1 October, 2022


Islam, Contraception And Myths On Muslim Population Growth In Sri Lanka

By Izeth Hussain –

Izeth Hussain

Izeth Hussain

Sri Lankan Muslims at the cross roads – XVII – Muslim Population Problem (continued)

The statistical table given above can be interpreted in more than one way. Between 1981 and 2012 the Buddhist population increased from 69.30% to 70.19%, the Hindu population decreased from 15.48% to 12.61%, the Muslim population increased from 7.56% to 9.71%, the Christian population decreased from 7.62% to 7.45%. The Muslim population increased therefore by more than double the percentage increase of the Buddhist population. The magnitude of that increase can be better appreciated if it is seen in absolute numbers. From 1981 to 2012 the Buddhist population went up from 10,288,300 to 14,222,844 while the Muslims went up from 1,121,700 to 1,967,227.

A reader argues the following case, using a different set of statistics for the period 1981 to 2011.Muslim population increased from 1,046,900 (7.o5%) to 1,869,820 (9.23%), an over-all increase of 822,920 (78.60%).During the same period the over-all increase of the island’s population was from 14,846,800 to  20,263,723, that is an increase by 5,416,923(36.48%). Therefore the population increase of the Muslims by 78.60% is double that of the national average increase by 36.48%.

muslim-family-at-eidThat, on the face of it, establishes beyond dispute that by an ineluctable process Sri Lanka will become a predominantly Muslim country by 2050. I have not been able to access on the internet the BBS’ views on Muslim population increase, but very probably the details in the preceding paragraph gives the essence of the BBS case. It fits in nicely with the Islamophobic nightmare that before long Islam will become the predominant religion not only in Sri Lanka but in the world and Islamic power will hold sway over the globe.

In exposing the Islamophobia behind the above argument, we must first of all ask the following question: why is it that when population statistics are available for a hundred and thirty years, that is since 1881, the focus has been on the period 1981 to 2012? After all, we all know that after 1983 there was a thirty year war during which the normal processes of population growth would be disrupted, for which reason it would be absurd to extrapolate into the future as secular trends abnormal developments of the war period. For instance, the Tamil population growth rate dropped during that period obviously because of the huge number of Tamil deaths during the war and even more because of mass migration. It would be absurd to extrapolate from that a continuing drop in the growth rate of the Tamil population. In the case of the Muslims, it seems obvious that that period was chosen because it showed something thoroughly abnormal – whatever may be the reason – in the growth rate of the Muslim population: a 2% leap forward that enabled the argument that the Muslim population increase by 78.60% is double that of the national average of 36.48%.

It can be shown in the perspective of population statistics since 1881 that that Muslim 2% leap forward was something thoroughly abnormal. Between 1881 and 1981 the Muslim population was virtually static: 7.17% in 1881 and 7.56% in 1981. On the other hand the Buddhist population increased from 61. 53% in 1881 to 69.30% in 1981. In a hundred years therefore the Muslim population increased marginally by 0.39%, which in absolute numbers amounts to 0.924 million while the Buddhist population increased by 7.7% which in absolute terms amounts to 8.59 millions. In this perspective the expectation that the Muslims will become the dominant majority by 2050 is preposterous.

But we have to account for that Muslim 2% leap forward. I have made many enquiries and find that while several possible reasons are mentioned no one is certain about a definitive explanation. It would therefore be idle to speculate on the possible reasons at this point. However I sought the views of a professional demographer who has not been forthcoming with a definitive explanation but is quite certain that it does not represent a trend of Muslim population increase for the future. His expectation is that in the long term the Muslims will amount to 10% of the population, the Sinhalese to 70%, and the total population will stabilize around 23 million.

I will now set out the reasons why I think the 2% leap forward to which I have referred above has to be regarded as an aberration,  and why I think that the future Muslim population increase would be along the lines indicated by the statistics from 1881 to 1981. First of all, we must get rid of the widespread notion that Islam is against birth control. I see that a Tamil doctor with a background of expertise in demography shares this notion. The truth is that Islam, like the other great world religions, can be interpreted in varied ways, and I daresay that some or many Muslims will hold that Islam forbids birth control. The book Le rendez-vous des civilisations by Youssef Courbage and Emmanuel Todd – the former a demographer and the latter a political scientist who was trained as a demographer – declares that in comparison with Christianity “Islam is more tolerant towards pleasure and certain forms of contraception, the practice of which can effectively lower the birth-rate. The azl, or coitus interruptus, was accepted by Mohammed and, by extension, Islam tolerates all the other forms of contraception”.

But what really matters is practice, not precept. I grew up in a traditional Muslim household and underwent training in Islam by a series of lebbes who never told me anything either for or against birth control, which consequently never figured in my consciousness. Muslims of those days – the ‘thirties I mean – had huge families usually numbering well over five, but the number went down during the ‘forties and in recent decades the average Muslim family would have two to four children, the same as Sinhalese and Tamil families. I believe that after the demographic transition to smaller families takes place, the average of the number of children does not go up again, most certainly not to the huge extent of the Muslim population increase from 1881 to 2012. As I said earlier that increase has to be investigated. What we have to expect therefore is Muslim population increase according to the norms established during the hundred year period from 1881 to 1981. The expectation that Sri Lanka will become a Muslim majority country by 2050 is no more than an expression of racist Islamophobia.

It has to be expected also that our Muslim population, in accordance with international norms, will not keep on increasing indefinitely. Courbage and Todd in their book, published in 2007, state that when they were students the populations of the third world seemed to be engaged in a process of indefinite and uncontrollable increase, engendered by declining mortality and high birth rates. The vicious cycle of population increase and economic stagnation was one of the givens in social studies of that time. But since then, during the last thirty years, they have seen a control of fecundity taking place in all the continents and almost in every country, including the Muslim ones. They write, “Henceforth the rate of fecundity in Iran and Tunisia will be the same as in France”. Their book focuses on the demography of the Islamic world and provides a mass of statistics that explode sky-high the Islamophobic notion that the Muslims will before long come to dominate the world numerically.

*To be continued

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Latest comments

  • 7

    Although the writer brings some logical arguments to calm down the Islamophobs, I do not understand why it’s important that Sri Lanka should always be predominantly Buddhist country? Does anyone get special reward from anywhere for making or keeping a country in a particular way? Haven’t we learnt from the human history that nations once dominated the world have gone without trace? It’s not restricted to Singhalese or Tamils, Buddhists or Muslims. Accept the world as it is?

    • 3

      Dear Izeth Hussain,

      RE: Islam, Contraception And Myths On Muslim Population Growth In Sri Lanka

      RE: Sri Lankan Muslims at the cross roads – XVII – Muslim Population Problem (continued)

      Thank you for sticking to factual data and making your point. Unfortunately, the Racists, the Chauvinists and Islamophobists will twist factual data to show their viewpoint, scientific, statistical or not. Remember, still about 30% of the people worldwide believes the Sun goes around the stationary Earth.

      Given below is some factual Muslim Population growth.
      Demographic Trends in Muslim Countries
      Farzaneh Roudi-Fahimi, John F.


      April 2013) Muslims account for around one-fifth of the world’s population—or about 1.6 billion people. They represent the majority population in about 50 countries and territories clustered in Asia and Africa (see Table 1).1 Muslims are diverse, varying by race, language, and the degree of their religious conservatism. Some Muslims live in countries where the government is influenced or ruled by Islamic law (such as Saudi Arabia and Iran), while others live in countries with secular governments (such as Tunisia and Bangladesh
      Table 2
      The 10 Largest Muslim Populations

      Muslim Population, mid-2012 (millions, est.) Total Population, mid-2012 (millions) % Muslim, 2010 Life Expectancy at Birth, Both Sexes (years) TFR (births per woman)
      Indonesia 212.3 241.0 88.1 72 2.3
      India 183.9 1,259.7 14.6 65 2.5
      Pakistan 173.9 180.4 96.4 65 3.6
      Bangladesh 138.2 152.9 90.4 69 2.3
      Nigeria 81.5 170.1 47.9 51 5.6
      Iran 78.7 78.9 99.7 70 1.9
      Egypt 77.9 82.3 94.7 72 2.9
      Turkey 73.9 74.9 98.6 73 2.0
      Algeria 36.7 37.4 98.2 73 2.9
      Morocco 32.6 32.6 99.9 72 2.3

      Sources: Muslim population (estimates) and percent Muslim come from Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, The Future of the Global Muslim Population. Projections for 2010-2030 (Washington, DC: Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life, 2011); total population, life expectancy at birth, and total fertility rate come from Population Reference Bureau, 2012 World Population Data Sheet (Washington, DC: Population Reference Bureau, 2012).

      So, for Sri Lanka, with a higher literacy rate, can expect the range of children/women to be between 1,9 and 2.3

      These rates will decline as more and more Muslims become educated.

      • 0

        Unfortunately Muslim population growth will not reduce.

        The only country that had a decline in Muslim population is Tamil Elam.

        1990 was a watershed year.

        Jihadization of Tamil Elam border villages in Amparei, Mannar, Trincomalee, Kalpiddi, is a big problem that can bite the Tamil country.

        Until 2001 Colombo city had a Tamil majority. Now it has a Muslim majority!

        Even traditional Tamil heartlands like Wellawattei, Kottanchenai, Mattakkuli now have mosques!

        • 3


          “The only country that had a decline in Muslim population is Tamil Elam.”

          The only “country” that had a decline in Sinhala population is Tamil “Elam.”

          So, the Muslim and Sinhala populations increased in non-Tamil “Elam” areas in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho.

          Tamil Elam and Sinhala Elam are land Stolen from the Native Veddah Aethho by the Para-Sinhala and Para-Tamils.

          The Vedda Tribe


          Tamil-speaking Veddas of Vaharai await war recovery support


  • 8

    Muslim population growth is a real problem.

    It must be solved one way or the other. Otherwise SL will also become another Afghanistan.

    Get Israeli help. They are willing to give it free!

    • 6

      Tamodaya aka Lorenzo
      What will your alter ego (Fathima Fukshima) say?
      ps- do you have a gender bender issues?

      • 2


        “Tamodaya aka Lorenzo”

        Tamodays= Lorenzo= Fatima Fukushima -Leela -Nanda – Jim Softy etc and Avtars.

        Lorezo is now disoriented because the Lankaweb cesspool inhabited by Shills, cronies, etc, are rotting in the cesspool pit,

        The lankaweb and its shills had indigestion and constipation with Amarasiri’s posts.

        So they did not post Amarasiri’s posts.

        They all are liars.

        • 2

          Looks like Jihad Amarasiri is experiencing what ISIS martyrs suffer before death – diarrhea.

          Amarasiri’s version is Islam (Saivaislam) is a corrupted form of Islam. True Islam is Wahab teachings.

          Come to the Wahab fold you misled Muslim or burn in eternal hell fire.

          • 2

            Tamodays= Lorenzo= Fatima Fukushima -Leela -Nanda – Jim Softy etc and Avtars.

            “Amarasiri’s version is Islam (Saivaislam) is a corrupted form of Islam. True Islam is Wahab teachings.”


            Amarasiri’s version of Religion and Belief etc.is Reason. Investigation, Data and Proof is above everything else.

            Lorenzo et al version is the Lankaweb cesspool inhabited by Shills, cronies, etc. are rotting in the cesspool pit,

    • 0

      In his non-stop effort to defend the untenable Muslim designs in the Island, and the world, Izeth Hussain juggles with statistics to confuse the readership. What more do you need than to look around – there are more Muslims than 25 years so in the country and an absolute explosion of Mosques all over the country. More Mosques well in advance for more Muslims to make their presence in the country. I hope Hussain or his few Jihadist acolytes here will not abuse me using his now customary vile language simply because I say what is my considered view.


  • 3

    the birth rates are very low in many societies except for muslims who produce just[Edited out].

    Even the European countries are concerned about this.

  • 3

    Every thing is until muslims have the upper hand.

    Once muslims have the upper hand, other cultures will be destroyed. See, Saudi arabia, Afghanistan, Maldive Island, Bangladesh, Indonesia….. all of which were Hindu or buddhists.

    • 3

      Jim softy

      “Once muslims have the upper hand, other cultures will be destroyed.”

      Now that the Sinhala/Buddists have the upper hand one can see how much destruction they have brought to other cultures.

    • 2

      Thanks Mr Izeth for your rationale on the perceptions of exceptional Muslim growth post 1981, and for elucidating the evidence using comparative evaluation based on world population growth, and the parallel growth of other communalities within the isle. As you rightly mention, these patterns are bound to change as we pass through time, and nothing can be certain to put down in stone as being a perfect reason why such natural changes do take effect. Who knows, it may just be an outcome of a little known encoded gene pattern called the ‘human swarm’ behavior, similar to well documented swarm behavior patterns in animals. In some respects, like bees, bird flocks, fish swarms, May flies, butterflies, crabs, etc.

      As for you Jim, all I can say is, if taken that what you write is to be taken as right, then it becomes perfectly clear that when the ‘Truth’ of Islam first appeared in those countries that you mention, then ‘falsehood’ was bound to perish, just as when ‘light’ appears, ‘darkness’ gets obliterated, and that is possibly why there are so many Muslim countries in the world today, which may have been Buddhist or Christian countries (as you claim) in the past. You just have to live with this reality, and start figuring out where does the ‘Truth’ exist. Who am I? What am I doing? What am I supposed to do? Where am I going from here? These are all questions you need to ask yourself to get to the bottom, and to realize the Truth. So many have already done it before you, and so many waiting in line to take the plunge. Don’t be left out.

  • 1

    Wish of Allah is to keep Islamic Umah numbers below that of unbelievers? Why after all did He send the last prophet (PBUH)? Mr Hussain if your intention is to fool the unbelievers, rather keep on fooling them until your numbers become significant you certainly will be rewarded on the judgement day, otherwise you will rot in hell for pronouncing this most anti Islamic blasphemy.

    • 2

      Don’t curse people for what they write. Don’t hate or despise them for their religion. They are only bringing out their own research to prove a point, which you may or may not approve of nor like. In fact, No, they will not even reply to you to defend themselves nor to meet your challenges. They will only remain silent and understand what an idiot you are. Although these forums are free to express yourself, it must be done with due respect and in a dignified manner and to the point. This truly will show the class in you.

      No one should rot in hell including you. May the good Lord bless you with more brains to realize the TRUTH, and I pray that some day, you, Saman becomes Salman, instead of just someone, and may that day be soon.

    • 2

      Tamil Elam never had a problem with Muslims.

      In 1990 LTTE chased away all the Muslims from the north.

      Only the stupid Chingalams suffer with their misplaced compassion accommodated displaced Muslims. Now Muslims are growing like wildfire in Chingalam areas.

      Tamil areas are still free from them.

      Tamils are therefore still grateful to the LTTE.

  • 2

    If anyone has a problem with Muslim population growth, why don’t they start producing children like Muslims do?

    Why jealous?

    Eating herbicide, pesticide and other agrochemicals loaded beef and mutton is now making Muslim men infertile. Most of these are manufactured by Monsanto company a Jewish company.

    So soon the jealous people will not have anything to be jealous about.


    • 1

      Lorenzao, Fatima et al and avtars,

      “If anyone has a problem with Muslim population growth, why don’t they start producing children like Muslims do? Why jealous?”

      Historically, that was in fact the case.

      Everyone produced more children, Many died and many survived.There was no difference in the rate between the Muslims and Non-Muslims. ( See Nigeria, Africa etc)

      Now others, non-Muslims produced fewer children, reduced their rate, but the Muslims did not reduce their rates as much. It is the difference. Why?

      The Education and economic level.

      So, Educate the Muslims, wean them away from the Wahhabi and Mullahs, and their rates will come down.

  • 2

    Unfortunately the spirit what Izeth states gets superseded by the events unfolding in the Islamic world making his assertions/suppositions obsolete.Bensen

  • 0

    Hey Izeth how do you like the “Ass Kicking” Buddy Obama is giving your ISIS guys the Killer protectors of your religion in Syria.

    Andrew Stuart

  • 0

    If one removes oneself from ethnicity and religion and look just at the population dynamics in Sri Lanka and the world in general one will see that almost all conflicts have overpopulation at its root. Basically too many people chasing too few resources. The response of human kind has been band together under various banners and vie with each over the control and use of these resources. This is what is happening and it will ultimately boil over in another world war which is guaranteed to remove a billion or so people from the world population.

    The one solution which will engender co-existance, reduce carbon emissions, reduce deforestation, restore fish stocks and allay a host of other evils is population control.

    Impose a strict two child policy now or risk losing everything. Those facing cripling hardship in their later years is today’s generation and Not tomorrow’s.

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