A Commentary based on a table of member countries of the OIC and the religion of their citizens – a statistical research project of the International Institute of Religious Freedom (2013, translated 2016)
By Thomas Schirrmacher, 2013
This was published in German as “In den Mitgliedsstaaten der Organisation Islamischer Kooperation (OIC) leben 320 Millionen Christen”. S. 170-178 in: Thomas Schirrmacher, Max Klingberg, Ron Kubsch (Hg.). Das Jahrbuch zur Verfolgung und Diskriminierung von Christen heute – 2013. Bonn: VKW, 2013. ISBN 978-3-86269-080-0. The original German article can be found here and a longer version here. The english publication by the International Institute of Religious Freedom can be downloaded below at the end of this text.
This contribution is based on two tables, which list all states of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in alphabetical order and give numbers of Muslims and non-Muslim and as part of the latter group, of all Christians. Both tables can be found here (2010) and here (2012/2013).
The numbers of the first table are taken from „The World’s Religions in Figure“, 2013, based on „World Religion Database“ as of Januar 2012. „OW“ each time gives an alternative number in brackets from the second table, based on „Operation World“, 2010.)
The 52 member and 5 observer states of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have 1.77 billion (OW: 1.8 billion) inhabitants. 70.8 % (OW: 71 %), that is 1.254 billion (OW: 1.274 billion), are Muslims, 29.2 % (OW: 28.7 %) are non-Muslims (= 0.52 billion, OW: 0.51 billion). Roughly two thirds of the non-Muslims are Christians, that is 333 millions (OW 324 millions), or 18.8 % (OW: 18.6 %) of the inhabitants of the OIC-states.
If one does not count the observer state (which the OIC itself never leaves out), there are 1,56 billion inhabitants (OW: 1,58). 79,4 % (OW: 79,1 %) are Muslims (= 1,24 billions, OW: 1,25 millions ), 20,6 % (OW: 20,5 %) are non-Muslims (= 429 millions, OW: 323 millions), including 13,5 % (OW: 14,2 %) Christians (= 211 millions, OW: 224 millions).
As the OIC by definition only speaks on behalf of Islam and Muslims alone, more than half a billion people are represented by an organisation, that ignores or even denies their rights.
OIC’s website says (retrieved 12/06/2013):
„The Organization is the collective voice of the Muslim world and ensuring to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world.“ „The Organization has the singular honor to galvanize the Ummah into a unified body and have actively represented the Muslims by espousing all causes close to the hearts of over 1.5 billion Muslims of the world.“
So it seems, that the OIC just counts the non-Muslim citizens as Muslims. And it is very clear, that they do not work for the interests of their non-Muslim citizens, but have them pay for the expansion of Islam via their taxes. The intensive actions within the United Nations – the OIC is the largest body of states in the world beside the UN – always was and still is only in favour of Islam.
The strangest members of OIC are those, where Muslims are not the majority of the population. Look at the percentage of Muslims in the following member states of the OIC:
- Benin 24.5 % (OW: 23.5 %) Muslims
- Cameroon 20 % (OW: 26 %)
- Cote dÍvoire 40,6 % (OW: 41.8 %)
- Gabon 10,2 % (OW: 10 %)
- Gyana 7,5 % (OW: 9.4 %)
- Mozambique 17,5, % (OW: 18.6 %)
- Nigeria 45,5 % (OW: 45.1 %)
- Surinam 15,9 % (OW: 16.9 %)
- Uganda 11,7 % (OW: 11.5 %)
[One has to add the following observer states with non-Muslim majority:
- Russia 10,4 % (OW: 12.5 %) Muslims
- Thailand 5,9 % (OW: 7.9 % )
- Central African Republic 13,7 % (OW: 13.8 %)]
Why are those states members of OIC? Why do they pay and work for the sole expansion and protection of Islam and against the interests of the majority of their citizens?
Think for a moment, there would be a similar organisation like the OIC made up of Christian states. Nigeria would be a member and would work towards the expansion of Christendom and bypass its Millions of Muslim citizens!
I would like to add one further thought. The OIC does not even work on behalf of Muslim minorities within their own countries. The OIC only speaks up on behalf of Muslim minorities in non-Muslim countries. And even there, it speaks up for mainstream Islam, never for minorities from minor wings of Islam, and surely not for those minorities seen as ‘sect’ outside Islam. Wikipedia writes rightly so (retrieved 17/08/2012):
„The OIC has been criticised for diverting its activities solely on Muslim minorities within majority non-Muslim countries but putting a taboo on the plight, the treatment of ethnic minorities within Muslim-majority countries, such as the oppression of the Kurds in Syria, the Ahwaz in Iran, the Hazaras in Afghanistan, the Baluchis in Pakistan, the ‘Al-Akhdam’ in Yemen, or the Berbers in Algeria.“
Wikipedia should have added the wording from the OIC-Charter, which clearly states as one of the goals of IC:
„to assist Muslim minorities and communities outside the Member States to preserve their dignity, cultural and religious identity“.
This is further proved by a report of the General Seceretary of OIC, Ekmleddin Ihsanoglu, in his major work (The Islamic World in the New Century: The Organisation of the Islamic Conference. Columbuia University Press: New York, 2010. 127-142).
International human rights indexes
A search through major international indexes related to specific human rights shows, that the OIC states first of all should urge each other to protect the dignity and human rights of its citizens. Following are some examples (these indices are all available in the web under their name, so we do not provide detailed links here):
The Democracy Index (2011) does not list one OIC member state as a ‘Full Democracy’, and only 3 of the 57 members are rated as ‘Flawed Democracy.’ The rest are rated either as ‘Authoritarian Regime’ or as ‘Hybrid Regime.’ The situation is even worse when looking at the countries only, which have a Muslim majority.
The Freedom in the World Report (2010) ranking the political rights and civil liberties only list 3 OIC member states as ‘Free’.
The Press Freedom Index (2011) by „Reporters Without Borders“ rated only Mali and Suriname among the 57 member states of the OIC having a ‘Satisfactory Situation’. All other members were rated between ‘Noticeable Problems’ down to ‘Very Serious Situation.’
The global rankings of global restrictions of religious freedom worldwide by the PEW Forum on Religion & Public Life and by the Hudson Institute report Religious Freedom in the World show that the OIC member countries, which have a large Muslim majority, mostly belong tot he countries with the highest restrictions on religions and that these restrictions have been growing between 2009 and 2011 (see „Global Restrictions on Religion“, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, December 2009. pp. 49-52; „Rising Restrictions on Religion“, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, August 2011; Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom: Paul A. Marshall. Religious Freedom in the World. Plymouth UK, 2008. pp. 5-7).
The newest published research by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, which only studied the written constitutions and laws of the OIC member states with a Muslim majority, not the actual situation, shows, that Islam is the state religion and sharia the highest law of the country in 18 states, while another 4 states only declare Islam to be the state religion and one state mentions sharia as the highest law alone.
Comment on the approximate numbers for South-Sudan, which had to be subtracted from Sudan (united), as all available figures come from the time before the division of the country (10 Mio. inhabitants, 220.000 Muslims, 9,8 Mio. Non-Muslims including 7,7 Mio. Christians). [The statistics of the „The World’s Religions in Figures“ already list North- and Southsudan seperately.]iirf_reports_2016_3