09 September 2016

Why the world’s Muslim population is growing so very, very quickly

This week, I reported a story for The Post from Jakarta on the “Muslim youth bulge” — the surge in youth in the Muslim world — and explored why this could be a recipe for instability. As a journalist and a young person (I’m 26), I’m fascinated by how young people shape society — sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.

One thing that’s very clear from academic literature on demography and social change is that young people matter. When they feel that the system is stacked against them, they tend to demonstrate — think of Occupy Wall Street, and of how “We-need-a-political-revolution” Bernie Sanders won 70 percent of the youth vote in the Democratic primaries.

What’s clear, though, is that in societies that aren’t democracies, young people who are disappointed by their lack of opportunity have fewer outlets by which to peacefully effect political change.

One reason, then, for apprehension about the huge size of the Muslim world’s youth population is that much of this growth is happening in its least developed parts, where there are the fewest opportunities for peaceful political expression. [The Washington Post] Read more