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Islam الإسلام is the monotheistic religion articulated by the Qur’an, a text considered by its adherents to be the word of the one God, Allah, and by the teachings and normative example of Muhammad, the "last" prophet of God. An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim.

Most Muslims belong to one of two denominations; with 80-90% being Sunni and 10-20% being Shia.[1] About 13% of Muslims live in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country,[2] 25% in South Asia,[2] 20% in the Middle East,[3] 2% in Central Asia, 4% in the remaining South East Asian countries, and 15% in Sub-saharan Africa. Converts and immigrant communities are found in most parts of the world. With about 1.41-1.57 billion Muslims, comprising about 21-23% of the world's population,[4] Islam is the second-largest religion and one of the fastest-growing religions in the world.[5][6][7][8][9]

Islam is characterized by determined opposition to atheism and communism as seen in the successful CIA operation which supported fundamentalist Islamic opposition to the socialist government of Afghanistan. Traditional Islamic culture, based on the customs of the 7th century, is feudalistic and takes no account of modern conceptions of civil rights or the rights of workers.

Notes and References

  1. . Religions. Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook. URL accessed on
  2. 2.0 2.1 Miller, pp.8,17
  3. See:* Esposito (2002b), p.21* Esposito, pp.2,43 * Miller, pp.9,19
  4. The World Factbook. CIA Factbook. URL accessed on
  5. Islam Today. Islam: Empire of Faith. PBS. URL accessed on
  6. No God But God. Thomas W. Lippman. U.S. News & World Report. URL accessed on
  7. Understanding Islam. Susan Headden. U.S. News & World Report. URL accessed on
  8. The List: The World's Fastest-Growing Religions. Foreign Policy. URL accessed on
  9. Major Religions of the World Ranked by Number of Adherents. Adherents. URL accessed on