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The global Muslim population stands at 1.57 billion, meaning that nearly one in four people in the world practice Islam, according to a report last week that was billed as the most comprehensive of its kind.
The project, three years in the making, also presents a portrait of the Muslim world that might surprise some people. For instance, Germany has more Muslims than Lebanon, China has more Muslims than Syria, Russia has more Muslims than Jordan and Libya combined, and Ethiopia has nearly as many Muslims as Afghanistan.
"This whole idea that Muslims are Arabs and Arabs are Muslims is really just obliterated by this report," said Amaney Jamal, an assistant professor of politics at Princeton University who reviewed an advance copy.
The report provides further evidence that although the heart of Islam might beat in the Middle East, its greatest numbers lie in Asia: More than 60 percent of the world's Muslims live in Asia.
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