Pakistan has more Muslims than India

Published: January 24, 2011

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

Columbia University

Published in The Express Tribune, January 25th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • satyram
    Jan 25, 2011 - 11:16AM

    Impossible !

    Recently a notorious gansgster called Atique Shaikh (or Ali) surrendered to Mumbai police. He has 4 wives and 28 kids (he is only 35, still there is a good scope of further production). stupid US demographic surveyor should have pointed this trait while commenting on muslim population.Recommend

  • abdullah
    Jan 25, 2011 - 11:45AM

    this is wrong india has more muslims and there population is more than 200 million…..whereas pakistan total popuation is around 170 millionRecommend

  • Tony Singh
    Jan 25, 2011 - 12:26PM

    Does it make any difference? Its time the population explosion in both countries is tamedRecommend

  • Mirza Abeer
    Jan 25, 2011 - 12:58PM

    The writer is right. I too have read those statistics. Pakistan has the second largest Muslim Population in the world. Recommend

  • Rajat
    Jan 25, 2011 - 3:00PM

    @Taimur T Malik

    Congrats man, Ladoo banto, phatake phodo. What’s the point of the letter, I dont know. Recommend

  • Ajaz Hussain
    Jan 25, 2011 - 4:05PM

    so what difference does it makes?

    Muslimhood must not be measured by quantity it must and always be measured by quality. You society, social system, economic system, political system, people behavior, value of a fellow human being in your society and all those thing which are linked with your life represent that are you muslim and if muslim a tru muslim by you deeds or not?

    we should be proud of our muslimhood when we create a good image of being a muslim. just exceeding in number is nothing.Recommend

  • Jan 26, 2011 - 1:48PM

    Not only we are large Muslim population, but also proved our identify by way of everyday suicide bombings, corruption, irresponsible governments, unanswerable military, child killing, blasphemy, begging, shamelessness etc.and etc. People never come out for peace, progress and development, but rush if religious matter is involved.

    Subhan Basha

  • Naeem Siddiqui,Australia
    Jan 27, 2011 - 5:29AM

    @Rajat @Subhan and @Ajaz

    I think Taimur Malik’s sole intention is to correct a mistake of Khaled Ahmed on the bases of factual reports. This is actually true I myself have read many reports on this regard.
    Indian gives this argument of having more Muslims then Pakistan to justify their crimes in Indian occupied Kashmir and other parts of India.Recommend

  • Jan 27, 2011 - 10:48PM

    .Naeem Siddiqui,Australia

    Indian gives this argument of having
    more Muslims then Pakistan to justify
    their crimes in Indian occupied
    Kashmir and other parts of India

    If the larger population claim is only useful for covering up crimes against muslims, then perhaps Pakistan has a much better claim. As the statistics show,

    Kashmir-109 killed while defying curfew and throwing stones over 6 months

    Balochistan- 168 kidnapped (disappeared) and bullet riddled dead bodies found, many with ‘Hapy Eid’ greetings over 3 months.

    Karachi- More than 200 killed while walking to office/going to market in ‘target killings’

    Need I mention the car bombs and human bombs too.

    Yes, your claim to larger population as a justification of greater crimes can not be disputed.


  • Subhash
    Jan 28, 2011 - 7:20PM

    Do not worry, soon Pakistan will be number 1 beating Indonesia. Hope this will make you happy OR you dream of beating even China in terms of absolute numbers. Go ahead & do that ; my best wishes are with you. I can even chip in with some contribution……. just waiting for visa to Pakistan. Jokes apart we need to focus our energies on something more productive fields like say economy.Recommend

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