Wednesday, 4 July 2012

"The barbarians are copulating at the gates"

     Shocked?    Well, Tim Black from "Spiked" wrote the above when he reviewed Eric Kaufmann's  "Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?" in July 2010.  He summarised Kaufmann's well-regarded treatise as  " A new book (that)  hysterically imagines that the crisis of Western liberalism is being brought about by fecund foreign fundamentalists."

     Kaufmann is but one of many fearing the rise and rise of the poor, the coloured and non-western inhabitants of the world  - especially the Muslims. 

     These doom-mongers range from academics to environmentalists, to religious fundamentalists and even bankers from the Bundesbank.

1. Two highly regarded environmentalist-neoMalthusians, Paul and Anne Ehrlich, gave an urgency to the campaign of saving the planet from people in their 1968 best seller "The Population Bomb".  In their 1990  "The Population Explosion"  they claimed -  there are differences  "......... but the low status of women in Islamic societies caused high birth rates and infant mortality rates."  Although they conceded that it's "not Islam itself that causes high growth rates but poverty and inferior status of women."

2.  Of course, there are plenty of secular-liberal and Christian extremists hammering at the fecundity of Muslims.  But this one comes from the Anglican Establishment itself - from the Primate of Nigeria.  (A Primate, not primate, is the most important priest in a country especially in the Church of England)

Archbishop Nicholas Okoh - Primate of Nigeria
     In 2011, during a sermon in Kent, he voiced the threat of Muslims mass-producing children to take over Africa.  "If you have 4 wives four children, sixteen children, very soon you will be a village."  Indeed,
this would be a dire scenario for Christians in Africa.

    Although liberals (both secular and Christian) are embarrassed by such statements they are quick to point out that this concern has been swept under the carpet for too long and the taboo needed to be broken.  But like the old fear of the "Yellow Peril"  (the Chinese)  this is no taboo.   The fear of Islam is inherent in Judaeo-Christian culture - and today, that includes not just the whites but also the non-whites who are non-Muslims.

NY Times August 14, 1910. Copyright The New York Times.
(From   Imran Garda)

3. In January 2010 Miloslav Vlk, a Vatican Cardinal  (previously Archbishop of Prague from 1991) expressed a worry that Christians are allowing Europe to be Islamised - that immigration and the Muslims' high birth rates will take over  "the vacant space created as Europeans empty the Christian content of their lives".

     And this bogey of multiplying Muslim rabbits has also been analysed by rational, intelligent academics from pukka Western universities.

4. Eric Kaufmann (mentioned above) a Canadian reader in politics at Birkbeck College, London  noted "...the fecundity of fundamentalists from the Amish, Israel's ultra-Orthodox and the Mormons."  So far, so good.  But the most potent ingredient in his crucible of fecundity were the Muslims - a fecundity aggravated by their increased migration to the West.  He estimated that "Switzerland could be 25% Muslim by 2100 - Austria 36%."  These are alarmist figures - boosting the ridiculous belief of a "Eurabia" -  AND breeding more Breviks in Europe!

Although his thesis also took into account the rising birth rate of the non-Muslims,  and the fact that the increasing number of immigrants in Europe also includes Christians (60% of London's churchgoers, for example, are non-whites) - Kaufmann falls short of his liberal credentials as he believes that " in the future the rift will be between increasing numbers of Muslims and the rest of everybody else."

5.  American academic Jack Goldstone, in his "The New Population Bomb" (2010), puts a different slant on this population 'bomb'.  More crucial than the number of inhabitants in the world are the composition and distribution of this bomb and the movement of people across the globe.  He reckons this movement or 'forces of supply and demand' of labour  " will act strongly on the Muslim world where many economically weak countries will continue to experience dramatic population growth.  ....... By 2009,  (Bangla Desh, Egypt, Indonesia, Nigeria ) ... the most populous Muslim-majority countries  .... have a combined population of 886 million ........ expected to increase by 475 million between now and 2050 ... during which time the six  most populous developed (meaning white mainly) countries are projected to gain only 44 million.  Of the 48 fastest growing countries today - those with annual population growth of two percent or more - 28 are majority Muslim or have Muslim minorities of 33 percent or more."

In this conception of the West having an ageing population and a low reproductive rate and the Muslim world enjoying the opposite the threatening scenario will be no different from the one which the Archbishop, or Kaufman, or a dozen other doom-mongers are promoting.

6.   In August 2010, Thilo Sarrazin, a prominent board member of Germany's Bundesbank, published "Germany is Digging its Own Grave" where he expressed his fear that the immigrants are not integrating into German society, especially the Muslims.  They are blamed for 'dumbing down' society and he especially points out that at the rate Muslim women are reproducing, Germans may become 'strangers in their own country.'

There are however three facts that all these theorists have decided to play down :

Firstly, Muslim birthrates are falling worldwide.  According to the UN"s World Population Prospects, only two Arab countries, Yemen and the Palestinian territories, have high fertility rates.  In Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait and Lebanon, fertility rates have fallen to near-European levels, less than 2.2.  When the Shah of Iran was driven out in 1979,  the rate of reproduction was 6.5.  By 2000 it dropped to 2.2 and today it's 1.7.

The UN estimated that for the years 2010-2015, the fertility rate of Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim
 state will fall to 2.02, Bangla Desh to 2.2 and Pakistan will just reach replacement level at 2.1.
For more details read :

Secondly, Christianity is still the world's largest religion with one third stating Christianity as their religion.   The only change is that while the majority of Christians are still found in Europe and the Americas, their share has fallen from 93% in 1910 to 63% today.  Sub-Saharan Africa ( where Archbishop Nicholas Okoh is situated), which holds one quarter of the world's Christians, has seen the largest increase. In the Asia-Pacific region there were 17 million Christians in 1910; in 2010 that number grew to 285 million.  More astounding, Indonesia accounts for more Christians than all 20 countries in the Middle east and North Africa combined.  These shifts in the global Christian population have been the result of  zealous and successful  missionary work as well as the high birth rate of the local Christian communities.

So who's the Bogey?

Thirdly, while Muslims are accused of migrating in droves to populate the West,  the overwhelming proportion of  international migrants  are Christians.



anak si-hamid said...

In Malaysia, it depends on which local paper you want to pick up. (In fact Malaysia should be proud that there are choices of 'local papers' to read.)

Ironically the complaint and criticism of Malaysia's 'multicultural' policy and practice is exactly what the West do not want to face in their own country.

It's the NIMBY attitude (Not in My Backyard). It was alright for them to flood the Americas (north and South), Australia, New Zealand with the overflow of their white population and push to the margin the indigenous people.

It was alright for them to flood the Malay Peninsula and Singapore with non-Malays so that Britannia can rule and profit from this region. To hell with the natives and the immigrants - let them sort out the bloody mess they (the white Christians and secularists) left behind. And it did turn out bloody as in the May 13 riots) After that they point their accusing fingers at the failure of Malaysia's Multiculturalism and especially at the Malays - when they themselves are too terrified, selfish and bigoted to share their country and resources with 'foreigners'.

On that score Malaysia has done it exceedingly well - try and look at any other country with the same historically similar immigrant background.

Certainly it's not "the same thing here in Malaysia."

Anonymous said...

>> Certainly it's not "the same thing here in Malaysia."

If one looks a bit closer at Malaysia, there is doom-mongering from certain far right groups accusing Other races/religions of plotting to take over our country. And some of these folks happen to be somewhat influential to those in power.

Or a tendency among Malaysians to blame the Other Race for crime, accepting bribes, giving bribes, delinquency, mismanagement, etc.

Or perhaps blame those Foreigners for crime, scams, stealing our girls, stealing our men, etc.

Anonymous said...

Appreciate your comments. But we too must realize the same prejudices, bigotry, and hypocrisy exists in our nation. If we're part of the privileged & majority, we may hardly feel it or are unaware in dishing it out. To the minority here its something they often experience.

This needs to be mentioned, so we don't fall into the fallacy of spotting the elephant across the river, while not seeing the one next to us... to paraphrase a Malay saying.

On the topic of preaching, our government loves to tell the world how we're a shining example of multicultural tolerance despite being much work to be desired. Or how we criticize other nations while not noticing similar issues in our own.

anak si-hamid said...

1. "You've hit the nail on the head" as I wrote earlier. Your comment is valid, all I did was to give another example from the fount of democracy and human rights.

2. I'm not a member of the privileged and even if I am, I only relish dishing out food to my cats and the stray cats in my neighbourhood. But certainly I know what it's like to be a Minority!! I paid a heavy price as a result of "prejudices, bigotry and hypocrisy" when I was a minority Singaporean. Not only that, I worked hard overseas and scrimped and save so that the other members of my family can get out of the cage.

3. As for the Malay saying, I believe it runs somewhat like this : " Kuman diseberang boleh dilihat, pekong di dada tidak di endahkan." As for elephants, do you mean 'elephants in the room' - that's a Western imagery. Or perhaps we can learn something from that poem of the blind men and the elephant. Or maybe recognizing a weakness of "not seeing the wood for the trees?"

4.Malaysia has no monopoly in preaching about how wonderful her multicultural (really realy multicultural statistically) society functions. So does Singapore with her 75% Chinese majority? How difficult can that be, to describe yourself as 'multicultural'. Britain prides herself on that too although the country's native Brits are still holding a comfortable majority.

4. As for Malaysia criticizing other countries. Yes, she does on issues like (1) the brutal treatment of Palestinians by Israel, the war on Gaza or better known as "Operation Cast Lead" to FOI. (2) the invasion of Iraq by USA and the other Western powers, not once, but twice. (3) The bloody carnage in Afghanistan, the killing of innocent civilians again under the boots of the invading NATO forces of 'Peace'.(4) Guantanamo Bay and torture as weapons in the "War on Terrorism".

Finally I find this 'exchange' becoming quite claustrophic. It has been reduced to an unproductive case of digging at more and more of the same. I have stated earlier the purpose of my posting and I do not want this Comment Page to be a forum for one unhappy Malaysian with an axe to grind.

Still, thank you for your contribution and I hope you will find another and better field to plough.

We may agree on some principles but certainly our intention and agenda are miles apart

anak si-hamid said...

PS Apologise for spelling error. 'claustrophobic' - not claustrophic.