NEW YORK: In his article titled “Muslim future in India” (January 23), Khaled Ahmed claims that India “has the second largest Muslim population in the world”. This is inaccurate. The US demographic survey, arguably the best non-national census-based estimator of populations, estimates Muslims in Pakistan to be about 30-40 million more than in India.
One of my professors, Alison Busch (who had just returned from research in India), once tried to pass this statistic off in class, but I immediately called her out on it. She was very taken aback, but then went and did research and in the next class she made it clear to the class that by almost all non-partisan estimates, Pakistan has more Muslims than India. To this day, I have a special rapport with Professor Busch, a testament to her quest for unadulterated truth (despite her soft spot for India). It is therefore all-the-more shocking that a Pakistani writer would present such a statistical assertion to the readers of your otherwise excellent paper.
Taimur T Malik
Published in The Express Tribune, January 25th, 2011.