Spritzophrenia

humour, music, life, sociology. friendly agnostic.

Make Babies or Islam Takes Over?

Posted by spritzophrenia on September 10, 2010

Great local pizza and a bottle of chianti last night. At dinner I picked up a newspaper:

“European Christians must have more children or face the Continent becoming Islamised, a Vatican official has said.” I note that with their view on contraception, the Vatican is particularly keen on making babies anyway.

This ties in serendipitously with my recent posts. Quoting from a longer article on Snopes, who declare such claims “mostly false”:

babies!

“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 … 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.”

In short, the best demographers can do is make broad guesses about population trends based on current conditions and assumptions about how (and how much) those trends might be influenced by societal changes. Or, as summarized by [population expert] Walker:

“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 large, 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.”

See also my humorous White People Need More Sex.

Frankly, the question of Islam and its relation to modernity is complex; I’ve read various commentators, both Muslim and not, both extreme and moderate. I particularly enjoyed Irshad Manji’s The Trouble With Islam Today. I’m not attracted to conservative Islam and I want to concentrate on other interests, perhaps I’ll write more fully in the futuretime.

This morning Romy sent me “Burn a Quran Day“, a tragical church parody ad:

I love it! For any Muslims watching, please remember this is a joke— a parody made by people who do not support burning of sacred books.

Also in the newspaper, thought reading machines are closer to reality. This is cool, and brings hope for severely disabled people, let alone the science fiction utopias of the future. Naturally there may be negative sides; if it becomes possible to read thoughts from a distance then Government spying on your brain may be possible one day. It may become impossible to have mental privacy— would any of us truly want our spouse to read our thoughts? All science brings with it the potential for both benefit and misuse, so concentrating on the positive, it’s a wonderful advance. Looking forward to the day when I can type at the speed of thought.

Even if a bigger Muslim population eventuates, if we encourage all peoples to live together in peace, there is hope. Please remember and publicise the 1st International Meal With A Muslim Day, next week. I’m not sure I can find someone in time, but at least if I can raise awareness, I’ve done my part.

Have a wonderful weekend.

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7 Responses to “Make Babies or Islam Takes Over?”

  1. Obviously, I DO NOT support the burning of books. If there is a call to kill Jews, it wouldn’t matter what I believe – I’m still Jewish. A reverence for a book that promotes killing makes me ill. Remember, many in my family were killed in the Holocaust.

    • Oh yes, I don’t pretend Muslim-Jewish relationships are simple or harmonious, if that’s what you’re saying. As i said in another comment, I find some things in the Quran very problematic.

      However, I believe if we don’t try to reach out and live together in peace we set ourselves up for another Holocaust.

      The Holocaust was disgusting – *hugs*

      • I don’t know what to say to you, Jon. A quest for peace is admirable but sticking one’s head in the ground, ignoring the facts, doesn’t help. Anomalies are anomalies. For instance, not all men are rapists but rapists exist. I can take precautions to avoid getting raped. I can buy mace or avoid dark alleys. Rapists can be friendly neighbors or family members too. No amount of preparedness would help. It is nice to imagine a world without rapists or killers. Utopia.

        • leesis said

          Rommy, can’t you truly imagine a world without rapists? For surely without imagining the possibility we can never move beyond…to use your example…rape is, without rape = utopia.

          I too avoid dark etc etc. That’s just good management. But I’ll be buggered if I will accept the best we can do is ‘live with’ these things and my head aint in the sand. Rape, murder, suicide, the stepping on our fellow being to get what we want, war over beliefs beyond the here and now, death threats against climate change experts, racism… is, for me, NOT the best we can do and NOT good enough.

          I guess this is a bit personal for me for different reasons (through my whole life) but I believe passionately that we adults need to step up here and I get frustrated (not personal but general) that I and others get “that’s idealistic, that’s naive, that’s altruistic, that’s admirable but…” and frankly on a face to face basis, the tone usually drips with pitiful sarcasm. I even got “innocent” yesterday in response to my blog on morals.

          I would like to suggest that this attitude has become for many a straight out excuse for non-action so they can stay in their comfort zone. No, in 2010, with all that lies behind us, it’s not good enough!

          My understanding of the word utopia is a perfect world. That is unrealistic. But what if we just tried to improve now by one percent?

          Surely that’s not unrealistic?

        • As I said Romy, I am conflicted. I have read very “anti Islam” people like Robert Spencer, and less… convinced views.

          I don’t yet have a “fully made up” position. I do recommend Irshad Manji’s book – a Canadian Muslim.

          But aside from what the “true nature” of Islam is, I think dialogue can only do good. If we remain in ghettos (and as a Westerner who doesn’t talk to other cultures, I am in a ghetto) then we reinforce the “alien” stereotype that then allows us/them to dehumanise, and hate each other.

          I know its not simple. But I think we have to try. imho.

  2. Jon and Ieesis,
    All I will say is articulating the rational to the irrational is like banging your head against a wall. Good luck!

  3. […] to know about the peace activism in Egypt— by Muslims, no less. Regular followers will know I write from time to time trying to understand Islam and it’s relation to the West. Egypt has recently had some […]

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