Friday, March 17, 2006

The Umma’s Involuted Border

The Bloody Borders ProjectA Bloody Borders Update

After my initial post on The Bloody Borders Project, a4g and other commenters suggested that I develop maps to illustrate the density of Muslim population as well as the terrorist attacks.

Since then I’ve been working on the Umma Maps, based on Muslim population data supplied by The results are represented in the series of maps shown below.

All Islamic terror attacks since September 11, 2001
The Bloody Borders Project

The nature of the “bloody border” is astonishingly clear in this map. With the exceptions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the highest concentrations of terrorist attacks occur along the edges of the Umma, where it meets the areas of lower (but significant) Muslim population.

And now compare this map:

Islamic terror attacks in 2002
The Bloody Borders Project

With this map:

Islamic terror attacks in 2005
The Bloody Borders Project

You can see that the Coalition interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan have, from a systemic point of view, caused the border of the Umma to involute, to form fractal boundaries extending into what had been the heart of Islam.

It’s not just the American troops that bring this about — the arrival of new ideas and new political systems brings its own instability and generates the “bloody border” response. The political and social concepts introduced by the Coalition into the Umma are an extreme violation of fundamentalist Islamic tenets. Thus the hardcore zealots of the Umma are drawn in to oppose the introduction of what they see as dangerous and deadly memes.

Once again, the exceptions are interesting. China, Burma, Turkey, and the former Soviet republics in Central Asia seem to be exempt from the “bloody borders” principle.

The relative calm and Burma, China and the “Stans” may have one or more of these causes:

1. Repressive dictatorial governments that maintain a monopoly on violence, or

2. Official control of information flow so that news of attacks is lacking.

Turkey is a different matter. Has its military helped to keep a lid on Islamism? Has it exported its worst troublemakers to the Muslim ghettos of Eurabia? Commenters are invited to weigh in on this topic.

In fact, the relative calm in the center of the Umma may result more from the repressive nature of the governments of Islamic countries than in a peaceful utopian political culture based on the Shari’ah. The events in Iraq suggest that the different sects and subgroups of Islam would, if given the chance, have at each other until the last throat was cut.

In any case, Samuel Huntington was not making it up: there is a border and it is bloody. The border has lately become a fractal, and the unfolding events of the next few years should prove interesting indeed.

See the complete range of maps and information, including a new (smaller) animation, at The Bloody Borders Project.

A full table of information on Muslim populations is listed below.

Note: I am well aware that the differential regional breakdown of Muslim populations within countries, especially India, Russia, and China, is significant. I have in hand a database of Muslim population statistics within Indian states, but have not had time to utilize it yet in order to make a map.

If anybody can point me to reliable and complete data (i.e., every administrative district in the country must have a separate statistic) for other countries, please put the URL in the comments or send me an email, and I will collect data to use in future updates.

Data Source for Muslim Population Statistics

 Country Population 
 Afghanistan29,928,987 99.029,629,697 
 Albania3,563,112 70.02,494,178 
 Algeria32,531,853 99.032,206,534 
 Angola11,190,786 1.0111,907 
 Argentina39,537,943 1.5593,069 
 Armenia2,982,904 2.059,658 
 Australia20,090,437 1.5301,356 
 Austria8,184,691 4.7384,680 
 Azerbaijan7,911,974 93.47,389,783 
 Bahrain688,345 85.0585,093 
 Bangladesh144,319,628 88.0127,001,272 
 Belarus10,300,483 0.551,502 
 Belgium10,364,388 3.5362,753 
 Belize279,457 1.02,794 
 Benin7,460,025 20.01,492,005 
 Bhutan2,232,291 1.022,322 
 Bosnia and Herzegovina4,025,476 40.01,610,190 
 Botswana1,640,115 1.016,401 
 Brunei372,361 67.0249,481 
 Bulgaria7,450,349 12.2908,942 
 Burkina Faso13,925,313 55.07,658,922 
 Burundi6,370,609 10.0637,060 
 Cambodia13,607,069 3.5476,247 
 Cameroon16,380,005 20.03,276,001 
 Canada32,805,041 2.0656,100 
 Central African Republic3,799,897 15.0569,984 
 Chad9,826,419 54.05,306,266 
 China1,306,313,812 3.039,189,414 
 Comoros671,247 99.0664,534 
 Congo (Brazzaville)3,039,126 2.060,782 
 Congo (Kinshasa)60,085,004 10.06,008,500 
 Côte d'Ivoire17,298,040 38.66,677,043 
 Croatia4,495,904 1.358,446 
 Cyprus780,133 18.0140,423 
 Denmark5,432,335 3.0162,970 
 Djibouti476,703 99.0471,935 
 East Timor1,040,880 4.041,635 
 Egypt77,505,756 91.070,530,237 
 Eritrea4,561,599 50.02,280,799 
 Estonia1,332,893 0.810,000 
 Ethiopia73,053,286 47.534,700,310 
 Fiji893,354 7.062,534 
 France60,656,178 7.54,549,213 
 Gabon1,389,201 1.013,892 
 Gambia1,593,256 90.01,433,930 
 Georgia4,677,401 9.9463,062 
 Germany82,431,390 3.73,049,961 
 Ghana21,029,853 16.03,364,776 
 Greece10,668,354 2.8300,000 
 Guinea9,467,866 85.08,047,686 
 Guinea-Bissau1,416,027 38.0538,090 
 Guyana765,283 10.076,528 
 Hungary10,006,835 0.660,041 
 India1,028,610,388 13.4138,188,726 
 Indonesia241,973,879 88.2213,469,356 
 Iran68,017,860 99.067,337,681 
 Iraq26,074,906 97.025,292,658 
 Ireland4,015,676 0.519,676 
 Israel6,276,883 14.6916,424 
 Italy58,103,033 1.7987,751 
 Jordan5,759,732 95.05,471,745 
 Kazakhstan15,185,844 47.07,137,346 
 Kenya33,829,590 7.02,368,071 
 Kuwait2,335,648 85.01,985,300 
 Kyrgyzstan5,146,281 80.04,117,024 
 Laos6,217,141 1.062,171 
 Lebanon3,826,018 70.02,678,212 
 Lesotho1,867,035 2.037,340 
 Liberia3,482,211 20.0696,442 
 Libya5,765,563 97.05,592,596 
 Lithuania3,596,617 0.621,579 
 Luxembourg468,571 2.09,371 
 Macedonia2,045,262 30.0613,578 
 Madagascar18,040,341 7.01,262,823 
 Malawi12,158,924 20.02,431,784 
 Malaysia23,953,136 60.414,467,694 
 Maldives349,106 99.9348,756 
 Mali12,291,529 90.011,062,376 
 Mauritania3,086,859 99.93,083,772 
 Mauritius1,230,602 16.6204,279 
 Mongolia2,791,272 4.0111,650 
 Morocco32,725,847 98.732,300,410 
 Mozambique19,406,703 20.03,881,340 
 Myanmar42,909,464 4.01,716,378 
 Namibia2,030,692 3.060,920 
 Nepal27,676,547 4.21,162,414 
 Netherlands16,407,491 6.0984,449 
 Niger11,665,937 90.010,499,343 
 Nigeria128,771,988 50.064,385,994 
 Norway4,593,041 1.673,488 
 Oman3,001,583 99.02,971,567 
 Pakistan162,419,946 96.3156,491,617 
 Palestinian Territories3,761,904 84.03,159,999 
 Philippines87,857,473 5.04,392,873 
 Portugal10,566,212 0.336,981 
 Qatar863,051 95.0819,898 
 Russia143,420,309 15.021,513,046 
 Rwanda8,440,820 4.6388,277 
 Saudi Arabia26,417,599 100.026,417,599 
 Senegal11,126,832 94.010,459,222 
 Serbia and Montenegro10,829,175 21.02,274,126 
 Seychelles81,188 1.1894 
 Sierra Leone6,017,643 60.03,610,585 
 Singapore4,425,720 16.0708,115 
 Slovenia2,011,070 2.550,276 
 Somalia8,591,629 100.08,591,629 
 Somaliland7,591,629 100.07,591,629 
 South Africa44,344,136 1.5665,162 
 Spain40,341,462 2.51,008,536 
 Sri Lanka20,064,776 7.01,404,534 
 Sudan40,187,486 65.026,121,865 
 Suriname438,144 22.096,391 
 Swaziland1,173,900 1.011,739 
 Sweden9,001,774 4.0360,070 
 Switzerland7,489,370 4.4329,532 
 Syria18,448,752 88.016,234,901 
 Taiwan22,894,384 0.7160,260 
 Tajikistan7,163,506 95.06,805,330 
 Tanzania36,766,356 35.012,868,224 
 Thailand65,444,371 5.03,272,218 
 Togo5,681,519 13.7778,368 
 Trinidad and Tobago1,088,644 6.065,318 
 Tunisia10,074,951 99.09,974,201 
 Turkey69,660,559 99.068,963,953 
 Turkmenistan4,952,081 89.04,407,352 
 Uganda27,269,482 15.04,090,422 
 Ukraine47,425,336 0.5237,126 
 United Arab Emirates2,563,212 76.01,948,041 
 United Kingdom60,441,457 2.71,631,919 
 United States295,734,134 1.44,140,277 
 Uzbekistan26,851,195 89.023,897,563 
 Venezuela25,375,281 0.5126,876 
 Vietnam83,535,576 0.8710,052 
 Western Sahara273,008 99.8272,461 
 Yemen20,727,063 99.020,519,792 
 Zambia11,261,795 1.1123,879 
 Zimbabwe12,746,990 1.0127,469 
 Other784,410,076 0.1892,881 
 All Countries6,386,793,850  

Note: Some figures are estimates, and
Muslim population figures are unavailable
for some countries.



Aaron said...

These maps are so interesting. Nice work. I notice that the terror attacks in Israel seem to have greatly diminished from year to year. At least your maps show fewer attacks there each year.

John Sadowski said...

I think you got the 2 numbers at the bottom switched...

Baron Bodissey said...

Mr. Sadowski —

You’re right — I had my two variable names switched in the program code. Thanks for letting me know; I’ve fixed them in both places.

Baron Bodissey said...

a4g --

You just love being the squeaky wheel, don't you?

FYI, the next addition to the project will be large-scale maps. But it may take a while.

CDR Salamander said...

As always, your hard work is right on target. I can't help but see the "Pakistan" problem. You know what makes it worse, they just banned my side blog. How cool is that?

heroyalwhyness said...


Curious . . .not being familiar with Portugal's history, how is it that it has the smallest % ?

antifraud said...


Your hard and diligent work is greatly appreciated. It sure makes things much clearer.

Thanks for all you do regarding this issue.

Hope you and yours have a great weekend.

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

Darfur and Southern Sudan are under-reported of course, that would add in a thick solid blue band around S and W Sudan.

Indonesia is also underrepresented in that while it has less terrorists, but more government terror in the east of that country (Papua, Ambon).

Thomas von der Trave said...

Power to the bloggers!

Involution now!

Baron Bodissey said...

fieldpro --

That's an interesting idea. Piracy is a distinct problem, and is certainly not confined to Muslims. I'm not sure where statistics for such things are collected.

Going into piracy is a commercial decision, and arises whenever brutal and unscrupulous people are given the opportunity. Hence the Somali pirates.

Baron Bodissey said...

Vikrant --

I take into account whatever is in the statistics!

I have to scrape my data from somewhere, but I don't mind revising my source. If you have an idea for a better set of statistics, I'll be glad to look at it.

It just has to be consistent; i.e. the 24 million that are counted in India have to be NOT counted in Bangladesh.

I do have a database of Indian population totals; eventually I'll map the Indian states and India will display more than one color of green.