Islam is Growing by Conversions

Posted: November 29, 2011 in Religion on the Rise
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

It is imperative to point out that the growth of Islam is not only attributed to high birth rates but due to conversions as well. A case in point is that in America alone, according to St. Petersburg Times, “Every year, about 20,000 people in the United States convert to Islam, in addition to those who convert in prison . . . of these converts, there are more women than men, the majority of them young and unmarried . . .”[1]The NBC News has also reported the same yearly figure of converts. According to New York Times, “An estimated 25 percent of American Muslims are converts.”[2]And this is bloodcurdling figure.

Let’s take Europe, for instance, as a case study. We will witness sources asserting that Islam will become a dominant religion in Europe. According to The Washington Quarterly:

. . . Muslims will comprise at least 20 percent of Europe’s population by 2050. Some even predict that one-fourth of France’s population could be Muslim by 2025 and that, if trends continue, Muslims could outnumber non-Muslims in France and perhaps in all of western Europe by mid-century.[3]

Patrick Buchanan is an American political commentator, author, syndicated columnist, politician and broadcaster. He had also served as a senior advisor to President Richard Nixon, President Gerald Ford, and President Ronald Reagan.  In a speech delivered on 7 December 2001, Buchanan said: “Don’t count Islam out. It is the fastest growing faith in Europe and has surpassed Catholicism worldwide. And as Christianity expires in the West and the churches empty out, the mosques are going up.”[4]A 1999 United Nations’ survey showed that between 1989 and 1998, Europe’s Muslim population grew by more than 100 percent.[5]Currently, Muslims comprise of about 10 % of Europe’s population while others predict that Muslims will make up 10% of Europe’s population by 2025.[6]Funny enough, Amsterdam and Rotterdam are expected to be the first large majority-Muslim cities in about 2015.[7]In an article entitled “In Europe, skylines reflect the rise of Islam” which appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, Isabelle de Pommereau states: “Across Europe, the Continent’s fastest-growing religion (i.e. Islam) is establishing its public presence after decades in basements and courtyards, changing not only the architectural look of cities, but also their social fabrics.”[8]  Discussing the major trends reshaping the global context, William Van Wishard illustrates that “the Catholic Church is facing the distinct possibility that in coming years, Islam will be the largest European faith.”[9] There are three major factors that are and will be making Europe become a Muslim majority continent: 1) Immigration; 2) Muslim High birth rate; and 3) conversions to Islam.

We are interested with the third factor because it is conversions to Islam that will hasten Bernard Lewis’* famous prediction that Europe will be Islamic by century’s end.[10]In 2005, The Christian Science Monitor stated: “Although there are no precise figures, observers who monitor Europe’s Muslim population estimate that several thousand men and women convert each year.”[11] The Muslims already in Europe will also convert the non-Muslim Europeans to Islam. Either the Muslims will directly engage in proselytizing efforts to win European souls or the Europeans will just convert due to “I converted to Islam because I was impressed by the behaviors of Muslims” argument or the European will convert to Islam to marry a Muslim. Perhaps, this (conversion) factor was inclusive in the Gadhafi speech: “We have 50 million Muslims in Europe. There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe – without swords, without guns, without conquests. The 50 million Muslims of Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.”[12]

In Europe, Islam is the second largest religion.[13]From life experiences, even from school performances, we know that a student who used to get D grade can move to C grade then B grade. With continual hard work and determination, the student can attain grade A.  Hence, it won’t be mysterious for Islam to surpass Christianity (and all other religions) in Europe. If Islam is currently the second largest religion in Europe, chances are that it is going to be the largest religion in Europe. In an interview, Ingmar Karlsson, Sweden’s consul general in İstanbul, who is a Doctor of Divinity honoris causa at Lund University and a Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Växjö and the author of more than 10 books, has acknowledged Islam as a “domestic” European religion. He said in an interview: “When I grew up in Sweden after World War II, there were three Muslims in the country, three! . . .  Now, Muslims make up 5 to 6 percent of Sweden’s population. And as this number continues to rise, everyone will realize that Islam is and will be a European religion.”[14]  The Sweden’s consul general was distressed by those who don’t understand the dynamics of Islam in Europe, “People are ignorant about the religion of Islam. People don’t understand that Islam today is a European religion . . .”[15]  He said in the interview.

According to Chicago Tribune foreign correspondent Evan Osnos: “For Europe . . . the question is not which civilization, Western or Islamic, will prevail, but which of Islam’s many strands will dominate.”[16]  Some might anticipate the following as the product of a Muslim-majority Europe: Europe will have more of mosques and minarets than churches and cathedrals; Adhan, call to prayer will echo from Paris to Rotterdam to Brussels and London; bearded men and hijab-wearing women flooding the streets; Muslim head’s of state throughout the Europeans governments; Christians lobbying for minority rights; freedom of expression compromised; Sharia law implemented . . . .

{Excerpted from Salim Boss’ book “They are either Extremely Smart or Extremely Ignorant”. Buy the eBook  for $1.9 and the paperback for $9. Just click here to buy the book}
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FOOTNOTES

[1]. Wiener, Jocelyn (Times Staff Writer). “Young, Female and Muslim.” St. Petersburg Times 7 Oct. 2002.

[2]. Elliott, Andrea. “Muslim Converts Face Discrimination.” New York Times 30 April 2005.

[3]. Savage, Timothy M. “Europe and Islam: Crescent Waxing, Cultures Clashing.” The Washington Quarterly Summer 2004. p. 28.

[4]. Buchanan, Patrick J. “Coming Clash of Civilizations? theamericancause.org. 7 Dec. 2001. <http://www.theamericancause.org/patcomingclashprint.htm.&gt;

[5]. Allen Jr., John L. “Europe’s Muslims Worry Bishops.” National Catholic Reporter 22 Oct. 1999.

[6]. “The Integration Of Muslims In Europe.” Oxford Analytica 24 Feb. 2009. <http://www.forbes.com/2009/02/23/france-uk-muslims-business_oxford.htmllast&gt; retrieved 29 April 2009.

[7]. Pipes, Daniel. “Europe or Eurabia?” Australian 15 April 2008.

[8]. Isabelle de Pommereau. “In Europe, skylines reflect the rise of Islam.” The Christian Science Monitor 26 July 2007.

[9]. Van Wishard, William. “Major Trends Reshaping the Global Context.” worldtrendsresearch.com <http://www.worldtrendsresearch.com/major-trends.php&gt; Retrieved 12/09/2009.

* Bernard Lewis is a British-American historian, Orientalist, and political commentator. He is the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University and the recipient of AEI’s Irving Kristol Award for 2007. He made his prediction in 2004 that Europe would be Islamic by the end of the century. See Hundley, Tom.  “Article of Faith for Some: Europe Going Muslim.” Chicago Tribune 25 June 2006.

[10]. Lewis, Bernard. “Europe and Islam.” American Enterprise Institute. 7 March 2007 (AEI Annual Dinner, Irving Kristol Lecture :Washington).  Also see Machlis, David and Tovah Lazaroff. “Muslims about to take over Europe.” The Jerusalem Post 29 Jan. 2007.

[11]. Ford, Peter. “Why European Women Are Turning to Islam.” The Christian Science Monitor 27 Dec. 2005.

[12]. Edwards, Ruth Dudley. “Will Britain one day be Muslim?” The Daily Mail 5 May 2007. Also see: Al Jazeera television. 10 April 2006.

[13]. Esposito, John L. “Introduction John L. Esposito.”In The Oxford History of Islam. Ed. John L. Esposito. Oxford Islamic Studies Online. 11 March 2009. Also see: “Observing Islam.” Online newshour. pbs.org. 16 Nov. 2001.<http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/religion/july-dec01/islam_11-16.html&gt;

[14]. “Islam is and will be a European religion.” Today’s Zaman 12 March 2007.

[15]. “Islam is and will be a European religion.” Today’s Zaman 12 March 2007.

[16]. Osnos, Evan. “Islam shaping a new Europe.” Chicago Tribune 19 Dec. 2004.

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