Islam: Not The Fastest Growing Religion In The World (and other Myths of Islam)

One very popular online myth and urban legend is that of Islam being the fastest growing religion in the world. I have spent some time examining the sources, especially those shown by Islamic groups and websites to prove the claim. However, my conclusions using their own and independently verifiable sources is something very different to this claim.

With Islam it seems to be – if you repeat a lie enough times it will be believed.

Another notable examples of this:

Neil Armstrong – first man to walk on the moon.

A few years ago some Muslims wishing to gain converts created another story for proselytization purposes. One of them includes Neil Armstrong. The myth as propagated by scores of Islamic websites is that while on the moon Neil and others heard the Islamic call to prayer. While visiting Egypt he again heard this same call to prayer and immediately converted to Islam saying that it was the same call to prayer he heard on the moon. (Another myth goes that he also saw the Qur’an floating around on the moon).

To back up this ‘creative truth’ Muslims have also invented fake transcripts and countless other documents including fake references to Neil’s biography. However, the facts of the matter according to Neil Armstrong himself:

1) He did not hear the call to prayer on the moon

2) He did not convert to Islam

He makes reference to this countless times and the US State Department also released a memo to embassies worldwide informing them that Neil was not interested in hosting or being a guest to Islamic events and that he has not nor has intentions of converting to Islam.

Anyway, back to the issue at hand. I found a very good article explaining why Islam is not the fastest growing religion in the world and I will copy from it.
(www.FastestGrowingReligion.tk)

Conclusion
From the statistics available we can cleary see that the fastest growing religion in the world in real terms is Christianity. Where Islam gains 23 Million new adherents annually, Christianity gained 30 Million new adherents in that same period. Thus, Christianity is the fastest growing religion in the world.
In terms of the question of  gaining the most religions by conversions, again that title goes to Christianity. By converisons from other religions, Christianity tends to be the most effective by a long shot with over 2 Million conversions followed by the 800,000 conversions recorded by Islam in that period.
Another interesting part of the article is the systematic destruction of some fake sources used by Muslims to claim that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world.
Additional Information – Dispelling the Myths
Claims:


1. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. FALSE
Islam is neither the fastest growing religion in the world by  precentage growth or real person growth.
2. Buddhism is the fastest growing religion in the world. FALSE
Although Buddhism is emerging in the Western world it is not the fastest growing religion in the world.
3. The world is converting to Islam faster than any other religion. FALSE
In terms of conversions Islam performs very poorly. The growth of Islam is attributed to higher birth rates in areas where it is dominant.
4. Christianity is the fastest growing religion in the world. TRUE
By real term growth, Christianity is the fastest growing religion in the world.

Misleading Sources Explained
Currently, many Muslim websites spread the claim that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. These websites usually provide no explanation to these claims or occasioanlly provide loose and unveriifiable media quotes.
This source provides no statistical evidence to the claim that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. The only allusion to the claim is “The second-largest religion in the world after Christianity, Islam is also the fastest-growing religion.” However, the data proves this claim to be wrong and as a media quote it holds no evidential weight.
2. ABC NEWS Quote
As the quote and citation appears on various sites: “Already more than a billion-people strong, Islam is the world’s fastest-growing religion”. [ABCNEWS, Abcnews.com]

No such quote exists today on the abcnews.com website.
3. 60 Minutes Quote
As the quote appears and is cited: “The Religion of Islam is growing faster than any other religion in the world.” [MIKE WALLACE, 60 MINUTES]
No evidence is provided to support the claim and it is merely a media quote. Again, no reason for this quote to be taken seriously in determining the fastest growing religion.
4. Islamicweb.com estimated that in  2000 there would be 1.9Billion Muslims in the world
False claims like this are one of the reasons why Islam is believed to be the fastest growing religion in the world. The facts of the matter is that the most liberal estimated of the amount of Muslims in 2000 was 1.1-1.2 Billion. Today the world population of Muslims is only at 1.3 Billion.
5. Arabnews article: Islam ‘ fastest growing faith in Australia (Appearing on islamawareness.net)

Although the article is named and used to claim that Islam is the fastest growing religion in Australia, the article itself paints no such picture. The article states that, “Today, Islam is one of the fastest growing faiths in Australia” and makes no claim to it being the fastest growing religion in Australia. Although statistics are provided they do not lead to the conclusion that Islam is the fastest growing religion in Australia as the title claims.
6. ABC Transcript: “Fastest-Growing Religion Often Misunderstood” (Appearing on islamawareness.net)
This article never states that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world nor does it provide evidence alluding to such a claim.
7. People’s Daily Online: OIC official: “Islam shows fastest growing religion on earth”
Other than a representative of Organization of Islamic Conference  allegedly making the claim, a quote nor any proof is brought up.
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Blaming Others (Farooq Sulehria)

The Amnesty International report on human rights for the year 2007 is out. The Muslim world constitutes, as usual, bleakest chapter. Every single country across the Muslim world has been pointed out by the Amnesty International either for executions and torture or discrimination against women and ethnic and religious minorities. Punishments never handed down even during the Stone Age, have been awarded in 21st century Muslim world. In one case, two Saudi nationals were awarded 7,000 lashes. Yes, 7,000. And executions? Well, 335 in Iran, 158 in Saudi Arabia and 135 in Pakistan. Violation of human rights, it seems, is the only thing that unites the otherwise divided Muslim world.

The report is no exception. The Muslim world cuts a sorry figure every time a global watchdog releases its findings. Freedom of expression here remains curtailed, Reporters Sans Frontieres annually reports. Regarding freedom of expression, there is a joke often told in Arab world. At a meeting, a US journalist says: “We have complete freedom of expression in the US. We can criticise the US president as much as we like.” The Arab journalist replies. “We also have complete freedom of expression in Arab world. We can also criticise the US president as much as we like.”

Similarly, it is either Bangladesh or Pakistan or Nigeria which is on top of Transparency International’s corruption indexes. However, when Nobel laureates gather in Stockholm every December, Muslim scientists and writers are conspicuous by their absence. In case, as Naguib Mahfouz is crowned, he is stabbed and rendered paralysed. The irony, or tragedy, is that his attacker had not even read his excellent books. Or we disown Dr Abdul Salam just because he belonged to the Ahmadiya community. Salam’s case deserves special mention since it underlines the absurdity that characterises this part of the world.

When all else fails, “Jews” and “Christian” West are there to lay the blame for all our ills. Conspiracy theories instead of scientific, rational thought holds sway across much of the Muslim world. And every time a rights abuse is highlighted in Iran, Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, a typical Muslim answer is: Look at Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Chechnya. True, imperialism and Zionism have a hand in our predicament. However, there are many wounds one can only describe as self-inflicted.

Take, for instance, the Iran-Iraq war, one of the last century’s bloodiest conflicts. There is no denying the fact that the United States backed the Saddam regime. But it was the Arab sheikhdoms, panicked at the Iranian revolution, that stoked the flames of war. And, ironically, now in the post-Saddam era when the “Christian” West has written off Iraq’s Saddam-era debt worth $66 billion, Iraq’s Arab brothers refuse to write off that country’s $67 billion loans.

Similarly, last century’s bloodiest Muslim genocide was not carried out by Serbs, Israelis, Americans, Europeans or Hindus. It was Pakistan’s military that refused to respect a democratic verdict and plunged East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, into an ocean of blood. Millions were killed, maimed, raped and rendered homeless. Luckily, Pakistan has a “Hindu” neighbour. “Hindus are born enemies of Islam’. Hence, Pakistani children are now taught that a Bengali traitor (revered by Bengalis as founder of Bangladesh), in connivance with our “Hindu” neighbour, dismembered Pakistan. Ironically, of all her South Asian neighbours, Pakistan enjoys most cordial relations with the world’s only Hindu state, Nepal. The other big genocide was perpetrated by Indonesia. The target was: its own citizens who were members of the Communist Party.

Figures are not available but Israel perhaps cannot match Iran in executing Arabs. Iran’s confessional regime is a champion of the Arab cause in Occupied Territories but Arabs of its Khuzestan province are regularly sent to the gallows. Seizing the opportunity, one may also point out how only recently Afghan refugees were driven out of Iran as if Afghan refugees were not as Muslim as Palestinians. And, by the way in the fallen “Emirate of Afghanistan” itself, Hazaras were slaughtered by the Taliban in their thousands almost a decade ago – mainly because Hazaras are Shia. In Iraq, more people have been killed in Shia-Sunni clashes than in resisting the US occupation. Shia-Sunni clashes in Pakistan have claimed more lives than those lost in its wars against India. Ironically, this only “nuclear power” of the Muslim world is not being occupied on its eastern front by its “Hindu” neighbour but is losing territory on its western front to its own citizens.

One can mention from the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait to the recent Hamas-Fatah infighting (a shameful tribute to Israel on its 60th anniversary). The list is long. Indeed, unending. However, the solution to all our problems is always simple: return to an imagined past which, mercifully for the people of the seventh century, never existed. Every time, a scientist in the West is ready with an invention, our readymade answer is: we knew about it 1,400 years ago what the West has found only now. We kill Theo van Gogh when confronted with a film. We burn down our own cities in response to a blasphemous and racist caricature. Still, we refuse to understand that our answer to every “provocation” is either a fatwa or mindless violence – perhaps because creativity is anathema to us. Not because we lack fertile minds, but because we lack liberation and freedom — liberation from self-imposed mental, moral, and cultural censors. And freedom to think and express. Time to heed the great Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani, who said:

Five thousand years

Growing beards

In our caves.

Our currency is unknown,

Our eyes are a haven for flies.

Friends,

Smash the doors,

Wash your brains,

Wash your clothes.

Friends,

Read a book,

Write a book,

Grow words, pomegranates and grapes,

Sail to the country of fog and snow.

Nobody knows you exist in caves.

People take you for a breed of mongrels.

This great article appeared in the The News International:
http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=118852