By John L. Esposito and Dalia Mogahed
At the heart of the moving puzzle the world faces over the next quarter century are the diverse Muslim populations, collectively known as the “Global Muslim Community.” Spanning the globe and speaking nearly every language, they are united by one faith—Islam. Collectively, they make up one-fifth of the world’s population and sit on 75 percent of its oil wealth. Understanding the emerging trends of these societies is perhaps the world’s leading strategic imperative.
But who will speak for Islam in the future—on democracy, the role of women, or violence? Over six years ending in 2007, the Gallup organization undertook more than 50,000 interviews (representative of the 1.3 billion Muslims who reside in more than 35 nations with majority or significant Muslim populations) in an effort to explore current trends and examine the future. The results, reflective of more than 90 percent of the world’s Muslim community, are the end product of the most comprehensive survey of its kind ever conducted; they defy conventional wisdom and the inevitability of a global conflict— even as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue.Continue reading…