Sunday, July 20, 2008

Frogs in pots and Islam in the UK

A shameless cross post from my other blog that I wanted to share due to the focus on the southern insurgency.

One of the hardest concepts that I try to explain to my students is the "frog in a boiling pot" concept. It's not the actual analogy that is difficult : if you place a frog in a pot of water on a stove and suddenly turn the heat full blast, the frog will jump out. If you turn the temperature up slowly in minuscule fractions, the rise will be so slow that by the time the frog realises what is happening, he's being served up in some French restaurant.a

No, the hard part is actually getting students to understand how this concept can be, and certainly is, used in so many parts of Sociology. The theory is also known as "creeping normalcy" and another example might be cutting down trees on an island. Do it in one fell swoop and you'll create havoc, do it a few trees per day, you'll encounter far less resistance.

And this creeping normalcy is hitting us in the UK right now. what's more, those who are aware of it and raise it as an issue are demonised and screamed down. But that does not change the facts: Britain is becoming increasingly Muslim.

Now of course the usual counter argument here is: "It's only three percent of UK residents who are Muslim" , which is true. But let's look at some trends.

The exact number and growth of UK Muslims is hard to track due to the fact that, previously, the UK census did not ask about religion, now it is an optional question. However the most recent 'official' figure seems to be around one point six million, though that is most likely higher now. Quite an increase from 10,000 before 1925, no? The number of Mosques has increased proportionately from four in 1960 to 618 (source).

But what is the evidence that this trend will increase? There are two absolutely crucial factors. First, one third of the Muslim population is under sixteen. This means that with the Islamic culture of multiple marriages for men, a population boom can be expected to come. Secondly, the Muslim birthrate - though not always as high as reported - is still far higher than the native birth rate which is dropping alarmingly. Muhammad is now the second most popular name for baby boys born in the UK.

The facts do not lie in this case. Don't take my word for it, have a look at the data provided by a Princeton professor.

Now, if you are a multicultralist then you are probably jumping for joy at this news. But the rise of UK Islam should be a cause for concern. The two cultures are considerably different, which is why asides from the obvious, we have problems with arranged marriages, incest, support for stoning and beating and many, many more. And don't tell us it's a tiny minority that support terror, it may be a minority but it isn't tiny.

Whether you are a multicultralist, a civic nationalist or an ethnic nationalist, Muslim, Christian or Atheist, immigrant, migrant or native, the fact is that these trends will certainly present social problems and challenges. We must deal with them peacefully be we must deal with them. While those raising objections are screamed down as being "racists" (read: 'spawn of the devil in PC Britain) and "hate mongers" , etc. the problem will simply escalate.

As we ponder this problem I have another modicum of thought - why do we not see this kind of problem developing in Muslim nations? The answer is that foreigners in these nations are welcomed and tolerated as long as they accept local customs, rules and cultures. Most importantly, the identity of these nations is never threatened by catastrophic increases that threaten to irreversibly change the makeup of the nation and the culture and history that come with it.

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