With the number of visitors from the Middle East to Asia on the rise, Hong Kong is re-examining what it has on offer to entice more travelers to its sights. The city already has a sizable Muslim population. Hong Kong boasts five mosques that serve the city’s Muslim inhabitants. The city of 7 million only has an estimated 50 or so halal restaurants. According to Mohammed Khan, one of 15 Muslim leaders of Hong Kong’s Islamic Council Union, there are no firm estimates of the number of Muslims in Hong Kong but at his “guestimate, it’s around half a million people.“
If the 500,000 Muslims in Hong Kong estimate is accurate, then 14 percent of the city is already Muslim. That is unlikely and it reveals the Muslim penchant for dramatically inflating their population numbers to gain influence.
Going by census results, there are over 100,000 Indonesians, some of whom may be Christian refugees, along with 18,000 Pakistanis. That’s nowhere near half a million. Add on some Chinese Muslims and it still doesn’t reach 200,000. Muslim religious participation also appears to be very low in Hong Kong according to Muslim sites. Hong Kong is a very secular place and a lot of those Indonesians probably take the chance to break away from the stifling atmosphere back home.
But Muslim cartoon rage did make a showing in Hong Kong.
In a rare show of public protest, Hong Kong’s Muslim community is planning to hold a demonstration next Friday, Feb. 17 to condemn cartoon portrayals of the Prophet Mohammed. The protest is set to take place at Kowloon Mosque in the heart of the city. More than 3,000 people are expected to attend the Friday lunch demonstration to join their voices in protest against the cartoons.
The Kowloon Mosque’s Imam is a Pakistani so the idea that Hong Kong can have its Muslims without the violence may be unrealistic.