Tag Archives: islam

A Statistical Look at Muslim Stereotyping

I was going through my journal today and found an entry that seemed interesting and, more importantly, appropriate enough to blog about. So I did a bit of background research and this is what I’ve managed to scrape out.

A little more than an year ago I was studying and living in this small Swedish city by the name of Sundsvall, located approximately 400 kms north of Stockholm along the Gulf of Bothnia the city had long, cold and harsh winters with temperatures reaching -32 degree centigrade during the peak of the winter season. I was living in student dorms built right next to the university campus and the city center was about 20-25 minutes of walk away, often students walking to and from the city center would tag along and just chit chat along the way to socialize and to get their minds off of the feeling of numbness we often felt over our bodies due to the extreme cold. So on one of those chilly winter mornings with heavy overcast, I found myself walking towards home after buying some groceries from the supermarket located in the city center, during the walk I bumped into a student from Uruguay whom I had seen play futsal a couple of times in a sports gym near university. As we started talking about our respective countries he showed great curiosity about Pakistan and asked me several blatant questions regarding terrorism, extremism and its links to Islam and Pakistan, I answered his questions as best as I could but the interaction had me thinking about Muslim stereotypes. As I was studying a statistics based course in those days so I decided to do a bit of simple statistical analysis about the subject when I went back home and noted it down in my journal. So this what I wrote:

There are between 1.2 to 1.57 billion Muslims in this world. That makes about 23%-24% of the population of this world, approximately every fourth person on this planet is a Muslim. According to the latest statistics which I can find (these are from the year 2008) there are somewhere between 700,000 to 1 Million people on the Terrorist Watch List maintained by American intelligence agencies, the list includes not only all the people who are terrorists but also individuals who are only ‘suspected’ of being involved in extremism.
Now It is quite certain that all of them are definitely not Muslims, as there are several nationalistic and other terrorists movements out there, but lets just assume for the sake of argument that A) all of them are in fact Muslims and B) Even the ones that are only ‘suspected terrorists’ are actual terrorists. So under these assumptions if we divide the number of (suspected) terrorists with the total population of Muslims. (1,000,000 divided by 1,570,000,000)

The result is 0.06%! This is too small of a number to be of any significance and its just sad to know that how less than 0.1% of nutjobs among us have become the representatives of the global Islamic community. I guess this just goes to show how the media affects and twists our opinion about a particular group of people and how it misrepresents different sets of human beings, and to be blunt how it preaches (for the lack of any better word) hate against people belonging to a certain background.

 

Advertisements