Here is the exact quote from this White House interview with the French "CANAL+" reporter, Laurence Haïm. (Go to 2:17 of 9:48 in the video).
"Now, the flip side is, I think that, the United States and the West generally, we have to educate ourselves more effectively, uh, on Islam . . . uh, and uh . . .
One of the points I want to make is is that if you actually took the number of Muslims - Americans, you know, we'd be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world.
And so, you know, there's got to be a better dialogue and better understanding between the two people."
Really? We'd be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world, based on the number of Muslim Americans?
One of the largest? Well, according to NationMaster.com found here with a hat-tip to the Gateway Pundit post on the subject, maybe not so much.
Not even close!
In fact, based on the Nation Master chart, we're way down at number 41, with a Muslim population they estimate of only 4,140,277 Muslims in our entire country! But is their estimate too high?
According to the 2007 Pew Trust survey of Muslim religious affiliation, however, their estimated total number of Muslim Americans was only 2.35 million. Let's say it has increased to 2.5 million in the past two years, although that presumption may even rest on shaky grounds.
In his Cairo speech this morning the President claimed there were 7 million Muslim Americans, and his senior aide, Valerie Jarrett who is traveling with him on this trip abroad, specifically upped that number to 8 million in an interview on Fox News Channel immediately following his speech!
From his speech (at 10:52 on the time clock):
The dream of opportunity for all people has not come true for everyone in America, but its promise exists for all who come to our shores -- and that includes nearly 7 million American Muslims in our country today who, by the way, enjoy incomes and educational levels that are higher than the American average.Where do they get these numbers? And why can't they even agree as amongst themselves?
Here is the relevant paragraph from page 3 of that Pew study:
The U.S. Census does not ask about a respondent’s religious affiliation in its national surveys; as a consequence, there are no generally accepted estimates of the size of the Muslim American population. The Pew study projects approximately 1.5 million adult Muslim Americans, 18 years of age and older. The total Muslim American population is estimated at 2.35 million, based on data from this survey and available Census Bureau data on immigrants’ nativity and nationality. It is important to note that both of these estimates are approximations. (emphasis added)Is the suggestion that no one can specifically prove (or disprove) the precise number of Muslim Americans what emboldens President Obama to make the laughably wild claim that the actual is nearly triple this best estimate by Pew?
Going back to the NationMaster numbers chart, the country cited with the largest number of Muslims living there is Indonesia with 213,469,356 Muslims, or more than 50 times the number of Muslims that the United States has according to Nation Master -- or almost 90 times the Pew estimate!
And, if you measured Muslims as a percentage of the total population, the United States would be even further down on the list, because there are many much small countries with a lower total number of Muslims, but which comprise a significantly higher percentage of the total population of those countries.
For example, consider Lebanon with 2,678,212 Muslims, out of a total population of 3,925,502. Muslims, therefore, comprise over 2/3rds of the population. But in the United States with a population of over 300 million -- 306,584,217 this morning, according to the Census clock -- only about one out of every 74 people here are Muslim -- using the Nation Master numbers --(4.1 million). And using the upwardly adjusted Pew estimate -- 2.5 million -- it is 1 in 122.
Just for the sake of comparison, if out "enhanced" Pew numbers -- 2.5 million -- is accurate, we'd be down at number 54 on the list of nations with Muslim populations on the Nation Master chart.
Once again, here is the YouTube clip highlighting the relevant portion of his interview:
There it is!
" . . . one of the largest Muslim countries in the world . . ."What world is he talking about?