Followers of Islam pray during Ramadan

Prominent scholar and professor Reza Aslan has urged people to not to associate Islam solely with third-world nations ravaged by terrorism.


You’ve probably heard that Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion. But what does that really mean? Well, according to Pew Research Center, it means Islam will soon hold the title of largest religion on Earth. In fact, projections indicate that by mid-century (2050), there will be just as many Muslims in the world as Christians. By the end of the century, Muslims will comfortably outnumber Christians as the majority religious population on the planet.

What’s Causing the Growth?Islam is growing partly due to larger families.

Researchers point to a number of factors for the Islamic boom. For one, Muslims have the lowest median age of all religious groups. This means that many more Muslim couples are starting families and raising children than their Christian counterparts.

Islam is also the dominant faith in underdeveloped areas of the world – places that rely on larger families for agriculture or labor. The birth rates in such countries tends to be much higher, resulting in more babies. Finally, children born into Muslim families are more likely to adopt their parents’ faith than, say, a child born to Christians in the United States or Europe.

All of these factors are putting Islam on track to outgrow Christianity.

Muslim Misconceptions

All too often, people picture the average Muslim as an inhabitant of a war-torn country somewhere in the Middle East. In reality, only a fraction of the world’s Muslim population lives in the Middle East. It can be easy to forget—especially if you live in the United States—that over 23% of the entire population on Earth follows the Islamic faith. That’s roughly 1.6 billion people!

Prominent scholar and professor Reza Aslan has urged people to not to associate Islam solely with third-world nations ravaged by terrorism. Places like Bangladesh and Indonesia, for example, have thriving economies and successful working governments. They are both Muslim-majority countries.

Migrants jockey for spots on a train headed for Europe

Refugees jockeying for position to board a train headed for Europe

Refugee Crisis

However, there is no ignoring the fact that millions of Muslims have become refugees as war and violence force them to leave their home countries. Many have fled to Europe. Some have come to the United States. While many nations have provided aid and taken in refugees, it seems that the crisis is no closer to being solved.

Analysis by Pew Research projects that the population of Europe will be 10% Muslim by 2050. The Muslim population in the United States will double during the same time period.

Proponents of admitting refugees argue that they need to go somewhere, and refusing them entry into Western countries is a heartless slap in the face. Others argue the issue is not so simple. Muslim immigrants, they say, bring along cultural and religious values which are closely intertwined and often at odds with Western values – making their integration into society extremely difficult.

Humanity vs. Security

Of course, the potential problems are not just cultural in nature. Islamic extremists have committed countless acts of terror in countries all around the world. This has led to growing concerns about providing safe-haven for Muslim refugees. Although efforts are made to weed out potentially dangerous refugees, many have come to wonder if “vetting” refugees for ties to extremism is even possible.

What Next?

The issue essentially boils down to this: supporters argue that not only can we afford to take these people in, but we have a duty to do so. Opponents insist it is too risky, and will likely have long-term negative consequences for our communities.

So, will taking in Muslim refugees help or hurt Western countries? Do we have an obligation to help our brothers and sisters around the world, or should we let them deal with the problems themselves? We’d like to hear your thoughts on the issue.

 

16 comments

  1. Marcel French says:

    Terrorism exists in all main stream religions. And the only way to get rid of it is to disband all main stream religions.

    1. Nasir HOLLOWAY says:

      If that was done, would that solve anything? Wouldn’t people still want to cause harm to another person?
      To disband all religions would with the expecting that it would remove all terrorists would be equal to saying that atheists are all peaceful loving people. That there are no atheists in prison or belong to a terror cell of some sort.
      Terror and creed comes from the heart of a person, not his or her convictions in a God.

  2. Nasir HOLLOWAY says:

    We as human beings have an obligation to care for the needy but should we judge those in need by their creed, race or personal convictions on whom God is or is not?
    Islam is not what the news portrays us to be. The majority of Muslims follow peaceful ways which is taught in the Qur’an and Sunnah of the last prophet. Sadly, there are negative people out there currently stating that they follow Islam however this is further from the truth.
    I also understand atheists have a quarrel against any religion. This is not against any particular faith. Terrorism has it’s foot in creed and power. Those two useful aspects control the majority of the world and if you own those, you can control the inept.
    Islam has contributed much to the American life. There are many hundred Muslim men and women on the NYC police force and in the local and federal politics of this country.
    They created Algebra. And much more. Congress has recognized Muhammad, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, as one of the worlds best political leaders and generals.
    So there is much that we Muslims do for the good of humanity. Please do not judge us without knowing what we actually believe in first. Get to know a Muslim or call a Mosque.

    1. Memirsbrunnr@RobV (@Memirsbrunnr) says:

      I tend to disagree with your extremely rose coloured views on the claimed academic achievements of islam. Islam has been extremely good in claiming all kinds of inventions of others by its own. Many islamic inventions have been made despite islamic totalitarian thought control, instead of stimulated by it. Even then, it is highly suspect that the islamic world have to go back all the way to its beginning to come up with claims of progress made by islam. If islam is so inductive to scientific progress, why is it that the whole of the islamic world has made less progress in the last 50 years in science than e.g. Israel makes in one year? Or that scientific and mental progress have essentially halted snce the middle ages, when Baibars barbarism stopped islam full in its scientific tracks.. In my view Islam has however been extremely good in in presenting and parading in other birds feathers as their own. The islamic world itself did not do much else then conserve knowledge, yes there was a time that islam burned less books then christianity, but that has been in the past for a long time.
      Amazing how you and your fellow muslims see your prophet Mohammed as the perfect being. What kind of God you are worshipping that a person, Tht in his trader, warlord, deceiver life went about falsely feigning to be nice in his early Mecca period his hippy period, then fled. And when he gained power in Medina did nothing but murder, pillage, and commit genocide. Traded in slaves, exchanged women amongst friends, killed a jewish man and forced the widow to marry him, married multiple girls, kept sex slaves, kept normal slaves , but made a law excluding muslims from slavery, but anyone else goes. Married a girl at 6 raped her at 9. etc etc etc.

      And yet this is the best most shining person ever to walk the earth.. The washing of the brain is strong in islam..

      1. JurZeeJoe says:

        DITTO!! I agree with you 110%

    2. JurZeeJoe says:

      In terms of your commentary, “I also understand atheists have a quarrel against any religion” You need to realize that atheists do not car about religion. Just do not want to have it forced upon them. The quarrel is not about ‘people believing in fairy tales’ just only when they try to enforce the mythology upon the others. Allah, Jesus, Zeus, and Shinto are really no different than Superman, Batman, Flash, or The Fantastic Four. It is just that those fictional characters are identified as such by one and all as made-yp imaginary unlike those delegated to ‘holy texts.’

  3. Brother Bill says:

    Unfortunately, all peaceful ways listed in the Qur’an were abrogated by war like terroristic verses that came later. That is what most people fail to understand. When two verses contradict each other, the later verses. The earlier verses do not exist.
    Sorry, Nadir, but Islam did not create algebra. The name algebra is Arabic, but the Hindus discovered the principles of algebra much earlier. I have yet to see any real proof that Muslims do any good for humanity.
    Terror is part and parcel in Islam. The verse of the sword commands Muslims to kill Jews, and non-muslims. It was one of the last verses quoted by Mohammed, therefore all Muslims are obligated to kill non-muslims, as Mohammed was the “perfect man”.
    Please tell us the truth, instead of the normal lies told by groups like CAIR.

    1. Roy Patterson says:

      THANK YOU, BOTHER BILL FOR TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT ISLAM. MY VIEW IS ISLAM IS THE DEVIL’S RELIGION.

  4. Robert says:

    lets see, a religion that preaches death to anyone who does not follow it, they blow each other up and any one else that does not go along with their program they behead people which makes them barbaric at the lest, yeah i am Islamophobic

  5. Rev. Theo.Klebes says:

    I have several Muslims that are my friends. They call themselves progressives and do not follow what I call extremists. They do not follow the antiquated Sharia Law. My friends have brought their religion into the 21st century. There are many good Muslims in the world who condemn the atrocities of extremists using the name of their religion to create their jihad against western cultures. The extremists are a minority. We all agree that “Blessed are the Peacemakers”.

    1. JurZeeJoe says:

      However, do also know that if the followers of meKKKah ever get control, you, as a leader of another fayth, will be numero uno executed. The Hagia Sophia is no longer a basilica. Why? AMEN

    2. Roy Patterson says:

      iF THE EXTREMISTS ARE ARE A MINORITY, THAN WHY DOESN’T THE LARGE,, LARGE MAJORITY STAND UP AND STOP THEIR MURDERING AND KILLING.??? BECAUSE MOST MUSLIMS AGREE WITH THE RADICALS. ACTIONS ALWAYS MEAN MORE THAN WORDS.

  6. shiningwolf9 says:

    Shining Wolf here. I do not disavow what has been written here against Islam and their prophet, but the same things can be said about the old testament. Both people came from the same prophet, Abraham. The same god spoke with their people over generations, (supposedly), through prophets and priests, many times telling them to kill men, women, children and animals. Adultery, Drunkenness, Lying, Killing, etc. has been both, performed by Men, and demanded by their god. I see no difference. And for those who think this nation of the U.S. has been founded upon christianism, think again; using the shield of Christ as a gateway to sin, christians killing christians, christians killing and enslaving the First People of this continent, later enslaving those from Africa and other countries. Treating other people, Chinese, Japanese, Irish, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. in ways not befitting their christian teachings. Should I go on? Man has found ways to control their fellow man, whether by way of religion, politics, a “marriage” of the two, or by mere charisma, destroying peoples, countries, cultures. So, tell, me where is the difference, and where and when will it stop?

    1. Roy Patterson says:

      YOU ARE RIGHT ABOUT THE OLD TESTAMENT, BUT DO YOU SEE ANY JEWS MURDERING AND KILLING.THE ONLY ONES YOU SEE DOING THIS ARE MUSLIN’S FOLLOWING THE QURAN

  7. JurZeeJoe says:

    iz-SLUM IS THE RELIGION OF VIOLENCE!!! since 632 along with 1453, 1667, and 9/11 I cannot think of anything of kind value from that dreadful fayth. From the back bedroom window of my childhood’s home in Jersey City, I, literally, watched THE Trade Centers get built. Also, on my way to work, I saw them get destroyed and the despicable day. Furthermore, as a Gay person, I know that under the beeleefs of meKKKah; death is all they would want me to get. Yes, all regions are a waste but those coming from that dreadful desert place is the most despicable bare none. This devoted and faithful Democrat *only* agree with tRUMP on the matter of checking those people of violence before they come in and set up a caliph in my state (and country). Keep them all in the sand, where they belong. AMEN!

  8. Paul HoogeveenPau says:

    I am not nearly so disturbed by the small minority of people in this world who choose Islamic extremism as an expedient for their desires to lash out at the world, as I am by the readiness with which so many otherwise rational people are so easily led down the path of meeting hate with hate in kind.

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