Is the end of Islam nearer than many thought? Is Islam – which many have strong views both for and against, nearing the phase when it would become a mere memory among people? Are Muslims increasingly turning un-Islamic? It seems so. The international opinion on the extremities in Islam is reaching a point of criticism that looks similar to the West’s criticism of the witch-hunt in the dark ages in Europe by the Roman Catholic church. And as the understanding of people vis-a-vis extremist Islamists reaches maturity, more and more ex-Muslims are coming out expressing their reservations and revealing the problematic sides of their faith. If Muslims are coming out against the stakeholders of Islam, it would not be hyperbole to say that the Islamic hierarchy itself would soon collapse.
A concept that appears straight out of a dystopian movie, Arab countries have started discussions of propagating a new religion named ‘Abrahamism’ that will be a mish-mash of three Abrahamic religions, that is – Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. This particular religion is named after the prophet Abraham. Reportedly, the common teachings of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism are supposed to be included in this religion, which has neither any follower nor any religious text as of now. Why are Arab countries suddenly pushing for this to-be-religion? Have they had enough of Islam?
Muslims Turning Atheists Faster than Anybody Else:
According to the Washington Times, in Saudi Arabia, flat-out rejection of Islam “is spreading like wildfire,” says a Saudi refugee. The WIN/Gallup survey found that “convinced atheists” make up 5 percent of the population in Saudi Arabia, the same as in the United States. According to a 2012 WIN/Gallup poll, “convinced atheists” make up 2% of the population in Lebanon, Pakistan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan, 4% in the West Bank and Gaza
Surprisingly, “non-religious” people are more numerous: 8% in Pakistan, 16% in Uzbekistan, 19% in Saudi Arabia, 29% in the West Bank and Gaza, 33% in Lebanon, and 73% in Turkey, according to the same poll. In contrast, according to a GAMAAN poll, just one-third of born Shi’ite Muslims in Iran, or 32.2 percent, identify as such, with the remaining 5% identifying as Sunnis and 3.2 percent as Sufis.
According to a Konda study in Turkey, atheists increased from 1% to 3% between 2008 and 2018, while non-believers increased from 1% to 2%. According to Arab Barometer polls, the number of Arabic-speakers who declare they are “not religious” has increased by 61 percent in five years, from 8% in 2012-14 to 13% in 2018-19. This tendency is much more pronounced among persons aged fifteen to twenty-nine when the percentage increased from 11 to 18.
Competition within the Islamic World:
The Middle East is a complicated region. To understand this part of the world, there is no other alternative but to read about it. Mired with conflicts, it is highly recommended that you visit TFIglobal’s ‘West Asia’ section to enhance your knowledge of the region.
But here’s what is basically happening. Every Arab Muslim country is fighting either overtly, or covertly with each other. Allies, enemies, foes – they are all trying to gain the upper hand in controlling the proverbial ‘Muslim world’. Saudi Arabia is fighting Iran and Qatar. Turkey is fighting Saudi Arabia and its allies. Saudi Arabia and UAE – supposed allies, are silently competing with each other as Abu Dhabi tries to establish itself as a proponent of modern and reformed Islam. Qatar is fighting almost every Arab country to exert influence on Muslims around the world. It is a conundrum of the highest order. The proliferation of Islam is taking a big hit due to these conflicts.
Being a Muslim:
Being a Muslim in present times is seemingly not easy. In fact, it can be argued that Muslims are facing the worst time they have ever come across, historically. Many Muslims are giving up their faith, identifying themselves as non-Muslims, and even converting back to their original faith. In India itself, the former chairman of Shia Waqf Board, Wasim Rizvi has converted back to Hinduism to become Jitendra Narayan Swami. Additionally, Malayali film director Ali Akbar and his wife Lucyamma announced that they will be converting to Hinduism, leaving Islam. For such Islamic luminaries to convert to Hinduism shows the crisis which Islam today finds itself in.