August 08, 2005


A random comment in my blog prompted me to write this post:

Please send me a statement that a person does not have to be an arab to embrace Islam. My friend tells me that only Arabs can be Muslim. DOROTHY WARD 08.08.05 - 10:01 am #

My reply was:

Well Dorothy, you tell your friend that Muslims represent 27% of world population. And a major portion of that are non-Arabs. They are the living examples proving your friend's claim wrong. If he requires more proof then he can try this link.

Jokes apart, I think many need to have a clear understanding of the demographics of the Muslim world. From this table, we find that 60% of the world population lives in Asia and naturally the percentage of Muslims are also high in this continent (68% of world Muslim population). But what is the demographics of this population? According to Wikipedia, there are 284.4 million Muslims in Arab League including Iraq. That means roughly 19% of total Muslim population are Arabs (in broad sense). There are 260 million Muslims in Pakistan & Bangladesh (I wish there were separate stat available because there is a vast difference between cultures and practices of both the countries), 254 million Muslims in Sub-Saharan Africa and 209 million Muslims in Indonesia making up the other large clusters.

So we need to understand that it would be wrong to generalize all the Muslims on the basis of one of the cluster above.


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