Muslim Population Set to Surge
Will grow at twice the speed of non-Muslims
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2011 7:10 AM CST
Lebanese Muslim men pray for rain at the Mohammed Al-Amin Mosque in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Friday, Dec. 3, 2010.   (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

(Newser) – The global Muslim population will grow at twice the rate of non-Muslims over the next 20 years, according to a new analysis of demographic trends from the Pew Research Center and the John Templeton Foundation. In the US, the Muslim population is on pace to more than double, from 2.6 million last year to 6.2 million in 2030, of which 45% will be native-born, up from 35% today.

The analysis could stoke fears of the rise of Islam among its western critics, the Washington Post predicts, but it shouldn’t; the study makes clear that even such large gains won’t dramatically alter the world’s demographic breakdown. “This will provide a garbage filter for hysterical claims people make about the size and growth of the Muslim population,” says one religious history scholar.