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Fact file

Four enduring myths about Muslims debunked Add to ...

Myth #1: The Muslim population in the West is growing fast and will soon become a majority in Europe – and a major presence in other parts of the world.

The facts: Muslim population in 2012, proportionate to total population

  • Europe: 44 million (6 per cent)
  • United States: 2.6 million (0.8 per cent)
  • Canada: 940,000 (2.8 per cent)

The facts: Muslim population in 2030, proportionate to total population

  • Europe (including Russia): 58 million (8 per cent )
  • United States:6.2 million (1.7 per cent)
  • Canada:2.7 million (6.6 per cent)

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Myth #2: Islamic beliefs lead to higher birth rates.

The facts: Fertility rates across Muslim-majority countries

  • 1995: 4.3 children per family
  • 2010: 2.9 children per family
  • 2035: 2.3 children per family

The facts: Muslim birth rates in:

  • Iran: 1.7 children
  • Turkey:2.15 children
  • United Arab Emirates: 1.9 children
  • Lebanon:1.86 children

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Myth #3: Muslim immigrants are overwhelmingly guided by a religion that they regard as more an ideology than a spiritual faith.

The facts: Rates of religious activity among the 4.7 million Muslims in France, which has Western Europe's largest Muslim population

  • Regularly attend religious services: 8-15 %
  • Attend a mosque every Friday: 5 %
  • Claim no religious affiliation: 20 %
  • Say they never pray: 28 %
  • Support ban of hijab in classrooms: 42%

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Myth #4: Significant numbers of Muslims cheer for terrorist violence.

The facts: Those who agree with the statement that "attacks on civilians are morally justified."

  • Muslims in France: 1%
  • French natives: 2%
  • Muslims in Germany: 1%
  • German natives: 0.5%
  • Muslims in Britain: 3%
  • German natives: 2%

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