(Original post by Harmonia Dragon)
Predicting a Majority-Muslim Russia
by Daniel Pipes
"Russia's Turning Muslim, Says Mufti" is the startling headline in the Times of London today. Ravil Gaynutdin, head of the Council of Muftis of Russia, announced that Russia's population of 144 million contains 23 million ethnic Muslims – and not, as the census indicates, 14.5 million, or, as the Orthodox Church estimates, nearer to 20 million. An estimated 3-4 million Muslims are migrants from former Soviet regions, including 2 million Azeris, 1 million Kazakhs, and several hundred thousand Uzbeks, Tajiks and Kyrgyz."
"Goble notes the exponential growth in Islam since the demise of the Soviet Union: Russia had about 300 mosques in 1991 and now there are at least 8,000, about half of which were built with money from abroad, especially from Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia. There were no Islamic religious schools in 1991 and today there are between 50 and 60, teaching as many as 50,000 students. The number of Russians going on the hajj each year, has jumped from 40 in 1991 to 13,500 in 2005. He quotes a Russian commentator predicting that within the next several decades there will be a mosque on Red Square."
"By 2015, Muslims will make up a majority of Russia's conscript army, and by 2020 a fifth of the population."
July 15, 2009 update: More from Medvedev, this time while visiting the Central Mosque in Moscow, where he stressed the importance of Islam in the Russia. "Russia is a multi-national and multi-confessional country. Russian Muslims have enough respect and influence. Muslim foundations are making an important contribution to promoting peace in society, providing spiritual and moral education for many people, as well as fighting extremism and xenophobia. There are 182 ethnic groups living in Russia, and 57 of them claim Islam as their main religion. This figure speaks for itself." He also promised the government would continue to assist with funding organizations to train imams and teachers.
Aug. 30, 2011 update: A sense of the Muslim numbers and solidarity can be seen from the Eid al-Fitr prayers on the streets of Moscow recently.
Ethnographers: Russia will have a Muslim majority “within our lifetime”
DURBAN, South Africa- Paul Goble, vice Dean of Social Sciences and Humanities at Concordia-Audentes University in Tallinn, Estonia said ethnographers predict that Russia will have a Muslim majority “within our lifetime"
"He said that 2.5 million to 3.5 million Muslims now live in Moscow, giving Moscow the largest Muslim population of any city in Europe.
Russia today has more than 8,000 mosques, up from just 300 in 1991.
"Experts predict that by 2010 some 40 percent of Russian military conscripts will be Muslim."