North America

Survey reveals that most Muslims don’t live in the Middle East

US President Donald Trump’s recent executive order temporarily freezing immigration from seven Islamic nations has received wide criticism from many quarters, not least from a number of Christian non-profit agencies.

According to Pew Research (who tend to have the best diagrams, graphs and maps) these seven nations (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) make up about 12 per cent of the world’s Muslim population, leaving 88 per cent of the global Muslim population unaffected, writes writes Marcus Robert of Mercatornet.

“All of these nations from the Middle East-North Africa region contains only a fifth of the world’s Muslims. Based on 2010 figures, there are 1.6 billion Muslims (making it the second largest religious tradition in the world) with nearly 62 percent living in the Asia-Pacific.

“Two nations in the Asia-Pacific, India and Pakistan, by themselves are home to more Muslims than the entire Middle East-North Africa region. The two largest Muslim nations in the world by absolute numbers are both in the Asia-Pacific: Indonesia (209 million) and India (176 million).

“However, the reason why we might associate Islam with the Middle East or North Africa, is because this area of the globe is unarguably the most Muslim in the world in terms of proportion of the population. 93 per cent  of the people in this area are Muslim, whereas less than one per cent of the USA’s population is Muslim.

“In the decades ahead, the number of Muslims worldwide is expected to grow to 2.76 billion people, or just under 30 per cent of the world’s population. They will be more concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa (at 24% of the whole) while the share of the world’s Muslim population in the Asia-Pacific will decline to just under 53 per cent. The proportion of Muslims living in the Middle East-North Africa area will stay the same at about 20 per cent. In the USA meanwhile, the proportion of the population that is Muslim is expected to double by 2050.”