Saturday, May 2, 2009

Demographic Trends Favor Muslims in West?

As the Muslim population continues to grow in Europe and America, there are some Evangelical Christians worrying about the demographic trends, and issuing call to action to their membership to increase their birth rates and evangelize. Also, a number of Islamophobes and xenophobes are sounding alarms to restrict Muslim immigration or incite fear and hatred of Muslims and Islam that could potentially lead to violence. A blogger at Islam in the West blog urges European politicians to "take a stand: either they opt for the Islamization of their countries and accept the given demographic parameters, or they opt to stay pluralistic, yet predominantly non-Islamic societies and change those parameters".

With the exception of Germany where 47% of Muslims say they are thriving, Muslims in the rest of Europe are reporting much lower satisfaction ratings, according to a recent Gallup poll. In America, 41% of Muslims say they are thriving. Only 11% of British Muslims and a paltry 7% of Pakistanis say they are thriving.

While Muslims should welcome the predicted demographic changes favoring Islam in the West, it is important for the followers of Islamic faith to be prepared to deal with the backlash and hostility that is likely to come with it. It is important for the Muslim communities to step up their interfaith efforts and to show that they are part of the larger communities they live in and wish to make positive contribution to society, regardless of nationality, religion or race or ethnicity of their fellow citizens.

The video clip embedded below, produced by a Christian Evangelical group, highlights the following points:

* A culture can only maintain itself for more than 25 years if it has a fertility rate 2.11 or higher. Once the fertility falls below 1.9, it can not be reversed.

* The fertility rates in Europe are currently very low, but the population continues to grow mainly due to immigration from Muslim nations and birth of Muslim children.

* Fertility rates in Europe: France 1.8, England 1.6, Greece 1.3, Germany 1.3, Italy 1.2, Spain 1.1, European Union 1.38

* There are more mosques than churches in France. 30% of all children in France are Muslim.

* There are 23 million Muslims in Russia today. 1 out of 5 Russians is Muslim. 40% of Russian Army will be Muslim by 2020.

* One-third of all European children will be born in Muslim families by 2025.

* 52 million Muslims today in EU will double to 104 million by 2015.

* Canada's 1.6 fertility rate is not reversible.

* US has 1.6 fertility, Latinos increase it to 2.11. US Muslim population has grown from 100,000 in 1970 to about 9 million now.

* Muslim organizations are evangelizing in America through journalism, politics,
education and more to reach their goal of 50m Muslims in America

* Islam will be the dominant religion in the West by 2050.

* Islam will overwhelm Christendom unless Christians recognize the demographic
realities, begin reproducing again, and share the gospel with Muslims.

The above data has come under heavy criticism by many researchers and scholars as vicious propaganda against the Muslim minority in Europe. Gallup pollster Dalia Mogahed believes that the data in the video is highly exaggerated, and the truth is that the birth rates of Muslims immigrants who have been in Europe for a generation have similar birth rates as their non-Muslim counterparts. To put the above data in perspective, the total fertility rates in the world range from 7.19 in Niger to 1.0 in Hong Kong. TFRs in many Muslim Middle Eastern nations are already at sub-replacement level of below 2.1 TFR. For example, Turkey is at 1.87, Algeria is at 1.82, Tunisia is at 1.73 and Iran is at 1.71. Pakistan is among the exceptions, but its TFR has also been declining. Its current fertility rate is 3.52, down from over 4 earlier in the last decade.

In a book titled "The Empty Cradle", the author Philip Longman warns that the declining birth rates around the world will cause many social and economic problems. As a consequence of declining ferility, by 2050 the population of Europe will have fallen to what it was in 1950. Mr. Longman says this is happening all around the world: Women are having fewer children. It's happening in Brazil, it's happening in China, India and Japan. It's even happening in the Middle East. Wherever there is rapid urbanization, education for women and visions of urban affluence, birthrates are falling. Having and raising children is seen as an expense and a burden.

"So we have a "free rider" problem. You don't need to have children to provide for your old age -- but the pension systems need them." Says Longman, referring to the coming Social Security crunch as the number of retired people rises faster than the number of workers.

December 2009 Update:

A new Gallup poll that came out recently reveals that Muslims in Britain, Germany and France are well integrated into their communities. The report by Gallup and the Coexist Foundation says 77% of British Muslims identified with the UK, compared with 50% of the general public. There was a similar finding in Germany, the survey says.

The research - which focused mainly on European Muslims in Britain, France and Germany - polled around 500 Muslims and 1,000 members of the general public in each country.

In Britain, the report found that more than three-quarters of Muslims identified with the country and its institutions - far more even than the general population did.

But whereas the vast majority of British Muslims (82%) felt Muslims were loyal citizens, the general public remained suspicious of them.

In Germany, 40% of Muslims identified with the country against 32% of the wider public.

German Muslims were also found far more likely than the general public to have confidence in the judicial system, financial institutions and the honesty of elections.

They had higher levels of confidence in their national government than society as a whole, but much less faith in the media.

In France, 52% of Muslims identified with the country, compared with 55% of the general public.

However, the report found that French Muslims had much less confidence in the nation's institutions, including police.

The survey also said that European Muslims felt far more isolated than those living in the United States and Canada.

Related Links:

The Empty Cradle by Philip Longman

Are Muslim "Hordes" About to Overrun the West?

European Muslim Gallup Poll 2009

Integrating Islam in Europe

Total Fertility Rates For Countries of the World

Muslims Doing Well in America

Islamophobia Watch

The Muslim West Facts Project

Total Fertility Rates Ranking of Nations

America's Fastest Growing Faiths: Islam and Buddhism

India's Washington Lobby Emulates AIPAC

Gallup Poll of Muslim Americans

American Muslims Thriving, but Not Content

World Happiness Index Ranking


Anonymous said...


At least i did not expect this from you. Crowd has many head but no thinking. That is proved by the isreal continous existence is a densely population islamic crowd.

In fact this is a ploy by christian to raise further hatred towards islam and they will tighten their norms for immigration.

Anonymous said...

AFter this increase in number, all of muslims will blame others for the poor standard of living like what is told in india.

Further OUR EARTH cannot take such large population. Malthusian theory say that preventive measure if not taken against population growth will lead to positive measure by nature to maintian its balance which will choas and nature own way of destruction.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "At least i did not expect this from you."

This is an example of a instance where ignorance is not bliss. It's important to be aware of what is happening around you to deal with it effectively.

"Crowd has many head but no thinking. That is proved by the isreal continous existence is a densely population islamic crowd."

Israel is and should be very worried if it wishes to be considered a democracy. Hence, the Israelis and their allies now are far more supportive of a two-state solution, even more than Palestinians. Needless to say, any democratic country is shaped by the demographics of its electorate.

"In fact this is a ploy by christian to raise further hatred towards islam and they will tighten their norms for immigration."

I acknowledge it in my post. But it's not inevitable that they will succeed. At best, they can delay this demographic change, not prevent it.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Further OUR EARTH cannot take such large population. Malthusian theory say that preventive measure if not taken against population growth will lead to positive measure by nature to maintian its balance which will choas and nature own way of destruction."

You are right. It's the distribution of population density that also matters. But we'll let you worry about it for now.

Anonymous said...

Stop dreaming! The prospect of islam becoming dominant in West will never happen.I see this silly pride in few muslims who think that it is a victory! What a sane muslim will think is that islam is being allowed to thrive inwest by the tolerance of west population.Thats where you need to concentrate.Take the example of England! If some one of your age and experience keeps talking of religion,no wonder we have insane morons killing our country men day and night.For once can have some broadminded in keeping religion aside.We have had enough nuisance of religon in Pakistan! You keep mentioning forwardness and technology for Pakistan -but looks like you have hardtime understanding that religious backwardness and narrow minded thinking cannot prodece USA of islamic world but will make us slaves begging for immigration.I can put your notion of saying islam is growing as failure of islamic world in providing freedom and basic human rights and tolerance.Shall we shout and say that islam has failed?? May be not but looks more like that way! Providing one sided views and data to support to your views may not be right.Atleast Pakistan does not need this way of thinking at this juncture of utter failure in its ideals.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "...but looks like you have hardtime understanding that religious backwardness and narrow minded thinking cannot prodece USA of islamic world"

It's silly to equate Islam with backwardness. Not all Muslims are backward either. In the US, Muslims are better educated and have higher income levels than whites. So Muslims are quite capable of producing "USA of Islamic World"...given the right environment which exists in the it existed under Abbasids and Ummayyads who were the most pluralistic and tolerant rulers encouraging high scholarship and achievement. In fact, Abba Eban describes Muslim Spain as the golden era of world Jewry.

Anonymous said...


YOu stole the words out of my mouth. Muslim do well in non-muslim countries. MOment a place become majority of muslim fundamentalism automatically come into front. So it is for the good of islam that it is minority every where rather than become majority to hand over their life to extremist medival age thinking people.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Muslim do well in non-muslim countries. MOment a place become majority of muslim fundamentalism automatically come into front."

In your rush to judgment, you have ignored the fact that Saudis have the highest satisfaction ratings (51% say they are thriving) in the world.

Anonymous said...

Riaz-you seem to answer and support your blind analysis.World thinks that there are 2 Pakistanis-I feel that it is wrong.They are just one kind-one that carries gun in streets and other in disguise as moderates.These moderates are no less fanatic as I can see in your writings.Just scary.I will not be surprised if these so called moderated resort to large scale violence in other countries.Underlying your skin you are just one crude fundamentalist who stinks of degrading religious views.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "World thinks that there are 2 Pakistanis-I feel that it is wrong.They are just one kind-one that carries gun in streets and other in disguise as moderates."

Your ignorance and bigotry comes through loud and clear from your comments. Your knowledge about Pakistan and Pakistanis is from extremely biased and unreliable sources. You know nothing about Pakistanis in America who are better educated and have higher incomes. They are well integrated in society here.

Anon: "I will not be surprised if these so called moderated resort to large scale violence in other countries"

Again you demonstrate your ignorance in spades. The violence is much more likely to come from intolerant xenophobes and Islamophobes as a reaction to see the increase in Muslim and/or immigrant populations.

Anonymous said...

In your rush to judgment, you have ignored the fact that Saudis have the highest satisfaction ratings (51% say they are thriving) in the world.Hilarious. Gotta let Russell Peters know that he has some *real* competition.

Jaydev,India said...

In your rush to judgment, you have ignored the fact that Saudis have the highest satisfaction ratings (51% say they are thriving) in the world.Excellent! Fantastic! Saudi Arabia is the model state then. Ha Ha. You have finally revealed ur true colors.
I always knew..this so-called "peaceful majority" is wolf in sheep's clothes..I am truelly at loss of words..I mean time and again..article after after after blog..have stated that Saudi Arabia is the most wretched bigoted,oppressive,misogynist,barbaric place which only revoked slavery laws as late as 1960! Talk about caste system..ha ha..My cousin who was working there for Toyota had to bring his wife back to lead a normal life..
check out Muttawa Blog

Riaz Haq said...

Jadev: "Saudi Arabia is the model state then. Ha Ha. You have finally revealed ur true colors."

The 51% satisfaction was referring to a Gallup poll, the graph is part of the post. It was responding to another bigot (like you) who argued based on data in Germany and US that Muslims have to be in minority to be happy. Clearly, the Saudi Muslims are not a minority in Saudi Arabia and they seem quite happy...happier than Muslims anywhere else...whether majority or minority.

And you can see why...just watch the 60 Minutes show aired yesterday in US that shows how the Saudis are treating their citizens released from Guantanamo.

Anonymous said...

"In your rush to judgment, you have ignored the fact that Saudis have the highest satisfaction ratings (51% say they are thriving) in the world."

Above comments reminds me of the wording "allah mehr ban kada bailwan".

Why must not any saudi person be unhappy with the oil wealth. Almost everything is free by the accident of birth there. But nothing is static what goes up come down is the eternal law

On the side of economic of middle east what is the value addition by the economy other than extracting the non renewable resource of oil and selling it off. [ different story that oil price itself is conspiracy between ME nations and USA, that is the reason, it is sold in USD and only in UK and USA. Any person who tried to change will face saddam of iraq ]

Please take any country which is not a OIL producing country and bring out the statistics of the economy. Following url could be a tip of the iceberg, if you want to see the truth.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Please take any country which is not a OIL producing country and bring out the statistics of the economy."

With few exceptions, almost all of the Muslim nations (oil or no oil) are ahead of India in terms of per capita income, literacy, per capita gdp, human development etc. Non-oil Muslim nations including Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Malaysia, Morocco, Jordan.... are all above India.

Anonymous said...

Further the future projection for the world growth is expected to be from brazil, india, russia and china.

Further the dream of middle east and china can be shattered by america but just allowing its currency to depreciate. Their saving will worth only tons of papers.

Anonymous said...

America did the concept of depreciation against yen to japan and they will do the same against china to bring them down to the knees.

Name of the game is internal productivity and market are the gist of projection for the future. Say so PWC

Anonymous said...

"In the US, Muslims are better educated and have higher income levels than whites."

Muslims in the US tend to contain a high number of Medical Doctors.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Muslims in the US tend to contain a high number of Medical Doctors."

Not as an overall percentage. But first generation Muslim immigrants and their children are generally well educated in sciences, engineering and other fields. I live in Silicon Valley and I know many wealthy Muslims who are not medical doctors. In fact, at the MCA, I meet Muslims working at all best brand names in technology---from Cisco to Intel to Microsoft, Google, Yahoo etc etc.

Riaz Haq said...

Xenophobia and Islamophobia are on the rise in Europe, as confirmed by the Swiss scare campaign and 56% vote to ban minarets. Similar noises are coming our of France where much is made of no more than a couple of hundred Muslim women who wear burqa.

Here's an AP report about the Swiss vote:

GENEVA – A Swiss ban on minarets could violate fundamental liberties, Europe's top human-rights watchdog said Monday in an indication that the heavily criticized vote could be overturned.

The Council of Europe said banning "new minarets in Switzerland raises concerns as to whether fundamental rights of individuals, protected by international treaties, should be subject to popular votes."

The statement by the 47-nation council's secretary-general, Thorbjorn Jagland, suggests a case may be made to seek a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights condemning Switzerland for violating freedom of expression, freedom of religion and prohibition of discrimination.

Swiss Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said the ban would come into force immediately, but also indicated that the court could strike down the Sunday vote, which incurred swift condemnation at home and abroad for banning the towers used to put out the Islamic call to prayer.

"The ban contradicts the European Convention on Human Rights," Zurich daily Blick cited Widmer-Schlumpf as saying, referring to the 1950 treaty laying out basic rights that the court in Strasbourg, France, was created to ensure member states abide by.

The referendum backed by nationalist parties was approved by 57.5 percent of the population Sunday, forcing the government to declare illegal the building of any new minarets in Switzerland. It doesn't affect the country's four existing minarets.

France's Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said he was "a bit scandalized" by the vote, which amounts to "oppressing a religion."

"I hope that the Swiss will go back on this decision rather quickly," Kouchner said on France's RTL radio. "It is an expression of intolerance, and I detest intolerance."

The U.N.'s special investigator on religious freedom, Asma Jahangir, said the ban on new minarets constitutes "a clear discrimination against members of the Muslim community in Switzerland."
The Roman Catholic Church, however, condemned the vote.

Riaz Haq said...

Apple CEO Steve Jobs' father is a Syrian Muslim, according to ABC News:

In the wake of Steve Jobs' resignation as Apple CEO last week, the billionaire's biological father has told media outlets that he regrets giving up his son for adoption some fifty years ago.

Abdulfattah John Jandali, a Syrian immigrant who now works as a vice-president at a casino in a Reno, Nev., was quoted by the New York Post as saying he didn't know until just a fewyears ago that the baby he and his ex-wife, Joanne Simpson, gave up grew to be Apple's CEO. Jandali has emailed his son a few times, he said, but did not call Jobs for fear that he would think Jandali was after his fortune.

Jandali told the Post that had it been his choice, he would have kept the baby, but Simpson's father did not approve of her marrying a Syrian, so she moved to San Francisco to have the baby alone and give it up for adoption.

Jandali said he hoped Jobs would call him someday, and would be happy for the two of them to get just a cup of coffee together once before it is too late. Jandali is 80, and Jobs has been in declining health.

Here's more on Jandali from the Saudi Gazette:

The western media did not give great mention to Jandali other than to say he was an outstanding professor of political science, that he married his girlfriend (Steve’s mother) and by whom he also had a daughter, and that he slipped from view following his separation from his wife.
An American historian, however, has now stirred controversy over the role of genes and their superiority over nurture in the case of Steve Jobs, by describing Jandali in a detailed critical article published briefly on the Internet before it was suddenly removed, as “the father of invention”, given that Jandali’s daughter Mona (Simpson) – Steve’s sister – is also one of the most famous contemporary American novelists and a professor at the renowned University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA).
The 79-year-old Jandali has deliberately kept his distance from the media.What is known about him lacks detail, and is both one-sided and a source of curiosity at the same time. Here is his story as Jandali himself told it to Al-Hayat.

Jandali in Syria
Abdul Fattah Jandali was born in 1931 to a traditional family in Homs, Syria. His father did not reach university, but was a self-made millionaire who owned “several entire villages”, according to his son. His father held complete authority over his children, authority not shared by his traditional and “obedient” wife.
“My father was a self-made millionaire who owned extensive areas of land which included entire villages,” Jandali said. “He had a strong personality and, in contrast to other parents in our country, my father did not reveal his feelings towards us, but I knew that he loved me because he loved his children and wanted them to get the best university education possible to live a life of better opportunities than he had, because he didn’t have an education. My mother was a traditional Muslim woman who took care of the house and me and my four sisters, but she was conservative, obedient, and a housewife. She didn’t have as important a part in our upbringing and education as my father. Women from my generation had a secondary role in the family structure, and the male was in control.”

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt of Pankaj Mishra's review of Civilisation: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson:

‘Civilisation’s going to pieces,’ Tom Buchanan, the Yale-educated millionaire, abruptly informs Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby. ‘I’ve gotten to be a terrible pessimist about things. Have you read The Rise of the Colored Empires by this man Goddard? … The idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be – will be utterly submerged.’ ‘Tom’s getting very profound,’ his wife Daisy remarks. Buchanan carries on: ‘This fellow has worked out the whole thing. It’s up to us, who are the dominant race, to watch out or these other races will have control of things.’ ‘We’ve got to beat them down,’ Daisy whispers with a wink at Nick. But there’s no stopping Buchanan. ‘And we’ve produced all the things that go to make civilisation – oh, science and art, and all that. Do you see?’-------------

Scott Fitzgerald based Goddard, at least partly, on Theodore Lothrop Stoddard, the author of the bestseller The Rising Tide of Color against White World Supremacy (1920). Stoddard’s fame was a sign of his times, of the overheated racial climate of the early 20th century, in which the Yellow Peril seemed real, the Ku Klux Klan had re-emerged, and Theodore Roosevelt worried loudly about ‘race-suicide’. In 1917, justifying his reluctance to involve the United States in the European war, Woodrow Wilson told his secretary of state that ‘white civilisation and its domination over the world rested largely on our ability to keep this country intact.’

Hysteria about ‘white civilisation’ gripped America after Europe’s self-mutilation in the First World War had encouraged political assertiveness among subjugated peoples from Egypt to China. Unlike other popular racists, who parsed the differences between Nordic and Latin peoples, Stoddard proposed a straightforward division of the world into white and coloured races. He also invested early in Islamophobia, arguing in The New World of Islam (1921) that Muslims posed a sinister threat to a hopelessly fractious and confused West. Like many respectable eugenicists of his time, Stoddard later found much to like about the Nazis, which marked him out for instant superannuation following the exposure of Nazi crimes in 1945.
It is hard, even with Google, to keep up with Ferguson’s many claims and counter-claims. But his announcements of the dawning of the ‘Chinese Century’ and his more recent revised prophecy that India will outpace China, can be found as quickly as the boisterous heralding of the American imperium that he now disavows. As for his views on the innate superiority, indeed indispensability, of Western civilisation, these can be easily ascertained from his published writings and statements. Here is an extract from an interview early this year in the Guardian justifying the conquest of Native Americans:

The Apache and the Navajo had all sorts of admirable traits. In the absence of literacy we don’t know what they were because they didn’t write them down. We do know they killed a hell of a lot of bison. But had they been left to their own devices, I don’t think we’d have anything remotely resembling the civilisation we’ve had in North America.

It says something about the political culture of our age that Ferguson has got away with this disgraced worldview for as long as he has. Certainly, it now needs to be scrutinised in places other than the letters page of the LRB.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a piece by David Ignatius of Washington Post on declining fertility among Muslims:

Something startling is happening in the Muslim world — and no, I don’t mean the Arab Spring or the growth of Islamic fundamentalism. According to a leading demographer, a “sea change” is producing a sharp decline in Muslim fertility rates and a “flight from marriage” among Arab women.

Nicholas Eberstadt, a scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, documented these findings in two recent papers. They tell a story that contradicts the usual picture of a continuing population explosion in Muslim lands. Population is indeed rising, but if current trends continue, the bulge won’t last long.

Eberstadt’s first paper was expressively titled “Fertility Decline in the Muslim World: A Veritable Sea-Change, Still Curiously Unnoticed.” Using data for 49 Muslim-majority countries and territories, he found that fertility rates declined an average of 41 percent between 1975-80 and 2005-10, a deeper drop than the 33 percent decline for the world as a whole.

Twenty-two Muslim countries and territories had fertility declines of 50 percent or more. The sharpest drops were in Iran, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Libya, Albania, Qatar and Kuwait, which all recorded declines of 60 percent or more over three decades.

Fertility in Iran declined an astonishing 70 percent over the 30-year period, which Eberstadt says was “one of the most rapid and pronounced fertility declines ever recorded in human history.” By 2000, Iran’s fertility rate had fallen to two births per woman, below the level necessary to replace current population, according to Eberstadt and his co-author, Apoorva Shah.

A July 2012 Financial Times story placed the Iranian fertility rate even lower and cited a U.N. report warning that Iran’s population will begin to shrink in two decades and will decline by more than 50 percent by the end of the century if current trends continue.

Big cities in the Muslim world have seen especially sharp drops. Eberstadt notes that only six states in the United States have lower rates than Istanbul. In Tehran and Isfahan, Iran, fertility rates are lower than those of any state in the United States.

Eberstadt argues that the fertility decline isn’t just a result of rising incomes and economic development, though these certainly played a role: “Fertility decline over the past generation has been more rapid in the Arab states than virtually anywhere else on earth.”

The decline of marriage in Europe is well-known but still striking: The female marriage rate fell in Germany from 0.98 to 0.59 from 1965 to 2000; it fell in France over that period from 0.99 to 0.61; in Sweden from 0.98 to 0.49; in Britain, from 1 to 0.54.

Marriage is also plummeting in Asia: In Japan, the percentage of women between 30 and 34 who have never married rose from 7.2 percent in 1970 to 26.6 percent in 2000; in Burma, it rose from 9.3 percent to 25.9 percent; in Thailand, from 8.1 percent to 16.1 percent; in South Korea, from 1.4 percent to 10.7 percent.

Marriage rates in the Arab world are higher, but they’re moving fast in the same direction. What’s “astonishing,” says Eberstadt in an e-mail explaining his findings, is that in the Arab world, this move away from marriage “is by many measures already as far along as was Europe’s in the 1980s — and it is taking place at a vastly lower level of development than the corresponding flights in Europe and developed East Asia....

Anonymous said...

Those who embrace Islam tend to do so after years of contact with Muslims. (Ms Lewthwaite reportedly had a close relationship with Muslim neighbours during her youth.) Some, mostly women who make up around two-thirds of new believers in Britain, convert because they want to marry a Muslim. Others are fed up with what they see as the bawdiness of British society. Many speak of seeking a sense of community. Prisons have proven fertile ground for conversions for men. Some worry that those who convert in jail are exposed to more radical strains of Islam; others say that Islam's discipline and structure, along with the support they received from other Muslims, helped them to cope with life inside.

...converts who turn to terrorism, as Ms Lewthwaite is suspected of doing, are rare. Indeed, the vast, peaceable majority may help to bridge the gap between Muslims and others. In Western countries the growth in converts is part of Islam’s transition from an immigrant religion to a home-grown one.

Riaz Haq said...

Ayan Hirsi Ali, who was dis-invited by Brandeis University where she was to receive an honorary degree, tells Muslims to convert to Christianity by quoting verses in The Quran that she sees as encouraging violence and misogyny but she fails to see similar verses in The Bible....
Here are some verses from a Holy Book:
1. “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
2. “If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, ‘Let us go and worship other gods’ ... do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death.”
3. “Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.”
Q. Are these from the Quran or the Bible?
A. From the Bible. Matthew 10:34, Deuteronomy 13:6-9, Numbers 31:17-18

Riaz Haq said...

It’s no small thing that the Grand Mufti of Egypt Shaykh Ali Gomaa has acknowledged the permissibility of women leading men in prayer in the Western context after the persistence of female North American Muslim activists and scholars on the issue.

Riaz Haq said...

In 1807, American readers were titillated by a potboiler entitled “History of the captivity and sufferings of Mrs. Maria Martin.” Its salacious story was summed up by its pithy subtitle: “Who was six years a slave in Algiers, two of which she was confined in a dark and dismal dungeon, loaded with irons for refusing to comply with the brutal request of a Turkish officer.”

We often forget that Americans have been thinking about Islam for centuries. In the republic’s early days, Muslims not only accounted for a large part of the enslaved labor force but also often appeared in stories as fearful figures in far-off places—dark hazards to American virtue. These old images help illuminate today’s American debates about Islam.

In the early republic, popular accounts of “Mohammedanism” were largely limited to tales of the capture and enslavement of Americans in Muslim lands. Narratives like Mrs. Maria Martin’s joined fears of North African pirates with titillating plots of kidnapping. They echoed the era’s best-selling accounts of colonists trapped by American Indians.

As the 19th century progressed, some abolitionists began to argue that Islam had things to teach Christianity. Slavery’s foes called slave owners in Muslim lands more fair than their U.S. counterparts.

In 1810, for instance, the New Hampshire Patriot ran a story called “Mohammedan Forbearance,” depicting a Muslim caliph as a model of faith and morality. Even after a slave spills a dish and scalds him, the caliph treats the slave well and later frees him, quoting the Quran to buttress his mercy. This example, the journal says, “might be usefully imitated by the professors of purer doctrines.”

Islam was deployed here as a setting for a morally instructive yarn that sought at once to enlighten and shame its audience. If a Muslim could heed his supposedly lesser religion’s call to free slaves and improve their lot, how could Christians—even if they disdained Islam—not do likewise?

The notion that slavery governed by Islam was more humane than slavery governed by the Gospel was no doubt a fantasy—but a durable one. Seven years later, the Connecticut Courant published a report called “Treatment of Negro Slaves in Morocco,” calling for Christians to learn moral virtues from Muslims. The abolitionists behind the report didn’t deny that many Muslims were slave owners and traders, but they argued that those who prayed to Allah often treated their captives better than did those who prayed to Christ. “The more intelligent [slaves] learn to read and write” and “acquire a partial knowledge of the Koran,” the Courant claimed of slaves in Islamic lands. Their “master exults in having converted an infidel”—and then, like the Patriot’s caliph, sets such slaves free.

Such kid-glove treatment of Islam in the press soon disappeared—due in part, perhaps, to widespread fears from an 1835 Muslim-led slave revolt in the Brazilian city of Bahia, which riveted Americans even outside the slave states. A Massachusetts report was typically breathless: “On the morning of the 25th of January the whole city of Bahia was thrown into a state of the greatest excitement in consequence of an insurrection of the slaves…It was by far the best planned and most extensive rising ever contemplated by those unfortunate beings.”

Later called the Malê rebellion—from the Yoruba word for Muslim—this slave uprising was a religious battle waged by Muslims against Christian slavery. Many of the dead were found wearing protective amulets made of leather pouches, containing slips of paper upon which were inscribed Quranic verses. It was Christian slaveholders’ worst nightmare—a potential holy war on every plantation....

Riaz Haq said...

By Akbar Ahmad

One of the right-wing tropes about Islam in Europe, which is making alarming inroads into the mainstream, is that it represents a "culture of backwardness, of retardedness, of barbarism" and has made no contribution to Western civilization. Islam provides an easy target considering that some 3,000 or more Europeans are estimated to have left for the Middle East in order to fight alongside the Islamic State. The savage beheadings and disgusting treatment of women and minorities confirm in the minds of many that Islam is incompatible with Western civilization. This has become a widely known, and even unthinkingly accepted, proposition. But is it correct?

Let us look at European history for answers. At least 10 things will surprise you:

1. Contrary to common belief, Muslims did not first arrive in Europe with the intention of conquering it.

A small military contingent landed on the southern coast of Spain in 711 in response to the pleadings of the Jewish community, which faced harsh persecution under the Visigoth rulers. The arrival of the Muslims and their victory prevented what New York University Professor David Levering Lewis terms "the final solution." Christian leaders like Count Julian, whose daughter had been dishonored at court, had also been requesting Muslim intervention. It is precisely this reason, the support of large sections of local society, that allowed the Muslims to so easily establish their domination over Al-Andalus.

2. By describing Muslims as "backward", "retarded" and "barbaric," it is suggested that they are not capable of balancing their religion with rational thought. Yet Muslims had already attained a balance between the two positions centuries before other European societies.

The debate between faith and reason that had been agitating Muslim philosophers and had begun since the birth of Islam and its first encounters with Greek philosophy found one of its most sophisticated votaries in Ibn Rushd, or Averroës, in 12th century Andalusia. Averroës' translations and commentaries on Aristotle and Plato so influenced scholars like Thomas Aquinas that he and others across Europe, assuming his name needed no elaboration, referred to Ibn Rushd simply as "The Commentator."

3. The first man ever to fly was the scholar Ibn Firnas near Cordoba in the 9th century.

Its streets were lit and there were baths, gardens and libraries everywhere. The main library was estimated to have 400,000 books when the largest library in Europe, in Switzerland, had 800 volumes. Visitors came from all over the continent to marvel at Andalusian civilization, and a nun in Saxony called Hroswitha described it as ''the ornament of the world.''

5. Islam is frequently accused of being intolerant and rejecting harmony with other cultures and religions. Yet Muslim Spain or Andalusian civilization offers one of the most shining examples of harmony, peace and prosperity between different religions in the history of Europe.

At one point the capacity of people of different faiths to live and work together in Andalusia was illustrated by its ruler Abd Al-Rahman III in the 10th century. His chief minister was Jewish and his ambassador to the Holy Roman Emperor Otto I was the Catholic Bishop Racemundo. The Spanish term La Convivencia or Coexistence describes that time in Al-Andalus. Harmony at the political level engendered creativity and prosperity. Others saw it differently. Muslim tribes fresh from the deserts and mountains of North Africa looked on Andalusian society as decadent and corrupt. They destroyed Madina-at-Zahra, the beautiful royal town built in the hills near Cordoba considered the gem of Andalusian architecture. Scholars like the great Rabbi Maimonides and Averroës were forced into exile from their beloved Cordoba.

Riaz Haq said...

Islam is the second largest religion in America

Buddhism, Islam and Judaism have the most followers after Christianity in most of states.

By Reid Wilson

In 20 states, mostly in the Midwest and South, Islam is the largest non-Christian faith tradition. And in 15 states, mostly in the Northeast, Judaism has the most followers after Christianity. Hindus come in second place in Arizona and Delaware, and there are more practitioners of the Baha’i faith in South Carolina than anyone else.

Christianity is by far the largest religion in the United States; more than three-quarters of Americans identify as Christians. A little more than half of us identify as Protestants, about 23 percent as Catholic and about 2 percent as Mormon.

But what about the rest of us? In the Western U.S., Buddhists represent the largest non-Christian religious bloc in most states. In 20 states, mostly in the Midwest and South, Islam is the largest non-Christian faith tradition. And in 15 states, mostly in the Northeast, Judaism has the most followers after Christianity. Hindus come in second place in Arizona and Delaware, and there are more practitioners of the Baha’i faith in South Carolina than anyone else.

All these data come from the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies, which conducts a U.S. Religion Census every 10 years.

The data the ASARB release every 10 years are revealing: Adherents to any religious faith — that is, those who actually attend religious services — make up more than half the population in 28 states. Utah has the highest percentage of adherents, at 79 percent of the population, while just over a quarter of Mainers are adherents. North Dakota, Alabama and Louisiana are near the top of the list, while Oregon, Vermont, Alaska, Nevada and Washington sit near the bottom of the rankings.

Catholicism dominates the Northeast and the Southwest, and Southern Baptists have a strong foothold in the South. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dominates Utah and surrounding counties in Idaho, Wyoming and parts of Nevada. Lutheranism has a strong following in Minnesota and the Dakotas, while Methodists make their presence felt in parts of West Virginia, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas.