THE NEWS HOUR - PBS
September 22, 2012
JEFFREY BROWN: The bloodshed in Pakistan today marked a new spike in anti-American violence.
Gunfire and arson raged in city after city. And the death toll of at least 19 was the worst single-day count since an anti-Islamic video surfaced.
MOHAMMAD ARSHAD, Pakistan (through translator):
We want to show the world that Muslims are one and united on this issue.
We are all ready to die for the Prophet Mohammed.
We have left our family to join the protest and will remain here until the protest is over.
JEFFREY BROWN: But things quickly turned violent, as crowds burned cars, theaters and a bank, and some opened fire on police. At least a dozen people were killed, including three officers.
There were more deaths in Peshawar, to the northwest, where rioters set fires, and police fired back with tear gas and live rounds. And in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, police battled hundreds of protesters to keep them away from the U.S. Embassy.
Protests were largely peaceful in Indonesia, Egypt, Iraq, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, but no less anti-American, with crowds burning flags and effigies of President Obama.
In Washington, U.S. officials kept a close eye on events, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with the Pakistani foreign minister.
SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: I want to thank the government of Pakistan for their efforts to protect our embassy in Islamabad and consulates in Lahore, Peshawar, and Karachi.
And I want to be clear. As I have said on numerous occasions, the violence we have seen cannot be tolerated. Of course, there is provocation, and we have certainly made clear that we do not in any way support provocation.
JEFFREY BROWN: That provocation took the form of an online trailer for a film made by a California man mocking the Prophet Mohammed.
New fuel was added this week when a French satirical magazine published crude cartoons of Mohammed.
Hoping to ease the tensions, the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad began airing an ad on Pakistani television yesterday with clips of Secretary Clinton and President Obama.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.
JEFFREY BROWN: Pakistan's relations with the U.S. had already been tense over American drone attacks in Pakistani territory and the SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011.
After her Washington meeting today, the Pakistani foreign minister avoided directly criticizing the riots in her country. But she did voice gratitude for the U.S. response to the video.
HINA RABBANI KHAR, Pakistani foreign minister: Your condemnation has given a strong message that the United States government not only condemns it, but has absolutely no support to such blasphemous videos or content anywhere. I think that is an important message. And that message should go a long way in ending the violence on many streets in the world.
JEFFREY BROWN: But, in Iran, at a military parade, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the U.S. and others of promoting strife under the guise of protecting civil liberties.
PRESIDENT MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, Iran (through translator): They are seeking to trigger ethnic and religious conflicts. They chant fake slogans of freedom, and claim commitment to freedom of thought and freedom of speech.
JEFFREY BROWN: And back in Pakistan, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf called for the world to outlaw blasphemy.
PRIME MINISTER RAJA PERVEZ ASHRAF, Pakistan: We are demanding that the United Nations and other international organizations seek a law that bans such hate speech aimed at fomenting hatred and sowing the seeds of discord through such falsehood.
JEFFREY BROWN: In the meantime, Pakistan shut down YouTube access after the website refused to remove the anti-Islamic video. And in France, authorities banned all protests for the day in a bid to prevent violence.
And in another development today, some 30,000 Libyans marched in Benghazi in a demonstration against Islamic extremists. The crowds mourned the death of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens last week and demanded that a large militant group, Ansar al-Sharia, disband. They also called for Libya's interim government to improve security.
"WE ARE ALL READY TO DIE FOR THE PROPHET " - PERSPECTIVE
This man says, "We are all ready to die for the prophet Mohammed."
There are an estimated one billion plus Muslim people in the world. If this man is right, that would mean more than a billion graves.
And an infidel would have to bury the last Muslim.
2.2 Billion: World's Muslim Population Doubles
REUTERS/ Mohamed Azakir
Sunni Muslim supporters of Lebanon's former prime minister Saad al-Hariri wave flags during what they call "a day of anger" in Tripoli, northern Lebanon January 25, 2011
By 2030 the global population is set to reach over 8 billion and 26.4% of that population will be Muslim.
A report by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life titled "The Future of the Global Muslim Population" projects that the number of Muslims in the world is set to double from 1.1 billion in 1990 to 2.2 billion in 2030.
While these are impressive numbers, it actually indicates that the worldwide growth of Islam is "growing but slowing" as it will drop from a growth rate of 1.7% between 2010 and 2020 to 1.4% between 2020 and 2030.
Pew project that Pakistan is set to overtake Indonesia as the country with the world's largest number of Muslim's as it's Muslim majority population pushes to over 256 million. The number in the U.S. will double to over 6.2 million while Afghanistan's Muslim population is set to rise by almost 74% as the number rises from 29 million to 50 million, making it the country with the ninth largest Muslim population in the world.
(More on TIME.com: Why Egypt's Outlawed Muslim Brotherhood Still Thrives.)
Better living conditions combined with increased life-expectancy in Muslim majority countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa, net migration and global population growth are given as the main factors driving the growth. Despite the projection, Muslims will remain a relatively small minority in the Americas and European countries and the Christian majority in these countries is expected to be just as impressive.
While Islam has experienced rapid growth in worshipers of all denominations, it is likely that it will not overtake Christianity as the most dominant world religion as the number of Christians is expected to also reach 2.2 billion by 2030. Between them, these two major world religions will make up over half of the Global population at almost 33 per cent by 2030.
(More on TIME.com: Colorful Religious Festivals.)
"There has been a lot of speculation about the growth of the Muslim population around the world, and many of those who speculate don't have good data," said Brian Grim, a senior researcher at the Pew Forum. "Instead of a runaway train, it's trending with the general global population."
"This will provide a garbage filter for hysterical claims people make about the size and growth of the Muslim population," Philip Jenkins, a religious history scholar in Christianity and Islam told the Washington Post.
Certainly with the world population set to reach 8.3 billion by 2030 the explosive growth of world religions is just as impressive. (Via CNN.)