“Muslim Demographics” is a fear-mongering, fact-distorting video on YouTube posted by an anonymous source. The video has gone viral with almost 5 million views thanks to conservative Christians who are posting it on their blogs and e-mailing links to their church friends.
The video begins with the sound of wind and a drum. The scrolling text warns: “The world is changing. The global culture our children will inherit will be vastly different than it is today. You are about to witness a report on the world’s changing demographics.”
The video is about how Christendom in Europe, Canada and the United States is going to be taken over by Muslim immigrants—immigrants who have higher fertility rates than Christians.
“In a matter of years, Europe as we know it will cease to exist,” warns a somber male speaker. “Yet the population of Europe is not declining. Why? Immigration. Islamic immigration.”
Citing fertility rates and quoting undocumented sources, the video forewarns:
- “In just 39 years, France will be an Islamic Republic.”
- “Currently in Belgium 25 percent of the population … [is] Muslim.”
- “40 percent of the entire Russian Army will be Islamic in just a few short years.”
- “In 1970, there were 100,000 Muslims in America. In 2008 there were over 9 million.”
“The world that we live in is not the world in which our children and grandchildren will live,” cautions the video. “As believers, we call upon you to join the effort to share the gospel message with a changing world. This is a call to action!”
Now what are the facts?
Take the claimed size of the Islamic population in the United States.
Only last week, Sayyid Syeed, national director for the office of interfaith and community alliances for the Islamic Society of North America, told me in his office that no one really knows the number of Muslims in the United States. He estimated that the number is between 4 million and 5 million.
The Central Intelligence Agency’s 2008 World Factbook says that only 0.6 percent of Americans are Muslims out of a population of 307 million. That’s a whole lot less than the 9 million Muslims the video declares.
What about the video’s claims about the American fertility rate? The video says the fertility rate of U.S. citizens is 1.6 percent and “the influx of Latino nations” raises the rate to 2.11 percent.
A December 2007 Washington Post news story had these fertility rates: Hispanics (2.9), blacks (2.1), Asians (1.9) and whites (1.86).
If by U.S. citizens the video refers to white people, then the video has the wrong number: 1.86 percent is not 1.6 percent.
The video’s U.S. numbers are wrong.
What about France’s numbers?
Again, the CIA’s 2008 World Factbook estimates that France’s fertility rate is 1.98 percent, compared to the video’s claim of 1.8 percent. The CIA identifies 83 percent to 88 percent of Frenchmen as Catholic, compared to 5 to 10 percent as Muslims.
The assertion that France will become an Islamic Republic in 39 years is a far-fetched exaggeration.
What about the numbers for Belgium?
The CIA’s factbook reports that 75 percent of Belgians are Roman Catholic while 25 percent are “other,” including Protestants. The CIA’s figures differ vastly from the video’s claim that 25 percent of the population is Muslim.
The numbers don’t add up.
What about the claim about the Russian army?
The video gives no source, leaving one wondering how to verify such a claim.
Behind the video are flawed assumptions.
One assumption is that immigrants are unchanged by the culture of their new nation—that each succeeding generation retains the same customs and language of the original immigrant family. That assumption is intellectually defective.
Another assumption is that the way for numerical Christian growth is biological reproduction. Where is the biblical mandate for Christians to evangelize a culture by having lots of babies? The Acts story references growth based on multi-ethnic conversion. Christianity spreads through conversion, but not procreation.
Wrong facts and flawed assumptions may explain why the video producer remains anonymous.
What explains why conservative Christians have posted this video on their blogs and e-mailed links to their friends?
Whatever happened to following the biblical admonition against rumor-spreading and for the call to truth-telling?
Robert Parham is executive editor of EthicsDaily.com and executive director of its parent organization, the Baptist Center for Ethics.