Thursday, January 27, 2011

Everybody PANIC!!! (a slight return)

Whee! This one's downpage at the Fair 'n' Balanced Network as we speak; we'll see if it creeps higher as the cycle wears on. Meanwhile, OMG let's PANIC!!!

A new study shows the world's Muslim population will increase by nearly a billion people by 2030.

According to the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion and Public Life, the Muslim population will increase globally by 35 percent in the next 20 years, doubling the number of Muslims worldwide since the start of the century, and twice the global growth rate of non-Muslims.

Starting to hear a tiny ring of familiarity yet? Our second image here is how the story looked in ... why, that'd be October 2009! If you don't pay attention to your own files, you're always going to be at risk of pointing two decades down the road at some ghastly tipping point that, by your own accounting, is already fading in the rearview mirror.

The 2009 AP story Fox carried is useful mostly for showing how credulous the AP can be:

The global Muslim population stands at 1.57 billion, meaning that nearly 1 in 4 people in the world practice Islam, according to a report Wednesday billed as the most comprehensive of its kind.
That's a stretch. I'd be extremely careful about conflating religious identification with religious practice.

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life report provides a precise number for a population whose size has long has been subject to guesswork, with estimates ranging anywhere from 1 billion to 1.8 billion. Excuse me -- what is 1.57 billion "precise" in comparison with? Give or take how many tens of millions?

The project, three years in the making, also presents a portrait of the Muslim world that might surprise some. For instance, Germany has more Muslims than Lebanon, China has more Muslims than Syria, Russia has more Muslims than Jordan and Libya combined, and Ethiopia has nearly as many Muslims as Afghanistan. It might surprise people who missed the part of third grade where you figure out that a small part of a really, really big thing can be bigger than a really, really small thing. Syria had about 21 million people in 2009, about an eighth of whom were distinctly non-Muslim. How shocked do you figure we ought to be at the news that there are more than 18 million Muslims in China?*

Demographics, like polls, aren't very dramatic when done well and aren't very good when done dramatically. Here's the AP 15 months ago:

More than 60 percent of the world's Muslims live in Asia. About 20 percent live in the Middle East and North Africa.

Takes some of the edge off Fox's report today, doesn't it?

The study shows that 60 percent of the world's Muslims will live in the Asia-Pacific region by 2030 and 20 percent will live in the Middle East.

We have, in short, a bad case of "Sun Rises in East." There's precious little in the Fox report today that advances its earlier one by any sort of fraction. But that's no reason to deny your audience a chance to vent, is it?

World domination under the muzlim faith is the goal. There was a reason for the crusades back in the day... the western world had better wise up like some in Europe are trying to do but they have lost the battle regretfully. America can nip this in the bud but we won't... PC has paralized us and we'll have a hispanic/muzlim majority in a couple of generations here as well.

There is, actually, one rather striking development in the Pew study that Fox wrote from. The projected rate of growth in the world Muslim population is falling faster than the projected rate of growth in the non-Muslim population. Wonder why there's no mention of that in the Fox story. Gosh.

The AP has its credulous moments, sure. But that's not the same thing as downright mendacious.

* Shocked enough to have categorized today's story with a "Mideast" label. Those crazy kids at Fox!

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Blogger John Cowan said...

This reminds me of the prolific American couple who decided to stop after two boys and a girl, because they heard that one in four newborns is Chinese.

11:45 PM, January 27, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And here I was thinking that the big story from this report was that "Pakistan will overtake Indonesia as the world's most populous Muslim country" (as reported by BBCWS in the early morning of 1/27).

12:08 AM, January 28, 2011  
Anonymous raYb said...

I don't care what that says. I ain't convertin' to no pagan religion.

9:17 AM, January 28, 2011  
Anonymous Panic Attacks said...

We need to be extremely careful about conflating religious identification with religious practice. So all this generate gap in many people.

8:58 AM, March 02, 2011  

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