The Incredible Shrinking OIC

OIC map

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) has fifty-seven member states.

Everyone knows that. That’s what the OIC keeps telling us over and over again. Whenever you hear the OIC mentioned, the number fifty-seven is always closely associated with it. Heinz has its 57 flavors, and the OIC has its 57 countries.

Or does it?

Let’s take a look at the membership roll. I picked up the list of countries and their dates of entry from the OIC’s website, and joined it with a database of population figures from 2004 to construct the table below. It’s not up-to-the minute, but it will serve as a rough guideline to the makeup of the OIC:

Country   Population   Muslim pop.   %     Entry
Afghanistan   29,928,987   29,629,697   99.0%   1969
Albania   3,563,112   2,494,178   70.0%   1992
Algeria   32,531,853   32,206,534   99.0%   1969
Azerbaijan   7,911,974   7,389,783   93.4%   1992
Bahrain   688,345   585,093   85.0%   1972
Bangladesh   144,319,628   127,001,272   88.0%   1974
Benin   7,460,025   1,492,005   20.0%   1983
Brunei   372,361   249,481   67.0%   1984
Burkina Faso   13,925,313   7,658,922   55.0%   1974
Cameroon   16,380,005   3,276,001   20.0%   1974
Chad   9,826,419   5,306,266   54.0%   1969
Comoros   671,247   664,534   99.0%   1976
Côte d’Ivoire   17,298,040   6,677,043   38.6%   2001
Djibouti   476,703   471,935   99.0%   1978
Egypt   77,505,756   70,530,237   91.0%   1969
Gabon   1,389,201   13,892   1.0%   1974
Gambia   1,593,256   1,433,930   90.0%   1974
Guinea   9,467,866   8,047,686   85.0%   1969
Guinea-Bissau   1,416,027   538,090   38.0%   1974
Guyana   765,283   76,528   10.0%   1998
Indonesia   241,973,879   213,469,356   88.2%   1969
Iran   68,017,860   67,337,681   99.0%   1969
Iraq   26,074,906   25,292,658   97.0%   1975
Jordan   5,759,732   5,471,745   95.0%   1969
Kazakhstan   15,185,844   7,137,346   47.0%   1995
Kuwait   2,335,648   1,985,300   85.0%   1969
Kyrgyzstan   5,146,281   4,117,024   80.0%   1992
Lebanon   3,826,018   2,678,212   70.0%   1969
Libya   5,765,563   5,592,596   97.0%   1969
Malaysia   23,953,136   14,467,694   60.4%   1969
Maldives   349,106   348,756   99.9%   1976
Mali   12,291,529   11,062,376   90.0%   1969
Mauritania   3,086,859   3,083,772   99.9%   1969
Morocco   32,725,847   32,300,410   98.7%   1969
Mozambique   19,406,703   3,881,340   20.0%   1994
Niger   11,665,937   10,499,343   90.0%   1969
Nigeria   128,771,988   64,385,994   50.0%   1986
Oman   3,001,583   2,971,567   99.0%   1972
Pakistan   162,419,946   156,491,617   96.4%   1969
Palestine   3,761,904   3,159,999   84.0%   1969
Qatar   863,051   819,898   95.0%   1972
Saudi Arabia   26,417,599   26,417,599   100.0%   1969
Senegal   11,126,832   10,459,222   94.0%   1969
Sierra Leone   6,017,643   3,610,585   60.0%   1972
Somalia   8,591,629   8,591,629   100.0%   1969
Sudan   40,187,486   26,121,865   65.0%   1969
Suriname   438,144   96,391   22.0%   1996
Syria   18,448,752   16,234,901   88.0%   1972
Tajikistan   7,163,506   6,805,330   95.0%   1992
Togo   5,681,519   778,368   13.7%   1997
Tunisia   10,074,951   9,974,201   99.0%   1969
Turkey   69,660,559   68,963,953   99.0%   1969
Turkmenistan   4,952,081   4,407,352   89.0%   1992
Uganda   27,269,482   4,090,422   15.0%   1974
United Arab Emirates   2,563,212   1,948,041   76.0%   1972
Uzbekistan   26,851,195   23,897,563   89.0%   1996
Yemen   20,727,063   20,519,792   99.0%   1969

As you can see, among all the member states of the OIC, there are 1.18 billion Muslims out of 1.44 billion people, or about 82% of the total population.

Of the countries with a majority Muslim population, there are 1.15 billion Muslims out of 1.33 billion people, or about 86% of the population of those countries.

“Wait just a minute, Baron,” you say, “one of those is not a country!”

And you are quite correct. One of the majority-Muslim “countries” is “Palestine”, which is not a country at all. It consists of bits of territory that belong to Egypt and Jordan and have never been assigned by peace treaty to any other states.

So that knocks the number down to fifty-six right there.

There are also eleven non-Muslim countries on the list. They contain a total of 28 million Muslims out of 113 million people, or about 25%. One of them — Gabon — is only 1% Muslim, and five more are at 20% or lower. None of these can properly be called a “Muslim country”, and they should not be members of the OIC.

That brings us down to forty-five.

Of the Muslim majority countries, three (Burkina Faso, Chad, and Nigeria) are hovering close to 50%. Nigeria certainly doesn’t consider itself a “Muslim country”, yet it’s a member of the OIC.

I move to strike all three of them. That leaves us with the real OIC, which has forty-two members, or 26% fewer than it officially claims.

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What’s going on here? Why does the OIC include so many more “Muslim” countries than are statistically warranted?

Part of the reason is surely the well-known Islamic propensity for bragging about the Muslim world and inflating its importance. In Islam, things are always bigger, better, and more accomplished than any realistic analysis would support.

But there’s more to it than that. Take a close look at this table of non-Muslim members of the OIC:

Country   Entry   % Muslim
Benin   1983   20.0%
Cameroon   1974   20.0%
Côte d’Ivoire   2001   38.6%
Gabon   1974   1.0%
Guinea-Bissau   1974   38.0%
Guyana   1998   10.0%
Kazakhstan   1995   47.0%
Mozambique   1994   20.0%
Suriname   1996   22.0%
Togo   1997   13.7%
Uganda   1974   15.0%

What’s notable about these countries is that they joined the OIC relatively late. None was a founding member in 1969, and the majority of them were admitted to the OIC in 1990 or later.

To make the correlation even clearer, examine the scattergram below. It plots the percentage of Muslims against the year of entry into the OIC, and I’ve calculated a line of regression to make the trend obvious:

OIC Muslim population vs. year of entry

This timeline coincides with the Muslim Brotherhood’s intensified push to dominate the United Nations through the OIC. The OIC is recognized as a corporate entity by the UN, and the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam — which was signed by all members of the OIC — was registered as a formal document with the UN in the early 1990s.

Thus it becomes obvious that the oil-rich Muslim countries of the Middle East used their… ahem… persuasive powers to induce those small, unimportant, and poverty-stricken non-Muslim countries to join the OIC. By signing the OIC’s policy documents, they committed themselves to voting the Islamic party line in the General Assembly. This frequently gave the Islamic bloc a working majority, which it has used to its advantage ever since.

The inflated membership of the OIC is what has given us all those hundreds of “human rights” complaints against Israel. The OIC’s clout in the UN has brought us to the verge of a binding resolution that will require all the UN’s member states to pass laws criminalizing the “defamation of religions, including Islam”.

This strategy was a shrewd move on the part of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Back in the 1990s no one was paying any attention to Islam — they were either enriching themselves in the dot-com boom or laughing about the stain on Monica Lewinsky’s dress.

“Islam? What the heck is that?”

Well, now we know.

Many thanks to our Flemish correspondent VH for coming up with the idea for this post. I used a different dataset than he did, so my analysis is slightly different, but we are in broad general agreement.

9 thoughts on “The Incredible Shrinking OIC

  1. Hey, back in 1999, before the blogosphere existed to any real extent, we were running a large mailing list warning about jihadism in the Balkans.

    Practically nobody listened back then.

    Over a decade later, thanks to GOV and other intrepid bloggers who were counterjihad when counterjihad wasn’t cool, people are finally beginning to listen!

  2. Great post!

    So when will France, spain and Germany be joining the OIC? They’ll be hovering around 10% soon enough.

    And what about Tanzania? It’s about one-third Muslim, thanks to Zanzibar being the centre of the slave trade for so long.

  3. Yeah, they organized and were smart. Is that their fault?

    Clearly, if they did what we like, we’d support the notion.

    That said, they are too powerful at the UN and have a negative agenda concerning human rights and Western values.

    So what to do at the UN? Try to eliminate all blocs? Perhaps institute a secret ballot for final decisions in the GA?

    There are about 140 other member states. Why don’t Western and free states organize a bloc to offset the OIC?

    Rather than just dump on the UN, which is so easy, it should be used as a tool to improve conduct of the bad actors. Without the UN, it would probably be worse. That does not mean there are not always serious problems that could explode at any time, with it or without it.

  4. It would be also more interesting to find data about the demographic trends of these countries.
    The rate of growth of the population and the share of Muslims when they entered in the OIC and now.
    Christianity is growing fast in Africa and elsewhere. Many blacks are emigrating to live in the North Africa, it would be ironic that as the Muslims in North Africa move in Europe, the Christians Blacks of Africa move in North Africa.

  5. Eh, I dunno. The red line in that chart is flat out inaccurate. There’s no correlation in that data. There’s just no trend there.

  6. Interesting analysis of how the Muslim brotherhood made a catspaw out of the UN. The Islamic bloc voting and colluding with other non-democracies like China also explains how the countries with the world’s worst human rights records sit on the UN’s so-called Human Rights organ and Iran (that has women prisoners raped before execution so they cannot enter Muslim heaven) was just put on the UN’s Women’s issues committee while bankrupt Portugal was installed on the Security Council instead of Canada. Will Portugal now take over fighting (and dying) in Afghanistan from Canada?

    The UN in its sclerotic anti-West leftism is unfixable. Get the UN out of the US and the US out of the UN. Let this group of grubby unelected bureaucrats headquarter in Zimbabwe for example and apply themselves to their problems instead of swanning around NYC lecturing their betters.

  7. It is odd that countries with a very low percentage of Muslims, such as Gabon, Guyana, Togo and Uganda, are part of an Islamic bloc. The Muslim population of Israel, which is obviously not an Islamic country, is 16%.

  8. Hello Vienna!

    Here is Tirana calling.

    I come from Albania and in 2011 there was a population census, where some islamic-nationalists opposed mentioning the religion in this census. Some calculations show that after the atheist regime going on for 30 years less that 40% of the population declare themselfs muslim, even some others go below that number or 35%.

    In the next future indifference will grow and this percentage, I think, will diminish.

    Best regards,


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