10 Myths About Muslims in the West
Huff Post: In my new book The Myth of the Muslim Tide, I chronicle the widespread misunderstanding of Muslim immigration to the West. As with Jews and Catholics before, I discuss that Muslims are being seen as an impossible-to-integrate, fast-reproducing invasion force who follow a religion that’s more an ideology of conquest than a faith. Using the latest facts and figures, I illustrate the far less alarming truth about these new arrivals.
Here are 10 common myths about Muslims in the West:
1. Muslims have a higher birth rate than other religions, and will take over the world by population
Two generations ago, it seemed as if Islamic countries were destined for out-of-control population growth. People spoke of an “Islamic fertility rate” – – more than 5 children per family, on average – – and predicted minaret spires foresting the Earth. Today, it is readily apparent that Islam is not connected with population growth. Just look at Iran, the world’s only Islamic theocracy, where the average family had around 7 children in the 1980s – – and has 1.7 today, a lower rate than France or Britain. Or look at the United Arab Emirates, with 1.9 children per family. Or Turkey, ruled by an elected party of devout Muslims for a decade, which now has 2.15 children per family. Or Lebanon, where, despite Hezbollah’s rise, has only 1.86 children per family (so that its population will be shrinking). Around the world, the average Muslim family size has fallen from 4.3 children per family in 1995 to 2.9 in 2010, and is expected to fall below the population-growth rate, and converge with Western family sizes, by mid-century. This is a crucial sign that Muslim societies are undergoing a major modernizing, secularizing wave – – even if