|Links: Pages on Islam, Other Religions|
|Texts||Qur'an and Hadiths|
|Afterlife||Heaven or hell|
|Area of Origin||Saudi Arabia|
|Founder||By Muhammad in 610CE|
|Numbers in the UK (Census results)|
|2001||1.547 million||2011||2.7 million|
|Muslims Worldwide (Pew & WM)|
|World: 20.1%. Tunisia (99%), Afghanistan (99%), Western Sahara (99%), Yemen (99%), Morocco (99%), Mauritania (99%), Somalia (99%), Iraq (99%), Iran (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. 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)3. 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.
Islam and Society
Growing Fundamentalism in Islam: How Moderates are Subjugated by Muslim HardlinersIslam and the West: Pluralism, Immigration and DangerIslam versus Unbelievers: Convert, Subjugate or DieThe Islamic Religion is Often Mixed With Cultural PracticesIslamophobia: Anti-Muslim Racism Versus 'The Race Card'
Islam and Antisemitism: High Rates of Muslim Racism Against JewsApostasy: Thought Crime in Judaism, Christianity and IslamAbraham's Attempted Sacrifice of His Son Isaac: Genesis 22:1-18 and Qur'an 37:99-113Islam and WomenThe Battle Between Monotheism and Homosexuality: Religious Prejudice Versus Equality: 5. IslamAnimal Sacrifice and Blood Rituals in Traditional World Religions and in Satanism: Islam has detailed rituals involving animal sacrifice
The Foundations of Islam in Paganism (2016)Satan and The Devil in World Religions: 2.4. Islam (Shaitan, Iblis)God's Methods of Communication: Universal Truth Versus Hebrew and Arabic: 8. IslamHow to Pray in Islam, According to the Qur'anWhy Do Women Have to Cover Their Hair in Judaism, Christianity and Islam?The Qur'an is Incomplete and Untrustworthy Homocentricity in Islam
Monotheism and Free Will: God, Determinism and Fate: The Quran teaches strict determinism, with no free will to choose to believe and be saved unless God already ordained it, before time beganUniversalism: If there is a Good God, Everyone Must Go to Heaven: 8. Islam: Many Remain in the Evil Abode for EternityPascal's Wager is Safer in Reverse: Picking a Religion is Dangerous Business: 3.2. The Islamic Qur'an - Worshipping the Wrong God is a Ticket to Hell
|Social & Moral|
(Lower is better)
Muslim countries' average life expectancy at birth (67.3yrs) is close to the global average (70.0yrs).6
Muslim countries' average fertility rate is 3.32, compared with the global average of 2.81. Values above 2.1 cause population growth, putting further strain on the Earth's resources. See: The Overpopulation of the Earth and the Demographics Crises: The Impact on Pensions and Immigration.7
Muslim countries' are poorer than the global average Gross National Income (per capita) of $12 703, with an average GNI of $10 619.8
When it comes to tolerance of homosexuality and LGBT rights, Muslims' countries are even worse than the global average, scoring -107.3 on the Social and Moral Development Index LGBT component compared with the global average of -7.3.
One set of global figures from 2010 from the Pew Research Centre and reported by The Economist were higher: 1.6 billion Muslims in 2010 (23.4% of the world), predicted to rise to 2.2 billion by 2030 (26.4%)10.
Population growth in the world is highest amongst the poor and the uneducated. Muslims have a disproportionate share of such people11, 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"10.
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. Translation by N. J. Dawood. Penguin Classics edition published by Penguin Group Ltd, London, UK. First published 1956, quotes taken from 1999 edition.
Breuilly, O'Brien & Palmer
(1997) Religions of the World. Subtitled "The Illustrated Guide to Origins, Beliefs, Traditions, & Festivals". By Elizabeth Breuilly, Joanne O'Brien & Martin Palmer. Hardback. Published for Transedition Limited and Fernleigh Books by Lionheart Books.
(2004) When Islam and Democracy Meet. 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. Published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. First published 2009.
EUMC. Published by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, Vienna, Austria.
(2006) Muslims in the European Union: Discrimination and Islamophobia.
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.
(2004, Ed.) Jealous Gods & Chosen People: The Mythology of the Middle East. Hardback. Published by Oxford University Press.
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.
(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.
(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.