Muslim in Suffer

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THE JIHAD OF THE WOMB: American conservatives worried that world will be overrun by growing Islamic families

Posted by musliminsuffer on February 28, 2008

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Is the U.S. the last hope for western civilization?

Falling birthrates in Europe and Canada have American conservatives worried that world will be overrun by growing Islamic families

Dan Gardner
Ottawa Citizen

NOTE: The womb of a Muslim woman is considered a weapon of mass destruction by Islamophobes everywhere.

>Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Spend any time listening to conservatives and you will soon realize they are obsessed with babies. Or rather, they are obsessed with statistics about babies.

“Europe is facing a demographic disaster,” Mitt Romney warned in the final speech of his campaign for the Republican nomination. Europeans aren’t having enough babies, Romney said.

All European countries have fertility rates below the 2.1 babies per woman — the “replacement rate” — needed to keep the population stable. In some countries, the rate is as low as 1.2. “That’s the inevitable product of weakened faith in the Creator, failed families, disrespect for the sanctity of human life, and eroded morality.”

Romney also railed against the soul-sucking damage done by tax-funded social programs and warned that if the U.S. strayed it could end up “the France of the 21st century.”

It was a bravura performance. Romney squeezed the entire conservative worldview into one short speech. Only one thing was missing: Muslims.


In the conservative telling, Europe’s “demographic disaster” has two components. One is the unwillingness of Europeans to raise the next generation of cheese-eating surrender monkeys. For that, godless socialism is to blame. The second component is the fecund Muhammadan woman who keeps pushing out little jihadists at a terrifying rate.

Childless social democrats plus big Islamic broods equals Eurabia.

This makes the U.S. the last, best hope of western civilization. The American fertility rate is 2.1, so virile America can continue to stand strong against the minions of Muhammad. Or at least it can if Americans reject the secularism and social democracy that have doomed Europe. Put a Democrat in the White House and all bets are off.

Readers who think I exaggerate should have a look at America Alone by Mark Steyn, a leading conservative columnist and renowned authority on musical theatre. Ahem. America Alone was a New York Times bestseller and its message is now gospel in conservative circles. Romney’s speech was essentially America Alone minus the Muslims and musical theatre jokes.

I think it unlikely that Islam will conquer Europe with diapers and sippy cups. But the gap in fertility between Europe and the U.S. is real. And it is very important. Because of it, Europe will undergo far more rapid and pronounced population aging and, eventually, decline. The stresses this will inflict on European societies are likely to be severe, although we can’t be certain because no country has ever experienced permanent sub-replacement fertility.

So “Eurabia” aside, it matters a great deal whether conservatives are right about the fertility gap’s causes. And it matters not only to Europeans. The Canadian fertility rate hovers around 1.5 babies per woman. That’s the European average. So we, too, need to know why the American fertility rate is so much higher.

To find out, I called John Bongaarts, an esteemed demographer and vice president of the Population Council, an non-government organization headquartered in New York City.


There are five basic factors at work, Bongaarts told me, and how much each contributes to the gap varies from country to country. “The problem is it’s always complicated,” he sighed. “I say there are five factors and by the time I get to the second one people have lost interest.”

For those who prefer their reality complicated, I present the five factors without editorial comment.

1. Hispanics

“First, we have a large Hispanic population in this country and they have much higher fertility than average and they pull the average up,” Bongaarts said. “France and other (European) countries also have immigrant groups but they are somewhat smaller. So if you eliminate that then you already start to close the gap.” When the fertility rate of non-Hispanic white American women is compared to fertility in France, England and Scandinavia, Bongaarts added, they are “roughly comparable.”

2. Unwanted pregnancy

“The second component is unwanted pregnancy. The U.S. has higher unwanted, unintended childbearing than Europe has.” That’s true of all age categories but it’s particularly pronounced among teenagers: The American teen birthrate is four times higher than the Western average.

3. Religion

“A third reason is religious,” Bongaarts said. “We have conservative religious groups which are very pro-family, and that tends to encourage more children. Europe is more individualistic.”

4. Older moms

“A fourth reason is a technical one. The fact that women are delaying child-bearing in Europe while they’re not to the same extent in the U.S. means that fertility looks lower than it actually is. In Italy, the numbers say women are having 1.2 children per woman. In fact, they’re having 1.6 children, but they’re delaying child-bearing to higher ages and that makes it look temporarily as if there are fewer births. So it’s a distortion in the numbers.”

5. Working women

The fifth factor is the involvement of women in the work force. Traditionally, more female participation in the workforce meant lower fertility.

That’s understandable. But things have changed.

To understand how, we have to bear in mind that within Europe “there are massive variations” in fertility rates, Bongaarts said. The lowest rates are in the south. The highest are in France and northern Europe. In the Nordic countries, the fertility rate is “around 1.7 or 1.8, so it’s not too far from what we have here in the U.S.”

So what’s the relationship between women in the work force and fertility rates? “The countries with the highest female labour force employment, which is the United States and northern Europe, also have the highest fertility,” Bongaarts said. “In Spain and Italy, women stay at home more, labour force participation is less than half in some cases, and yet they have the lowest fertility.”

And how does social welfare fit in? “There is a large variation in the amount of money spent on social and family programs,” Bongaarts said. “In southern European countries, the government basically pays little attention to families. There’s only a small portion of the government budget that goes to family matters, support for leave, child care, etcetera. It’s more conservative. The family’s supposed to take care of children. The government doesn’t. But in Nordic countries, partly to support gender equality, there are policies that support women in combining child care and work.”

And France? “It spends the most and it has the highest fertility (at 1.9 babies per woman). The state wants more French men and women. It has invested heavily in it and it’s working, to some extent.”

Now if I may resume editorializing. …

This stuff is complicated. Ideology is simple. The former cannot be shoved into the latter. Those who try will inevitably mangle the facts and distort the truth.

And that is a shame, because this is a vital issue. It needs to be more widely understood and discussed. About that, at least, conservatives are absolutely right.



-muslim voice-

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