?

Log in

No account? Create an account
click opera
February 2010
 
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
 
 
 
 
 
 
Page 1 of 2
[1] [2]
Sun, Aug. 9th, 2009 10:29 am
Misleading breeding stats are the new skull-measurement

There are few things more annoying than that breed of American right-winger who tells us -- at every opportunity -- that Europe is about to become a Muslim state. It's a meme circulated in right wing circles in Europe too -- in the idea of Eurabia, for instance, or in the book Londonistan by right wing pundit Melanie Phillips. These people have in common that they take Europe's current state of ethnic and religious pluralism and project it into a future where it becomes, suddenly, its opposite. Where one group -- the Muslims -- takes over, turning diversity into monoculture: a European muslim superstate. There's only one problem. The figures just don't add up.



This argument is based on demographic statistics. "They" are breeding faster than "us", or immigrating and failing to integrate with "our" values, and therefore becoming a "state within a state". (Odd that Americans, who built their 20th-century pre-eminence on immigration, are so reluctant to see it happen elsewhere.) But -- as the BBC's statistics programme More or Less valuably showed this weekend -- the statistics used to create a sense of panic about Europe's racial and religious diversity are simply wrong. Here's the BBC's fact check on the Muslim Demographics video above:



The really puzzling thing, for me, is how an argument so much posited on the fact of there being a "stark choice" between conflicting systems ends up taking so many of its cues from "the enemy". The blurb for the Muslim Demographics video, for instance, says "Islam will overwhelm Christendom unless Christians recognize the demographic realities, begin reproducing again, and share the gospel with Muslims." The message is that we must live as they live, otherwise we will be forced to live as they live.

A similar "let's copy the Muslims" philosophy comes through in the documentary Jesus Camp. Here's the trailer:



Again, it's basically "let's be like them before they rise up and force us to be like them". The "them" is a reductive stereotype. As one of the trainers in the Jesus Camp doc puts it: "Where should we put our focus? I'll tell you where our enemies are putting it. They're putting it on the kids. You go to Palestine and they're taking their kids to camps like we take our kids to Bible camps and they're putting hand grenades in their hands." A few seconds later we're seeing teachers in a Bible camp asking children: "How many want to be those who would give up their lives for Jesus?" A child's voice says "We're being trained to be those who'd be God's army." Hey, let's avoid falling under the yoke of Islamist terrorists by becoming something even worse!



The theory behind the Eurabia argument is as wrong as the statistics it's based on, and the praxis is illogical -- be like them so that we don't have to be like them. As a European who adores the strong and healthy Muslim presence here in Europe (and who even married, at one point, into a Muslim family), I'd like to advise these American right-wingers to cultiver their own jardin. You know, that superstate built on immigration and the idea that, wherever you came from, you're an American when you get to America. It's the same here: whoever is in Europe is a European by definition.

Resisting the Eurabians will be difficult, but ultimately I am optimistic. Sure, the Muslim Demographics video has had over ten million YouTube views and the BBC correction has had -- at the time of writing -- only 40. But growth rates on the BBC video are healthy. It is reproducing strongly. I believe that by 2050 the BBC vid will overtake and overwhelm the viewership -- and ethos -- of the Muslim Demographics film and rule it with a fist of iron. Well, a calculator of stainless steel, anyway.

99CommentReply


(Anonymous)
Sun, Aug. 9th, 2009 08:54 am (UTC)

And yet surely the BBC vid is premised on the same fear. Only it's saying: "relax, it's not going to happen." Personally, I couldn't care less if Europe becomes predominantly Muslim. It might be a very good thing for both Europe and Islam.


ReplyThread
imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Aug. 9th, 2009 10:25 am (UTC)

It's true that the BBC vid doesn't take the step you and I do, and say "So what if this happens?" But I think you have to read quite a bit between the lines to say that their correction of the stats contains the implication that it would be bad if it did. I think they probably believe in "healthy diversity" and "pluralism", which is official EU and even UK policy.


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Sun, Aug. 9th, 2009 09:07 am (UTC)

Stop screening!


ReplyThread
imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Aug. 9th, 2009 10:31 am (UTC)

Yeah, it's off now. The ILX and KGB invasions are hopefully over.

Yesterday's DDoS attacks -- which made it impossible for me to access Click Opera for most of the day -- were reported to be initiated by the Russian secret services to block just one Georgian nationalist from celebrating the anniversary of Georgian independence from Russia. They duly ended at exactly midnight, Moscow time, following the day of that anniversary. All they achieved was to make this man and his cause world famous.


ReplyThread Parent Expand

(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand

(Anonymous)
Sun, Aug. 9th, 2009 09:40 am (UTC)

I never knew people in the US cared about Europe turning into a Muslim state. Honestly, I've never once heard it talked about in the media in America, and I'm a news junkie.

I've only ever read about this in British and German papers, honestly. Not sure why you're pinning this one on the US ... if I were to make fun of any country for really, really caring about this subject to an absurd degree, I'd give it to England.


ReplyThread
imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Aug. 9th, 2009 10:34 am (UTC)

Believe it or not, Click Opera has regular commenters, based in the US, who promote these views, though they're otherwise jolly decent chaps.

I did, though, also cite Melanie Phillips, the columnist for UK papers The Daily Mail and The Guardian, and her book Londonistan.


ReplyThread Parent Expand



(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand



(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand




(Anonymous)
Sun, Aug. 9th, 2009 10:25 am (UTC)

Tolerant Guardian readers will find yourself in 'The Flying Inn' world at best. Muslims kills politicians in Netherlands and bombs tube in London, but you just close your eyes - it's not the proper theme to discuss.
But nobody in Europe likes such neighbours.


ReplyThread
imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Aug. 9th, 2009 10:36 am (UTC)

Here we go, you see. This Click Opera reader is using a Chicago ISP and thinks it's a jolly pressing danger for us Europeans. And you thought it couldn't happen here!


ReplyThread Parent





(no subject) - (Anonymous)
imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Aug. 9th, 2009 01:00 pm (UTC)

The stats say that less than 3% of the UK population is muslim. (Compare that with around 30% of the population of the particular borough of Berlin I live in.) A 3% population taking over the institutions of the UK (unless we're talking about Oxbridge graduates) is such a remote possibility it shouldn't even be on the table. It's clearly been put there by right-wingers desperate to stir people up to fear and xenophobia for their own purposes, and prepared to lie about the stats to do it.


ReplyThread Parent Expand

(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand


(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand




(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand


(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand

(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand

4 % - (Anonymous) Expand

autopope
autopope
Autopope
Sun, Aug. 9th, 2009 01:22 pm (UTC)

Ah, the joy of religious nutjobs. I figure a good chunk of the Eurabia nonsense emanates from the neurotic Washington chattering classes, who have a pathological need[*] for a shadowy oppositional superpower to measure their realpolitik machismo against; since the Soviets imploded they've been desperate to find a replacement, and Europe would fit the bill, if they could just somehow replace the fuzzy, boring EU with some kind of hostile ideological threat.

Meanwhile, have you run across the Quiverfull movement?

Putting two and two together, I perceive a faint whiff of projection ...


[*] "Pathological" insofar as the set-up is used to justify gigantic military spending and the odd invasion of some punk country, pour encourager les autres.

Edited at 2009-08-09 01:24 pm (UTC)


ReplyThread

(Anonymous)
Mon, Aug. 10th, 2009 05:07 am (UTC)
Which religious nutjobs?

Religious nutjobs come with Islam, too. As does machismo. A friend of mine used to point out the irony that George W. Bush and Osama Bin Laden actually have more in common with each other than differences (i.e. conservative religious "values"). Think about it.


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Sun, Aug. 9th, 2009 01:32 pm (UTC)

We've come a long way already but in 50 years from now Europe will most likely be secular anyway.


ReplyThread
scribbled_mess
scribbled_mess
scribbled_mess
Sun, Aug. 9th, 2009 01:43 pm (UTC)

great post. I used to go on the bbc faiths message board and one poster always complained abt the 'trojan horse' that had crept into Britain. It was like arguing with a brick wall. I hope ppl watch the bbc youtube response. The idea of an Islamic european state is so far-fetched as to be absurd.


ReplyThread

(Anonymous)
Sun, Aug. 9th, 2009 02:09 pm (UTC)

somewhat off-topic- have you ever visited the mezquita at cordoba ( a remnant of islamic europe, naturally)?

truly a beautiful building.

the christian cathedral plunged into the middle of it just looks kitsch and silly by comparison


ReplyThread Parent Expand


(Anonymous)
Sun, Aug. 9th, 2009 01:56 pm (UTC)

- GUIDE TO OVERTHROWING TOTALITARIAN REGIMES IN 2009 -

1) Facebook, Youtube, Movies, Porn, Books, Beer, Pussy, and X-Box are FUCKING AWESOME. 99% of kids in the world want these things.

2) ANY kids who are prohibited from having this shit because of their wack-ass religious or nationalist governments will eventually be willing to FIGHT and DIE to get these things, a.k.a. FREEDOM.

3) Totalitarian governments don’t want their kids to have this shit, because they feel it waters down their religious or nationalistic dedication and therefore makes them harder to control. (By the way, if these governments were smart, they’d learn that they can control their kids THROUGH this shit the way the US Gov’t does!)

4) Cool shit just keeps getting cooler, and communication technology just keeps rubbing it in these poor deprived kids’ faces harder and harder. There are also a LOT of women who are being treated like animals, and you don’t even need to tempt them with X-box - they’re ready to fuck shit up just to get the right to vote and read and wear what they want.

5) Therefore, as X approaches infinity, revolutions will happen in all of these countries on their own.

6) The ONLY thing that the US can do to FUCK UP these inevitable revolutions is to give these governments something to rally their people around, i.e. by playing into the role of “The Great Satan.”

7) Give these governments rope enough to hang themselves, and give them NO ONE to blame, and you will expose them as lying psychopaths and empower the people and their revolutions.


ReplyThread
parallel_botany
parallel_botany
Doña Nadie
Sun, Aug. 9th, 2009 02:31 pm (UTC)

A fairly common right wing theme in the US media applies this idea to Latin American (chiefly Mexican) (illegal) immigrants. Because they are coming from predominantly Catholic countries, they have much higher birthrates than white Americans, whose birthrate is going down, so within X number of years, there will more of them than us, and they'll make Spanish an official language, mandate that tortillas replace Wonder Bread, and whatnot.


ReplyThread

(Anonymous)
Sun, Aug. 9th, 2009 02:35 pm (UTC)

conveniently not noticing that catholics in rich countries are apparently very good at practising abstinence within marriage and have similar numbers of children as protestants


ReplyThread Parent

(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand
krskrft
krskrft
Sun, Aug. 9th, 2009 03:35 pm (UTC)

(Odd that Americans, who built their 20th-century pre-eminence on immigration, are so reluctant to see it happen elsewhere.)

It's actually not that odd. The class of American who would make this argument is what you'd call a xenophobe, a racist, or more generally, a bigot. He/She is likely to possess any number of contradictory beliefs, and hold many irrational double-standards, of which this is one.

What it typically boils down to is this: immigrants who assimilate, who become one with the prevailing Anglo-Christian culture of America, are hailed as proud, salt-of-the-earth American citizens. Immigrants who don't assimilate become the targets of xenophobia, because the perception is that they are not coming around to American values, but rather that they are trying to change what America is. Unfortunately, even something as simple as looking different (i.e. having a different skin color, or foreign physical features, for example) is often, in itself, to demonstrate a person's failure to assimilate. These people, in essence, cannot assimilate, try as they might. They may be able to come close, if they start dressing in a very conservative manner, or if they become successful and wealthy in a typically Anglo profession. But even then, they are apt to encounter scenarios that no true Anglo-Christian need worry about.


ReplyThread

(Anonymous)
Sun, Aug. 9th, 2009 03:50 pm (UTC)

Actually, the meme for Eurabia comes from American Zionist Jews and pro-Zionist Christians for the more or less explicit purpose of bolstering Israel as the sturdy bulwark who alone stands between Christendom and the global Islamic jihad. And, therefore, deserving of ever more US government aid (already in the billions), ever less criticism of Israel in the US media (and quickly shouted down as anti-Semitism when it does appear), and ever more support for the sort of neoconservative ( an almost entirely Jewish initiated and maintained movement, despite a handful of gentile front men) nation building that resulted in Bush's Iraq debacle (although this has considerably lost momentum for the obvious by now reasons, but still lingers in Obama's foreign policy). There is simply no mystery to this in the US among those of us who follow the money, so to speak. The main reason they are so concerned with Europe's demographic trend has less to do with regard for Europe's welfare (because they don't care, really) but to scare the crap out of Americans, especially American conservative Christians, and keep them on the bandwagon for more settlements on the West Bank, more harsh polices in Gaza, and more encouragement to nuke Iran.


ReplyThread
imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Aug. 9th, 2009 06:03 pm (UTC)

Bingo.


ReplyThread Parent


Bingo! - (Anonymous) Expand
imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Aug. 9th, 2009 06:14 pm (UTC)
FEAR OF A BBC PLANET!

The BBC refutation video has jumped from 40 to 135 views. That's a 300% increase in one day!

Do you realise what this means? It means that, if current growth rates continue, this video will have been watched 23589898980980989236783274589237589279 times by 2020. Makes you think, doesn't it?


ReplyThread

(no subject) - (Anonymous)
funazushi
funazushi
funazushi
Mon, Aug. 10th, 2009 02:14 am (UTC)
I see your Amina and raise you...


ReplyThread Parent Expand

endoftheseason
endoftheseason
Sun, Aug. 9th, 2009 07:26 pm (UTC)

"It's the same here: whoever is in Europe is a European by definition."

Does this count for Americans who are in Europe, including those for whom it is next to impossible to obtain legal permission to live and work permanently in Europe? Can an American just show up in Europe, step off the plane or boat, proclaim, "Whoever is in Europe is a European by definition," and thus be granted all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of EU citizenship?


ReplyThread
krskrft
krskrft
Mon, Aug. 10th, 2009 02:29 am (UTC)

That's some pretty awesome literalism you're rocking there.


ReplyThread Parent Expand