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Refuting the gross distortion and misrepresentation of the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad and Islam, made by the critics of Islam

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List of all Issues | Summary 1 | Summary 2 | Summary 3‎ — completed, 28th June 2013


February 4th, 2013

Issue 85

Issue 85 [@ 1:31:10]: Bet Ye’or – Author – Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis: “The question now that we have to ask ourselves is do we want to preserve our Judea-Christian values and our own civilization or do we want, do we choose to go towards a dhimmitude, an enlarged dhimmitude in Europe which will engulf the whole of Europe, maybe not America? But, America will be isolated because it will have to deal in geopolitics with an Islamized dhimmi Europe. And these are problems that have to be taken into consideration by Europeans themselves in choosing their identity and their future, freedom or dhimmitude and by Americans also.”

Rebuttal 85: The term ‘dhimmi’ as distorted by the current documentary has be addressed in issues before – 3, 15d, 16, 40c, 42, 72d, 74.

Bet Ye’or continues with the built up by others before her of a delusional scare in the current segment of the documentary. She manufactures three main anxieties i.e. possibility of loss of Judea-Christian values of the West, if there was such thing to begin with; ‘dimmitude’ of Europe and the subsequent isolation of United States from a ‘dhimmified’ Europe. Each of these is a myth, a delusional paranoia full of fear to create a consequent hate in the Western audience towards both Arabs and Muslims. These myths of Bet Ye’or are addressed below:

The Myth of a Judeo-Christian Tradition
[as quoted on the websites: The Information Clearing House and The Bible Believers]

The following article is from New Dawn Magazine No.23 Feb-March 1994.

This is an age in which news has been superseded by propaganda, and education by brain-washing and indoctrination. From the advertising used to sell poor quality goods, to the classes in schools designed to make children into conditioned robots of the State, the art of persuasion has displaced the simple virtue of truth.

Since the end of the Second World War we have been bombarded from all sides with references to the Western world’s “Judeo-Christian religion,” and “our Judeo-Christian heritage.” We are told by both church leaders and scholars that our society is based on a supposed “Judeo-Christian tradition”.

The notion of “Judeo-Christian religion” is an unquestioned – almost sacrosanct – part of both secular and church thinking. American Christian leader Prof. Franklin H. Littel, a vocal supporter of the Zionist state, frankly declared that “to be Christian is to be Jewish,” and that consequently it was the duty of a Christian to put support for the “land of Israel” above all else. Pat Boon, the North American singer and evangelist, said there are two kinds of Judaism, one Orthodox and the other Christian.

Yet such a decidedly Christian Zionist outlook is to say the least, wildly simplistic and profoundly ahistorical. As the astute Jewish writer, Joshua J. Adler, points out, “The differences between Christianity and Judaism are much more than merely believing in whether the messiah already appeared or is still expected, as some like to say.”

The comments of Jewish author Mr. S. Levin may well explain the Christian’s need for the Judeo-Christian myth. Writing in the Israeli journal Biblical Polemics, Levin concludes: “‘After all, we worship the same God’, the Christian always says to the Jew and the Jew never to the Christian. The Jew knows that he does not worship the Christ-God but the Christian orphan needs to worship the God of Israel and so, his standard gambit rolls easily and thoughtlessly from his lips. It is a strictly unilateral affirmation, limited to making a claim on the God of Israel but never invoked with reference to other gods. A Christian never confronts a Moslem or a Hindu with ‘After all, we worship the same God’.”

Back in 1992 both Newsweek magazine and the Israeli Jerusalem Post newspaper simultaneously printed extensive articles scrutinising the roots of the sacrosanct Judeo-Christian honeymoon!

The statement heading the Newsweek article read: “Politicians appeal to a Judeo-Christian tradition, but religious scholars say it no longer exists.” The Jerusalem Post article’s pull quote announced: “Antisemitism is a direct result of the Church’s teachings, which Christians perhaps need to re-examine.”

“For scholars of American religion,” Newsweek states, “the idea of a single Judeo-Christian tradition is a made-in-America myth that many of them no longer regard as valid.” It quotes eminent Talmudic scholar Jacob Neusner: “Theologically and historically, there is no such thing as the Judeo-Christian tradition. It’s a secular myth favoured by people who are not really believers themselves.”

Newsweek cites authorities who indicate that “the idea of a common Judeo-Christian tradition first surfaced at the end of the 19th century but did not gain popular support until the 1940s, as part of an American reaction to Nazism . . ,” and concludes that, “Since then, both Jewish and Christian scholars have come to recognize that — geopolitics apart — Judaism and Christianity are different, even rival religions.”

The Jerusalem Post accused the Christian Church of being responsible for the Holocaust. The French Jewish scholar Jules Isaac was quoted as saying: “Without centuries of Christian catechism, preaching, and vituperation, the Hitlerian teachings, propaganda and vituperation would not have been possible.”

“The problem,” concludes the Jerusalem Post, “is not, as some assert, that certain Christian leaders deviated from Christian teachings and behaved in an un-Christian manner; it is the teachings themselves that are bent.”

Joshua Jehouda, a prominent French Jewish leader, observed in the late 1950s: “The current expression ‘Judaeo-Christian’ is an error which has altered the course of universal history by the confusion it has sown in men’s minds, if by it one is meant to understand the Jewish origin of Christianity . . . If the term ‘Judaeo-Christian’ does point to a common origin, there is no doubt that it is a most dangerous idea. It is based on a ‘contradictio in abjecto’ which has set the path of history on the wrong track. It links in one breath two ideas which are completely irreconcileable, it seeks to demonstrate that there is no difference between day and night or hot and cold or black and white, and thus introduces a fatal element of confusion to a basis on which some, nevertheless, are endeavouring to construct a civilisation.” (l’Antisemitisme Miroir du Monde pp. 135-6).

What is the Truth?

Is there then any truth in this term, “Judeo-Christian”? Is Christianity derived from Judaism? Does Christianity have anything in common with Judaism?

Reviewing the last two thousand years of Western Christian history there is really no evidence of a Judeo-Christian tradition and this has not escaped the attention of honest Christian and Jewish commentators.

The Jewish scholar Dr. Joseph Klausner in his book Jesus of Nazareth expressed the Judaic viewpoint that “there was something contrary to the world outlook of Israel” in Christ’s teachings, “a new teaching so irreconcilable with the spirit of Judaism, “ containing “within it the germs from which there could and must develop in course of time a non-Jewish and even anti-Jewish teaching.”

Dr. Klausner quotes the outstanding Christian theologian, Adolf Harnack, who in his last work rejected the hypothesis of the Jewish origin of Christ’s doctrine: “Virtually every word He taught is made to be of permanent and universal humanitarian interest. The Messianic features are abolished entirely, and virtually no importance is attached to Judaism in its capacity of Jesus’ environment.”

Gershon Mamlak, an award- winning Jewish Zionist intellectual, recently claimed that the “Jesus tradition” is essentially the ultimate extension of ancient Greek Hellenism and is in direct conflict to Judaism’s “role as the Chosen people”.

Dr. Mamlak, writing in the Theodor Herzl Foundation’s magazine of Jewish thought, Midstream, maintains that the prevailing theory that Christianity originated in the spiritual realm of Judaism “is anchored in a twofold misconception: 1) the uniqueness of Judaism is confined to its monotheistic God-concept; 2) the ‘parting of the ways’ between the Jesus coterie and Judaism is seen as the result of the former’s adaptation of the doctrines of Christology.”

The first misconception means: “When the affinity of the Jesus coterie with Judaism is evaluated by common faith in the One, severed from the believer’s duty to execute the Law of the One and to acknowledge the Chosen Nation of Israel as His instrument-faith in the One becomes anti-Judaism par excellence!”

In Gershon Mamlak’s view, “The conflict between Judaism and the Jesus tradition goes beyond the confines of theology. [The Jesus tradition] was the cosmopolitan renunciation of the national phenomenon in general and extreme hostility to Israel’s idea of a Chosen Nation as the divine instrument for the perfection of the world.”

Evidently the concept of a common Judeo-Christian tradition has more to do with post 1945 politics and a certain amount of ‘public relations’ than it does with historical and Biblical reality. Never the less a number of modern Christian polemicists have managed to rest certain New Testament verses in the drive to give a Scriptural basis to their argument.

Confusion over the origin of Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity is the root of the Judeo-Christian myth.

Biblical scholars Robert and Mary Coote clearly show in their book Power, Politics and the Making of the Bible that neither is Christianity a patched up Judaism, nor is Rabbinic Judaism automatically synonymous with the religion of Moses and the old Hebrews.

The Cootes’ illustrate the religious climate in Judea two millennia ago: “The cults, practices, and scriptures of both groups, rabbis and bishops, differed from those of the temple; thus we reserve the terms Jew, Jewish, and Judaism for the rabbis and those under their rule and use Judean, contrary to custom, for the common source of Judaism and Christianity….”

“Despite the ostensible merging of Judean and Jew even in certain New Testament passages and by the rabbis who became rulers of Palestine in the third century and continued to use Hebrew and Aramaic more than Greek, the roots of Christianity were not Jewish. Christianity did not derive from the Judaism of the pharisees, but emerged like Judaism from the wider Judean milieu of the first century. Both Christians and Jews stemmed from pre-70 Judean-ism as heirs of groups that were to take on the role of primary guardians or interpreters of scripture as they developed on parallel tracks in relation to each other.” (Power, Politics, and the Making of the Bible).

The few New Testament ‘proof texts’ utilised by Christian Zionists and secular proponents of the modern Judeo-Christian myth are the product of poor translation. Messianic Jewish writer Malcolm Lowe in his paper “Who Are the Ioudaioi?” concludes, like Robert and Mary Coote, that the Greek word “Ioudaioi” in the New Testament should be translated as “Judeans”, rather than the more usual “Jews”. The Israeli scholar David Stern also came to the same conclusion when translating the Jewish New Testament.

Few Christians are aware that the translators of Scripture often mistranslated the word “Jew” from such words as “Ioudaioi” (meaning from, or being of: as a geographic area, Judean). The word Judean, mistranslated as “Jew” in the New Testament, never possessed a valid religious connotation, but was simply used to identify members of the native population of the geographic area known as Judea.

Also it is important to understand that in the Scriptures, the terms “Israel”, “Judah” and “Jew” are not synonymous, nor is the House of Israel synonymous with the House of Judah. The course of history is widely divergent for the peoples properly classified under each of these titles. Accordingly, the authoritative 1980 Jewish Almanac says, “Strictly speaking it is incorrect to call an ancient Israelite a Jew or to call a contemporary Jew an Israelite or a Hebrew.”

A writer for The Dearborn Independent, published in Michigan back in 1922, summarised the problem thus: “The pulpit has also the mission of liberating the Church from the error that Judah and Israel are synonymous. The reading of the Scriptures which confuse the tribe of Judah with Israel, and which interpret every mention of Israel as signifying the Jews, is at the root of more than one-half the confusion and division traceable in Christian doctrinal statements.”

Jesus Christ and the Pharisees

The New Testament Gospels reveal an intense conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees, one of the two principal Judean religious sects (see Matthew chapter 3, verse 7; Matthew chapter 5, verse 20; Matthew chapter 23, verses 13-15, 23-29; Mark chapter 8, verse 15; Luke chapter 11, verse 39). Much of this controversy was centered on what was later to become the foundation and highest authority of Judaism, the Talmud. In the time of Jesus Christ, this bore the name of “The Tradition of the Elders” (see Matthew chapter 15, verses 1-9).

The Judean historian Josephus wrote: “What I would now explain is this, that the Pharisees have delivered to the people a great many observances by succession from their fathers, which are not written in the laws of Moses . . .”

While the Pharisees recognized the laws of Moses, they also claimed that there was a great body of oral tradition which was of at least equal authority with the written Law – and many claimed that the Tradition was of greater authority. By their tradition, they undertook to explain and elaborate upon the Law. This was the “Tradition of the Elders”, to which the name of Talmud was later given. It had its beginning in Babylon, during the Babylon captivity of the people of Judah, where it developed in the form of the commentaries of various rabbis, undertaking to explain and apply the Law. This was the foundation of Rabbinic Judaism.

This Judaism was very different from the religion of the ancient Israelites. The late Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, who was the Chief Rabbi of the United States, expressed this conclusively when he said: “The return from Babylon, and the adoption of the Babylonian Talmud, marks the end of Hebrewism, and the beginning of Judaism.” The Jewish Encyclopedia tells us that the Talmud is actually “the product of the Palestinian and Babylonian schools” and is generally referred to as “the Babylonian Talmud”.

Dr. Boaz Cohen in Everyman’s Talmud states the Talmud is the work of “numerous Jewish scholars over a period of some 700 years, roughly speaking, between 200 [B.C.] and 500 [A.D.].”

Rabbi Louis Finkelstein in Volume 1 of The Pharisees, the Sociological Background of their Faith says, “Pharisaism became Talmudism, Talmudism became Medieval Rabbinism, and Medieval Rabbinism became Modern Rabbinism. But throughout these changes of name, inevitable adaption of custom, and adjustment of Law, the spirit of the ancient Pharisee survives unaltered.”

According to The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. VIII, (1942) p.474 : “The Jewish religion as it is today traces its descent, without a break, through all the centuries, from the Pharisees. Their leading ideas and methods found expression in a literature of enormous extent, of which a very great deal is still in existence. The Talmud is the largest and most important single member of that literature.”

Moshe Menuhim explains that the Babylonian Talmud embodied all the laws and legends, all the history and ‘science,’ all the theology and folklore, of all the past ages in Jewish life – a monumental work of consolidation. In the Talmud, Jewish scholarship and idealism found their exclusive outlet and preoccupation all through the ages, all the way up to the era of Enlightenment. It became the principal guide to life and object of study, and it gave Judaism unity, cohesion and resilience throughout the dark ages.

The Talmud, more than any other literature, so defined Judaism that Rabbi Ben Zion Bokser admitted, “Judaism is not the religion of the Bible.” (Judaism and the Christian Predicament, 1966, p.159) It is the Talmud that guides the life and spirit of the Jewish people.

“The Talmud is to this day the circulating heart’s blood of the Jewish religion. Whatever laws, customs, or ceremonies we [Jews] observe whether we are Orthodox, Conservative, Reform or merely spasmodic sentimentalists we follow the Talmud. It is our common law.” (A History of the Jews, Solomon Grayzel).

Both Jewish and Christian scholars agree that it was Jesus Christ’s flagrant rejection of this “Tradition of the Elders” and his open confrontation with the powerful Pharisees that created the climate that led to his death. Historically, Christian thinkers argued that the Talmud was directly responsible for the rejection of Christ.

In their view these “traditions” blinded the eyes of the people to a true understanding of the prophecies which related to the coming of the Messiah.

Defining Christianity

If, as we have seen, the Pharisees and the Talmud forever defined Judaism, then most certainly the writings of the post-Apostolic Christian church leaders help us in understanding the relationship of the early Christian faith to both paganism and Judaism.

Justin Martyr (c100-165 A.D.) was indeed the earliest and most significant of these post- Apostolic church apologists. Following in the theological footsteps of Paul, who taught that the Gospel was the fulfilment of Moses and the Prophets, Justin argued that the Gospel was in the mind of God from the beginning and it was given to Abraham and the righteous Patriarches long before Judaism existed. This is in keeping with the Gospel teaching that the Hebrew Scriptures find their ‘flowering’ in the life, purpose, and accomplishments of Jesus the Christ.

Hence, the Christian faithful have traditionally understood the Old Testament through the New Testament.

In his Dialogue with Trypho Justin seeks to persuade a Jew of the truth of Christianity. Unlike the other apologists, he focuses mainly on the nature and meaning of Christ. Christ was the Logos who inspired the Greek philosophers and is present in all men as the Logos spermatikos (seminal reason or word). Through Him, the best of the philosophers were able to produce significant works of theology and philosophy. Their ideas could serve as beacons of truth just as much as could the inspired writings of the Old Testament Hebrews. Those who lived according to the Logos, even before Christ, were Christians. In the Old Testament it was the Logos who was revealed as God, because the transcendent Heavenly Father could not thus speak to man.

Justin wrote in Apology:

“We have been taught that Christ is the first-born of God, and we have declared above that He is the Word [or reason] of whom all mankind partakes. Those who lived reasonably [with the Word] are Christians, even though they have been called atheists. For example: among the Greeks, Socrates, Heraclitus and men like them; among the barbarians [non-Greeks], Abraham…and many others whose actions and names we now decline to recount, because we know it would be tedious.”

Christianity, seen through Justin Martyr’s writings, takes on a ‘cosmic’ breadth:

“I both boast and strive with all my strength to be found a Christian…Whatever things were rightly said by any man, belong to us Christians. For next to God we worship and love the Word, who is from the unbegotten and ineffable God, since He also became man for our sakes, that by sharing in our sufferings He might also bring us healing. For all those writers were able to see reality darkly, through the seed of the implanted Word within them.” (2 Apology).

Jesus Christ had come, argued Justin, to restore true religion and to denounce the hypocrisy of the religion of Judea. For that crime Jesus had been crucified. Consequently, Christianity is not a form of Judaism or simply Jewish prophecies fulfilled but ‘the true philosophy’.

Justin’s Christianity was eventually reducible to three major principles: (1) worship of God, mostly through private prayer and communication of being; (2) belief in an after-life with rewards and punishments for one’s actions in this world; and (3) the importance of leading a virtuous life in imitation of Christ and in obedience to His commandments.

The Romans killed Justin for his religion. He was ever known as Justin Martyr, and not as St. Justin. His works defined Christianity as a culminating religion and a “universal” faith incorporating the essential and perennial truth of the pre-Christian religious tradition. Christianity was the restatement of a very old doctrine encompassing the Old Testament and the grand verities of the ancients. Two centuries later Augustine again clarified the Christian faith in these terms when he wrote:

“That which is now called the Christian religion existed among the ancients, and never did not exist from the planting of the human race until Christ came in the flesh, at which time the true religion which already existed began to be called Christianity.”

Justin not only showed that Christ is the culmination and completion of all the partial knowledge of truth in Greek philosophy, He is also the culmination of the history of ancient Israel. According to Justin Jesus Christ is Israel and because of Him the church now bears the name of Israel.

This is to say, therefore, that the central message of the Old Testament has been fulfilled in the New Testament. It must be understood that this was the position of Christendom for at least 1900 years. It was the position, not only of Justin Martyr, but of such Stalwart saints as Irenaeus and Hippolytus; a position embraced by Martin Luther and John Calvin, the two towering figures of the Protestant Reformation.

Here we have not only a clear separation of Christianity and Judaism, but a direct challenge to Judaism’s core dogma of a Chosen Nation. A point which has not been lost by Jewish writers.

We read in Zionist author Uri Zimmer’s Torah-Judaism and the State of Israel: “The Jewish people, Rabbi Judah Halevy (the famous medieval poet and philosopher) explains in his ‘Kuzari’, constitutes a separate entity, a species unique in Creation, differing from nations in the same manner as man differs from the beast or the beast from the plant…although Jews are physically similar to all other men, yet they are endowed with a ‘second soul’ that renders them a separate species.”

Fraud

Traditionally Jewish scholars, as we have shown, were highly critical of the Judeo-Christian myth. There are many others, under the influence of modernism and secular Zionism, who do see some advantage in it.

Rabbi Martin Siegel, reflecting a Messianic zeal, was quoted in the 18 January 1972 edition of New York Magazine as declaring: “I am devoting my lecture in this seminar to a discussion of the possibility that we are now entering a Jewish century, a time when the spirit of the community, the non-ideological blend of the emotional and rational and the resistance to categories and forms will emerge through the forces of anti-nationalism to provide us with a new kind of society. I call this process the Judaization of Christianity because Christianity will be the vehicle through which this society becomes Jewish.”

While historic Christianity has looked to the eventual triumph of the Kingdom of God throughout the earth, according to the Zionist leaders Talmudic Judaism is zealous in the “drive to perfect man’s earthly habitat” (Gershon Mamlak, Midstream, Jan., 1989, p.31).

Dr. Mamlak admits that “many Jews have filled the ranks of the various revolutionary movements” (op. cit., p.32) in order to satisfy this urge. [But who can agree on the terms of the social contract? Were the Zionist Irgun and Stern gangs who terrorised and massacred the Palestinian Arabs in the campaign to establish the Israeli state, shining role models for young Jews? What about the immorality of “the end justifies the means”?]

Rabbi Michael Higger, renowned Talmudic scholar, in his book The Jewish Utopia, discusses the reshaping of the world into a Jewish Eden. The victory of this Utopia is inexorably tied to the coming of the Jewish Messiah.

“And the Messianic Age,” argues the eloquent Jewish Zionist author Leon Simon, “means for the Jew not merely the establishment of peace on earth and good will to men, but the universal recognition of the Jew and his God. . . For Judaism has no message of salvation for the individual soul, as Christianity has; all its ideas are bound up with the existence of the Jewish nation.” (Studies in Jewish Nationalism).

Driven by political agendas compromising Jews and compromising Christians began, only in this century, to disseminate the theretofore unheard of doctrine that Christianity originated from Judaism and that the two share a common worldview.

Dr. Gordon Ginn, an American Christian scholar, made a very valid point when he noted: “It is most interesting, indeed, that rabbis as well as Jewish scholars such as Mamlak and White agree with orthodox, historical Christianity that ‘Judeo-Christian’ is a contradiction in terms, even though that truth is yet to be discovered by contemporary evangelical and fundamentalist Christians” (Smyrna, August, 1993).

Christianity and Judaism are two distinct religious inheritances, despite all the superficial attempts by modern scholars to manufacture a naive “Judeo-Christianity.” The very term “Judeo-Christian” is a mischievous misnomer without historical or Scriptural validity.

The religions of the world are the product of progressive revelation to a diverse humanity, separately expressing as they do the great metaphysical realities of life. Attempts to distort or eliminate these unique, ancient and divinely ordained patterns, through non-divine syncretism and politically- motivated concoctions, is both anti-traditional and truly diabolical.

Appeals to a nonexistent historical unity and calls for a banal, modernist theology do nothing for religious understanding and mutual respect. “Judeo-Christianity” should be seen for what it is – another secular twentieth century fraud, manufactured for narrow political ends, that is supremely disrespectful to all true believers.

Any fundamental unity that does exist between world religions cannot be appreciated by ignorant and secular scholarship, but only through knowledge of the great primordial and universal truths.

As Luc Benoist aptly wrote, “Our age is seeking a universal understanding which men of vision can already foresee and which is the longing of all great souls. There is ample evidence that the world’s economic problems can be solved without the different religions having to abandon their unique spiritual insights; after all, brotherly agreement does not prevent the individual growth of each member of the family, bodily separate, but united in heart and mind.” (The Esoteric Path).

Who are the Jews?

“Edom is in modern Jewry” (The Jewish Encyclopedia, 1925 edition, Vol. 5, Page 41).

“The Edomites were conquered by John Hyrcanus who forcibly converted them to Judaism, and from then on they constituted a part of the Jewish people, Herod being one of their descendants” (The Standard Jewish Encyclopedia, Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1966, p. 594; Also The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia, Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1977, p. 589).

“From this time the Idumeans became an inseparable part of the Jewish people,” Encyclopedia Judaica Jerusalem, in Volume 8, p. 1147).

“When, years before, John Hyrcanus had forced Judaism on the Idumeans he evidently conjectured that the new, though unwilling, converts could learn to identify their own destiny with that of his people,” (The Jews, their History, Culture, and Religion, p. 121).

“Jews began in the 19th century to call themselves Hebrews and Israelites in 1860” (Encyclopedia Judaica, 1971 Vol 10:23).

“. . . this would mean that their ancestors came not from the Jordan but from the Volga; not from Canaan but from the Caucasus, once believed to be the cradle of the Aryan race; and that GENETICALLY THEY ARE MORE RELATED TO THE HUN, UIGUR, AND MAGYAR TRIBES THAN TO THE SEED OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB. . . ” (Arthur Koestler, The Thirteenth Tribe, (Random House, 1976, p. 17). judeochr.htm

Bat Ye’or has tried to make a living from her invention of ‘Eurabia’ that she elaborates as – ‘dimmitude’ of Europe – a myth which is factually more fantastic than ‘Area 51‘. She has concocted such fabrications for bigoted minds who view the world in terms of races rather than ideas. Before it was the likes of Nazis and Fascist, now it is the likes of Breiviks, Neo-Nazis and pseudo-intellectual conspirator Neo-Cons, whether in Europe or in the United States, whether they speak from the pulpit or their respective dungeons, it is these receptive minds that Bat Ye’or caters to.

Facts as found in ground statistics dispel the rumors of Bat Ye’or’s – ‘dimmitude’ of Europe. According to Pew Research Center [‘MAPPING THE GLOBAL MUSLIM POPULATION’, p. 21, pdf download] the Muslims population in Europe is as follows:

Europe (50 countries and territories)

Europe has about 38 million Muslims, constituting about 5% of its population. European Muslims make up slightly more than 2% of the world’s Muslim population.

Readers should bear in mind that estimates of the numbers of Muslims in Europe vary widely because of the difficulty of counting new immigrants. Nevertheless, it is clear that most European Muslims live in eastern and central Europe. The country with the largest Muslim population in Europe is Russia, with more than 16 million Muslims, meaning that more than four-in-ten European Muslims live in Russia. While most Muslims in western Europe are relatively recent immigrants (or children of immigrants) from Turkey, North Africa or South Asia, most of those in Russia, Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Bulgaria belong to populations that are centuries old, meaning that more than six-in-ten European Muslims are indigenous. [Emphasis added]

Despite the limitations of the underlying data for Europe, it appears that Germany is home to more than 4 million Muslims – almost as many as North and South America combined. This means that Germany has more Muslims than Lebanon (between 2 million and 3 million) and more than any other country in western Europe. This also puts Germany among the top-10 countries with the largest number of Muslims living as a minority population. While France has a slightly higher percentage of Muslims than Germany, this study finds that it has slightly fewer Muslims overall. The United Kingdom is home to fewer than 2 million Muslims, about 3% of its total population.

The European countries with the highest concentration of Muslims are located in eastern
and central Europe: Kosovo (90%), Albania (80%), Bosnia-Herzegovina (40%) and Republic of Macedonia (33%). Greece is about 3% Muslim, while Spain is about 1% Muslim. Italy has one of the smallest populations of Muslims in Europe, with less than 1% of its population being Muslim.

At least the above numbers point to the fact that 60% of Muslims in Europe ‘belong to populations that are centuries old, meaning that more than six-in-ten European Muslims are indigenous‘, and are more European by blood than Bat Ye’or herself who is an immigrant from Egypt, married to a British, and is now speaking for Europe, that on the face of it is an outrageous case of her being more ‘whiter than white’. Her fabrication of Eurabia is racially disgusting and reeks of her racist mind. It is insulting to Arabs and Muslims alike, because not all Arabs are Muslims and neither are all Muslims as Arabs.

Still, only 40% of European Muslims are immigrants themselves or are first generation children of immigrants. The percentage of such newer arrivals only contributes to less than about 2% of European Muslim population. The myth of explosive Muslim fertility rate in Europe and their consequent – ‘dimmitude’ of Europe – is debunked by another study of Pew Research Center, which is summarized and commented by Reuters in an article as follows:

Will Pew Muslim birth rate study finally silence the “Eurabia” claim? [By Tom Heneghan January 27, 2011, Reuters]

One of the most wrong-headed arguments in the debate about Muslims in Europe is the shrill “Eurabia” claim that high birth rates and immigration will make Muslims the majority on the continent within a few decades. Based on sleight-of-hand statistics, this scaremongering (as The Economist called it back in 2006) paints a picture of a triumphant Islam dominating a Europe that has lost its Christian roots and is blind to its looming cultural demise.

The Egyptian-born British writer Bat Ye’or popularised the term with her 2005 book “Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis” and this argument has become the background music to much exaggerated talk about Muslims in Europe. Some examples from recent weeks can be found here, here and here.

A good example is the video “Muslim Demographics,” an anonymous diatribe on YouTube that has racked up 12,680,220 views since being posted in March 2009. Among its many dramatic but unsupported claims are that France would become an “Islamic republic” by 2048 since the average French woman had 1.8 children while French Muslim women had 8.1 children — a wildly exaggerated number that it made no serious effort to document. It also predicted that Germany would turn into a “Muslim state” by 2050 and that “in only 15 years” the Dutch population would be half Muslim. “Some studies show that, at Islam’s current rate of growth, in five to seven years, it will be the dominant religion of the world,” the video declares as it urges viewers to “share the Gospel message in a changing world.”

The BBC produced its own video entitled “Welcome to Eurabia?” that gave a point-by-point rebuttal of the video’s claims. Watching “Muslim Demographics” and “Welcome to Eurabia?” back-to-back provides a useful lesson in the dark art of twisting statistics. The image at left, shows a fictional flag of “Eurabia” created by Oren Neu Dag.

Articles defending the “Eurabia” claim have often been so shrill that they essentially discredited themselves as serious arguments. But it could be difficult to find a solid statistics that gave an overall view of what was actually happening. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has stepped up with an impressive study entitled “The Future of the Global Muslim Population” (here’s the press release, report and graphics here). As we summarised it in our report Muslim birth rate falls, slower population growth:

Falling birth rates will slow the world’s Muslim population growth over the next two decades, reducing it on average from 2.2 percent a year in 1990-2010 to 1.5 percent a year from now until 2030, a new study says.

Muslims will number 2.2 billion by 2030 compared to 1.6 billion in 2010, making up 26.4 percent of the world population compared to 23.4 percent now, according to estimates by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life…

“The declining growth rate is due primarily to falling fertility rates in many Muslim-majority countries,” it said, noting the birth rate is falling as more Muslim women are educated, living standards rise and rural people move to cities.

The proven demographic fact that birth rates have been falling among Muslim women, both in Muslim majority countries and western countries where Muslims have migrated, is not new. Nor are articles debunking the idea that Muslims will become the majority in Europe (see here and here and here). But my own experience in discussing this with non-Muslims in Europe and the United States says this message does not seem to be getting through. The fact that Muslim birth rates, while still higher than those for non-Muslims, are actually falling seems to surprise people who do not follow these issues closely.

There are many legitimate questions concerning Muslim minorities in western countries. Should Muslim women be allowed to cover their faces in public? Do state schools have to provide halal meals? Does sharia have any place in the western legal system? Should Muslims be allowed to pray in the streets? What does the decline of Christianity in Europe mean for the continent? These issues have to be debated openly –“The clash of ideas is the sound of freedom,” as Yahya Hendi, the Muslim chaplain at the Catholic university Georgetown in Washington put it at a conference at UNESCO in Paris two years ago. But while citizens have a right to have their own opinions, they can’t just make up their own “facts” and expect to be taken seriously. Twisting statistics only distorts the debate and risks leading to unfounded conclusions.

This study raises further questions that the Pew Forum cannot yet answer. The report’s preface asks “Is Islam the world’s fastest-growing religion? If Islam is growing in percentage terms, does that mean some of the world’s other major faiths are shrinking? Is secularism becoming more prevalent, or less?” It doesn’t yet have the data, but it plans to issue a similar report on the prospects for Christianity worldwide next year, followed up by others analysing the trends for “other major world faiths, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Judaism. We will also look at the size and growth of the population that is not affiliated with any religious tradition.”

What do you think? Is this report a surprise? Which interesting trends could the other reports bring to light?

UPDATE: In a telephone conference with journalists later on Thursday, Pew Forum researchers commented on the study. I asked what the results said about the “Eurabia” claim.

Senior researcher Brian Grim said: “Across the next 20 years, we’re only seeing a 2 percent rise in the total share of Europe that is Muslim. We’re projecting that the growth rate is slowing. So this rise is very very modest. It’s a relatively small share of the overall population in Europe… There’s no real scenario that we’ve looked at that this ‘Eurabia’ scenario would come to be.”

Alan Cooperman, associate director for research, said the percentages of Muslims in some European populations would rise from 3 to 5 percent to between 6 and 10 percent by 2030. “Those are substantial increases but they are very far from the ‘Eurabia’ scenario of runaway growth,” he said. “We do not see either worldwide or in Europe runaway growth. The growth rates are slowing.”

Third myth of Bet Ye’or i.e. – isolation of United States from a ‘dhimmified’ Europe – finds no basis to exist or to be commented upon, because the history and statistics disprove the contingent myths of Judeo-Christian values and ‘dhimmified’ Europe to begin with. Thus, Bat Ye’or falls on her face when she claims that America will be isolated from a dimmmified Europe. Still, the likes of Spencer, Trifkovic, Bat Ye’or and others have been able to implant certain myths in the West mind against Islam, which are addressed and debunked in Huffington Post [9/10/12], where the author Doug Saunders writes:

10 Myths About Muslims in the West

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 they elect Islamist parties while doing so.

2. Immigrants from Muslim countries are going to swamp us

People look at the huge families of many new Muslim immigrants and imagine them multiplying at exponential rates. But this is a bit of an illusion – as are many of the figures suggesting that Muslim immigrants have fertility rates higher than in their homelands. This is because most new immigrants have most of their children in the years immediately after their arrival. The way we calculate Total Fertility Rate – the measure of average family size – is by taking the total number of births a woman has had and extrapolating it across her fertile life. As a result, immigrants appear to have more children than they really do.

In reality, the family sizes of Muslim immigrant groups are converging fast with those of average Westerners – faster, it seems, than either Jewish or Catholic immigrants did in their time. Muslims in France and Germany are now having only 2.2 children per family, barely above the national average. And while Pakistani immigrants in Britain have 3.5 children each, their British-born daughters have only 2.5. Across Europe, the difference between the Muslim and non-Muslim fertility rate has fallen from 0.7 to 0.4, and is headed toward a continent-wide convergence.

3. Muslims will become a majority in European countries

In fact, we now have several large-scale projections based on population-growth trends and immigration rates which show that the Muslim populations of Europe are growing increasingly slowly and that by the middle of this century – even if immigration rates are not reduced – the proportion of Muslims in Europe will probably peak somewhere short of 10% (it is currently around 7%). By that point, Muslims will have family sizes and age profiles not that different from Europe in general.

4. Muslims will become a dominant group of cultural outsiders in the United States

Despite the hysterical rhetoric coming from Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann and their ilk, Muslims there are not only a very tiny group, but they are also one of the most integrated groups in the country – especially if you consider that 69% of American Muslims are first-generation immigrants, and 71% of those immigrants arrived after 1990.

There are only 2.6 million Muslims in the United States today. By 2030, that number is likely to rise to 6.2 million (because Muslims are young and fertile) – at which point Muslim will be 1.7% of the population, almost as numerous as Jews and Episcopalians.

Even though they’re new, American Muslims tend to be economically successful and highly educated. With 40% of them holding a college degree, they’re the second most educated group after Jews – and far more educated than Americans in general, only 29% of whom have a degree

5. Muslim immigrants in the West hold the same backward views that Muslims do in the Middle East and Pakistan

Actually, Muslims change their cultural views dramatically when they emigrate. For example, 62% of American Muslims say that “a way can be found for the state of Israel to exist so that the rights of Palestinians are addressed” – a rate barely lower than that of average Americans (67%), and vastly ahead of the miniscule response among Middle Eastern Muslims – for whom between 20% and 40% agreed with that statement.

Similarly, 39% of American Muslims and 47% of German Muslims say they tolerate homosexuality, compared to single-figure responses in most Islamic countries – and those rates are rising with each immigrant generation. On these important questions, Muslim immigrants are converging with Western values fast.

6. Muslims in America are more loyal to their faith than their country

True, 49% of Americans from Muslim backgrounds say they consider themselves “Muslim first and American second” and 47% claim to attend a mosque on Friday. But you have to compare that to American Christians, 46% of whom say they identify themselves as “Christian first and American second” (that number rises to 70% among Evangelicals). And 45% of American Christians attend a church service every Sunday.

In other words, Muslims have adopted exactly the same rate of religious observance as the people around them in their host country. We see this just as strongly in France, where a fifth of Muslims are atheist and only 5% attend a mosque regularly – almost the same rate as French Christians.

7. Poor Muslims are flooding out of overpopulated countries into the West

In fact, the poorest most overpopulated Muslim countries are producing the least emigration – and very little of it is to the West. Immigration tends to come from the countries with the lowest population-growth rates, and it’s rarely to the closest countries.

Muslims are far from the largest immigrant group – even in countries that immediately adjoin the Islamic world. In Spain, which lies across a narrow state from poor Arab countries, only 13% of immigrants are Muslim: Most have come from Spanish-speaking countries across the Atlantic. In Britain, only 28% of immigrants are Muslim. And those numbers do not seem poised to increase.

8. Muslim immigrants are angry at the society around them

In fact, Muslim immigrants appear to be MORE satisfied with the world around them, and its secular institutions, than the general population. Muslim immigrants in the United States are more likely to say they are “satisfied with their lives” (84%) than average Americans are (75%) – and that number rises to 90% for American-born Muslims. Even among Muslims in neighourhoods where the community mosque has been vandalized – an increasingly frequent occurrence – fully 76% say that their community is an “excellent” or “good” place to live.

This usually extends into pride in national institutions. For example, 83% of British Muslims say they are “proud to be a British citizen,” versus only 79% of Britons in general – and only 31% of Muslims agree that “Britain’s best days are behind her,” versus 45% of Britons in general.

9. Muslims in the West cheer for terrorist violence

While it might seem chilling to learn that 8% of American Muslims feel that violence against civilian targets is “often or sometimes justified” if the cause is right, you have to compare that to the response given by non-Muslim Americans, 24% of whom said that such attacks are “often or sometimes justified.”

This is reflected in most major surveys. When a large-scale survey asked if “attacks on civilians are morally justified,” 1% of the French public, 1% of the German public and 3% of the British public answered yes; among Muslims, the responses were 2%, 0.5%, and 2%. Asked if it is “justifiable to use violence for a noble cause,” 7% of the French public agreed, along with 8% of French Muslims; 10% of the German public and fewer than 2% of German Muslims; 10% of the British public and 8% of British Muslims. This may well be because 85% of the victims of Islamic terrorism are Muslims.

10. Muslims have become so populous that the most common baby name in Britain is now Mohammed.

This is true – but it means far less than you’d think. In 2010, if you combined all 12 spelling variants of the Islamic prophet’s name, “Mohammed” was more popular than any other name given to new babies.

But that’s more a consequence of naming trends than anything else. In a great many Muslim cultures, ALL male babies are given “Mohammed” as an official first name. But among many Westerners – especially white Anglo-Saxons and black Christians – there has been an explosion in unorthodox baby names – as of 2011, these groups are 50% more likely than they were a generation ago to give their children uncommon baby names.

As a result, Mohammed manages to reach the Number 1 spot without being all that common – when combined, babies named after the Islamic prophet made up only 1% of British newborns in 2010.

References:
The Myth of a Judeo-Christian Tradition – The Information Clearing House and The Bible Believers
Mapping the Global Muslim Population – pdf download – Pew Research Center
Will Pew Muslim birth rate study finally silence the “Eurabia” claim? – Tom Heneghan January 27, 2011, Reuters
10 Myths About Muslims in the West – Doug Saunders, Huffington Post

One Response to “Issue 85”

  1. In September 2009 I was following a news item here in UK that “Muhammad” was now the third most popular baby boy name. Astonishingly, an enlightened, educated commentator in The Independent, converted this into the statement that “a third of male babies are now called Mohammed”. She was corrected by a letter writer.

    To give an analogy, if a make of car is the third most popular, it doesn’t mean that one-third of car owners own that make. The market share could be: 1st: 60%, 2nd: 35%, 3rd: 5%.

    Take 100 baby boys. Suppose 10 are Muslim, and 7 out of them have the name Muhammad (which is quite likely). The 90% non-Muslims will have a large range of names distributed among them (John, George, David, etc.) It is very possible that, looking at any particular name, none occurs more than 6 times. So Muhammad will be the most popular name, while only 7% of the baby boys bear that name.

    This effect is caused by the name Muhammad being very popular among Muslims but no correspondingly popular name among Christians. Let us say that out of the 90% non-Muslims, 80% are Christians. If even a third of Christians had the first name Jesus, it would mean about 27% of the babies would be called Jesus, vastly exceeding the 7% called Muhammad.


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