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Trade, Geography, and the Unifying Force of Islam / The Silk Road

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Trade, Geography, and the Unifying Force of Islam


Inequality in regional suitability for agriculture across the Old World

Inequality in regional suitability for agriculture across the Old World


Percentage of Muslim population in AD 1900 in the Old World

Percentage of Muslim population in AD 1900 in the Old World


Major trade routes in the Old World AD 600-AD 1800

Major trade routes in the Old World AD 600-AD 1800


(…) We start with the observation that, on the one hand, Islam surfaced in the Arabian Peninsula under conditions featuring an extremely unequal land quality distribution across regions. And, on the other hand, Islam surfaced in areas close to lucrative trade routes. As a result, when dwellers from the oases were attempting to cross the surrounding vast arid lands in pursuit of trade profits, they were facing threats to their livelihoods from nomadic groups. These encounters had the potential to bring trade flows to a halt, setting the stage for the emergence of a centralising force that featured redistributive rules. We argue that Islam was such a centralising force and that, accordingly, its economic tenets had to address inherent economic inequities across clans. This resulted in an economic doctrine that promoted poverty alleviation and redistribution, equitable inheritance rules and anti-usury laws.


Fortunately, among the pre-colonial traits recorded by Murdock (1967) there is an entry describing whether a group believes or not in gods that are supportive.. of human morality. Anthropologists and evolutionary biologists have argued that the belief in moralising gods – gods who tell people what they should or should not do – was necessary to keep societies together by condemning infringements on other group members. Similarly, we  argue that the presence of an unequal geography and proximity to trade opportunities intensified the need for cooperation among heterogeneous clans. Such cooperation could be achieved by adopting a religion which, besides the appropriate economic rules, would provide a coordination mechanism that penalised those who deviate from prescribed norms. With this in mind, it is not surprising to find that a 50% increase in Muslim adherence within a group increases the likelihood that a group believes in gods that dictate what should or should not be done by 40%. If anything, Christian and ethnoreligious groups are less likely to have harboured beliefs in a moralising god in the pre-colonial period.



Our findings show that Islam flourished in very challenging geographical terrains. These terrains harboured inherently unequal economic opportunities and bred conflict. Any political platform that attempted to bring clashing populations together had to address these primordial inequities. Islam was certainly such a movement, and its spread is a prime example of how geography shapes a society’s institutional and societal arrangements. (…)

8 December 2012

Stelios Michalopoulos
Assistant Professor of Economics, Brown University

Alireza Naghavi
Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Bologna

Giovanni Prarolo
Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Bologna


Read the full post online at VOX, download  pdf at Brown University here, or as pdf here.

(retrieved 19.04.2014 at


Ann. of the Editor: I personally do not agree to the conclusions. Trade is based on trust. The Quran (similar to the Bible) has the character of a constitution. Moral norms as “Not Lie, Not Steal” are crucial until today’s  international trade. “Being balanced against a feather” is a keyword in Muslim morals. International institutionalised morals can appear as international law (see INCO-Terms).


The Silk Road and Related Trade Routes

Map of  the Silk Road and Related Trade Routes

(retrieved 20.04.2014 at


The Islamic World

Map of the Islamic World

(retrieved 20.04.2014 at


Trade Routes Africa  15th century

Map of Trade Routes in  Africa  around 1500

“History of Africa”  27 February 2008. <>  20 April 2014. (retireved 20.04.2014 at

See the whole article about Africa around 1500 online here or download as pdf here.


Additional Material


Southeast_Asia_trade_route_map_XII century

(retrieved 20.04.2014 at


(…) Perhaps no one has described in more ringing language than Tome Pires the advantages of a port commanding the straits :

Whoever is lord of Malacca has his hand on the throat of Venice. As far as from Malacca, and from Malacca to China, and from China to the Moluccas, and from Moluccas to Java, and from Java to Malacca and Sumatra, all is in your power. (…)

Read the full article about Ancient Asian Trade online here or download pdf here.

(retrieved 20.04.2014 at


Can a Chinese ‘maritime silk route’ cool tensions in Asia?

Many, both in China and in the region, view China’s mooted Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with the ASEAN+6 countries as a Chinese effort to push the regional agenda towards softer objectives. For Beijing, RCEP also has the benefit of countering the US-led Trans Pacific Partnership.

Yet the benefit for China of achieving either of these objectives would pale in comparison to the potential benefit of President Xi Jinping’s realising his dream of reviving the ‘maritime silk route’, which he unveiled during his October 2013 visit to Malaysia and Indonesia. The route would build on the East Asia region’s proven strengths in sharing production. It could also enable a greater role for overseas Chinese communities in forging relationships to reduce regional tensions.

The movement of goods along the maritime silk route has a history of over two millennia, which reached its peak in the 15th century when legendary explorer Zheng He led an armada from China through Southeast and South Asia to the Persian Gulf. Today some of these same corridors support East Asia’s unique production sharing network which brings components produced throughout the region to China for assemblage and shipment to Europe and North America.

The production network allows all countries, regardless of their size and technological sophistication, to benefit from deep specialisation and economies of scale by producing parts and components, and adding value to production along the production chain. With labour costs in China now rising, many ASEAN economies stand to gain from any future outsourcing of production. This, combined with the trade deficits that China runs with most of its Asian neighbours (in contrast to its persistent surpluses with the West), makes it easier for ASEAN countries to see China as an opportunity rather than a threat. (…)

Yukon Huang is Senior Associate at the Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and a former country director at the World Bank in China.

East Asia Forum at is always worth a visit!

(retrieved 06.05.2014 at


Restore the Silk Road

Last September (Ann. of the Editor: meaning September 2013) when he delivered a speech at a university in Kazakhstan, Chinese President Xi Jinping raised the suggestion that China and Central Asian countries should work together to build the Silk Road Economic Belt. The proposal was met with immediate resonance among neighboring countries and received a warm reception. Some provinces in the western region of China have even begun preparing to participate in the new round of cross-border economic cooperation.

Undoubtedly, the Silk Road Economic Belt will benefit all parties including China and her Central Asian partners. The mutual-benefit economic zone will help accelerate the development of China’s remote northwest regions and also facilitate China’s international cooperation with Central Asian countries.

For both China and Central Asia, the Silk Road played an important role in creating marvelous civilizations and economic prosperity in ancient times. Around 2,000 years ago, a Chinese emperor of the Han Dynasty sent his envoy, Zhang Qian, to the unknown west in search of allies to resist the threat of northern nomads. Unexpectedly, Zhang’s journey pioneered a significant bond between China and Central Asia. Since then, a trade road linking China and Central Asia—even stretching as far as Europe—formed and countries along the road thrived. The historic Silk Road was the world’s longest trade route on land.

Although the ancient Silk Road was eventually replaced by shipping routes via sea, China and Central Asian countries have great incentive to revive the historic link under the spirit of cooperation and mutual benefit. Today, China is the largest trade partner of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan as well as the largest investor in Uzbekistan. (…)

Read the full article online here or download full pdf here.

(retrieved 07.05.2014 at


Silk Road to Prosperity

Drug production in Afghanistan has increased 40 times since NATO moved in there 13 years ago. The profit from that drug production has become the financial support of terrorism. I think there must be international cooperation among all neighboring countries of Afghanistan, i.e. China, Russia, India, Iran and hopefully others, to wipe out the drug traffic. The drug traffic problem has become a major security problem for Russia—hundreds of thousands of people die every year as a result of drug smuggling from Afghanistan. It has become a big security problem for China, because one of the drug routes goes through Xinjiang. It is also feeding terrorists in Tajikistan, Russia’s Chechnya, Pakistan and the whole region from Afghanistan all the way to Syria, North Africa and even Central Africa. This has become a major source of threat to the stability of the region.

There must be international efforts to stabilize this region. That is why we have been proposing a very concrete extension of the Eurasian Land Bridge to the whole region, and even to Afghanistan, Syria and North Africa. You have to give incentive to the population and let them see the economic cooperation that gives them the chance to have a better future. There is better incentive than to go to drug production, or to support terrorism, which many people do because it’s being paid. Many people are just poor. You have to change the entire region with an economic development prospect which can only come from the New Silk Road Economic Belt.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and President of the Schiller Institute, an economic and political think tank headquartered in the United States and Germany


Read the full article online here or download full pdf here.

(retrieved 07.05.2014 at


Read more in the Islam category


(reviewed 07.05.2014)


Colours of Food

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our daily foods include 五行(wu hsin), different color foods may coordinate the internal organs of body, so, it benefits our health if properly arrange those foods.

五行的木火土金水,各以綠紅黑黃白五色代表,並各自聯繫和代表多種器官如下 :

五行 means 木(wood) 火(fire) 土(soil) 金(gold) 水(water), each is represented by 5 colors as Green, Red, Black, Yellow, White. They connect with each other and represent below various organs :


1. 紅色食物代表火(心、小腸及舌頭):如蘋果、番茄、櫻桃、大棗、紅椒、西瓜和紅蘿蔔等

red food represent fire (heart, small intestines, and tongue) : such as apple, tomatoes, cherry, big jujube, red pepper, water melon, and carrot…etc)

o 有助於減輕疲勞,驅寒,可令人精神抖擻,增強自信及意志力,使人充滿力量;

this is helpful to reduce tired, get rid of coldness, to brace people up, increase confidence and willpower, make us full of power

o 富含天然鐵質,是貧血患者的天然良藥,也適合女性經期失血後的滋補;

full of natural mineral of iron, a good and natural medicine for anemia patient, it’s also suitable for nourishing women after menses

o 含豐富的降血壓物質,使血管強壯,有助循環系統健康;

with plenty materials to reduce blood pressure, make blood tubes stronger, benefit circulation system to be healthy

o 含有豐富的β胡蘿蔔素和番茄紅素,是改善焦慮情緒的天然藥物;

with plenty of B carotene and tomatoes-ene (?), it is natural medicine to improve anxcious mood

o 紅色在視覺上也能給人刺激,胃口大開,精神振奮,是抑鬱症患者的首選;

red color can give people stimulation in the sense of sight, to have great appetite, to inspire spirit, it’s the best choice for melancholia patient

o 其中蘋果性溫和,含各種維生素和微量元素,最接近完美;

among all the red color foods, apple with an attribute of moderate, apple with various vitamins and microele, the most one close to perfection


2. 綠色食物代表木(肝、膽囊和肌肉):如白菜、包心菜和菠菜等

Green foods represent 木 (liver, the gall bladd, and muscle) : such as Chinese cabbage, a type of lettu, and spinach

o 含有益肝臟健康的葉綠素和多種維他命;

include chlorophyll and various vitamins which s helpful to liver’s health


3. 黑色食物代表水(腎、膀胱、耳和骨骼):如黑豆、黑芝麻和藍莓等

Black foods represent water (kidney, bladder, ear and bones) : such as black beans, sesame, and blue berry…etc

o 含黑色素,有助提高與腎、膀胱和骨骼關係密切的新陳代謝和生殖系統功能;

with black pigment, helpful in raising metabolism and in raising function of breedlin system that have close relationship with kidney, bladder, and bones


4. 黃色食物代表土(脾、胃和口腔):如柑桔、橙、南瓜、玉米、甘菊、香蕉和紅蘿蔔等

Yellow foods reperesent soil (spleen, stomatch and the oral cavit) : such as orange, orange, pumpkin, corn, sweet chrysanthemum, banana and carrot…etc

o 能幫助培養正面開朗的心情,增加幽默感,更可以強化消化系統與肝臟,清除血液中的毒素,令皮膚也變得細滑幼嫩;

can help to cultivate positive and open and clear mood, increase the sense of humor, more to strengthen digestion system and livers, to clean toxins

in blood, also can make skin smooth and detailed

o 含維他命C;最常見的橙色色素胡蘿蔔素,是強力的抗氧化物質,減少空氣污染對人體造成的傷害,並有抗衰老功效;

with vitamin C ; very often we can see carotene with orange color pigment, which is a material of powerful anti-oxidiz, can reduce the harm to body

which comes from air polution, also with function of anti-oldness and feebleness

o 由於黃色接近光譜中紅色的一端,所以黃色食物也有振奮作用,能讓人精神集中,所以在精神渙散的夜晚,喝一杯甘菊茶就能讓思維重新進入狀態;since the yellow coloer is close to an end of red color in spectrum, so yellow color foods also with sphere of action of inspiration, to make

people concentrate spiritually, so, to take one cup of sweet chrysanthemum tea can make thought back to proper condition on the night when you have lax or slack spirit

o 柑桔的皮、肉、絡、核都可入藥,有理氣健胃、止咳平喘的作用,富含的果膠能降血壓,橙皮甙和蘆丁具有強化血管壁、提高毛細血管抵抗能力的作用,從而可以防治高血壓和動脈硬化等成人病,其含有的類檸檬素、類黃酮、類胡蘿蔔素等各種抗癌活性物質,對胃腸癌、肺癌、皮膚癌等多種癌症有良好的防治作用,對預防成人肥胖症和糖尿病也有一定作用;

the skin, meat, network, and core of orange can make into medicine, to adjust Chi and get stomatch healthy, stop coughing and to even pant, with plenty pectin can reduce blood pressure, 橙皮甙 and 蘆丁 may strengthen blood tube and to raise resistance ability of blood capill, so can prevent adult disease of high blood pressure and artery’s hardeness

o 玉米和香蕉等還是很好的垃圾清理劑,因其有強化消化系統與肝臟的功能,同時還能清除血液中的毒素,玉米還能明眸善睞;

corn and banana are also very good cleansing stuff for trash, because they have function of strengthen digestion system and livers, can clean

away toxins in blood, corn can also bring us bright eyes


5. 白色食物代表金(肺、大腸和鼻):如洋蔥、大蒜和梨等 White foods represent gold (lung, big intestines and nose) : such as onion, garlic and pear

o 具有抗敏感及炎症功能。 with function of anti-sensitiveness and anti-inflammation

使用很簡單,知道自己什麼不好,照套用即可。如咬到舌頭者,吃二個紅色的番茄;容易感冒者,多吃些白色的雪梨;口腔潰瘍者,多吃些黃色的橙……,余此類推。it’s easy to use above knowledge, if you know what no good of your body, just do it abide by above rules, for example, if you bite your tongue, you can take 2 red tomatoes ; those who easily catch cold, you can take white snow pears often ; if the mouth with ulcer, you can take yellow orange often….


some prefer sweetness, some prefer hot and spicy foods, some prefer salty foods, if reflects people’s inner personality by showing people’s favorite about food’s taste.

from the point of view of metaphysics, people who bron in different month, the percentage of 五行 in their fate format are different, if want to naturally raise good luck,

just have to avoid something bad and approach something good when taking foods.


a year with 12 months, people who born in different month with their own representitive 五行’s attribute. the first month in Chinese calendar and the 2nd month are months for prosperous 木 ; the 4th and 5th months in Chinese calendar are months for prosperous 火 ; the 7th and 8th months in Chinese calendar are months for prosperous 金 ; the 10th and 11th months in Chinese calendar are months for prosperous 水 ; the 3rd, the 6th, the 9th and the 12th months in Chinese calendar are months for prosperous 土.

五行多除少補 to delete extra 五行 and to supply more 五行 when insufficient


just because all skills can’t seperate from 五行, so, how to manage or to handle what we need in life is to take more about foods which are helpful for producing goodluck, then, you may promote luck “by yourself”.


in addition to fate format, we can also differentiate food’s 5 kinds of tastes into 五行, among them, bitterness belongs to 金 (gold), sourness belongs to 木 (wood), saltness belongs to 水 (water), hot and spicy belongs to 火 (fire), sweetness belongs to 土 (soil). according to the principle of 五行 that make each of them with positive interaction, people who with prosperous 木, better take gold and soil, can eat more about bitter and sweet foods ; people who with prosperous fire, better take gold and water, can eat more about bitter and salt foods ; people who with prosperous gold, better take wood and fire, can eat more about sour and spicy foods ; people who with prosperous water, better take fire and soil, can eat more about spicy and sweet foods ; people who with prosperous soil, better take wood, can eat more about sour foods.


Translation: Author unknown

Written by NoToes

14/07/2010 at 20:00

Hope in Different Cultures

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Hope in Chinese Language


Traditional: 希望
Simplified: 希望

First Character: 希 (xī) – rare; infrequent
Second Character: 望 (wàng) – hope; expect; to visit; to gaze (into the distance); look towards; towards

(retrieved 29.05.2010 at


The Tao Te King


Success is as dangerous as failure.
Hope is as hollow as fear.

What does it mean that success is as dangerous as failure?
Whether you go up the ladder or down it,
your position is shaky.
When you stand with your two feet on the ground,
you will always keep your balance.

What does it mean that hope is as hollow as fear?
Hope and fear are both phantoms
that arise from thinking of the self.
When we don’t see the self as self,
what do we have to fear?

See the world as your self.
Have faith in the way things are.
Love the world as your self;
then you can care for all things.

(retrieved 29.05.2010 at


Chinese Symbol for Hope (“we always have hope to face fate”)

The Chinese characters have developed long time ago and haven’t undergone many changes in the course of time. The hope symbol in Chinese culture has a mysterious appearance and is painted with the help of a brush. Traditionally, the hope symbol is drawn on a white rice paper. The paper is decorated with a floral silk pattern that is blue in color. The Chinese art of drawing such symbols is known as calligraphy. The hope symbol is also used as a wall hanging artwork. Bamboo could be used to frame this artwork.

(retrieved 29.05.2010 at – sorry, broken link)


In Chinese language, fear and hope refers to 恐惧和希望(kǒnɡjù hé xī wànɡ). Symbols for fear are ghosts, diseases, death, and so on. All these things make people feel hopeless in life, so they try their best to avoid them. Symbols for hope are spring, the color green, the rising sun, and sunflowers. People think green means life is vigorous. The rising sun and sunflowers means life is coming again.

If you have any other questions related to Chinese language, please feel free to contact me at I would be glad to help.-Jennifer

(retrieved 29.05.2010 at


Hope in Western Culture

The Bible

Röm 15,13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

(retrieved 29.05.2010 at – please make sure, you get the English version)

Hope is termed a theological virtue because its immediate object is God, as is true of the other two essentially infused virtues, faith and charity. St. Thomas acutely says that the theological virtues are so called “because they have God for their object, both in so far as by them we are properly directed to Him, and because they are infused into our souls by God alone, as also, finally, because we come to know of them only by Divine revelation in the Sacred Scriptures”. Catholic Encyclopedia

(retrieved 29.05.2010 at


Greek Mythology – Pandora

The theory of Hesiod,[8] the oldest of all the Greek poets, was that the Titan Prometheus, the son of Iapetus, had formed man out of clay, and that Athene had breathed a soul into him. Full of love for the beings he had called into existence, Prometheus determined to elevate their minds and improve their condition in every way; he therefore taught them astronomy, mathematics, the alphabet, how to cure diseases, and the art of divination. He created this race in such great numbers that the gods began to see the necessity of instituting certain fixed laws with regard to the sacrifices due to them, and the worship to which they considered themselves entitled from mankind in return for the protection which they accorded them. An assembly was therefore convened at Mecone in order to settle these points. It was decided that Prometheus, as the advocate of man, should slay an ox, which should be divided into two equal parts, and that the gods should select one portion which should henceforth, in all future sacrifices, be set apart for them. Prometheus so divided the ox that one part consisted of the bones (which formed of course the least valuable portion of the animal), artfully concealed by the white fat; whilst the other contained all the edible parts, which he covered with the skin, and on the top of all he laid the stomach.

Zeus, pretending to be deceived, chose the heap of bones, but he saw through the stratagem, and was so angry at the deception practised on him by Prometheus that he avenged himself by refusing to mortals the gift of fire. [25]Prometheus, however, resolved to brave the anger of the great ruler of Olympus, and to obtain from heaven the vital spark so necessary for the further progress and comfort of the human race. He accordingly contrived to steal some sparks from the chariot of the sun, which he conveyed to earth hidden in a hollow tube. Furious at being again outwitted, Zeus determined to be revenged first on mankind, and then on Prometheus. To punish the former he commanded Hephæstus (Vulcan) to mould a beautiful woman out of clay, and determined that through her instrumentality trouble and misery should be brought into the world.

The gods were so charmed with the graceful and artistic creation of Hephæstus, that they all determined to endow her with some special gift. Hermes (Mercury) bestowed on her a smooth persuasive tongue, Aphrodite gave her beauty and the art of pleasing; the Graces made her fascinating, and Athene (Minerva) gifted her with the possession of feminine accomplishments. She was called Pandora, which means all-gifted, having received every attribute necessary to make her charming and irresistible. Thus beautifully formed and endowed, this exquisite creature, attired by the Graces, and crowned with flowers by the Seasons, was conducted to the house of Epimetheus[9] by Hermes the messenger of the gods. Now Epimetheus had been warned by his brother not to accept any gift whatever from the gods; but he was so fascinated by the beautiful being who suddenly appeared before him, that he welcomed her to his home, and made her his wife. It was not long, however, before he had cause to regret his weakness.

He had in his possession a jar of rare workmanship, containing all the blessings reserved by the gods for mankind, which he had been expressly forbidden to open. But woman’s proverbial curiosity could not withstand so great a temptation, and Pandora determined to solve the mystery at any cost. Watching her opportunity she raised the lid, and immediately all the blessings which [26]the gods had thus reserved for mankind took wing and flew away. But all was not lost. Just as Hope (which lay at the bottom) was about to escape, Pandora hastily closed the lid of the jar, and thus preserved to man that never-failing solace which helps him to bear with courage the many ills which assail him.[10]

Having punished mankind, Zeus determined to execute vengeance on Prometheus. He accordingly chained him to a rock in Mount Caucasus, and sent an eagle every day to gnaw away his liver, which grew again every night ready for fresh torments. For thirty years Prometheus endured this fearful punishment; but at length Zeus relented, and permitted his son Heracles (Hercules) to kill the eagle, and the sufferer was released.

Read the whole “Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome” from E.M. Berens online at the Gutemberg Project or download the pdf here.

(retrieved 29.05.2010 at



Those of us raised in Western culture were never taught that fear is the price of hope. Rather, we can’t envision life without hope. Hell, according to Dante, is the place devoid of hope; he warned Christians condemned there to “abandon all hope, ye who enter herein.” The Hebrew prophets warned that without vision, the people perish.
Hope is what propels us into action. We’ve been taught to dream of a better world as the necessary first step in creating one. We create a clear vision for the future we want, then we set a strategy, make a plan, and get to work. We focus strategically on doing only those things that have a high probability of success.
As long as we “keep hope alive” and work hard, our endeavors will create the world we want. How could we do our work if we had no hope that we’d succeed?
Motivated by hope, but then confronted by failure, we become depressed and demoralized. Life becomes meaningless; we despair of changing things for the better. At such a time, we learn the price of hope. Rather than inspiring and motivating us, hope has become a burden made heavy by its companion, fear of failing.

Margaret Wheatley

(retrieved 29.05.2012 at – sorry, broken link)


(reviewed 20.02.2014)

Quran Search

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Great Serch Tool on the Quran: the Quran Explorer


Click on the pic to enter!

Religion and Income in the USA

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How economically successful are different religions in the USA?

(retrieved 05.01.2013 at

Get the full survey “Income Distribution Within U.S. Religious Groups”  online here, or download pdf there.


Immigrants and their income in the US 2010


Immigrant’s Top Ten Countries or Origin and the Top Ten Destination Countries 2010

Countries of Origin - Destination Countries~

Religious Breakdown of Migrants 2010


(retrieved 05.01.2013 at

Read the whole survey “Faith on the Move” online here or download pdf there.


(reviewed 05.01.2013)

How Westeners and Muslims view each other

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PEW Survey: How Westeners and Muslims view each other


.(…) A rare point of agreement between Westerners and Muslims is that both believe that Muslim nations should be more economically prosperous than they are today. But at they gauge ths problem quite differently. Muslim publics have an aggrieved view of the West – they are much more likely than Americans or Western Europeans to blame Western policies for their own lack of prosperity. For their part, Western publics instead point to government corruption, lack of education and Islamic fundamentalism as the biggest obstacles to Muslim prosperity. (…)

Read the whole survey from 2006 online here or download pdf here.

(retrieved 19.06.2014 at

PEW- Forum:

(reviewed 19.06.2014)

Mapping the Global Muslim Population

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(…) A comprehensive demographic study of more than 200 countries finds that there are 1.57 billion Muslims of all ages living in the world today, representing 23% of an estimated 2009 world population of 6.8 billion. While Muslims are found on all five inhabited continents, more than 60% of the global Muslim population is in Asia and about 20% is in the Middle East and North Africa. However, the Middle East-North Africa region has the highest percentage of Muslim-majority countries. Indeed, more than half of the 20 countries and territories1 in that region have populations that are approximately 95% Muslim or greater. More than 300 million Muslims, or one-fifth of the world’s Muslim population, live in countries where Islam is not the majority religion. These minority Muslim populations are often quite large. India, for example, has the third-largest population of Muslims worldwide. China has more Muslims than Syria, while Russia is home to more Muslims than Jordan and Libya combined.

Of the total Muslim population, 10-13% are Shia Muslims and 87-90% are Sunni Muslims. Most Shias (between 68% and 80%) live in just four countries: Iran, Pakistan, India and Iraq. (…)


PEW- Forum:

Or click here.