co.uk/references.html#Economist for some commentary on this source..

The Koran. Penguin Classics edition. Originally published 1956. Current version published by Penguin Group Ltd, London, UK. Translation by N. J. Dawood. Quotes taken from 1999 edition.

Breuilly, O'Brien & Palmer
(1997) Religions of the World. Hardback book. Subtitled: "The Illustrated Guide to Origins, Beliefs, Traditions, & Festivals". Published by Lionheart Books. By Elizabeth Breuilly, Joanne O'Brien & Martin Palmer. Published for Transedition Limited and Fernleigh Books.

Cesari, Jocelyne
(2004) When Islam and Democracy Meet. Paperback book. Published by Palgrave Macmillan, New York, USA.

Clarke, Peter B.. Peter B. Clarke: Professor Emeritus of the History and Sociology of Religion, King's College, University of London, and currently Professor in the Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford, UK.
(2011) The Oxford Handbook of The Sociology of Religion. Paperback book. Originally published 2009. Current version published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

EUMC. Published by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, Vienna, Austria.
(2006) Muslims in the European Union: Discrimination and Islamophobia. Paperback book.

Grim & Finke. Dr Grim is senior researcher in religion and world affairs at the Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C, USA. Finke is Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies at the Pennsylvania State University.
(2011) The Price of Freedom Denied. E-book. Subtitled: "Religious Persecution and Conflict in the Twenty-First Century". Amazon Kindle digital edition. Published by Cambridge University Press, UK.

Hefner, Robert W.
(2011) Religion and Modernity Worldwide. This essay is chapter 8 of "The Oxford Handbook of The Sociology of Religion" by Peter B. Clarke (2011) (pages 152-171).

Kurtz, Lester R.
(2007) Gods in the Global Village. 2nd edition. Published by Pine Forge Press, California, USA. Was previously Director of Religious Studies at Texas and holds a master's in Religion from Yale Divinity School and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Chicago. Kurtz is Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas, USA.

Leeming, David
(2004, Ed.) Jealous Gods & Chosen People: The Mythology of the Middle East. Hardback book. Published by Oxford University Press.

Lunde, Paul
(2003) Islam: A Brief History. Paperback book. Revised edition. Originally published in UK in 2002. Current version published by Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd, London, UK.

Murray et al.
(2009) Hammond Atlas of World Religions. Hardback book. Published by Hammond World Atlas Corporation, Langenscheidt Publishing Group, New York, USA. Contributing authors: Stuart A.P. Murray; Robert Huber; Elizabeth Mechem; Sarah Novak; Devid West Reynolds, PhD; Tricia Wright; Thomas Cussans.

Pew Forum. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
(2012) The Global Religious Landscape: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Major Religious Groups as of 2010. Published 2012 Dec 18, accessed online 2013 May 01.

United Nations
(2013) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. Published on the United Nation's HDR website at hdr.undp.org/.../hdr2013/ (accessed throughout 2013). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.

Worldmapper
(2008) Worldmapper Datasets 551-582: Religion. Worldmapper Datasets 551-582: Religion (2008 Mar 26) on worldmapper.org/.../religion_data.xls, accessed 2013 Nov 11. Authored by John Protchard, published by SASI, University of Shieffield. Data is for year 2005, with some datasets being edited from original sources to remove the effects of double-counting, and, adjusting for population changes between 2002 and 2005.

Footnotes

  1. Pew (2012) .^^
  2. "Religions of the World" by Breuilly, O'Brien & Palmer (1997) counts Islam amongst 10 world religions, devoting a chapter to each.^
  3. Murray et al. (2009) p.v . Islam is listed as one of the 11 major religions of the world.^
  4. Kurtz (2007) p165. Added to this page on 2016 Dec 08.^
  5. Worldmapper (2008) .^
  6. Lunde (2003) p8.^
  7. UN (2013) Table 1 provides Life Expectancy At Birth for all countries.^
  8. UN (2013) Table 14.^
  9. UN (2013) Table 1.^
  10. UN (2013) Table 4.^
  11. 2011 and 2030 stats from The Economist (2011 Jan 29) p58. The article references "The Future of the Global Muslim Population" produced by the Pew Research Centre. The EUMC reported in 2006 in Muslims in the European Union: Discrimination and Islamophobia p8, that the European Muslim population was around 13 million, around 3.5 percent of the total population of the European Union, based on a sum of country data, some of which are unofficial data & estimates.^
  12. Cesari (2004) p23-25.^

© 2017 Vexen Crabtree. All rights reserved.