Although I have an extreme revulsion for Islam, after much reflection I have ceased to believe that it is a credible threat to the civilised Western world for the foreseeable future. The religion called Islam was concocted 1400 years ago and its message is unchanged and unchanging, set in the primitive morality of the 6th century, goat-herding, Semitic tribes inhabiting the Arabian Peninsula. Its primary goal has not been achieved. That goal is to subject us all, the whole planet, to the rule of Islamic Sharia law. The Muslims have spent 1400 years trying to do this and they have failed dismally. My contention is that they are less able to achieve anything today than they were at many times in the past 14 centuries.
THE ISLAMIC NATIONS:
Firstly, it seems obvious to me that Islamic societies themselves are in serious trouble. They are wracked by sectarian violence and dominated by envy, cruelty, sexual frustration and hatred. If you know anything about the situation in Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and Yemen, then you will agree with me that they are not exactly role models for civilised societies. It’s telling to recall that only a few short years ago, Turkey was a serious candidate for membership of the EU; now it is sliding into the Islamic theocratic abyss. Only the oil-rich states of the Arabian Peninsula are doing financially well under their oppressive feudal monarchies, though stable they are not. The remote, occasionally democratic, Islamic dominions of Indonesia and Malaysia currently appear relatively stable, though they are out of sight and out of mind. It would seem that the majority of the Islamic world is at best unstable, and at worst a humanitarian disaster.
Secondly, the world is changing and the Islamic counties are increasingly unable to deal with it. The climate is changing, the energy supply/demand picture is changing and the agricultural production balance is changing. As China and India become richer and richer, their populations demand an ever better diet: all 2.5 billion of them. They want a diet like we have in the West: three square meals a day and regular doses of high quality bovine protein plus chicken, fish and pork in between. Producing such protein takes 10-20 times as much agricultural capacity as producing simple grains for direct human consumption. At the same time the total world population is going to continue to grow to an estimated 11 billion, an increase of more than 50%, whereas global agricultural production is stagnating and will probably reduce as demand drives the switch to an increased animal protein production and climate changes hit ever harder. Thus food prices are going to escalate relentlessly. There is no way that countries like Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, etc. will be able to afford to feed their populations. Afghanistan probably will be able to do that from cocaine production.
As shale oil/gas and clean energy production relentlessly increases, the oil-rich states of the Arabian Peninsula will see their incomes slowly dropping. Ultimately they will have to go back to herding goats and wondering where the sun goes to at night.
Thirdly and finally, I am convinced that the basic tenets of Islam preclude Islamic societies from acquiring the ability to deal with the challenges of the modern world:
1. The Koran contains everything one needs to know: science and technology are irrelevant. Education consists of learning to recite the Koran.
2. Women are treated like cattle, so half their intellectual capital is wasted.
3. Polygamy marginalises and radicalises a significant proportion of the mature male population.
4. Islam means submission and thus the abdication of the ability to think for oneself.
5. The daily Islamic grind of ritual prayer enforcing complete submission to the will of Allah and the yearly rituals of Ramadan and the Hadj reduce both efficiency and motivation.
6. Muslims are told to consider this life on Earth to be of no significance other than being a prerequisite selection phase for the afterlife in Islamic Heaven/Hell. Hence, there is no point in working together to improve our lot on this planet.
7. Muslims have a massive inferiority complex resulting from centuries of European domination, so everything that happens to them is someone else’s fault: first and foremost, the Jews.
In summary, the Islamic world is an economic, political, cultural, social and moral disaster full of sectarian violence and hatred. It has a bleak future. Once oil revenues diminish and food prices rise, their populations will shrink significantly.
An unavoidable result of all of the above factors will be an ever-increasing pressure on Muslims to emigrate to the West. They will try to go anywhere where there is a social security handout, but the policy of Western governments will remain restrictive on immigration of all kinds. Nevertheless, despite the obvious past failure of Islam to overrun us infidels, many people in the West are concerned about what they see as an increasing immigration of Muslims into their societies. They see this as a sort of unspoken conspiracy to do by covert means what Islam has failed to do by explicit action over the past 1400 years. However, I do not believe this to be the case, since as far as I can tell there is no structure or organisation or authority in Islam to direct such a process, other than the Koran itself. The late great Muammar Gaddafi claimed that there was an orchestrated movement for Islam to conquer Europe from within via mass immigration, but nobody took him too seriously and look how he ended up: murdered by his own people! Personally, I believe that Muslims emigrate to the West simply because Muslim societies are abject failures as outlined above. These immigrants want the hope of an orderly and prosperous future for themselves and their children in a peaceful and successful society. Unfortunately for the Muslim immigrants who make it to the West, those bringing their archaic Islamic beliefs with them bring the seeds of their own past and future failure, but most adapt within two generations to the norms of the society they have embraced.
One of the claims of the Islamophobes is that the relatively small Islamic populations in the West will reproduce more aggressively and thus grow much faster than the indigenous Caucasian populations. The claim is that within a few generations they will outnumber us: a conquest by the superior productivity of the Islamic womb, financed nota bene by our own generous social security systems! However, some recent studies in the Netherlands definitely negate this proposition. The large Moroccan and Turkish groups here have, in two generations, reduced their birth rate down to or below the indigenous Dutch level and in their home countries the birth rate is dropping significantly as well. The following excellent Huffington Post article written by the Canadian journalist, Doug Saunders, indicates clearly that the Netherlands is not unique in this respect:
I paraphrase the arguments of the 10 myths about Muslims here:
1. Muslims have higher birth rates and will take over by sheer weight of numbers.
Two generations ago, it seemed indeed as if Islamic countries were destined for out-of-control population growth. People spoke of an “Islamic fertility rate”, more than 5 children per family on average, and predicted a future of minaret spires foresting the Earth.
Today, it is readily apparent that Islam is not connected with population growth. Just look at Iran, the world’s only Islamic theocracy, where the average family had around 7 children in the 1980s and has less than 2 today, a lower rate than France or Britain and well below the population replacement rate, which is around 2.1. Or look at the United Arab Emirates, with 1.9 children per family. Or Turkey, ruled by an elected party of devout Muslims for a decade, which now has 2.15 children per family. Or Lebanon, where, despite Hezbollah’s rise, has only 1.86 children per family, so that its population is shrinking as well. Muslim women are voting with their wombs.
2. Immigrants from Muslim countries are going to swamp us.
People look at the large families of many new Muslim immigrants and imagine them multiplying at exponential rates. But this is a bit of an illusion, as are many of the figures suggesting that Muslim immigrants have fertility rates higher than in their homelands. This is because most new immigrants are relatively young and have most of their children in the years immediately after their arrival. The way we calculate Total Fertility Rate, the measure of average family size, is by taking the total number of live births a woman has had and extrapolating it across her fertile life. As a result, immigrants appear to have more children than they really do.
In reality, the family sizes of Muslim immigrant groups are converging fast with those of average Westerners. Muslims in France and Germany are now having only 2.2 children per family, barely above the national average. And while Pakistani immigrants in Britain have 3.5 children each, their British-born daughters have only 2.5. Across Europe, the difference between the Muslim and non-Muslim fertility rate has fallen from 0.7 to 0.4, and is headed toward a continent-wide convergence.
3. Muslims will become a majority in European countries.
In fact, we now have several large-scale projections based on population-growth trends and immigration rates which show that the Muslim populations of Europe are growing increasingly slowly and that by the middle of this century, even if immigration rates are not reduced, the proportion of Muslims in Europe will probably peak somewhere short of 10% (it is currently around 7%). By that point, Muslims will have family sizes and age profiles not that different from Europeans in general.
4. Muslims will become a dominant group of cultural outsiders in the United States.
Despite the hysterical rhetoric coming from Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann and their ilk, Muslims in the US are not only a very tiny group, but they are also one of the most integrated groups in the country, especially if you consider that 69% of American Muslims are first-generation immigrants, and 71% of those immigrants arrived after 1990.
There are only 2.6 million Muslims in the United States today (0.8% of the population). By 2030, that number is likely to rise to 6.2 million (because Muslims are young and fertile), at which point Muslims will be 1.7% of the population, almost as numerous as Jews and Episcopalians. Even though they’re new, American Muslims tend to be economically successful and highly educated. With 40% of them holding a college degree, they’re the second most educated group after Jews, and far more educated than Americans in general, only 29% of whom have a degree.
5. Muslims in the West hold the same backward views as Muslims in the Middle East.
Actually, Muslims change their cultural views dramatically when they emigrate. For example, 62% of American Muslims say that “a way can be found for the state of Israel to exist so that the rights of Palestinians are addressed”, a rate barely lower than that of average Americans (67%), and vastly ahead of the minuscule response among Middle Eastern Muslims, for whom only 20% to 40% agreed with that statement, depending on the country.
Similarly, 39% of American Muslims and 47% of German Muslims say they tolerate homosexuality, compared to single-figure responses in most Islamic countries and those rates are rising with each immigrant generation. On these important questions, Muslim immigrants are converging with Western values fast.
6. Muslims in America are more loyal to their faith than to their country.
True, 49% of Americans from Muslim backgrounds say they consider themselves “Muslim first and American second” and 47% claim to attend a mosque on Friday. But you have to compare that to American Christians, 46% of whom say they identify themselves as “Christian first and American second” (that number rises to 70% among Evangelicals). And 45% of American Christians attend a church service every Sunday.
In other words, Muslims have adopted exactly the same rate of religious observance as the people around them in their host country. We see this just as strongly in France, where 20% of those counted as Muslims are actually atheist and only 5% attend a mosque regularly, almost the same rate as French Christians attending church.
7. Poor Muslims are flooding out of overpopulated countries into the West.
In fact, the poorest and most overpopulated Muslim countries (Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Egypt) are producing the least emigration and very little of it is to the West. Immigration tends to come from the countries with the lowest population-growth rates and the highest levels of sectarian violence.
Muslims are also far from the largest immigrant group, even in countries that immediately adjoin the Islamic world. In Spain, which lies across a narrow strait from the poor Arab countries of North Africa, only 13% of immigrants are Muslim. The rest are coming primarily from Spanish-speaking countries across the Atlantic. In Britain, only 28% of immigrants are Muslim and those numbers do not seem poised to increase.
8. Muslim immigrants are angry at the society around them.
In fact, Muslim immigrants appear to be MORE satisfied with the world around them, and its secular institutions, than the general population. Muslim immigrants in the United States are more likely to say they are “satisfied with their lives” (84%) than average Americans are (75%) and that number rises to 90% for American-born Muslims. Even among Muslims in neighbourhoods where the community mosque has been vandalized, an increasingly frequent occurrence, fully 76% say that their community is an “excellent” or “good” place to live.
This usually extends into pride in national institutions. For example, 83% of British Muslims say they are “proud to be a British citizen,” versus only 79% of Britons themselves and only 31% of Muslims agree that “Britain’s best days are behind her,” versus 45% of Britons in general.
9. Muslims in the West applaud terrorist violence.
While it might seem chilling to learn that 8% of American Muslims feel that violence against civilian targets is “often or sometimes justified” if the cause is right, you have to compare that to the response given by non-Muslim Americans, 24% of whom said that such attacks are “often or sometimes justified.”
This is reflected in most major surveys. When a large-scale survey asked if “attacks on civilians are morally justified”, 1% of the French public, 1% of the German public and 3% of the British public answered yes. Among Muslims, the responses were 2%, 0.5%, and 2% respectively. Asked if it is “justifiable to use violence for a noble cause”, 7% of the French public agreed, along with 8% of French Muslims; 10% of the German public and fewer than 2% of German Muslims; 10% of the British public and 8% of British Muslims. This may well be because more than 90% of the victims of Islamic terrorism are Muslims themselves.
10. UK Muslim women are so fertile that the most common baby name is now Mohammed.
This is true, but it does not mean what you think it means. In 2010, if you combined all 12 spelling variants of the Islamic prophet’s name, “Mohammed” was more popular than any other name given to new babies. But that’s more a consequence of naming trends than anything else. In a great many Muslim cultures, ALL male babies are given “Mohammed” as an official first name. But among many Westerners, especially white Anglo-Saxons, black Christians and atheists, there has been an explosion in exotic and unorthodox baby names. As of 2011, these groups are 50% more likely than they were a generation ago to give their children uncommon baby names. As a result, Mohammed manages to reach the Number 1 spot without being at all common. Babies named after the Islamic prophet made up only 1% of British newborns in 2010.
Gapminder (www.gapminder.org) statistics also confirm very convincingly that the birth rates in the vast majority of Islamic countries have plummeted over the past 50 years. In the four most populous Islamic countries, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia and Pakistan, which together account for nearly half of the world’s Muslims, they have dropped from 6+ live births/woman down to an average of 2.6 live births/woman since the early 1960’s and the trend continues downwards. Most Islamic countries are now down around replacement level birth rates and many are below replacement level.
Taking all the above into consideration, I shall continue to participate in the exchanges on the threat posed by Islam, since Islam is evil and the exchanges are fun, but I shall not take it all too seriously…