Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Big Government, Big Health, Big Spending—Why Not Big Muslim?

The president said the United States and other parts of the Western world “have to educate ourselves more effectively on Islam.”

“And one of the points I want to make is, is that if you actually took the number of Muslim Americans, we’d be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world,” Mr. Obama said. “And so there’s got to be a better dialogue and a better understanding between the two peoples.”
(“Obama Says U.S. Could Be Seen as a Muslim Country,Too”)

President Obama could do well by educating himself a bit more effectively about Islam, starting with something easy like getting his numbers straight.

Andy McCarthy takes a closer look at the president's “largest Muslim countries” claim:

Mind you, the total number of Muslims in the U.S. is a subject of intense debate (CAIR, for example, argues for a figure above 6 million because it wants the Muslim population to be thought greater than the Jewish population). The probability, though, is that there are no more than about 3 million Muslims living in the U.S. (See, e.g., this entry from Wikipedia (collecting varying estimates), and this one from Daniel Pipes in 2001, observing that the credible estimates put the figure back then at somewhere between 1.8 and — an unlikely high of — 2.8 million). This, it should be noted, does not translate into 3 million American Muslims, for many Muslims in the United States are are nationals of other countries (although, I suppose, by Justice Department standards, it would translate into approximately 6 million Muslim voters.)

By contrast, of the approximately 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, there are about 200 million Muslims in Indonesia, 196 million in India, 165 million in Pakistan, 132 million in Bangladesh, 75 million in Egypt, 64 million in Iran, 33 million in Morocco, 32 million in Algeria, 31 million in Afghanistan, 26 million in Iraq, 25 million in Ethiopia, 24 million in Saudi Arabia, 20 million in China, and 15 million in Russia, to name just a few countries. In fact, there are 2 to 3 times as many Muslims in Burkina Faso (approx. 7.5 million) as there are in America. So obviously, one can see why the president would say the United States is "one of the largest Muslim countries in
the world."

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