The myth of Islamziation of the West and Muslim overpopulation

The myth of Islamziation of the West and Muslim overpopulation

The myth of Islamization of the West due to higher Muslim fertility rates of and the myth of Muslim overpopulation by a birth jihad and migration propagted by many Islamophobes and rightwing parties and groups is just a xenophobic propaganda mirage.

Similar Daniel Pipes answered our Global Review question

GR:  Is the Islamization of the West possible given that Muslims are a marginal minority and many of them are secular and moderate?

DP: Compare birth rates in the West with those in Africa and you see that it is not just possible, but probable.

While Gunnar Heinsohn speaks of rising birth rates and youth bulge, demography expert Emmanuel Todd already in his book „World power USA- An Obituary“ showed that the fertility and birthrates were falling in most Muslim countries.

In the case of Africa, especially the sub-Sahara region Daniel Pipes is right, in all other cases deadly wrong. However, he does not address the fact that even under the event of high migration and the higher birthrate of the 3rd generation the proportion of Muslims in Europe will at maximum reach the 14% level in 2050. It also ignores that most of these Muslims are not very religious, many also secular or moderate Muslims and not Islamists. And also 7 out of 8 Islamic schools promote contraceptives and birth control, also a high number of Muslim states.

Global development

The Fowid study from 2018 shows:

– ⅓ of Muslims (basically, those not in Africa) have a birthrate (#TFR) lower than the global average – 41 out of 53 Muslim-majority countries have declining birthrates – Bosnia has by far the lowest birthrate, a catastrophic TFR of just 1.3

„Fertility rates in“ Muslim countries „worldwide
The World Bank has also recorded the fertility rates for all countries in the world, which are shown here for Indonesia, Iran and Turkey.
In Indonesia, the country with the largest number of – 225 million – Muslims, the fertility rate fell from 1960 (6.9) to 2.4 children per woman in 2015. In Turkey (82 million Muslims) the fertility rate drops from 6.4 to 2.1 and in Iran (80 million Muslims) the fertility rate drops from 5.7 to 1.7.
These three states – with around 390 million Muslims – make up just under a quarter (22 percent) of the approximately 1.8 billion Muslims on earth. Indonesia is below the world average (2.52), Turkey has achieved the “conservation” rate of 2.1 and Iran is 1.7 significantly below this rate.
Of the 53 countries listed here as “Muslim countries”, 15 have a fertility rate below the world average, and 9 of them have a fertility rate at or below the limit of conservation. These 15 countries below the world average make up around 610 million of the 1.8 billion Muslims, i.e. a third (34 percent) of all Muslims.
There are four trends, representative of the 53 countries: first, the already mentioned 15 countries below the world average, second, 15 countries with significantly falling rates (below 4), third, 11 countries with slowly falling rates (below 5) and fourth, 12 Countries with hardly falling rates.

The ‚front runners‘ (in terms of birth control in a negative sense) with birth rates of almost 6 and above are four African countries with Muslim majorities: Niger, Somalia, Mali and Chad.
However, if one extends the view from “the Muslims” to the fertility rates in general, two world maps show that on the one hand the countries with the high fertility rates are all in (Central) Africa (with the exception of Afghanistan), that in these countries, however, Islam is the predominant religion only in the northern part of the sub-Saharan countries
. 14 of the 27 countries listed, which is also 52 percent of these countries, have a Catholic or Christian Orthodox majority of the population. This is a proportion like the “Muslims” in the previous table and one would now have to conclude: “The Catholics (and Orthodox) have the lowest birth rates” – which immediately reveals itself to be nonsense.
So whoever created the direct connection between religion (in general) and fertility rates will have reasons for it. This is a connection that applies in particular – “highly religious people” who also isolate themselves from their environment actually have more children, but not the “normal religious people”.
For the level of the fertility rate there are different and applicable conditions than religion.

„Muslims are a relatively small minority in Europe, making up roughly 5% of the population. However, in some countries, such as France and Sweden, the Muslim share of the population is higher. And, in the coming decades, the Muslim share of the continent’s population is expected to grow – and could more than double, according to Pew Research Center projections.

These demographic shifts have already led to political and social upheavals in many European countries, especially in the wake of the recent arrival of millions of asylum seekers, many of whom are Muslims. In recent national elections in France and Germany, for instance, immigration — and particularly Muslim immigration — were top issues.

Development in Europe

Using Pew Research Center’s most recent population estimates, here are five facts about the size and makeup of the Muslim population in Europe:

1France and Germany have the largest Muslim populations in Europe (defined as the 28 current European Union member countries plus Norway and Switzerland). As of mid-2016, there were 5.7 million Muslims in France (8.8% of the country’s population) and 5 million Muslims in Germany (6.1%). The EU country in which Muslims make up the largest share of the population is Cyprus: The island nation’s 300,000 Muslims make up about one-quarter (25.4%) of its population, and are mostly Turkish Cypriots with deep roots in Cyprus (and not recent migrants).

These demographic shifts have already led to political and social upheavals in many European countries, especially in the wake of the recent arrival of millions of asylum seekers, many of whom are Muslims. In recent national elections in France and Germany, for instance, immigration — and

Muslims are much younger and have more children than other Europeans. In 2016, the median age of Muslims throughout Europe was 30.4, 13 years younger than the median for other Europeans (43.8). Looking at it another way, 50% of all European Muslims are under the age of 30, compared with 32% of non-Muslims in Europe. In addition, the average Muslim woman in Europe is expected to have 2.6 children, a full child more than the average non-Muslim woman (1.6 children).

The Muslim share of Europe’s total population has been increasing steadily and will continue to grow in the coming decades. From mid-2010 to mid-2016 alone, the share of Muslims in Europe rose more than 1 percentage point, from 3.8% to 4.9% (from 19.5 million to 25.8 million). By 2050, the share of the continent’s population that is Muslim could more than double, rising to 11.2% or more, depending on how much migration is allowed into Europe. Even in the unlikely event that future migration is permanently halted, the Muslim population still would rise to an estimated 7.4%, due to the relative youth and high fertility rates of Europe’s current Muslim residents.

Between mid-2010 and mid-2016, migration was the biggest factor driving the growth of Muslim populations in Europe. An estimated 2.5 million Muslims came to Europe for reasons other than seeking asylum, such as for employment or to go to school. About 1.3 million more Muslims received (or are expected to receive) refugee status, allowing them to remain in Europe. An estimated 250,000 Muslims left the region during this period.

Natural growth was the secondary driver: Among European Muslims, there were 2.9 million more births than deaths during this period. Religious switching is estimated to be a small factor in Muslim population change, with roughly 160,000 more people switching away from Islam than converting into the faith during this period.

Development in Germany

When analyzing the birth rates of Muslims in Germany, the Fowid Institute comes to the following conclusion:

“In the discussion about the development of the number and the proportion of Muslims in Germany (“ Islamization debate ”of increasing foreign infiltration) there is the deficit that there are no reliable figures for all possible parameters in Germany and thus there is plenty of room for far-reaching interpretations. However, there are real numbers: The actual birth rates of live births for the years 1951 to 2012, whose parents / mothers describe themselves as members of an Islamic religious community.


One of the questions still to be clarified is whether the fourth generation of Muslims in Germany can expect a further rise in the ‚plateau‘ of birth rates, as between the second and third generation.

There are no exact figures for this, and so it is not possible to answer this question based on evidence. Since no reliable data is available on the extent to which the second and third generation demographically differ from one another, no forecasts can be derived from them.

It is noteworthy, however, that the termination of the determination of the “live births according to the religious affiliation of the parents” took place at a time when the discussion about “Islamization” was already taking place. The termination had the purely internal statistical argument that the answer to this question was more and more refused (2012 by around 10 percent) and the statistical fuzziness became greater and greater and was no longer tolerable, but politically it gave room for conspiracy theories that these numbers were aware would be kept secret.

But there is empirical evidence on the differences between the generations.

The Religionsmonitor 2017 shows that 73 percent of the children born in Germany of Muslim immigrants grow up with German as their first language and that the labor force participation of Muslims no longer differs from the national average of the German labor force: around 60 percent work full-time, 20 percent part-time , and the unemployment rate is also converging. And: 84 percent of Muslims born in Germany regularly spend their free time with non-Muslims.

Studies from Switzerland say: “And the census in Switzerland in 2000 already showed that progressive integration and educational advancement went hand in hand with an equalization of birth rates and that these fell sharply among naturalized Muslims. The BfS [Federal Statistical Office] also points out that the average number of children per woman among Swiss women and foreign women born here is practically the same – or low. „

In the “Results of the Microcensus 2018” (page 22 ff.) The relationship between education and the number of children is pointed out. For immigrants between 45 and 54 years of age (whose fertility phase has largely been completed), an average number of children of 1.6 is given. For women born in Germany with a high level of education there are 1.4 children, for women born abroad with a high level of education 1.5 children. If the level of education is low, there are 1.7 children or 2.4 children.

The study “Number of children and migration background” (2015) by the Federal Institute for Population Research corresponds to this: “The analyzes take into account one’s own migration experience, length of stay, level of education, employment and partnership. The results show that differentiation according to one’s own migration experience and length of stay in conjunction with the level of education are essential. If women born in Germany with Turkish roots have a high level of education, the parities are comparable to those of equally educated women without a migration background. When considering lower educational qualifications, the differences remain. „

These findings show tendencies towards integration and the equalization of the birth rates, which certainly also apply to Muslim women – but this is not mandatory. And, there are no reliable figures on Muslim mothers according to educational qualifications.

However, the numbers of the microcensus indicate that even with a medium level of education and an average number of children of 1.5 children, this number of children equals the total number of children and is thus also well below the maintenance limit of 2.1 children.

That is, the number of Muslims will decrease, as will the number of non-Muslims, due to the number of births, although perhaps not as much as non-Muslims, so their proportion could increase slightly.
10. Conclusion

The main finding based on the number of births is that there is no steady increase in the number of children who are religiously homogeneous“

„Muslim birth rate falls, population to grow more slowly

By Tom Heneghan,

PARIS (Reuters) – Falling birth rates will slow the world’s Muslim population growth over the next two decades, reducing it on average from 2.2 percent a year in 1990-2010 to 1.5 percent a year from now until 2030, a new study says.

Muslims will number 2.2 billion by 2030 compared to 1.6 billion in 2010, making up 26.4 percent of the world population compared to 23.4 percent now, according to estimates by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

The report did not publish figures for worldwide populations of other major religions, but said the United States-based Pew Forum planned similar reports on growth prospects for worldwide Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Judaism.

“The declining growth rate is due primarily to falling fertility rates in many Muslim-majority countries,” it said, noting the birth rate is falling as more Muslim women are educated, living standards rise and rural people move to cities.

“Globally, the Muslim population is forecast to grow at about twice the rate of the non-Muslim population over the next two decades — an average annual growth rate of 1.5 percent for Muslims, compared with 0.7 percent for non-Muslims,” it said.

The report, entitled The Future of the Global Muslim Population, was part of a Pew Forum program analyzing religious change and its impact on societies around the world.

It said about 60 percent of the world’s Muslims will live in the Asia-Pacific region in 2030, 20 percent in the Middle East, 17.6 percent in sub-Saharan Africa, 2.7 percent in Europe and 0.5 percent in the Americas.

Pakistan will overtake Indonesia as the world’s most numerous Muslim nation by 2030, it said, while the Muslim minority in mostly Hindu India will retain its global rank as the third largest Muslim population.


Continued migration will swell the ranks of Europe’s Muslim minorities by one-third by 2030, to 8 percent of the region’s inhabitants from 6 percent, it said.

Muslims in France will rise to 6.9 million, or 10.3 percent of the population, from 4.7 million (7.5 percent), in Britain to 5.6 million (8.2 percent) from 2.9 million and in Germany to 5.5 million (7.1 percent) from 4.1 million (5 percent).

The Muslim share of the U.S. population will grow from 0.8 percent in 2010 to 1.7 percent in 2030, “making Muslims roughly as numerous as Jews or Episcopalians are in the United States today,” the study said.

By 2030, Muslims will number 2.1 million or 23.2 percent of the population in Israel — including Jerusalem but not the West Bank and Gaza — after 1.3 million (17.7 percent) in 2010.

“The slowdown in Muslim population growth is most pronounced in the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East-North Africa and Europe, and less sharp in sub-Saharan Africa,” it said, while migration will accelerate it in the Americas through 2020.

While Muslim populations worldwide are still younger on average than others, “the so-called “youth bulge” — the high percentage of Muslims in their teens and 20s — peaked around the year 2000 and is now declining,” the study said.

Sunni Muslims will continue to make up the overwhelming majority in Islam — about 87-90 percent, the report estimated — while Shi’ite numbers may decline because of relatively low birth rates in Iran, where one-third of all Shi’ites live.

The study saw a close link between education and birth rates in Muslim-majority countries. Women in countries with the least education for girls had about five children while those where girls had the longest schooling averaged 2.3 children.

The study said it counted “all groups and individuals who self-identify as Muslims,” including secular or non-observant people, without measuring levels of religiosity.

It said measuring the impact of Islam on birth rates was difficult because “cultural, social, economic, political, historical and other factors may play equal or greater roles.”

And the Atlantic also gives interesting facts about Muslim overpopulation myth:

The Muslim Overpopulation Myth That Just Won’t Die

The claim that Muslims have „too many children“ is reliably powerful anywhere there’s a sizable Muslim immigrant or minority popu

The trope of Muslim overpopulation is reliably powerful anywhere in the world where there is a sizable Muslim immigrant or minority population, from India to Western Europe.

Hindu nationalists often fan anxiety about Muslim population growth; the proportion of Muslims in India grew about 0.8 percent between 2001 and 2011, to 14.2 percent. “If this remains the situation, one should forget about their existence in one’s own country by 2025,” said the leader of a major Hindu nationalist organization last year. But the fertility gap between Muslims and Hindus in India is narrowing fast, and the greatest birthrate disparities are between states, not religions: Hindu women in the very poor state of Bihar have about two more children each than Muslim women in more developed Andhra Pradesh.

Similar concerns echo across countries like France, Germany, the U.K., and the Netherlands. Although Muslims make up less than 10 percent of the total population in each of these countries, perceived overpopulation has been at the center of anti-immigration discourse. About 7.5 percent of France is Muslim, yet on average French people believe Muslims constitute about one in three people in the country. Although Muslim women in Western Europe do currently have more children than their non-Muslim counterparts, research shows that European Muslims’ fertility rate is also declining much faster, so their fertility rates will likely converge over time. (However, in this context, fertility isn’t the only issue; a wave of Muslim immigration over the past few years has reinforced some Europeans’ concerns about Muslim population growth.)

Why does the overpopulation myth persist worldwide, even though it’s typically demonstrably false (like in Burma) or nowhere near the epidemic that its proponents assert (like in Europe and India)? It’s true that the global Muslim population is growing, and fast. But it’s not growing at the same speed across regions. And the trope seems to have the most power not where Muslim populations are actually growing the fastest—like sub-Saharan Africa—but in places where they are culturally distinct minorities.

There’s nothing inherent in Islam to link it to higher fertility—in fact, it’s not a particularly natalist, or pro-birth, religion. Eight of the nine classic schools of Islamic law permit contraception. Many Muslim states, including Pakistan, have supported family planning. The growth of the global Muslim population was, according to a 2011 Pew Center report, due to both a “youth bulge”—an unusually high number of young Muslim people, which peaked around 2000— and a higher overall fertility rate for Muslim women as a group. On the latter point, a major takeaway of the Pew report (and its companion from this year) is that fertility has much less to do with religion and much more to do with economics, social services, women’s empowerment, and conflict. The fertility rate across all 49 Muslim-majority countries fell from 4.3 children per woman in 1990-95 to about 2.9 in 2010-15. This was still higher than the global fertility rate in 2015, but it’s a strikingly fast drop given the fact that it took some Western European countries nearly a century to transition from six children per woman to three.

The claim about Muslim overpopulation falls apart in fascinating ways when examined more closely. The fastest fertility drop in modern history happened in the Islamic theocracy of Iran. In 1950, Iranian women had about seven children each; today they have about 1.68, fewer than Americans. What changed? In 1989, the country’s leaders realized that the the high birth rate was straining the young republic. In response, the Supreme Leader issued fatwas encouraging birth control and contraception, and the Health Ministry propagated family planning counseling, rural health centers, and contraceptive distribution across the country. Iran also made girls’ education a development priority as it sought to rebuild civil society after the Iran-Iraq War, which ended in 1988, so more girls than ever started to attend (strictly gender-segregated) schools. Everywhere, there is an inverse relationship between years of schooling and fertility rates.

In the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, Indonesia, fertility rates dropped between the 1960s and the 1990s, from about 5.6 children per woman to 2.3, as the Suharto dictatorship instituted a vigorous, centralized family planning program and made improvements to girls’ education. Those government services were decentralized after democracy came to the archipelago in 1998 and, predictably, fertility rates have been creeping up again. Today, Indonesia’s majority-Christian but less developed eastern provinces have a higher birthrate than the more developed, Muslim-majority western ones—a testament to the correlation between economic development and fertility.

But it’s unlikely that these, or any, facts about Muslim demographics will change minds anywhere. In a demographics report, Nicholas Eberstadt and Apoorva Shah, researchers at the American Enterprise Institute, write: “There remains a widely perceived notion—still commonly held within intellectual, academic, and policy circles in the West and elsewhere—that ‘Muslim’ societies are especially resistant to embarking upon the path of demographic and familial change that has transformed population profiles in Europe, North America, and other ‘more developed’ areas.”

Conclusion. There will be no Islamization of the West and the industrialized countries, but Islamists could become a disruptive factor within these societies – as jihad terrorism or the 5th column of Islamist states. The danger of Islamization, a God state or a caliphate is in fact non-existent, since the number of Muslims is and will remain too low, and many Mulsimes are moderate or secular. But Islamists can create instability and an atmosphere of fear by means of terrorist attacks and as aggressive interferers or by means of intelligent lobbying and actions, especially in interaction with Islamist states and groups abroad.

But the main danger for Western democracies and states without a Muslim majority is that Islamophobic, racist, xenophobic right-wing extremist parties and groups use the work of Islamism for their own propaganda, catalyze and stir up fears in the population via social media and establish a fascist or authoritarian dictatorship with the consent of the majority non-Muslim population. In addition, through their actions, both extremists hope for an escalation spiral through attacks, which can then only be ended by a state of emergency or by a fascist dictatorship. It is, therefore, necessary that the democratic states and parties take decisive action against Islamism without becoming a dictatorship of Islamophobic, fascist and authoritarian parties and at the same time fight against right-winged parties and Islamophiles. Conversely, Islamophile leftists and multiculturalists, romantizers of Islam and “No borders for all” ideologues support right-wing extremists because they regard any criticism against Islam and Islamists or against the migration policy and welcome culture as Islamophobic, xenophobic and semi-fascist or criticize anybody who demands decisive action against Islamism. So it’s a three-front war that democrats have to wage: against Muslim Islamists, against Western Islamophobes and against Western Islamophiles. It is easier for all of these three parties, since they only have to wage a two-front war.

Worldwide, Islamism will still be a geopolitical problem, especially for the Muslim world, and three Islamist belts could arise: The neo-Ottoman Empire of Erdogan Turkey in alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamists in the MENA region, in the Caucasus, in Central Asia , in Southeast Asia and South Asia, while an Islamist belt could emerge from Nigeria via the Sahel and sub-Saharan Africa to Somalia and Mozambique under the control of the Islamic State and other Islamists, and the third Islamist Shiite belt Iran-Yemen, Iraq, Syria , Lebanon already exists.

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