See also: Muslim population in European cities
Quotes from an article on Muslims in Greater Europe, by Nabil Shebaib
Estimates of the Muslim population in the recently expanded EU vary considerably owing to the lack of accurate statistics. Out of a population of 450 million, Muslims are estimated at between 15 and 25 million [note: ie, 3%-5%]. In countries like France , Germany and Britain , the Muslim population reaches into the millions. During the height of the hijab crisis in France , voices emerged in the Western media calling on Muslim women to leave France if they would not abide by its laws. The question then arose: Where should they go, and by what justification when France is their motherland?
The past few decades have witnessed a religious revival amongst European Muslims.
European Muslims need to actively interact with other segments of society, rather than presenting themselves as a minority attempting to claim its rights from a majority that can deny or withhold these rights. In general, using extreme measures to demand these rights is not only an ineffective position, but also a harmful one.
The overwhelming majority of Muslims in Europe are part of the fabric of society. Like other groups, Muslims have certain peculiarities that distinguish them from the rest of society. Irrespective of their cultural heritage or religion, all these other groups remain an integral part of the society, which has become a mosaic of cultures, creeds, nationalities and religions. Dialogue, co-existence, and even conflict govern the relationships between them, but none is excluded or marginalized as a minority. This should also apply to the Muslim populations of the EU countries.
European Muslims do not represent a transient historical phenomenon, and there is no evidence of a decline in their presence. On the contrary, there are many indications that the Muslim presence in Europe will increase. According to European and UN studies, the results of these drastic demographic changes in European countries will play themselves out in the coming decades. Amongst the factors that contribute to this change is the increase in European Muslim birth rates in comparison with those of other groups. Other projected changes are a decrease in the working-age population and an increase of the retiring-age population - a situation that is impossible to balance without opening the door to immigrants, which can hardly be achieved without including millions of Muslim immigrants
The ratio of Muslims to the total population of the EU countries ranges between 3.5 and 5.5%. However, the ratio of Muslim youth (between 45 and 50% of the Muslims) to EU youth is between 16 and 20%. In other words, in a few years Muslims will constitute 16 to 20% of the European workforce, and could therefore influence policies and decision-making.
The entire article can be read on Islam Online.