Do you remember what you were doing 24 years ago, in 1992?
1992 wasn’t really that long ago, was it? 24 years can go by very quickly.
In 24 years, by the year 2040, Islam will be the second largest religion in the United States, after Christians — assuming there will still be an America by then.
According to a study of Pew Research Center, Muslims are the fastest growing minority religious group in the United States. Although Muslims presently comprise only 1% (3.3 million) of the total U.S. population of 322 million, by 2040, Muslims will be the second-largest religious group, increasing to 8.1 million by 2050.
In contrast, the total number of U.S. Jews will decline from 1.8% to 1.4% by 2050, while Hindus will see a modest increase from 0.7% to 1.2%.
The projected increase of Muslims will be due to three reasons:
- Muslim immigration: Muslims comprise about 10% of all legal immigrants in the U.S.; immigration accounts for over half of the projected growth.
- Muslim birth rate: Muslim families tend to have far more children than the average U.S. family, which is the case in Europe as well.
- Muslims tend to be younger than Americans in general, which means a larger share of Muslims are and will be of child-bearing age.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll in December 2015 showed apprehension among Americans about Muslims, in the aftermath of the San Bernardino shooting by a young Muslim couple, which left 14 dead. The poll found that:
- 60% of Democrats vs. 30% of Republicans believe Muslims are no different than any other group.
- 14.6% of Americans are fearful of Muslims in general.
- 34.7% of Americans are fearful when asked about “a few groups and individuals” in the Muslim community.
- 64% of Republicans vs. 43% of Democrats want mosques to be closely monitored.
Additionally, a recent YouGov poll found that most Americans (62%) do not want to open up the border to Muslim refugees. Once again, there is a decided political party difference: 83% of Republicans vs. 48% of Democrats, and 83% of Conservatives vs. 30% of Liberals believe the United States should not accept Muslim Syrian refugees.
The skepticism of a majority (70%) of Republicans and a minority (40%) of Democrats that Muslims are no different than other religious groups seems to find confirmation in polling data about Muslims:
- Surveys conducted across Europe have found that 25% (1 out of 5!) of Muslims believe that Islam can justify violence against civilians.
- In France, Muslims comprise 8% of the population, but make up around 70% of the prison population.
- In the United States, a Pew poll found that 1 in 8 U.S. Muslims think that suicide bombing can be legitimate.
- A 2015 Center for Security Policy poll found that 25% of a sample of 600 U.S. Muslims agreed with the statement, “Violence against Americans here in the United States can be justified as part of the global jihad”.