In the wake of the recently Charlie Hebdo Paris attacks, before blaming Islam and questioning its preaching, certain facts should be taken into consideration. It is important to know the total number of Muslims in the world, how do their beliefs vary country to country and how many Muslims actually believe in the concepts that contrast modernity.
Shared are eight key facts that should ground the debates related to Islam and its preaching:
1. 23% of the people in the world are Muslims. That means that there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. Barring a minor percentage, none of them have committed any act of terror or have not been involved in any extremist activity. It is absolutely safe to state that most of the Muslims are peaceful and also that every Muslim alive bears no direct responsibility for terrorist activities.
According to a research, more Muslims live in Asia as compared to the Middle East. Pakistan and India have around 350 million Muslims. The Middle East – North Africa area has 317 million Muslims. A total of 43 million Muslims are present in Europe and 3.5 million in the United States. There are more Muslims in Indonesia than any other country in the world, however, it is expected that Pakistan will have that distinction by 2030.
2. The Muslims in Europe are more flexible on Sharia Law. 84% of Muslims in South Asia, 77% Muslims in Southeast Asia and 74% of Muslims in Middle East and North Africa are of an opinion that Sharia law should be official law in their countries. Only 18% of the Muslims in Europe are of an opinion that Sharia Law should be practiced in addition to the present law.
3. Few of the Muslims, including the ones who engage themselves in the acts of terrorism are immersed in an environment that allows and feeds core beliefs they give as reasons for their actions. For example: 2.3% of Muslims living in Europe are of an opinion that people who leave the Muslim faith should be executed. On the other hand, 63% of Muslims in South Asia think likewise, about 44% of Muslims living in the Middle East share the same belief, and around 20% Muslims in Southeast Asia are of the same opinion.
4. Only about 10% of the Muslim population worldwide support and approve of religiously motivated violence against civilians in at least few contexts. According to the most accurate polling of Muslim beliefs, that is about 195 million.
However, no polling or data was found on the percentage of Christians and Jews who support violence against civilians for violations of religious principals. Before drawing the conclusion about the exclusiveness of Islam in the modern world, other religions should also be assessed. Did a considerable number of Catholic minorities support Irish Republican Army violence? Did they condone it, at least?
5. One of the most tragic, yet undeniable truth is that the vast majority of the victims of Islamic terrorism are fellow Muslims.
6. The odds that a European or an American, belonging to any faith, will get victimized by an Islamic extremist are significantly small.
7. Apparently, people still debate on topic that how much Muslims support women’s rights. 44% of Muslims in Europe believe that women at all times should submit to their husbands, however, 88% think that women should choose for themselves if they should wear a veil in public or not. Outside of Europe, a wide majority of Muslims are of the belief that women should obey their husbands and wear their veils in public. On other societal issues, such as: suicide, homosexuality, extramarital sex, and divorce, practicing Muslims all around the world are uniformly conservative.
8. The truth of Islamic faith is interpreted differently in different geographical regions. Out of 39 countries survey, in 32 countries Muslims say there is only one right way to comprehend the principles and teachings of Islam. Approximately, about six in ten Muslims believe that there are many ways to interpret Islam, in the United States of America.
Before concluding that Islam encourages terrorism, or Muslims are terrorists, or that Islamic extremism is an external threat to modernity, one should study Islam and look at the statistics which prove otherwise.
Featured Image Courtesy: Muslim Academy