Muslim Demographics on YouTube Abuse of Statistics

I’m concerned about the Fear and Loathing “Muslim Demographics” video which has gone viral on YouTube over the last month. There are several copies out there, but it looks as though the original was posted by “Friendofmuslim”, a YouTube user based in Lebanon, who has received over 5 million views.

What concerns me is that the video uses false statistics and fear tactics to stir Christians into raising larger families and converting Muslims.

Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube (HD)

We’re told, without any source, that the fertility rate in European countries is much lower than that needed to sustain a population, 2.11. Stats are provided: “France 1.8, England 1.6, Greece 1.3, Germany 1.3, Italy 1.2, Spain 1.1″. The fertility figures come straight out of “The Next Christendom”, a 2002 book by USA author Philip Jenkins. In reality the fertility rates in these countries are higher. According to indexmuni.com the Spanish fertility rate has climbed from 1.26 in 2003 to 1.3 in 2008. France has climbed from 1.85 in 2003 to 1.98 in 2008. What’s really disturbing is the suggestion that Muslims have 8.1 children per family in France. Can you really believe that! The same thing was being said about Catholics a generation ago.

The video claims that there are now more mosques than churches in France. This is a distortion of the statistic about new buildings. There are now more new mosques being built than new Catholic churches being built. That’s quite a different statistic.

It is claimed that 30 percent of people under 20 in France are Muslim. Where does this statistic come from? Certainly not from the French census, as the French do not ask people to identify themselves by religion. In 39 years France will be an Islamic Republic. That’s not taking into account social power and the strongly secular nature of the government there.

Now here’s one out of the hat. The video tells us that 50 percent of all newborns in the Netherlands are Muslim and that in only 15 years half the population will be Muslim. As Tiny Frog points out, there are approximately 1 million Muslims in the Netherlands, a nation of 16.6 million people. So Muslims make up 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 make up 50% of the births in the country.

Contrary to the claims of the video, the percentage of Muslims in Belgium is 6 percent, not 25 percent.

The video falsely attributes the claims that Germany will be a Muslim state by 2050 to the Germany Federal Statistics Office. This was an editorial comment from news service Deutsche Welle.

Useful Commentary from Other Sites

Tiny Frog, Martijn at Religion Research, Islam in Europe, Street Prophets, Daily Kos, Europe News, Snopes.

8 thoughts on “Muslim Demographics on YouTube Abuse of Statistics

  1. Nicolas Krebs

    “the suggestion that Muslims have 8.1 children per family in France.” (Duncan Macleod)

    (is the) Funniest joke of the year! (in my opinion)

    “It is claimed that 30 percent of people under 20 in France are Muslim. Where does this statistic come from? Certainly not from the French census, as the French do not ask people to identify themselves by religion.”

    See “To try to clear up the confusion … around 8 or 9 per cent.” in John Lichfield, “Our Man In Paris: France will never be a Muslim state”, The Independent, 2004-02-03, http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/our-man-in-paris-france-will-never-be-a-muslim-state-568594.html

    Reply
  2. ralphar

    the opposite of the malthusian fears of the 50s
    fears of “cultural take over”
    “historical research tells us”
    “Europe will cease to exist”
    “islamic” imigration + birth rates –> islamic republic
    unsubstatiatted statistics are given in very negative and fear-inspiring terms
    “the world is changing” “it's time to wake up”
    islam is preparing for growing numbers
    “islam will be the dominant religion”
    “share the gospel message with the changing world”
    “this is a call to action”

    Initially on watching the video I laughed.

    In my Development Studies cause we learnt all about Malthus and the Malthusian concerns of the 1950s – that overpopulation was going to wipe out the world and that contaceptive or sterilisation needed to be part of any good development project.

    Aparently stupidly, the 1st world listened and dropped it's birth rate. Now we're being taken over and the world will never be the same. Ha!

    I'm glad Duncan has done the research and shown as unsubstantiated or plain false most of the statistics quoted in the alarmist and fear-mongering way the video uses.

    I couldn't believe that this was a serious video from the way it started – it's like an advertising short for the next Transformers or Terminator movie: fear, fear and uncertainty. Scary music, dark, shifting blury writing that implies doom.

    “The Global Culture our children inherit will be vastly different than what it is today”.

    Which generation in the last century has NOT said that? The world I'm bringing my kids into is far different from the world I grew up in, and that was far different from the world my parents grew up in. And I expect the world my kids bring their kids into (if there is one) will be different again. No culture is static, or necessarily worth preserving.

    The video's main argument is that “Islamic migration” + birth rates will lead us to Islamic republics all over the world. “Islam will be the dominant religion”. That's possible. But unlikely. It implies that all muslims are the same in their political aspirations for an Islamic republic. And even if they were (which they're not). Jesus never said his followers would or should dominate.

    If the video's main message is that we (1st world Christians) need to be prepared to share our faith with Muslims, look for opportunities to do so, and bring our children up to know what they believe and be able to share it, then I think it is right.

    If the video's message is that we should be motivated by fear that the world is being taken over by Islam then I think it is against the gospel and should be critisized as divisive, inflamatory war mongering (the opposite of “peacemaking” Matt 5:9). Most wars are built on such nonsense.

    If we use it as a call to follow Christ more closely, to loving and understanding our new Muslim neighbours, then I think it can be used by God to build His Kingdom on earth.

    In it's present form, watched on it's own, however, I think the video tends to the former rather than the latter so I will not be recommending it to any of my friends.

    Reply
  3. judithbore

    I appreciate the comment”Jesus never said his followers would or should dominate.” It seems right to me. Thanks.

    Reply
  4. ralphar

    Thanks Judith.

    I've already had to apologise to at least one person for the tone of my response the video.

    I wouldn't change the thrust of what I wrote (our commitment needs to be to following Christ, not to dominating the world or maintaining the status quo), but I think we all need to be sensitive to people for whom fear of others or of muslims or of the future is a real struggle.

    But I also think we need to name and shame fear-mongering when we see it, and stand against those who would manipulate other people's fears.

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  5. MySelf

    “”This is a call to action””. What action are you proposing? Genocide of Muslims? Who’s the Nazi now, you fear mongerers.

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  6. Sammy

    I am a Canadian born Muslim, and when I saw this video, i couldn’t help notice the Islamophobia in this video. The narrator is talking like this is a pandemic and we need to act now otherwise the whole world will become Muslim. The facts are distorted and the intention is disgusting.

    Reply

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