Islam may be most closely associated with the Middle East, where it emerged in Arabia in the seventh century, but today the region is home to only one in five of the world’s Muslims, according to a study of the religion’s global distribution conducted by the Pew Forum.
Europe is home to about 38 million Muslims, or about five per cent of its population. Germany appears to have more than 4 million Muslims – almost as many as North and South America combined. In France, where tensions have run high over an influx of Muslim immigrant labourers, the overall numbers were lower but a larger percentage of the population is Muslim. Of roughly 4.6 million Muslims in the Americas, more than half live in the United States although they only make up 0.8 percent of the population there. About 700,000 people in Canada are Muslim, or about two percent of the total population.
The top five Muslim countries in the world include only one in the Middle East Egypt behind Indonesia, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, in that order. Russia, the survey shows, has more Muslims than the populations of Libya and Jordan combined. Germany has more Muslims than Lebanon. China has a bigger Muslim population than Syria.