Note: This entry has been updated. See below, the part about the Netherlands.
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The following video is a hit on the world wide web:
Islam will overwhelm Christendom unless Christians recognize the demographic realities, begin reproducing again, and share the gospel with Muslims.[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-3X5hIFXYU]
Here is a transcript of the text of the video:
FTV–The world is changing. The Global culture our children will inherit will be vastly different than it is today. You are about to witness a report on the worlds changing demographics.
ACCORDING TO RESEARCH, IN ORDER FOR A CULTURE TO MAINTAIN ITSELF FOR MORE THAN 25 YEARS there MUST be a fertility rate of 2.11 per family.With anything less the culture will decline. Historically no culture has ever reversed with a 1.9 fertility rate.
A rate of 1.3 is IMPOSSIBLE to reverse. Because it would take 80 to 100 years to correct itself. And there is no economic model that can sustain a culture during that time.
In other words, if 2 sets of parents each have a child, there are half as many children as parents. If those children have one child, then are 1/4 as many grandchildren as grandparents. If only a million babies were born in 2006, it’s hard to have 2 million adults enter the workforce in 2026.
As the population shrinks, so does the culture.
As of 2007 the fertility rate in France was 1.8
Across the entire European Union, in 31 countries, the fertility rate is mere 1.38
Historical research has told us these numbers are impossible to reverse.
In a matter of years Europe as we know it will cease to exist. Yet the population of Europe is not declining. Why? Immigration. ISLAMIC immigration.Of all population growth in Europe since 1990, has been Islamic immigration.
France 1.8 children per family
In Southern France, traditionally one of the most populated Church regions in the world, there are now more Mosques than Churches. 30% of children ages 20 and younger, are now Islamic.
In larger cities such as Nice and Paris the number has grown to 45%.
By the year 2027, 1 in 5 Frenchmen will be Muslim. In just 39 years France will be an Islamic Republic. In the last 30 years the Muslim population of Great Britain rose from 82,000 to 2.5 MILLION. A 30 fold Increase. There are over 1,000 Mosques, many of them former Churches.
In the Netherlands 50% of all newborns are Muslim. And in only 15 years, half of the population of the Netherlands, will be Muslim.
In Russia, there are 23 MILLION Muslims. That’s 1 out of 5 Russians.. 45% of the entire Russian Army will be Islamic in just a few short years.
Currently in Belgium, 25% of the population, and 50% of the newborns, are Muslim. has stated ”
The government of Belgium has stated 1/3 of all European children will be born to Muslim families by the year 2025. Just 17 years away.
The German government, the first to talk about this openly, recently released a statement saying: “The fall in the population ( German ), can no longer be stopped. It’s downward spiral is irreversible…It will be a Muslim state by the year 2050! -( German Federal Statistics Office )
Muammar al-Ghadaffi of Libya has said: “There are signs that Allah will grant victory to Islam in Europe without swords, without guns, and without conquest.
We don’t need terrorists , we don’t need suicide bombers. The 50+ Muslims in Europe will turn it into a Muslim Continent in a few decades”
There are currently 52 MILLION plus Muslims in Europe. The German government has said that number is expected to double in the next 20 years to 104 MILLION Muslims.
Closer to home the numbers tell a similar story. Right now, Canada’s fertility rate is 1.6, nearly a full point below the 2.11 required to sustain a culture. And now Islam is now the fastest growing religion. Between 2001 and 2006, Canada’s population increased by 1.6 million.1.2 of those? Immigration.
In the US, the current fertility rate USA citizens is 1.6. With the influx of the Latino nations, the fertility rate increases is 2.11. The bare minimum required to sustain a culture.
In 1970 there were 100,000 Muslims in America. In 2008 there were over 9 MILLION-( 9,000,000) The world is changing, it’s time to WAKE UP!
3 years ago, a meeting of 24 Islamic Organizations was held in Chicago. The transcripts of that meeting showed in detail, their plans to “evangelize” America. Through journalism, politics, education, and more. They said “We must prepare ourselves for the reality that in 30 years there will be 50 million Muslims living in America. ( Islamic Strategy Conference in Chicago )
The world that we live in is not the world in which our children and grandchildren will live.
The Catholic church recently reported that Islam has just surpassed their membership numbers.
Some studies show that at Islams current rate of growth, in 5-7 years it will be the dominant religion of the world.
Again, it is time to AWAKEN out of our malaise in this country. Unless YOU want to be the next offering of Islam on the altar of it’s “god” aka the father of lies.<– ( I said this )
As believers we call upon you to share the Gospel message with a changing world. This is a call to ACTION!
It is part of a discourse that is prevalent among many:
- Islam is a threat to (Western) liberal values
- The islamization of (Western) society is in progress
- Western societies are therefore threatened and the threat needs to be stopped before it is too late
Another part of the discourse is the following:
- Islam is a threat to (Western) liberal values
- Muslims are governed by Islam
- Migrants from countries where Islam is (almost) a majority religion are therefore Muslim
- Muslim migration poses a threat do (Western) liberal values
And a third part of the discourse is:
- Islam is a threat to (Western) liberal values
- Islam governs Muslims
- Islam says procreate
- Therefore Muslims procreate faster than other people
- The high fertility rates among Muslims threaten (Western) liberal values and societies
More or less the production of such discourses is meant to let people conclude something like this:
Our nation is under an invasion and there is no one standing at the gate with whom they must speak. We must encourage Christian couples to start having babies. The future of our nation depends on them. At some point, as the war intensifies, Christians will reach for arrows to shoot at the enemy. What will we do when we find our quiver is empty? Maybe, we can throw a plasma TV at them.
The video is not only meant to provide evidence for, in particular the latter, such a logic, it also calls upon Christians to have more children and share their faith with Muslims. How credible are the statistics that are used in the video? I meant to do a thorough search for all the statistics but I don’t have enough time for that. Fortunately several other bloggers have done the job for me and I will list the most important results and provide links to their websites.
One of the most extensive reviews is made by Tiny Frog. I will list the most important claims and Tiny Frog’s counterclaims. Below that I will add some more info about the Netherlands:
- Claim: “Historically, no culture has ever reversed a 1.9 fertility rate.”They provide no source for this claim. However, birth rates do vary over time, and have increased.
- Claim: “A rate of 1.3: impossible to reverse… There is no economic model that can sustain itself during that time.”It’s true that declining birth rates cause a lot of problems for nations […];It’s also worth noting that the fertility rates of these nations have been rising slightly over the past five years.
- Claim: “France: 1.8 Children per family, Muslims: 8.1.”They list of source for this claim, but it’s too small to read. This claim is almost certainly false. First, there isn’t a country in the whole world that has a fertility rate of 8 children, so I doubt that millions of Muslims in France’s are having that many children.
- Claim: “In the Netherlands, 50% of all newborns are Muslim.”That same article I read a few years ago claimed that 50% of all newborns within a particular Dutch city were Muslim (which may or may not be accurate). I have to wonder if that claim was generalized to “In the Netherlands, 50% of all newborns are Muslim.” There are approximately 1 million Muslims in the Netherlands, a nation of 16.6 million people. So Muslims makeup about 6% of the total population. Yet, we’re supposed to believe 50% of the children born in the Netherlands are Muslim? The fertility rate in the Netherlands is 1.66 children per person. Mathematically, Muslims in the Netherlands would need to have 26 children to makeup 50% of the births in the country.Further, if we look at the countries of origin of these Muslims, we find that 2/3rds immigrated from Turkey (1.87 fertility rate) or Morocco (2.57 fertility rate).
- Claim: “In only 15 years, half of the population of the Netherlands will be Muslim.” It makes my head hurt to figure out how 1 million Muslims will outnumber 15.6 million non-Muslims in 15 years.
- Claim: “In Russia, there are over 23 million Muslims, that’s 1 out of 5 Russians.”According to Wikipedia:According to the most recent estimates by the R&F Agency, there are more than 20 million officially self-identified Muslims in Russia, a number that has risen by 40% in the last 15 years, though no more than 6 million are truly orthodox. Roman Silantyev, a Russian Islamologist has estimated that there are only between 7 and 9 million people who practise Islam in Russia, and that the rest are only Muslims by ethnicity.Also, Russia’s population is 140 million. Even if “23 million muslims” was accurate, that’s 16.4%, not 1 out of 5 (or 20%).
- Claim: “Currently in Belgium, 25% of the population and 50% of all newborns are Muslim.”Wikipedia states: An 2008 estimation shows that 6% of the Belgian population, about 628,751, is Muslim (98% Sunni). Muslims cover 25.5% of the population of Brussels, 4.0% of Wallonia and 3.9% of Flanders.Maybe they mixed up “Brussels” and “Belgium”. Regardless, they inflated the percentage of Muslims in Belgium from 6% to 25%. Again, we see the same pattern of immigration as we saw in the Netherlands – 2/3rds are Moroccans and Turkish immigrants – whose home countries have relatively low birthrates (2.57 and 1.87, respectively).
- Claim: “1/3rd of all European children will be born to Muslim families by 2025, just 17 years away.” That doesn’t seem very likely considering that Muslims currently makeup “4 percent of the European Union’s population” (Source). This particular claim about “1/3rd of all European children” appears to come from the Right-wing Brussel’s Journal.
- Claim: “The German Government, the first to talk about this publicly, recently released a public saying, ‘the fall in the German population can no longer be stopped. Its downward spiral is no longer reversible… It will be a Muslim state by 2050.” Considering that Muslims makeup 4.0% of the German population, that statement seems over the top. They credit the “Germany Federal Statistics Office” with the statement that “[Germany] will be a Muslim state by 2050?, when it was actually a statement made by a vague group identified as “some demographic trend-watchers”. Immediately, in the next paragraph, they mention the right-wing Brussels Journal – leading me to suspect that they are the “demographic trend-watchers”.(2) The quote was twisted from “is well on the way to becoming a Muslim state by 2050? into “It will be a Muslim state by 2050?.
- Claim: “There are currently 52 million Muslims in Europe. The German government said that number is expected to double in the next 20 years to 104 million.” The EU population is 491 million, 4% (19.6 million) of which are Muslim (Source).
- Claim: “In the United States, the current fertility rate of American citizens is 1.6. With the influx of the latino nations, the rate increases to 2.11; the bare minimum needed to sustain a culture.” Considering that latinos makeup only 13% of the US population, it’s hard to believe they can single-handedly bring-up the fertility rate from 1.6 to 2.11.
- Claim: “Today, there are over 9 million [muslims in the United States]“.Reality? No one really knows. Estimates vary between 1.1 million and 8 million.
- This wasn’t specifically argued in the video, but I should also add that the fertility rates among Muslims (in their own countries) is also declining.
- And let’s not forget that some Muslim countries have already fallen below the replacement number of 2.11 (and, supposedly, below the mythical 1.9 fertility rate that the video says is very, very bad). When you look at the three most populous countries of the Middle East (Egypt, 79 million; Turkey, 70 million; Iran, 69 million), you find that Turkey and Iran have already dropped below a fertility rate of 2.0. Egypt recently dropped below a fertility rate of 3.0, and the Egyptian government is aiming to get it down to 2.0 within 8 years. All three are experiencing a decline in their fertility rates.
Therefore, based upon this analysis we can say that most numbers given in the video are at least unclear, more likely distortions and at worst false. Let me add a few things:
- As already noted in the analysis above, low fertility rates do cause serious problems:
Population paradox: Europe’s time bomb – Europe, World – The IndependentThe implications of all this are enormous. Low-birth Europe is faced with an ageing population, a pensions crisis, later retirement, changes in work patterns, shrinking cities and a massive looming healthcare cost. Nations of children with no siblings, cousins, aunts or uncles – only parents, grandparents, and perhaps great-grandparents – will face the burden of paying for the care of a massive older generation. The same prospect of an older, more conservative, less vigorous or inventive culture looms in China, Japan and much of the Far East.Meanwhile high-birth Africa will remain stuck in a vicious circle unless it gets economic growth, agricultural reform, improved world trade terms, infrastructure investment, better health and education systems, more girls into school and a wider availability of family planning. A tall order, though the example of Bangladesh shows change can come.
- About the Netherlands. The Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) makes clear the Muslims are most likely to remain a minority. See HERE (pdf). The number 50% pertains to statistics about the city of Amsterdam but is incorrect (or I just can’t find it). In 2004 51% of the Amsterdam population was native with an increasing number of migrants moving from Amsterdam to Almere (one of the suburbs; 70% of the total number of people moving to Almere was migrant). UPDATE: I finally found the statistics on the four major cities in the Netherlands. You can find them HERE. (The first column gives the different migrantgroups and Dutch natives. The next columns are for Amsterdam (51% native), Rotterdam (53,8% native), The Hague (53,8% native), Utrecht (69% native) and the Netherlands (80,4% native) as a whole. Note that a few areas in Amsterdam and Rotterdam have more then 85% migrants. Among Dutch women over 30 there was a remarkable increase in fertility rate, while it decreased among migrant women. Second generation migrants in Amsterdam have fewer children than their parents did. This development corresponds with that of the rest of the Netherlands as you can read in the report of NIDI mentioned here. Furthermore, the estimated number of Muslims 940.000 is based upon a calculation. In this calculation it is assumed, for example, that when in Turkey a X% of the population is Muslim, the same percentage will apply to migrants. This is not always accurate. In the case of Turkey there are a lot of Christian migrants as well as secular Muslims and Christians. This also means that the label Muslim does not say much; one can be secular, pious, radical, traditional or perhaps even combinations of that. The number of Muslims differs considerably per region with some high numbers in cities in the west and some small provincial towns. In 2007 a new method of estimating the number of Muslims has been used based upon people’s self-identification in a survey. The revised number of Muslims is now 850.000. The links lead to the webiste of Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the official bureau for statistics, often used by the government but also by researchers. The report by NIDI is based upon data from Statistics Netherlands.
- In talking about ‘Muslim’ demographics we not only ignore the fact that we do not know anything about the nature of Muslim identity behind the numbers (or the Sunni/Shi’a divide) but also the ethnic diversity among Muslims. In the Netherlands Muslims in general are well organized but mainly on ethnic grounds: there are Turkish, Moroccan, Surinamese, Somalian organizations at the national and local level and two national organizations that unite the most important (ethnic) organizations. In order to understand intra-Muslim politics this ethnic division is very (if not most) important.
- Not only non-Muslims are claiming that Islam is one of the (or the) fastest growing religion. We can hear the same among Muslims. Such a claim is not very surprising. For example among Pentecostals we also find the claim that they are the fastest growing religion on Earth. Wiki even has a page dedicated to the topic Claims to be the fastest growing religion, showing a number of religion (almost all actually) and its adherents claiming it to be the fastest. The page also shows why these claims are often unreliable because of a lack of hard data.
- In the video it is mentioned that the fertility rate among French Muslims is about 8 children. According to Tiny Frog, however, there is no country in the world with such a fertility rate. That is not correct: Uganda (8.5), Niger (8.4), Madagascar (8.1) and Eritrea (8.0) have such high fertility rates in 2004.
- The video mentions 2.1 as the ‘bare minimum to sustain a culture’. What is probably referred to here is the replacement fertility; the level at which the population remains stable. If a population indeed declines is also related to migration and population momentum. If the low fertility remains at a low level and combined with other developments the population will decline. But does a decreasing population mean that a culture cannot be sustained? Also does culture = population, that is is a culture homogeneous? It is assumed in the video but in most countries that just is not the case.
Also Islam in Europe, Street Prophets, Daily Kos and Europenews have relevant comments to this whole issue. Martin Walker has written an interesting article for The Wilson Quarterly that is very important in understanding all of this:
The World’s New Numbers
by Martin Walker
“Here lies Europe, overwhelmed by Muslim immigrants and emptied of native-born Europeans.” That is the obituary some pundits have been writing in recent years. But neither the immigrants nor the Europeans are playing their assigned roles.
Something dramatic has happened to the world’s birthrates. Defying predictions of demographic decline, northern Europeans have started having more babies. Britain and France are now projecting steady population growth through the middle of the century. In North America, the trends are similar. In 2050, according to United Nations projections, it is possible that nearly as many babies will be born in the United States as in China. Indeed, the population of the world’s current demographic colossus will be shrinking. And China is but one particularly sharp example of a widespread fall in birthrates that is occurring across most of the developing world, including much of Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The one glaring exception to this trend is sub-Saharan Africa, which by the end of this century may be home to one-third of the human race.
The human habit is simply to project current trends into the future. Demographic realities are seldom kind to the predictions that result. The decision to have a child depends on innumerable personal considerations and larger, unaccountable societal factors that are in constant flux. Yet even knowing this, demographers themselves are often flummoxed. Projections of birthrates and population totals are often embarrassingly at odds with eventual reality.
Because of this bastardization of knowledge, three deeply misleading assumptions about demographic trends have become lodged in the public mind. The first is that mass migration into Europe, legal and illegal, combined with an eroding native population base, is transforming the ethnic, cultural, and religious identity of the continent. The second assumption, which is related to the first, is that Europe’s native population is in steady and serious decline from a falling birthrate, and that the aging population will place intolerable demands on governments to maintain public pension and health systems. The third is that population growth in the developing world will continue at a high rate. Allowing for the uncertainty of all population projections, the most recent data indicate that all of these assumptions are highly questionable and that they are not a reliable basis for serious policy decisions.
Upon closer inspection, it turns out that while Muhammad topped Thomas in 2006, it was something of a Pyrrhic victory: Fewer than two percent of Britain’s male babies bore the prophet’s name. One fact that gets lost among distractions such as the Times story is that the birthrates of Muslim women in Europe—and around the world—have been falling significantly for some time. Data on birthrates among different religious groups in Europe are scarce, but they point in a clear direction. Between 1990 and 2005, for example, the fertility rate in the Netherlands for Moroccan-born women fell from 4.9 to 2.9, and for Turkish-born women from 3.2 to 1.9. In 1970, Turkish-born women in Germany had on average two children more than German-born women. By 1996, the difference had fallen to one child, and it has now dropped to half that number.
These sharp reductions in fertility among Muslim immigrants reflect important cultural shifts, which include universal female education, rising living standards, the inculcation of local mores, and widespread availability of contraception. Broadly speaking, birthrates among immigrants tend to rise or fall to the local statistical norm within two generations.
The decline of Muslim birthrates is a global phenomenon. Most analysts have focused on the remarkably high proportion of people under age 25 in the Arab countries, which has inspired some crude forecasts about what this implies for the future. Yet recent UN data suggest that Arab birthrates are falling fast, and that the number of births among women under the age of 20 is dropping even more sharply. Only two Arab countries still have high fertility rates: Yemen and the Palestinian territories.
The falling fertility rates in large segments of the Islamic world have been matched by another significant shift: Across northern and western Europe, women have suddenly started having more babies. Germany’s minister for the family, Ursula von der Leyen, announced in February that the country had recorded its second straight year of increased births. Sweden’s fertility rate jumped eight percent in 2004 and stayed put. Both Britain and France now project that their populations will rise from the current 60 million each to more than 75 million by midcentury. Germany, despite its recent uptick in births, still seems likely to drop to 70 million or less by 2050 and lose its status as Europe’s most populous country.
In Britain, the number of births rose in 2007 for the sixth year in a row. Britain’s fertility rate has increased from 1.6 to 1.9 in just six years, with a striking contribution from women in their thirties and forties—just the kind of hard-to-predict behavioral change that drives demographers wild. The fertility rate is at its highest level since 1980. The National Health Service has started an emergency recruitment drive to hire more midwives, tempting early retirees from the profession back to work with a bonus of up to $6,000. In Scotland, where births have been increasing by five percent a year, Glasgow’s Herald has reported “a mini baby boom.”
Immigrant mothers account for part of the fertility increase throughout Europe, but only part. And, significantly, many of the immigrants are arrivals from elsewhere in Europe, especially the eastern European countries admitted to the European Union in recent years. Children born to eastern European immigrants accounted for a third of Scotland’s “mini baby boom,” for example.
Population growth on a scale comparable to that which frightened pundits and demographers a generation ago still exists in 30 of the world’s least developed countries. Each has a fertility rate of more than five. With a few exceptions—notably, Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories—those countries are located in sub-Saharan Africa. Depending on the future course of birthrates, sub-Saharan Africa’s current 800 million people are likely to become 1.7 billion by 2050 and three billion by the end of the century.
One striking implication of this growth is that there will be a great religious revolution, as Africa becomes the home of monotheism. By midcentury, sub-Saharan Africa is likely to be the demographic center of Islam, home to as many Muslims as Asia and to far more than inhabit the Middle East. The non-Arab Muslim countries of Africa—Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Senegal—constitute the one region of the Islamic world where birthrates remain high. In several of these countries, the average woman will have upward of five children in her lifetime.
Christianity will also feel the effects of Africa’s growth. By 2025, there will be as many Christians in sub-Saharan Africa—some 640 million—as in South America. By 2050, it is almost certain that most of the world’s Christians will live in Africa. As Kenyan scholar John Mbiti writes, “The centers of the church’s universality [are] no longer in Geneva, Rome, Athens, Paris, London, New York, but Kinshasa, Buenos Aires, Addis Ababa, and Manila.”
But awareness of Africa’s religious revolution is usually overshadowed by the fearful possibilities raised by the continent’s rapid population growth.
Perhaps the most striking fact about the demographic transformation now unfolding is that it is going to make the world look a lot more like Europe. The world is aging in an unprecedented way. A milepost in this process came in 1998, when for the first time the number of people in the developed world over the age of 60 outnumbered those below the age of 15. By 2047, the world as a whole will reach the same point.
The world’s median age is 28 today, and it is expected to reach 38 by the middle of the century. In the United States, the median age at that point will be a youngish 41, while it will be over 50 in Japan and 47 in Europe. The United States will be the only Western country to have been in the top 10 largest countries in terms of population size in both 1950 and 2050. Russia, Japan, Germany, Britain, and Italy were all demographic titans in the middle of the 20th century. Today, only Russia and Japan still (barely) make the top 10. They will not stay there long. The world has changed. There is more and faster change to come.
Notwithstanding all of the qualifications one can make about the video, I think most reactions here and on other websites, seriously underestimate the power of opening the window to imagination that might be the result of this video. Hard data is only one of the ways to evaluate the video. Certainly for some people the ‘facts’ as they have been presented in the video are authentic and true because they make the threat of Islam ‘real’, ‘imaginable’. They don’t have to be true: they are imaginable and could be true in the future. The images in the video provide people with access to the abstract notion of the Islamic threat and in some cases (as with Fitna the movie) it creates and organizes the relationship between Wilders and parts of his constituency. In that case, the real facts do not matter, what matters is making the fact of the Islamic threat real and concrete.
The BBC has made its own countervideo, I did not check the numbers in that one yet.
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