A Cardinal has apparently gotten into trouble by showing a YouTube video to an international synod of bishops. The video was entitled Muslim Demographics.
I've had people ask me what I think about this situation.
Here's my take.
I saw Muslim Demographics a few years ago when it first came out. It mixes facts with fantasy and gets things both very wrong and very right.
As the video correctly points out, every culture needs a rate of 2.1 children per fertile woman to stay viable. It is the case that as far as we know, there is no case of a culture with a consistent below-replacement fertility rate ever flipping to a consistent above-replacement fertility rate. It is likewise true that Muslims are immigrating to Europe in large numbers. Beyond that, things get a little fuzzy.
For instance, the video claims that native French citizens have a fertility rate of 1.8, while Muslim immigrants to France have a fertility rate of 8.1. Since France doesn't break out its census figures according to religious denomination, it is hard to know where these figures come from. And without a valid source, the numbers are really impossible to believe.
As this study from the Pew forum shows, Muslim demographics are dropping just like European demographics are dropping, and for pretty much the same reason: Muslims are getting rich. As any study of the numbers shows, the richer a country gets, the fewer children it's inhabitants have.
Now, it is true that Muslim demographics have only fallen to about 4.5. Muslims are nowhere near the 1.9 that is common to European countries. But that's only because Muslim countries haven't been as rich for as long. They only started getting their influx of petro-dollars in the 1970s. In fact, Muslim demographics are declining faster than the world as a whole.
But it's actually worse than that. As I have frequently pointed out, Muslims - especially the most violent kind, the Salafi (Wahabbi) Muslims of the Saudi Arabian peninsula - tend to kill off their fertile women. The male-female sex ratio in these countries for women 15-65 drops like a rock. Precisely because they kill off a significant proportion of their fertile women, they must have more women than other populations just to maintain their reproductive rates intact.
And, worse still, they don't use that reproductive capacity in a very useful way. Among orthodox Muslims, it is considered optimal to marry your daughter to your brother's son. That's right. First cousin marriage is considered the height of Muslim orthodoxy. You can imagine what this does to the Muslim genetic pool and the effects it must have upon Muslim intellectual capacity.
But you don't have to imagine - we have the numbers. Even though Muslims make up something like one-quarter of the world's population, they have produced exactly one Nobel prize winner in the sciences. By comparison, Jews make up about 0.2% of the world's population, but men and women with Jewish geneologies have produced roughly 20% of the Nobel prize winners awarded in the 20th century.
Overall, about half the Muslim population worldwide is inbred. This percentage is not dropping with time. So, even as they kill of their fertile women, they are marrying those same women to first cousins at the same constant rate. This produces a population which has lower IQs and higher rates of genetic and congenital birth defects than the general population.
Finally, we haven't taken into account the very real fact of Muslim conversion. According to the imams themselves, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity every day, 6 million a year.
So, to what extent does Muslim fecundity threaten European culture? That question cannot be answered as easily as the video in question pretends. Certainly Muslims are currently having more children than Europeans. Europe will inevitably become smaller and more Muslim than it has in preceding centuries. Consequently, it will also become stupider and more diseased. But, as their contact with Christians in Europe increases, these same Muslims are also going to provide a surge of converts to Christianity. As is the case with most conversions, Christian Europe will pick up the smartest, most well-read, most independent of the Muslims. Adult converts to the Faith are generally renowned for orthodoxy and fecundity.
And that, certainly, is good news for Europe.