Time is on my side

It's no secret that large chunks of the Western world are in demographic decline. Mark Steyn has focused on the fact relentlessly in a series of articles (with the most recent being an article, first published in the New Criterion and then republished in the WSJ). The most recent article I read on the subject is Eric Cohn's "Why Have Children," in Commentary. The numbers Cohn cites are familiar and striking:

Since the 1950’s, the total fertility rate (TFR) in Europe has fallen from 2.7 to 1.38—an astounding 34 percent below the replacement rate of 2.1, which is the average number of children per couple needed for a society to sustain itself. Japan’s fertility rate is 1.32, and its average age is already forty-two years and climbing. (The world average, by comparison, is in the mid-twenties.) A large number of nations, including Russia, Spain, Italy, South Korea, and the Czech Republic, have TFR’s between 1.0 and 1.3; some of these nations (most notably Russia) are already experiencing rapid population decline. Generations of children are growing up without brothers or sisters, and a sizable percentage of men and women in the most advanced nations will never have any children at all.

Two conspicuous exceptions are America, which is holding its own, but only slightly, and third world and Middle Eastern countries — especially Muslim countries.  Muslims are also doing their bit within Europe, where their birth rate is three times higher than the average European birth rate. 

What all this means for the spread of Islam is that patient Islamists can say, as the Stones used to say, "Time is on my side."  If they just wait around another 40 or so years, the world will be theirs demographically.  That being the case, I'm wondering why the sudden rush to Islamicization now? 

Events such as 9/11, or the London subway/bus bombings, or the Spanish train bombing, or the Theo Van Gogh slaughter are ever so slowly making the world aware of the threat.  Indeed, there's even a possibility that, with this awareness, the Western world still has the ability to stop the threat.  If recent headlines coming out of Europe are true, the Europeans, while still mouthing multicultural platitudes, are beginning to react.  France, for example, has toughened its immigration lawsCanada and England are beginning to be aware of, and to crack down on, terrorists in their midst.  America, of course, is at full scale war with two countries housing these extreme practitioners of the "Religion of Peace."

Two answers occur to me when I think about the Islamic rush to war.  First, they think the numbers are already sufficiently on their side to make waiting necessary.  If they're right, that's a really scary thought; if they're wrong, we benefit from their miscalculation.  The second is that, because radical Islamists are fundamentalists, and don't function in a world of rational thinking, they couldn't care less about demographics.  Their pot has boiled, and they're ready to explode, regardless of the strategic benefits of time.

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  • http://arosebyname.wordpress.com/ anna27

    Between “growing their own” and enticing the misfits to their side, they are well on their way to their objective. We have to figure out how to stop the enticing since there is no legal or moral way to stop them from growing their own. Easier said than done, I am sure.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    Remember what they said before, that the over-population of the globe through third world countries would stifle the ability of the Earth to sustain ourselves? Almost all science fiction writers wrote about this problem and the possible solutions to fix it. Theirs and ours solution was to control Western reproduction, through euthanasia, abortion, and fertility drugs.

    Now we see that the solution is as worse, if not more worse, than the original problem of planetary over-population. Thus we see that intelligence does not equal wisdom, for wisdom is greater than intelligence.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    Assimilation is the problem, and to do that, you hvae to prevent Muslim women from being forcibly married to people from the “old country”. Obviously the Muslim men will use terrorism, force, and beatings to keep their wives in line. It is interesting to note that the more enlightened and “feminist” a country becomes, like Europe has, the less actual protections are given to women being abused. In the expectation that women have the power, they are “empowered”, so don’t need any special help.

    It is true that Bin Laden and others of their ilk attacked too soon, on 9/11 and other times and places. They aren’t divinely inspired, regardless of their fanatical rhetoric.

    Bin Laden is as human as am I, and just as susceptible to being wrong and being killed. Dead is dead, after all, and mortal is mortal.

    It is untrue that reason and logic does not work against fanatics. It just means you have to modify your reasoning and logic. The MAD strategy no longer works, but preventing them from going to heaven by smearing their corpse with pig fat might actually do something to them psychologically. Bush hasn’t tried that of course, for some weird…. reason.

  • jg

    Perhaps Bush’s aims (and we can speculate on a range of choices) do include defeating Islamic fundamentalism thru assimilation, building bridges to a close society.

    The promoting a Muslim society able to live as part of a diverse world.

    We know that Iraq has had a rich history with an emphasis on cosmopolitanism before it was plunged into its Saddam madness. Certainly some of the smaller ME countries seem to exemplify this possibility; one of them has been employing Bill and Al to promote itself.
    There are many ways to undermine the rigid hatred that these warlords impose upon so many suffering peoples.

    AGain our mission in Iraq emphasises that we are a vibrant, virile nation able to use our the strength for great purposes. Ben Laden, as Saddam, was misled by the sterility, the hedonism, the nihilism of the Left into mistaking the false–Clinton, Academia, Hollywood, the MSM–for the REAL America.

    As Y says, both terrorists know differently now.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    Who is using Bill and Al Gore? Kuwaitt’s the better example of a progressive muslim society as I see it.

    Most people know about AMerican culture through Hollywod, not the military. Sure, the skin of America looks glamorous and slick and well pampered, giving us an indication for effiminate weakness and worries. However, go deeper to the core, and you have someone like a Master Sergeant, hard as nails, faced the enemy and didn’t break, kind of core.

    We don’t tend to advertise this trait however. It’s sometimes an advantage to be taken for being weak. Flight 93 is an example that America ain’t full of sheep yet, we ain’t going to go silently into the night once we are forewarned. If you don’t make your initial strike, a critically mortal one, you won’t get a chance to make another one. Talk to Japan, they know.

    The terroists have nothing on Japanese sword art and philosphy. Zark likes to use a knife to saw people’s heads off, but we beat off the Japanese, who made an ART of execution through beheading. And we picked up loads of Japanese martial arts, philosophy, and Kendo sword arts. Every enemy America defeats, makes us stronger, since we are not xenophobic. This was true of Rome as well, and any other Empire or organization that had to sustain military operations over a long period of time or a long geographical location.

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  • http://rfmcdpei.livejournal.com Randy McDonald

    Actually, no, the Muslims are not outbreeding the rest of the world. I took a look at the specific situation in France two years ago

    http://rfmcdpei.livejournal.com/408410.html

    and noted that the trends (rising intermarriage, declining fluency in native languages, declining rates of religious practice, declining birth rates) just don’t support the thesis of an Islamized France. More to the point, a large and growing number of Muslim countries–Iran, Turkey, most of the Maghreb–have TFRs just at or below replacement-level fertility.