Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The demographics of bad politics

I was left impressed by former American presidential candidate Mitt Romney's concession speech last Thursday, in which he demonstrated--among other things--his perspective on the United States' relationship to Europe. After taking a casual swipe at France, he went on to point to low European birth rates as proof of Europe's decadence in choosing to reject Christianity and his brand of conservative social mores.

Europe -- Europe is facing a demographic disaster.

ROMNEY: That's the inevitable product of weakened faith in the Creator, failed families, disrespect for the sanctity of human life, and eroded morality.

Some reason that culture is merely an accessory to America's vitality. We know that it's the source of our strength. And we will not be dissuaded by the snickers and knowing glances when we stand up for family values and morality and culture. We will...

(APPLAUSE)

Conservatives here and conservatives across the country will always be honored to stand on principle and to stand for principles.


I was sufficiently annoyed by this excerpt to be somewhat snarky at my blog, but still, Romney did oversimplify the European situation immensely. As Edward's earlier analysis of some of the recent work of Tomás Sobotka has pointed out, there is no single European demographic pattern. It is possible to say that the end results of the demographic trends in northern and western Europe aren't very different from those of the United States, with one major difference lying in the postponement of childbearing on the part European women as compared to their American counterparts. The situation elsewhere in Europe is more serious, granted, but leaving aside the upwards effect of postponed childbearing on cohort fertility elsewhere, the case of Spain demonstrates quite clearly that massive influxes of immigrants can happen and transform demographic profiles quite radically.

On the subject of family values, again, it's not at all clear that the "family" values that Romney favours--values which seem to privilege relationships which employ the legal concept of marriage over all others--would necessarily work in a European context. In high-fertility France, 43% of births occurred outside of married wedlock, while in low-fertility Italy an excess of traditional family values might be substantially responsible for lowering fertility, especially in the context of the economic pressures common to high- and low-fertility developed countries across Europe. As The Economist noted in its recent survey of European demographics, "[i]n Europe, [. . .] only countries with many births outside wedlock and with high female participation rates have reasonably high birth rates. Those that have sought to maintain traditional family ties have seen fertility collapse."

In this respect, Europe may be more characteristic of the rest of the world than the United States. Take Iran, for example, a country where the traditional norm of the patriarchal extended family has collapsed under the pressure of the last few decades of radical change, as a wage economy has blossomed alongside Iranian regimes whichinvolve themselves in social welfare. Mohammad-Jabal Abbasi-Shavasi's paper "Recent Changes and the Future of Fertility in Iran" (PDF format) outlines the historical background for Iran's rapid fertility decline, noting how access to family planning, improved access to education for girls, a greatly improved public health infrastructure, considerably improved transportation and economic pressures to produce a transition in the space of two decades to replacement-level fertility. Abbasi-Shavasi further predicts that as Iran becomes still more urban, producing a more educated and more woman-friendly society, national fertility rates will continue to fall to sub-replacement levels. If rapid transition is occurring in a country run by profoundly anti-Western ideologues, how much more advanced might it be in countries like Morocco, Algeria, or Turkey with longer and much more intense relationships with West?

Mention of Europe's neighbours brings us to the flip side of Romney's talk of the decadence of Europeans. That came with an implicit question: If decadent Europe is facing a "demographic disaster," what population will benefit from Europe's decadence? Latin Americans, eastern Europeans, and Asians aren't mentioned much, even though the idea of a joint Ecuardian-Romanian hegemony over Spain and Italy does have a certain whimsical appeal. As one commenter noted at my blog, Romney's sort of coded rhetoric implicitly evokes the spectre of "Eurabia", the idea that declining Europe will be taken over by immigrants from a comparatively dynamic Muslim world and transformed into (in the words of Bernard Lewis) an "extension of the Maghreb". People have looked at the numbers before, and come away unimpressed. I took a look in 2004 and I'd like to think that I've debunked the idea of an imminently Islamic France. More recently, Westoff and Freyla's study comparing Muslim and non-Muslim fertility across Europe, is a considerably more thorough statistical debunking of the idea of decadent Europe's transformation into a Muslim continent.

Truthiness, though, drive the "Eurabia" rhetoric. Take Mark Steyn's recent America Alone, a profoundly unimpressive screed that masquerades as a book on population trends but actually helps reassure the egos of a certain brand of ideologue, all without providing any sources. (Check page 34, where he makes specific claims about the age structure of the French population by religion without providing any sources, anywhere.) That doesn't matter: Statistics don't really impact on the book's underlying philosophies. Pearsall Helms' study of Steyn's misleading use of statistics ends in quoting Steyn's conclusion that a hostile Europe would be easier to deal with than a continent filled with people who don't support American policy decisions. In The New Republic, Johann Hari expanded on this theme of Eurabianists' distaste for "European" culture by recounting his experiences on a cruise organized by National Review. This cruise seemed to be populated by vacationers who seemed positively thrilled by the prospect of a Europe overtaken by Muslim immigrants.

So, you're a European, one of the Park Avenue ladies says, before offering witty commentaries on the cities she's visited. Her companion adds, "I went to Paris, and it was so lovely." Her face darkens: "But then you think--it's surrounded by Muslims." The first lady nods: "They're out there, and they're coming." Emboldened, the bearded Floridian wags a finger and says, "Down the line, we're not going to bail out the French again." He mimes picking up a phone and shouts into it, "I can't hear you, Jacques! What's that? The Muslims are doing what to you? I can't hear you!"

[. . .]

At one of the seminars, a panelist says anti-Americanism comes from both directions in a grasping pincer movement--"The Muslims condemn us for being decadent; the Europeans condemn us for not being decadent enough." Midge Decter, Norman Podhoretz's wife, yells, "The Muslims are right, the Europeans are wrong!" And, instantly, Jay Nordlinger,
National Review's managing editor and the panel's chair, says, "I'm afraid a lot of the Europeans are Muslim, Midge." The audience cheers. Somebody shouts, "You tell 'em, Jay!"

Mitt Romney's campaign appealed to a strongly conservative base -- this speech was the same one where he equated an electoral victory by the Democratic party's presidential candidates as a "surrender to terror." This leads me to think that Simon Kuper was right to write, in the Financial Times back in November, many Eurabianists are motivated by domestic politics, seeking some sort of rhetorical advantage or even revenge against people who don't support the sorts of policies in vogue among some conservatives, both inside and outside the United States. If Romney wants to advocate particular public policies towards reproduction, family life, the structure of the welfare state, and foreign policies, why shouldn't he discredit countries with different policies? (Canada, it should be note, shares a relatively low completed fertility rate with many other European countries, and yes, Steyn's also skeptical about us.) If nothing else, the contrast between a vigourous and rising demi-continent of the United States with a declining and weak continent of Europe, the latter also threatened from within and without by great tides of people hostile, is a memorable one.

What's the problem with all this? For people like ourselves, interested in researching population trends here at Demography Matters and elsewhere, this sort of rhetoric creates yet another set of myths that have to be debunked. It is interesting to trace out some of the likely population futures of different regions, countries and continents, as is determining the different factors operating in different communities within a given territory. Turning a field that could be filled by an ongoing stream of productive research into an endless cycle of disproved popular mythologies would be boring. More to the point, the constant repetition of myths like the ones enunciated by Romney -- that the European continent is declining, that Europe is threatened by foreigners -- poisons public discourse by legitimating ever more radical statements. If Europeans at large are concerned about the extent to which communities of recent immigrant origin are or are not acculturating to the norms of a wider society and want to influence public policy accordingly, how likely will the debate be calm and rational if many the people who participate seriously believe things scarcely more sophisticated than "OMG the Muslims are going to P3WN Europe"?

As we've said all along, demography does matter. It matters too much to be left to the opining of failed politicians and --as Johann Hari cuttingly wrote in his review of America Alone--in particular to the sort of people who'd use a half-digested understanding of demography to justify almost anything. Describing ongoing demographic trends is great, talk about public policies in relation to childbearing and immigration is grand, but people in both the blogosphere and beyond should really not use demography simply to justify their own personal end-game fantasies.

74 comments:

georgesdelatour said...

Hi Randy

I couldn't access the Westoff & Frejka article in full. The Wikipedia article on Demographics of the United Kingdom, referencing W & F, says: "The TFR for British residents also varies by country of birth. In England and Wales in 2006, people born in the UK had a TFR of 1.67, India 2.21 and Pakistan and Bangladesh 4.90, for example." In other words, first generation UK Muslims are having almost three times as many children as the indigenous population.

One element we don't know how to factor in to our demographic models is emigration. 400,000 people emigrated from the UK in 2006 (http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/emig1107.pdf). They're not all white and they're not all specifically fleeing Muslim immigrants, of course. But a high proportion of them are probably breadwinners at the age where they're ready to start families, so their removal from the UK population may exaggerate the proportionate effect of higher immigrant Muslim fertility.

Of course Muslims don't have to become absolute national majorities to effect massive changes in European societies. Their geographical distribution within countries is highly concentrated, after all. Any idea how soon might we see Muslim majority cities in Europe?

Here in the UK there's an interesting anomaly I've noticed. National opinion polls consistently show the majority want "faith schools" (or "sectarian religious schools") curtailed or abolished altogether. But all three political parties keep saying they want more faith schools and talk loudly about it as if they think it's a big vote winner. It's probably a vote-winner in the more fertile Muslim communities, where there is a demand for more state-funded madrasahs. I suspect we're seeing a UK version of the US "Cuba effect" (National opinion polls show most Americans want to end the blockade of Cuba, while most Cuban Americans want it retained. But while non-Cuban Americans vote on a hundred different issues on election day, Cuban Americans only vote on the Cuba issue. So the Cuban minority opinion overwhelms the non-Cuban majority opinion).

The way European societies absorbed previous immigrant groups may not apply now. As Eric Kaufmann notes (http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=7913):

"In Britain, second-generation Afro-Caribbeans and eastern European Christians tend to be less religious than their parents but more so than the wider population. Yet there is virtually no change at all in the religiosity of Bangladeshi and Pakistani Muslims between the first and second generations. A recent study of Dutch ethnic minorities paints a similar picture of religious retention among Muslim groups.

The future response of Europe's lapsed Christian population to the growth of European Islam is difficult to gauge. Muslim growth may prompt a more strident secular nationalist response, as it seems to have done in France and Holland, or it may lead to a renewed emphasis on Christian identity (see the recent speeches of Pope Benedict). David Voas and Steve Bruce have found evidence for the latter in the 2001 British census, where the proportion of white British respondents describing themselves as Christian (rather than "no religion") was higher in districts with large Muslim populations. Christian identity does not equate to growing religious belief, but it eventually might. In ethnically divided Northern Ireland, sectarian conflict fuels far higher religiosity than in other parts of Britain. In either case, the combination of a fast-growing Muslim community and a stable or slowly growing Christian population will squeeze the non-religious, causing a major reversal of the secularising trends of the past 50 to 100 years."

Randy said...

"Their geographical distribution within countries is highly concentrated, after all. Any idea how soon might we see Muslim majority cities in Europe?"

Sarajevo and Tirana are already there, perhaps also Istanbul ...

There may well be Muslim-majority cities in Europe. What's your lower level for city? Would my hometown of Charlottetown, with its 40 000, count? Are we looking at a millionaire city? Or are we looking to set the bar somewhere in between?

"It's probably a vote-winner in the more fertile Muslim communities, where there is a demand for more state-funded madrasahs."

There's also the Christian community, mind--the reports about the hostility of many of the Christian private schools to evolution made the news here in Canada.

My apologies for linking to a library-only article. (Can you guess where I read the article in the first place?) Some bits are below.

Most female immigrants in France, presumably of Islamic faith, came from North Africa, mainly from Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia as well as from Turkey. Their TFRs in the 1990s were higher than the TFR of native French women by 0.9 to 1.5 births per woman.

In the Netherlands in 2005, the TFR of immigrant women born in Morocco was 2.9 births per woman and that of women born in Turkey was 1.9 births, compared to 1.7 among native Dutch women. Fertility of women born in Morocco and in Turkey declined steeply over the past 15 years, whereas the TFRs of the native Dutch changed only moderately. Fertility of Muslim women in 2005 continued to exceed that of Dutch women, but the differential had narrowed. For women of Turkish origin the differential had almost disappeared: it declined from 1.6 births per woman in 1990 to 0.2 in 2005.

[. . .]

In Germany, Turkish immigrants constitute a large proportion of foreign citizens. Their TFR declined from 4.4 births per woman in 1970 to 2.4 in 1996. The differential thus fell from 2.4 to 1.0 birth per woman.

Nationals of the former Yugoslavia formed a sizable proportion of immigrants in Switzerland, (4) but it is questionable what proportion of them were of the Islamic faith. This is the single group of immigrants whose fertility has not followed the usual pattern of decline over time. On the other hand, Turkish nationals in Switzerland fit the usual pattern of decline. Their TFR fell from 3.4 births per woman in 1981 to 1.9 in 1997. This was 0.6 births above the TFR of Swiss nationals.


The paper and these figures continues on in this vein, exploring historically high Muslim fertility in Europe as a consequence of relatively high rates of poverty and low levels, and as part of a general Europe-wide trend for religious women to evidence relatively higher levels of fertility than their secular counterpart. There is a large and stable differential between Muslim-and non-Muslim TFRs in England, but England, as always, stands out in Europe.

That Prospect article is interesting, but something I'm personally skeptical about. Will Muslim/non-Muslim relations be characterized by conflict or not? There may have been a good deal of Catholic/Protestant tension in Germany and the Netherlands in the mid-20th century, but that doesn't seem to have sustained either religion despite sustained hostility and demographic changes (Catholic numbers surpassing Protestants in the Netherlands, say).

More to the point, the existence of a gap in the modern West between completed fertility of religious and secular women has been long established, but is there an example of a secular society becoming much more religious? Take a look at France, where the northern core has historically not only been substantially more advanced in the demographic transition process than the rest of the country, but immigration from meighbouring and more religious countries (Italy, Spain, Belgium, et cetera) played a major role in keeping the population of the Third Republic stable. Despite all this relatively higher Catholic fertility and substantial Catholic immigration, however modern-day France hasn't become a conservative Roman Catholic state rejecting the fruits of the Revolution. People born into those relatively more religious subcultures simply defected.

AndrewSshi said...

Randy,

I wonder if the example of immigration from more religious Catholic parts of Europe to less religious but still Catholic parts of France is a good analogy for Muslims and the (post-) Christian west. After all, to some extent, the decline in religiosity in the Roman Catholic world has been (Africa excepted) fairly uniform across the western world. Even Franco's Spain merely papered over the phenomenon.

So it's natural that Catholic immigrants would, in a Catholic but secularist country, become more secularist themselves. With your Muslim immigrants, there seems to be a more radical discontinuity with the dominant secular culture.

Patung said...

"Sarajevo and Tirana are already there, perhaps also Istanbul ...

There may well be Muslim-majority cities in Europe. What's your lower level for city? Would my hometown of Charlottetown, with its 40 000, count? Are we looking at a millionaire city? Or are we looking to set the bar somewhere in between?"

It might be interesting and useful to see you actually try and answer the original question, without the smart-alecy dancing around nonsense.

Will Baird said...

Nice article, Randy, as always.

Romney's pandering to the right over 'families' and demographics is really annoying. Esp when there are a lot of perfectly good parents that are being denied the right to adopt here in Cali. :(

Randy said...

Andrew:

"[I]t's natural that Catholic immigrants would, in a Catholic but secularist country, become more secularist themselves. With your Muslim immigrants, there seems to be a more radical discontinuity with the dominant secular culture."

By certain metrics, perhaps, but not necessarily by others. Do Francophone/Francophile Muslims from the Maghreb necessarily have less in common with Francophone European Roman Catholics than they have with Egyptians?

It's complex, sure, but the idea that there has to be necessarily a binary opposition between Christians and Muslims doesn't strike me as valid. There are other dimensions of culture.

Patung:

"It might be interesting and useful to see you actually try and answer the original question, without the smart-alecy dancing around nonsense."

Point taken for the purposes of this discussion. Perhaps Rotterdam or Marseilles?

Mitch said...

I think we will see some big shifts in Muslim societies regarding women, relgion and democracy in the next 10-15 years. An urban, educated middle-class is slowly building up, I think we're seeing what Catholic societies went through.

A GDP per head at PPPs of about $10 000 i 2006 prices seems to be a strong tipping point where liberal thoughts regarding women and religious dogmas and taboos is dominating. This has alot to do with the urbanization and industrialization process reaching a relatively advanced level at $10 000. (Some correction must be made for oil-income which is not based on industrial development). I think this is important regarding muslim immigration as well because first and many second generation immigrants will keep the culture of the "home country" as it were at the time of departure.

If we look at which muslim countries are the most liberal today regarding gender and religion I think it is fair to say that is the most economically advanced ones. Lebanon, Turkey, Tunisia, Malaysia. These are also the countries with some of the lowest fertility rates. You could also make a point for the former communist, now muslim, countries of course, but that's because religion and backwards culture were frowned upon in the socialist world. I would also add Iran as a much more liberal society than what the government is and it is definitely one of the most economically advanced countries in the muslim world.

One crucial country will be Egypt with its very strong demographic footprint. I am also optimistic about that country as there has been substantial economic progress lately and it could well reach close to $10 000 before 2020. Egypt should see a large urban middle-class growing rapidly over the next 10 years fostering not only economic development but also rapidly changing the ruling social values regarding gender equality and the role of religion in society and its dogmas and taboos. The change we've seen in Catholic countries and is seeing in countries like Turkey and Lebanon will also be seen in Egypt as the economy grows 6-7% a year and no doubt Iran (which is seeing a stronger and stronger mismatch between the values and will of the people and the religious authorities).

These countries (Turkey, Egypt and Iran) are the core of the islamic world in addition to Saudi (which no doubt is no doubt a vastly more conservative and intolerant society). But pressure on Saudi from the surrounding countries and even the west as it seeks to diversify the economy should be enough to see some substantial shifts in social values there as well. All in all I think in the next 10 years all of north africa and almost all of the middle east will have replacement level fertility rates or below (depending mostly on the economic development of the country), and a much stronger secular and liberal population.

Randy said...

It's worth noting that Saudi Arabia (and Yemen) are almost wholly unrepresentative of the wider Arab world. To a considerable but not exclusive extent, the problems of the Arab world are the problems associated with stagnant lower-middle economies trapped in dictatorship. Saudi Arabia, though ... Who knows if reform is even possible within the current framework?

georgesdelatour said...

Hi Randy

I'd just finished reading the Wikipedia article on Muhammad Ali Jinnah (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jinnah) when I found your reply. I think the photos in the article are very revealing, especially this one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:10_edited.jpg

Jinnah mostly wore "secular" modern dress, allowed his female family members to be photographed unveiled (as in the photo), opposed the Khilafat Movement as "religious zealotry", and generally behaved in ways which would make it impossible for him to become the leader of today's Pakistan. So when you ask, "is there an example of a secular society becoming much more religious?", I'd suggest:

1. Pakistan since Jinnah
2. Egypt since Nasser
3. Iran since 1979
4. The Balkans since Tito
5. Turkey since the rise of the AKP
6. The Palestinian territories since the rise of Hamas
7. Poland under communism
8. England after the Methodist revival of the 18th century
9. The Roman Empire
10. The USA since the time of its Deist/Atheist founding fathers

And perhaps modern China since the aggressively atheist Cultural Revolution. Falun Gong, the Catholic church and Uyghur Islamic movements all appear to be growing.

BTW isn't Saudi a) one of the wealthiest Muslim nations b) the most conservative Muslim nation? I believe Osama bin Laden comes from a millionaire household.

The crucial questions:
1. Will UK Muslims feel more loyal to the infidel majority British state, or to the global Islamic Ummah?
2. What policies make it more likely they'll choose the former rather than the latter allegiance?

Colin Reid said...

"Sarajevo and Tirana are already there, perhaps also Istanbul ..."

One could argue that Bosniaks and Albanians 'don't count' as they are much more secular than most recent Muslim immigrants to Europe. In fact, Albania may be one of the most secular countries in the world, and a large proportion, perhaps the majority of Albanian 'Muslims' are self-declared atheists. But while we might expect Muslim migrants to Europe to become more secular under European influence, short of another Enver Hoxha I don't think anyone expects them to become that secular.

@georgesdelatour: your examples are interesting. While you are right that Poland is now quite religious, in other communist countries it seems that religion went into rapid retreat and has not recovered since. The most dramatic example of religion getting crushed by the state is Albania, but the Czech Republic, Estonia and Latvia are also highly secular, more so than even the UK or France.

The Founding Fathers were unrepresentative of the US population in the late 18th century. Deism seems to have been something of an elite religion. I suspect the population would have been overwhelmingly Protestant Christians of a mixture of denominations at that stage, and at least as religious as contemporaries in Protestant-dominated regions of Europe (who were considerably more religious than their modern counterparts - for instance, never mind the Methodists, mainstream Church of England members took religion seriously back then).

Similarly, I'm not convinced Pakistan, Iran or Turkey has become more religious at the level of ordinary people, any more than the US suddenly got more religious in 2000. It's just that religious groups managed to dramatically increase their influence over government. For all Jinnah's moderation, remember he was one of the chief proponents of partition of India into a Muslim part and a non-Muslim part.

Palestine, Egypt and Poland are probably genuine examples of increased religiosity at the popular level (though things were brewing in Egypt long before Nasser came to power). The key dynamic here is an undemocratic but not all-powerful state in which well-organised opposition comes from strongly religious groups. More secular forces then form coalitions with the religious groups, because they see state oppression as the greater evil, and as a result come under the influence of the religious groups' wider message. This is not unique to religion, of course: in Eastern Europe, many embraced communism in the 1940s because of its success in defeating Nazi Germany.

Randy said...

Colin:

Thanks for so superbly surpassing the analysis that I was going to post. :-)

I would say that the People's Republic of China might also be experiencing a resurgence in religion because of the relaxation of controls. I'd also say that religion in the former Yugoslavia did grow but did so as a proxy for ethnicity; Roman Catholicism in Slovenia developed very differently from Roman Catholicism in Croatia, never mind Bosnia-Herzegovina.

As for Islam in the Balkans, I'd argue that the experiences of the ~4.5 million Albanian Muslims and the two million or so Bosniaks do count inasmuch as these represent communities which can claim very long European histories and which--at least in Yugoslavia-- have been integrated into the western European century for a couple of generations. Even excluding the Republic of Albania is anomalous, the experiences of Kosovar Albanians and Bosniaks don't seem obviously irrelevant.

Georgesdelatour:

I grant you the example of the Roman Empire in that the spread of Christianity was achieved substantially by ideological appeal and higher net replacement rates. Is there any evidence that there was ethnic turnover as a result?

Saudi Arabia is one of the wealthiest Muslim countries, but its wealth is derived from natural resource income, not nearly so much from domestic production. This sort of economic model is a dead-end, as evidenced not only by Saudi Arabia's declining GDP per capita relative to other countries (once higher than the United States, now lower than Poland) but by the experience of other economically similar countries like Venezuela. Muslim countries like Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, Tunisia, Morocco, and even Iran, which have enjoyed significant economic growth in non-oil sectors, have seen their societies--and demographies--evolve in very different directions.

I can't speculate about the future loyalties of British Muslims, although I will say that this depends almost as much on the loyalties of British non-Muslims as anything else. What I do feel qualified in claiming is that the British Muslim population, as demographically anomalous as it is in a European context, is not going to outnumber non-Muslims anytime soon, if at all.

georgesdelatour said...

Randy

Europe will not become a Muslim majority continent any time soon. But that doesn't mean we can all just relax and enjoy living in a "United Colors Of Benetton" shop front. Having a large, expanding, ghettoized, culturally opposed minority is still not great! France, the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark are all trying very different integration policies. Who will have the most success?

It's dangerous to argue too much from anecdotal evidence. But I know some older Muslims who say piety used to present itself to the world much more lightly. That's what struck me about the Jinnah photographs I mentioned before.

Consider Aishah Azmi, the 23-year old from Dewsbury who was sacked when she insisted on teaching small children dressed in a Niqab. Or Shabina Begum, the 13-year old from Luton who was suspended from school when she insisted on attending in a Jilbab. I don't know for certain, but I'm guessing both are being far more noisily Islamic than their mothers ever were. Hanif Kureishi's "My Son The Fanatic", depicting a Muslim second generation far more assertively devout than their parents, seems quite prescient.

In the 80s I knew a few Afro-Caribbeans who claimed to be devout Rastafarians and who dressed like Peter Tosh on the cover of "Legalize It". They probably horrified their "Windrush" generation parents. Now they all dress like Trevor Phillips. Will British Islam play itself out like this? I hope so.

Colin Reid said...

I wouldn't expect too many Afro-Caribbean Brits to be Rastafarians, as they're a minority even in Jamaica: the largest religious grouping in the British West Indies is Anglican, by a wide margin. It's probably fair to say Caribbean Anglicans tend to be more observant than British ones, but by and large there was no clash of religions when Afro-Caribbean people arrived in the UK.

Still, the Afro-Caribbean example is interesting, in that they have assimilated rapidly into majority British culture despite a perceived race barrier, and this includes intermarriage - by some estimates the majority of married Afro-Caribbean men in the UK have a white wife, so it's quite possible that in some parts of the Afro-Caribbean ancestry will end up widely but thinly spread across a fair chunk of the population in a few generations, similar to 'white' Brazilians. Perhaps more surprisingly, assimilation seems to have gone furthest in poorer urban areas, where the 'urban' culture is embraced equally by white, black and mixed-race youngsters alike. It's still the case that Afro-Caribbean people are on average worse off economically than white people, do worse at school and so on. But this has nothing to do with race. If you look at poor white families from 50 years ago and their descendants today, you see the same deprivation on average for the same reasons: lack of access and opportunities, but also absent fathers and an indifferent attitude to education among parents, which has evolved into open hostility in the youth culture.

Randy said...

"Europe will not become a Muslim majority continent any time soon. But that doesn't mean we can all just relax and enjoy living in a "United Colors Of Benetton" shop front. Having a large, expanding, ghettoized, culturally opposed minority is still not great! France, the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark are all trying very different integration policies. Who will have the most success?"

I'd dissent from your interpretation in that it's not at all clear that it makes sense to talk about a single Muslim minority as opposed to a collection of Muslim minorities with widely disparate origins and histories, each of these populations in turn overlapping with a broader collection still of popualtions of ethnic minority and/or immigrant origin, et cetera. Too broad a scope erases too much detail.

I do quite agree about the need for cultural capital to be broadly dispersed, through proactive policies if needed. I'm not sure if the debate to date has talked all that much about this, however, if only because of its tone.

Alex said...

In England and Wales in 2006, people born in the UK had a TFR of 1.67, India 2.21 and Pakistan and Bangladesh 4.90, for example." In other words, first generation UK Muslims are having almost three times as many children as the indigenous population.

Not "are"; were.

If you're a first-generation Pakistani immigrant in the UK, you're now well over 50 and you ain't having many more kids.

Strangely enough, those of us who actually live in the UK are well aware that British Muslims did not suddenly appear overnight one day in 2001 and than Mark Steyn did not discover them. The vast majority arrived over forty years ago before the Immigration Act 1971.

Therefore, the first-generation figure is mostly of use if you want to work backwards from it and calculate how many kids they had:-)

georgesdelatour said...

Alex

A significant proportion of spouses of UK Muslims are "imported" every year from Pakistan, via arranged marriages. It's Westoff & Frejka, as quoted by Randy, who give a 2006 figure for the fertility of UK nationals born in Pakistan, not me. I suspect it's the fertility of more recently arrived arranged marriage partners born in Mirpur etc they're referring to, not Pakistanis who arrived in the 1960s.

Kenan Malik argues that "British Asians" only became "British Muslims" in 1989 with the Khomeini fatwa against Salman Rushdie (http://www.kenanmalik.com/essays/bradford_prospect.html). It's a very insightful article, and deserves to be much better known.

georgesdelatour said...

Colin Reid

Most of those people I knew in the 80s were not real Rastafarians. That was my point. They were playing a rebellion game, just like suburban emo kids today.

Youth rebellion among minorities often means playing up the role that sets you apart from the majority. White kids can't really be rastas, so it was fun in the 80s for some black kids to pretend they were.

When a teenage girl of Sylheti background suddenly starts wearing hardcore Saudi-style clothing, is she being like the 80s fake rastas? Is it just a "phase"? I hope so.

Hoosier said...

I think Romney's remarks are part of the conservative babble during the primary election. and indeed demographically US is not very different from some parts of Europe.

US has an advantage in the way integrates the immigrants. I'm not sure if that is due to its longer tradition of accepting large numbers of immigrants or due to it's more liberal economic outlook. or maybe both.

for all the social conservative/populist isteria about Mexican illegal immigration most data suggests that most Mexican Americans do eventually assimilate into the dominant Anglo culture of the country, albeit slower than other ethnic groups.

I believe most European countries have a bit tougher time integrating their Muslim immigrants. Possible, despite publicly vowed tolerance, average natives do not mingle easily with immigrants. A Muslim in Stockholm or Paris might be receiving social benefits much easier than he can get a decent job. The "banlieu Muslim subculture" is related maybe as much to economic isolation as it is to Muslim identity. this may be the downside of a less flexible labor market in most of the european countries.

unfortunatelly we can not make much comparison with US/Canada/Australia as these countries did not have to deal with large Muslim immigrant populations. However from the little I am aware of it appears that the few Muslim communities have integrated pretty well - example the prosperous Iranian community of LA or the Arabs of Detroit area ( truth is more than half of them are Christians). One thing in their favor is the quality and educational attainment of these Muslim immigrants in America which tends to be a lot higher than that of the majority of Muslim immigrants in Europe.

my take is that for succesful integration of the culturally different immigrants in a host countries the main thing that has to work well is the economic opportunity. as long as Europe keeps its Muslim immigrants mired in banlieus, dependent on welfare subsidies and has trouble offering them economic opportunities the integration will be difficult.

Anonymous said...

Hoosier: As you say, it becomes impossible to compare broad groups like "immigrants" or "muslims". Those Iranians you talk about are probably very highly educated people, it's usually not iranians that cause trouble in Europe either. If Central America was muslim, would America have less immigration problems than Europe? I don't think so to be frank. Segrationist tendencies is very strong in many muslim immigrant groups, almost very few are marrying local Europeans for example, instead marrying people from their or their parents' home country. This import is a huge setback for integration of course as it re-creates 2nd generation instead of 3rd generation immigrants. Imports of illiterate people from the muslim countryside is what is so wrong with current euro immigration policies.

Alastair Greig said...

Very strange conversation. Even the article produced here looks at the demography in a secular way, and the tone appears to indicate that a muslim majority, although unlikely, is a bad thing. It general tone, from Romney and to a lesser extent demography matters (who have taken time to respond) appears to be that muslims are almost certainly going to insist on burkhas and demand sharia.

In the UK at least, national identity is the predominant issue (largely due to the Scottish/Welsh/English/British political issue). If demographic growth is essentially 'good' (which I question), surely it would actually be beneficial for an increased number of muslims, whose birth rates are generally higher? As long as their national identity is with their adopted country, than the sectarian issue of muslim-christian is rather redundant. Surely counting numbers on the basis of religion is dying, and if population growth is to be encouraged measures like national identity is more important - if it is essential a country shares the same values (which, again, I am not convinced is all that essential).

georgesdelatour said...

In theory the break up of the UK is a very important issue. But in practice it isn't. Scottish Nationalists accept that they have to win a Scottish majority - which they don't yet have. The English accept that if a majority of Scots want to leave the UK, then their wish should not be resisted. The break up of the UK, if it happens, should be a completely peaceful non-event, like the Czech-Slovak split. I wouldn't expect even one person to meet a violent death as a result of an Anglo-Scottish divorce.

But the Islam-in-Europe issue inflames violent passions, and has already led to violent deaths, from murdered film-makers to racist attacks on Mosques. I think Randy writes about it because he fears Mark Steyn's apocalyptic exaggerations only stir up these passions, without offering any constructive policy suggestions.

And it's tricky. Sometimes well-intentioned policies make things worse. The 2005 Birmingham Riots (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_Birmingham_riots) are an interesting case. The local authority had a grant policy which encouraged people to form tribal groups to get money. If you said you needed money for a Muslim community centre, or an Afro-Caribbean youth club, you'd get it. But not if you wanted it for a "humans in general" youth club. This "take me to your leader" approach to block communities entrenched separatism and mutual suspicion, and made unelected old men with beards into spokespersons for "the Muslim community". But the people who set up this system thought they were being liberal and left-wing.

Is there something about Islam? If tomorrow all of Europe's Muslims suddenly became Buddhists would that change things?

Hoosier said...

the problem it is not with Islam itself but with the difference some its faitfull accentuate vis-a-vis of the core european ( or north-atlantic) values. it is very likely that most of the Muslims in Europe are already or are becoming first Europeans and then Muslims. but there is a core of radical Muslims who view the Sharia above European secularism and who, despite the generosity of the host countries, despise the European culture and values.

Conservative concern is mostly with this: are these people going to continue to blow themselves in the subways, buses, and planes? are they finding support in the islamic communities of Europe and America? Sure the heavy handed approach of the Bush administration is far from optimal and far from being helpful, but I believe the total appeasement of the left wing is also suboptimal.

so apart from creating economic opportunities for these immigrants there should be a firm stance on behalf of core Western values ( both secular and Judeo-Christian).

Hoosier said...

"Mention of Europe's neighbours brings us to the flip side of Romney's talk of the decadence of Europeans. That came with an implicit question: If decadent Europe is facing a "demographic disaster," what population will benefit from Europe's decadence?"

talking of "european decadence" vs. "American backwardness".... it is a reality that America is more center to the right leaning while Europe is mostly center to the left leaning. there are exagerations on both sides. European economy and society are not going to collapse because of too much socialism or because of lack of "family and Christian values".

as in the late 90's the economy of America seemed to spring a bit faster the Europe took notice. there are more market oriented reforms underway in Germany, France. Spain and UK have actually gone almost in the same pace with US economy over the last 20 years, and seem to be suffering from the same excesses ( real estate bubbles, credit problems.

on the other hand the European left wing media portraits America as a horible society, where the poor are numerous and abused and the rich are bigot and hard-headed. While it's true that the income polarization is bigger in US than it used to be, and bigger than in Europe the poor are not that many or that poor as one thinks. If one looks at the average consumption for the lowest quintile of American household can see that it's quite significant and similar if not better with that of the similar quintile in Europe.

some have gotten that far and are comparing Bush with Hitler. I'm no fan of the current president but the comparison is as ideology laden as any of Stalin's talks to a Congress of the Communist Party of Soviet Union.

rest assured the US is not turning crypto or neofascist either.

Randy said...

Mr. Greig:

"Even the article produced here looks at the demography in a secular way, and the tone appears to indicate that a muslim majority, although unlikely, is a bad thing."

That certainly wasn't my intentio. My goal was to debunk, briefly, the masses of writers who easily assume that Europe is headed for a Muslim hegemony of sorts, thanks native decadence and perfidious foreigners. The natives certainly aren't decadent, and assuming that Muslims are inherently prone to population growth and are conspiring to take over the European continent is the sort of thing tailor-made to produce pretty nasty ethnic tensions.

Randy said...

hoosier:

"my take is that for succesful integration of the culturally different immigrants in a host countries the main thing that has to work well is the economic opportunity. as long as Europe keeps its Muslim immigrants mired in banlieus, dependent on welfare subsidies and has trouble offering them economic opportunities the integration will be difficult."

Restrictive labour markets with high entry costs, whether in terms of education, citizenship of birth, or ethnicity, do tend to do very bad things. It's worth noting that, in France, the Portuguese immigrants who were the contemporaries of North Africans have experienced similar issues with the French labour market.

"the problem it is not with Islam itself but with the difference some its faitfull accentuate vis-a-vis of the core european ( or north-atlantic) values. it is very likely that most of the Muslims in Europe are already or are becoming first Europeans and then Muslims."

This is a very important point that needs to be made, repeatedly. Muslim /= conservative Muslim /= Islamist /= fundamentalist terrorist. The too-quick judgements often made from one end of that chain to another threaten us all.

Anonymous said...

I think very few are mainly concerned about terrorism. I think it is a strawman to try to ridicule people who are concerned about islamic demography in Europe with that. What people first and foremost are concerned about is what goes on in their everyday lives and meetings with muslims and their values regarding especially women. But also gays, apostates, atheists and more generally the liberal way of life being under threat from medieval thinking.

Most people don't think that there are some organized plan by every muslim to take over Europe either. But that is besides the point. What is true, is that islam in Europe will increase extremely fast over the next decades, there is no doubt about that, given both the age structure of the muslim population, higher birth rates, and continued strong immigration of muslims of fertile age. And the native population will decline, there's no doubt about that either. One falling graph and one strongly rising graph intersect earlier than most people think of. Will muslims be a majority in Western Europe by 2050? Probably not, who knows. In any case, would it be a problem? Well, judging from today's muslim population, it will mean a huge shift in value systems in Europe. Will that mean ethnic and religious tensions across European countries? Probably. As long as it remains basically illegal for non-muslims to marry a muslim according to Muslim laws, I don't see alot of integration to be frank.

Randy said...

Anonymous:

"I think very few are mainly concerned about terrorism. I think it is a strawman to try to ridicule people who are concerned about islamic demography in Europe with that."

On the contrary, it isn't. For a long while, people have been making very specific and testable statements to the effect that Muslim populations in Europe are going to overtake non-Muslim populations--the more sophisticated, admittedly, say this will happen earlier in some countries than in others--and that we'll all become dhimmis, not least because we failed to be sufficiently virile. These statements have been tested, and are provably quite false.

"What people first and foremost are concerned about is what goes on in their everyday lives and meetings with muslims and their values regarding especially women. But also gays, apostates, atheists and more generally the liberal way of life being under threat from medieval thinking."

1. What is the evidence of this?

2. What sort of danger? "A disenfranchised minority that needs to be socialized" is one sort of danger, and "a minority that is going to overtake us and dominate us" is another.

"Most people don't think that there are some organized plan by every muslim to take over Europe either. But that is besides the point."

No, it isn't. If a sizable minority of people come to believe that there is an organized conspiracy by a non-trivial minority of Muslims to take over the European continent and do horrible things to them and their children, very bad things can happen. Don't believe me? Look at atrocities committed by Serb forces against Kosovar Albanians and Bosnian Muslims, both essentially secular people, on the spurious grounds that they were going to reduce Serbs to dhimmis.

"What is true, is that islam in Europe will increase extremely fast over the next decades, there is no doubt about that, given both the age structure of the muslim population, higher birth rates, and continued strong immigration of muslims of fertile age."

Those births rates aren't so high. If Turkish mothers in the Netherlands give birth to 1.8 children by the time they reach the end of their fertile years while their Dutch mothers give birth to 1.6 children, is there really such a difference as that?

"And the native population will decline, there's no doubt about that either."

That depends on the country. As has frequently been observed, the state of affairs in northern and western Europe is substantially different from the state of affairs elsewhere in Europe.

More to your point, why are you assuming that there are only going to be natives and Muslims, and not other immigrant populations? Five million immigrants have come to Spain in the past decade, but barely more than a tenth of these come from Morocco and other North African states. Italy's immigrants are as likely to come from either eastern Europe or Latin America as the southern Mediterranean region, Germany attracts migrants from across central and eastern Europe (not enough, alas), and Britain and France can draw on their wider language zones from migrants (among other places).

"One falling graph and one strongly rising graph intersect earlier than most people think of."

They do if, among other things, growth rates remain constant. They won't: Already they are converging, and there is reason to believe that cohort fertility may drop below northern and western European rates.

"Will muslims be a majority in Western Europe by 2050? Probably not, who knows."

We can say, on the basis of the demographic trends which have been established with a pretty high degree of certainty, that the answer is a resounding no. There are not enough Muslim immigrants, they don't have nearly as many children as the popular imagination would have it, immigration restrictions are going to limit growth still further. Some cities of note might acquire Muslim majority populations, but what does that mean? Early in the 20th century many factory towns in New England became French Canadian-majority communities, home to a strongly united and fecund people with its own language and religion, but, em, the Franco-Americans ended up assimilating.

This brings us to the below:

"In any case, would it be a problem? Well, judging from today's muslim population, it will mean a huge shift in value systems in Europe. Will that mean ethnic and religious tensions across European countries? Probably. As long as it remains basically illegal for non-muslims to marry a muslim according to Muslim laws, I don't see alot of integration to be frank."

1. Unlike Israel or Lebanon, no European state that I know of has a legal system that forbids marriage between people of different religious backgrounds. This alone puts European countries in a better position than either of those two countries.

2. What, exactly, do we know of "value systems"? As I said above, Muslim /= conservative Muslim /= Islamist /= fundamentalist terrorist. Are those distinctions being sufficiently understood, or are some people simply applying sloppy thinking to a very complex situation? I lean strongly towards the matter; Orthodox Jews or conservative Catholics are hardly all Kahanists or Phalangists.

I'll end this comment by wondering how people believe that the various immigrant-origin Muslim communities could so threaten European states. These communities frequently rank among the most marginalized segments, broadly disadvantaged across the board, and especially since September 11th are pretty much broadly suspected of being willing to do most anything to non-Muslims. What mechanisms apart from the stupid one of "well, numbers, really" could exist to allow these populations to take over?

Anonymous said...

I disagree with you on most points. Regarding the first section, I was talking about terrorism, not majority islam in europe, and most people are not first and foremost concerned about terrorism, that was my point. What they are concerned about is the liberal way of life. I don't like the way you portray people concerned about demographic makeup as nazis, that's not a good way of debating. And sizable minority is now the new buzzword? Usually we hear the opposite argument regarding muslims...that the big majority are moderate and that this is what we should focus on, no argument there about the danger of "sizeable minorities"...

And regarding the birth rates, they are in fact higher than the natives by a large margin, not only because of TFR but because of age structure and import marriages. You say that stronger immigration restriction will prevent a strong increase, i beg to differ. There is huge population pressure from the Middle-East and North Africa towards Europe. No way are those countries going to create enough good-paying jobs to make the young and fertile stay, and then there are massive population pressure coming from northern and muslim sub-saharan africa abit later as well. Immigration from eastern europe is basically irrelevant. It is far too small and the population is declining rapdily there. In fact, Russia will be the first country that will be majority muslim by current trends. And the native population is declining across the board in every european country, some will decline more rapdly than others you are right about that, but the trend is clear: they will see a declining graph, most probably have already begun that long sliding trend. The last time the native population had a TFR above 2.1 was in the early 70s. ..

And when you talk about latin american immigration, I don't think it will do much of a difference in the overal scenario. The big population pressure towards europe is coming from the islamic world, not latin america. You also say that as long as there is no formal laws in europe preventing marriage between religions, it is irrelevant what muslim thinks. Well, it is not, it is the completely opposite. There can be very little integration when people aren't allowed to marry eachother because of those discriminating practices. A muslim woman marrying a non-muslim man (especially without forcing him to convert) is basically unheard of and there's extreme pressure on such people from the muslim community. So I frankly don't see alot of integration potential among muslims and non-muslims really. These rules are quite barbaric, they create huge parallell societies.

The falling native population graph and the rapidly rising islamic graph in europe is IMO not a good development as the current situation is quite tense, and as the demography shifts further, we will see more religious and ethnic tensions. I think we must be prepared for that, I don't see any development that would suggest otherwise. The only solution would be to import huge amounts of people from for example China, Phillippines, Vietnam and other non-muslim countries who will more easily integrate with more liberal values and intermarry but I don't see that happening.

Randy said...

"I disagree with you on most points. Regarding the first section, I was talking about terrorism, not majority islam in europe, and most people are not first and foremost concerned about terrorism, that was my point."

You had said "I think very few are mainly concerned about terrorism."

"I don't like the way you portray people concerned about demographic makeup as nazis, that's not a good way of debating."

I said that many of the people who talk about that aren't helping things at all, that "many of the people who participate seriously believe things scarcely more sophisticated than 'OMG the Muslims are going to P3WN Europe'?"

"And sizable minority is now the new buzzword? Usually we hear the opposite argument regarding muslims...that the big majority are moderate and that this is what we should focus on, no argument there about the danger of "sizeable minorities"..."

Where did I mention sizable minorities in my posting? I can't find a single mention. I did write that "it's not at all clear that it makes sense to talk about a single Muslim minority as opposed to a collection of Muslim minorities with widely disparate origins and histories, each of these populations in turn overlapping with a broader collection still of popualtions of ethnic minority and/or immigrant origin, et cetera. Too broad a scope erases too much detail."

"And regarding the birth rates, they are in fact higher than the natives by a large margin, not only because of TFR but because of age structure and import marriages."

You're not familiar with TFRs, are you? The total fertility rate is "the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime if she were to experience the exact current age-specific fertility rates (ASFRs) through her lifetime." Assuming things remain stable, then, if each Turkish woman in the Netherlands gives birth to on average 1.8 children according to this metric, they will give birth to 1.8 children total, full stop. Birth rates (x/1000 is what you're thinking of, right?) are much cruder statistics that say relatively little about the long-term dynamics of a population's development. Rapid growth now doesn't mean rapid growth indefinitely.

"You say that stronger immigration restriction will prevent a strong increase, i beg to differ. There is huge population pressure from the Middle-East and North Africa towards Europe. No way are those countries going to create enough good-paying jobs to make the young and fertile stay, and then there are massive population pressure coming from northern and muslim sub-saharan africa abit later as well."

High population pressures doesn't mean a simple mechanistic transfer of population from a high pressure zone to a low pressure zone. If it did mean that, then the near-totality of Spain's immigrants would come from Morocco. Instead, as I've said above (and a quick Googling confirms) immigrants from Morocco and the rest of North Africa make up barely more than a tenth of Spain's immigrant population. There are as many Romanians or Ecuadorians as there are Moroccans.

"Immigration from eastern europe is basically irrelevant. It is far too small and the population is declining rapdily there."

A population of nearly 150 million people between Germany, Greece, and Russia is not irrelevant, and the immigration of Romanians to Spain and Italy--1% of the Spanish
and Italian populations is Romanian--is not trivial.
"In fact, Russia will be the first country that will be majority muslim by current trends."

Oh Lord. Russia's population is going to be relatively more Muslim than now, thanks to a relatively higher fertility rate among Muslim ethnicities and immigration from Central Asia, but majority Muslim? Cite, please.

"And the native population is declining across the board in every european country, some will decline more rapdly than others you are right about that, but the trend is clear: they will see a declining graph, most probably have already begun that long sliding trend."

This, to put it mildly, is not the case.

Please take a look at Thomas Sobotka's work, summarized in Edward's previous post. Sobotka makes the point that relatively late childbearing among European women biases TFRs downwards, and that when corrected TFRs shoot up significantly.

"The last time the native population had a TFR above 2.1 was in the early 70s. .."

"And when you talk about latin american immigration, I don't think it will do much of a difference in the overal scenario."

It does when, as in the case of Spain, there are three times as many Latin American immigrants as there are Moroccans.

"The big population pressure towards europe is coming from the islamic world, not latin america."

The major population pressures towards Europe come from all over, including the Muslim world but not only the Muslim world, simply because Europe (and many of its component member states) is a global economic power with notable connections to many countries around the world. How else can the immigration of people from the Caribbean to Britain and France, or migration from Central Asia and Russia to Germany, or from Latin America to Spain and Italy, be explained?

Don't believe me? Look at Spain and Italy. These countries face from across the Mediterranean the countries that you say are poised to overwhelm them, but immigrants from North Africa form only minorities of the total immigrant populations of those countries. Ecuadorians or Romanians alone outnumber North Africans; immigrants from Latin America or eastern Europe compare nicely to the number of Noth Africans.

"You also say that as long as there is no formal laws in europe preventing marriage between religions, it is irrelevant what muslim thinks. Well, it is not, it is the completely opposite."

Actually, I didn't write that. I wrote that, compared to Israel or Lebanon, the lack of laws against intermarriage "alone puts European countries in a better position than either of those two countries."

"A muslim woman marrying a non-muslim man (especially without forcing him to convert) is basically unheard of and there's extreme pressure on such people from the muslim community. So I frankly don't see alot of integration potential among muslims and non-muslims really."

I think that you might be dealing with ideal Muslims, not actual Muslims. _All_ Muslims are like this, including Muslims long-resident in Europe or Muslims born in Europe?

"[A]s the demography shifts further, we will see more religious and ethnic tensions. I think we must be prepared for that, I don't see any development that would suggest otherwise."

As I pointed out above, there are already very very many signs which indicate that, no, Muslims are not poised to take over a single European country, that the fertility rates of Muslim women tend to converge towards the mean fertility rates of those of the countries in which they live, that the fertility rates of many European countries are as high as that of the United States, and that in any case immigrants of Muslim religion make up only a small minority of all of the immigrants to European countries. Never mind that Muslim /= conservative Muslim /= Islamist /= fundamentalist terrorist--simple-minded elisions of meaning can go badly.

In the future, even if you don't provide cites, please accurately quote and reference my words. If not, I'll be forced to delete your comments.

hoosier said...

anon, your point will stand if you can prove there is no integration of the Muslim populations in Europe. btw, are there any studies of how the Muslims who emigrated in late 50's and early 60's and their children are integrated or not?

I tend to agree with Randy that it will take quite some time for this population to overtake the native and non-Muslim populations there. None of the Western European countries has Muslim populations above 10% as of now.

Randy said...

First, what's integration? Seriously.

Again, it's worth noting that there still isn't much of a "demographic threat" from Islam, or whatever you'd want to call it. As Jasper Emmering blogged back in 2005, even if the Netherlands' immigration trends remained unchanged the proportion of Muslims in the national population would grow from 5.8% to a bit over 10% by 2050. If they remained unchanged.

The Netherlands, it's worth noting, has one of the proportionally largest Muslim populations of any European Union member states, behind perhaps only France. Countries like Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Italy, all with relatively smaller Muslim populations, are going to be safe from any Muslim takeover, whatever that could be.

georgesdelatour said...

I'm sorry to go full circle on this, Randy. But the Westoff & Frejka article you started your post with says "In England and Wales in 2006, people born in the UK had a TFR of 1.67, India 2.21 and Pakistan and Bangladesh 4.90". You omitted this particular figure from your summary of the article. I posted it, because I think withholding it gives a false picture of what's happening, especially in the UK.

I notice that when you're arguing with Anonymous, you select only the TFR of Dutch Turks - 1.8 - which is near the low extreme of Muslim fertility in western Europe - to use as evidence against him, rather than the Bangladeshi 4.9. I think your basic point - that Muslims aren't about to become 51% of Europeans any time soon - is sound. But you shouldn't conceal the existence of Muslim communities with really very high TFRs.

(One side issue. I don't think it's necessary to assume Bosnian Serbs acted as they did out of fear of being forcefully Islamized as such. Bosnian Serbs used to live in he same country as their fellow Serbs - Yugoslavia. Bosnian Serbs wanted to carry on living in the same country as their fellow Serbs without having to pack their bags and move house. Making a real success of Bosnian independence meant persuading Bosnian Serbs to regard Serbian Serbs as "people from a far away country of which we know nothing". That was never going to happen without a fight. NONE of this justifies Bosnian Serb war crimes. But we don't need Islamophobia to explain what happened.)

Randy said...

Georges:

"I notice that when you're arguing with Anonymous, you select only the TFR of Dutch Turks - 1.8 - which is near the low extreme of Muslim fertility in western Europe - to use as evidence against him, rather than the Bangladeshi 4.9. I think your basic point - that Muslims aren't about to become 51% of Europeans any time soon - is sound. But you shouldn't conceal the existence of Muslim communities with really very high TFRs."

That wasn't my intent. I hadn't included that figure because the figures for the United Kingdom really stand out as anomalies--German Turkish women have a TFR of 1.9, Croatian Muslims one of 1.8, Albanian women in the Republic of Albania one of 1.8, et cetera. Some of these populations might have high TFR subpopulations, but that isn't readily visible in the statistics.

The war in the former Yugoslavia was motivated by secular nationalisms on various sides, but various episodes--the atrocities inflicted on the Muslim citizens of Foca in 1992, and the delegitimizing of the presence of Albanian Muslims in Kosovo over the 1990s--do speak strongly about an Islamophobia linked to these populations' delayed demographic transition relative to that of Serbs.

Hoosier said...

integration is he process by which immigrants become part of the socio-economic fabric and adopt some or most of the values of the host country. I believe this process is absolutely indispensable for the success of the whole process. without it both the immigrant and the native population would be frustated and this is where the tensions start.

immigration is a process that affects both the immigrants ( who change their lives and way of thinking) and the native populations. both should be ready to make changes to accomodate the other, sure the immigant shuld be the ones to do more on this regard.

if this integration process fails you've got angry unemployed men setting cars on fire and vandalising properties ( be them immigrants or frustated natives who think their problems are due to the immigrants). in the case of Muslims immigrants in Europe if in time they ( or their children)show they are economically, socially and culturally atuned to the host country there should be no concern about their number.

Randy said...

hoosier:

"integration is he process by which immigrants become part of the socio-economic fabric and adopt some or most of the values of the host country."

Which values? I can't think of a single country of any size that's homogeneous--certainly until recently, the Netherlands included ultraliberal agnostics alongside conservative Christians who denied women membership in their political parties. In this sort of spectrum, there's plenty of room for conservative Muslims.

If we're talking about basic socioeconomic integration, I'm inclined to place more responsibility on the receiving countries. If their labour markets have such high entry criteria as to limit new entrants, like the young and immigrant populations, then the new entrants can't be blamed for it.

"in the case of Muslims immigrants in Europe if in time they ( or their children)show they are economically, socially and culturally atuned to the host country there should be no concern about their number."

How can all Muslims be held responsible for the actions of a minority? That sets the bar impossibly high.

hoosier said...

sure is debatable what constitutes "britishness" or "dutchiness", and sure neither is a homogenous entity but each of the European nations do have their own particularities and all of them share increasingly an European common culture.

the parties that object to immigrants in general and to Muslim immigrants in particular they do it on the ground of being unconfortable with that "otherness". it is a problem but it can be worked out.

the wider this national and European cultural identity is the easier it is to accept (and even adopt some) the cultural particularities of their immigrant populations.

cultural osmosis and forging of different cultural identities has been going on through the history anyhow - the celtic brits were romanised, then they received the anglo-saxon and viking, then the francophone normand came on top and so on. truth is most of these events have been done most of the time through the use of force.

in the case of Muslim in Europe some people are just concerned that they don't and will not assimilate. so one who wants to allay these concerns should prove that there is integration going on at a reasonable pace both economically and culturally.

Anonymous said...

uh-oh, when you were writing this blog post a bunch of "youths" set your car aflame!

Alex said...

Randy lives in Prince Edward Island, Canada.

georgesdelatour said...

Most discussions of "Britishness" get sidetracked into the frivolous. It really doesn't matter if you prefer sushi to fish'n'chips, or Asahi to Tetley bitter. I was born in the UK, and I hate soccer, hate most native "English" cuisine, love Indian classical music, prefer Grime to Britpop etc. It's issues like polygamy, murder of apostates, sharia law where the argument is worth having, and where compromise isn't finally possible, however nice and inclusive we may want to be.

Different countries are trying different integration approaches. So eventually we should observe different results. I think certain mistaken policies encourage immigrants to define themselves primarily as Muslims, rather than as Pakistanis, Moroccans etc, and I'd like to see these scrapped. Trevor Phillips is mostly right about this.

I would like the UK to adopt a more severely secularist approach to sectarian faith schools, blasphemy laws etc. Female students should not wear hijabs to school until they're old enough to vote. I don't believe there are Muslim children, any more than there are Tory children or New Labour children. There are children of Muslim parents, that's all. If you're too young to choose the government, you're too young to parade your affiliation to a religious ideology around school.

I think a previous poster hinted at intermarriage as the ultimate yardstick of integration. I agree Ultimately, integration happens in the bedroom or not at all. Bring on the coffee-coloured future.

Randy said...

hoosier:

"in the case of Muslim in Europe some people are just concerned that they don't and will not assimilate. so one who wants to allay these concerns should prove that there is integration going on at a reasonable pace both economically and culturally."

The problem is severalfold: I don't have the statistics at hand, I suspect that the statistics might well reveal a relatively persistent gap, and I fear that for some people the statistics wouldn't matter.

The ultimate problem is that identities are increasingly in flux. If "ethnically correct" people don't know what their country and its norms are, how much more difficult would it be for immigrants and/or the marginalized to come up with the answer?

I live in Toronto, Ontario, now. It might be of some interest to note that although Ontario has been having its own series of communal issues (sharia law in arbitration, public funding for religious schools, Africentric education for African-Canadian children). These controversies have led me to believe that some sort of equally enforced laicism might well be the best option, but getting there is going to be a challenge.

Anonymous said...

Wait a second ...

Why should England, Germany, Spain, France or any of Europe be transformed into "Brazil"?

It's a bloody shame what happened to the American Indians, the indigenous people's of North America due to massive foreign immigration. So are we to do the same to the indigneous European people's to keep the economy humming along?

A less populated Europe reduces pollutions, increases wages, reduces traffic and congestion, and resource demands, etc.

Italy didn't start out with millions of people, it grew from tribes to tens of thousands of people to hundreds of thousands to millions.

So why should the Italian people give their country their art, their culture, their unique way of life to someone else?

Why should Italy's demographics be transformed into something like 55% Italian, 3% Nigerian, 9% Algerian, 4% Syrian, 4% Chinese, 9%Iraqi, 8% Turks, 8% other Europen?

Anonymous said...

We all look back at colonization as an EVIL. And yet it helped those countries many ways with offering jobs, clean water, medicine, etc.

So why should Europe be colonized by the developing world? Why should the French, who fought wars with England and fought 2 world wars to be free of German occupation ... surrender to colonization from foreign cultures that will in due time own much of France?

Randy said...

"It's a bloody shame what happened to the American Indians, the indigenous people's of North America due to massive foreign immigration. So are we to do the same to the indigneous European people's to keep the economy humming along?"

There are plans to infect Europeans with diseases that their immune systems can't handle, ultimately killing 95% of the European population and preparing the way for the conquest and repopulation of their continent by technologically superior foreign migrants? That's monstrous.

"So why should Europe be colonized by the developing world?"

Hold on. Colonization is a process whereby state power is used to establish sovereign territories outside of the state's borders, driven by private or public interests.

Are you seriously suggesting that Algerian migration to France, or Ecuadorian migration to Spain, or Chinese migration to Canada, or Paraguayan migration to Argentina, etc., all represent attempts by the governments of the migrant-sending countries to establish some sort of hegemony over the migrant-receiving country? Besides being wrong, that's amusing; with the exception of relatively powerful states like China or India, migrant-sending countries tend to be relatively poorer and less technologically advanced countries which produce migrants because there simply isn't enough opportunity at home.

Randy said...

One final note.

"A less populated Europe reduces pollutions, increases wages, reduces traffic and congestion, and resource demands, etc."

Since you were talking about Italy a lot in your post, I'll talk about it here. An Italian population policy aimed at helping the population fall to 50 million by 2050 is just as legitimate, in my mind, as one that wants to push the country to 70 million. Policy-makers in particular and Italians as a whole simply should know about the costs and consequences of either policy.

As it happens, the combination of slow to negative labour force growth combined with relatively low levels of productivity is doing bad things for the Italian economy. Things are different across the Mediterranean in Spain, where heavy levels of immigration have helped produce a major economic boom and a cultural renaissance despite some similarities in the two countries' economic structures. The Spanish seem happier than the Italians with their lot, at least for the time being.

"Italy didn't start out with millions of people, it grew from tribes to tens of thousands of people to hundreds of thousands to millions."

Most societies do, yes.

"So why should the Italian people give their country their art, their culture, their unique way of life to someone else?"

Out with tourists?

As for Italy, there have already been so many radical mutations in Italian identity--what has happened and is happening to the dialects/regional languages of Italy?--that I'm unconvinced that immigration will bring about many more substantial changes. Having some people of Chinese, Romanian, and Albanian descent in Milan who speak Italian as their first language seems a less significant change to me than a Milan where standard Italian is the dominant language and Lombard a rural patois at best.

Anonymous said...

To Randy:

No matter how you look at it, a "Demographic Takeover" of many of these European countries is in progress. These foreign immigrants are setting up "colonies". As those immigrants grow in number they'll begin to work to gain political power and their politics will be geared towards the interest of that ethnic group, not necessarily for Italy. Plus that ethnic group will be lobbied by their homeland to represent those interests as well.

So why is it good for Germany to suddenly be a significant percentage of Turkish and have the Turkish President coming there to push his agenda on the German government? (Which recently happened.)

Why is it good for Muslim youth in Sweden and Germany to run around taunting the natives that the natives will be minorities, ruled over by Muslims by the turn of the century?

The same situation happens in the US. Latin American presidents, especially Mexico are constantly nagging US congress people to pass legislation and policies favorable to their immigrants and country.

The Pakistani's and Indians are doing the same thing in England to the English government!

So yes it is a form of colonization!

Anonymous said...

To create an Italy that resembles America or Brazil is robbing the Italian people of their country and their identity. And it is flat out EVIL.

I'm sure if someone led the charge to "diversify" the American Indian reservations with Nigerians, Swedes, Indonesians, Japanese, Haitians, etc." you'd probably lead the charge against such an idea. So why should the Europeans be robbed of their countries?

Why should Europeans sacrifice their homelands so CEO's can line their pockets with more cash?

Anonymous said...

So Randy ...

Would adding some Swedes, Nigerians, Haitians, Japanese, Mongolians, Indonesians to the Navajo reservations be good for that reservation? It wouldn't hur them to bad would it - as long as those immigrants spoke Navajo right?

Randy said...

Ethnic lobbies do not equate to colonization. Did the Irish and the Jews colonize the United States? Did the Italians and the Basques colonize Argentina?

"Why is it good for Muslim youth in Sweden and Germany to run around taunting the natives that the natives will be minorities, ruled over by Muslims by the turn of the century?"

1. Is this actually happening?

2. If it is, how many are doing this?

"I'm sure if someone led the charge to "diversify" the American Indian reservations with Nigerians, Swedes, Indonesians, Japanese, Haitians, etc." you'd probably lead the charge against such an idea."

Colonization /= immigration. Did I invade Ontario when I moved from Prince Edward Island to this province, lacking even a land border with the province of my birth?

"To create an Italy that resembles America or Brazil is robbing the Italian people of their country and their identity. And it is flat out EVIL."

Who's saying that they have to? If Italians decide that they want a restrictive immigration policy, well, that's there choice. They should also understand that there will be serious consequences for their standard of living.

In conclusion, please stop ranting. If you want to conduct an intelligent debate, without hysteria and without multiple posts and without all caps, you're welcome to. If not, I'll unfortunately be forced to start deleting your posts.

georgesdelatour said...

Randy

I don't think I would choose the US ethnic lobbying in foreign policy as something to love wholeheartedly. Doesn't it distort America's relationship with the world? For instance:

Most of the deaths in the UK from terrorism were paid for by Americans. British governments tried to persuade American governments to clamp down on the terror fundraising. Instead, Britain's own Bin Laden - Gerry Adams - was an honored guest in America. This attitude only changed with 9/11.

I don't want to discuss Israel-Palestine here. Suffice it to say, there is a perception in the middle east that the USA will never act to restrain or censure Israel no matter what it does. This perception is a major engine of Arab / Muslim dislike of the USA, and arguably harms America's interests, more broadly defined.

Is immigration causing European countries to distort their foreign policies in similar ways? I cannot find any record of this now, but I seem to remember research before the 1997 UK general election. Which issues mattered most to British Pakistanis? Health, education, crime? The survey found that Kashmir easily came top of the list. Candidates know they must say they support Kashmiri independence if they want to ingratiate themselves with voters in these constituencies. Yet India is a massively important nation, which invests a lot of money in the UK, and which is arguably a natural ally of the UK. So there is a big potential conflict there.

Since Oona King's defeat in the 2005 UK general election, all three political parties are now wary of putting up Jewish or partly Jewish candidates in constituencies with large Muslim communities. King lost partly because she was loyal to the Blair foreign policy on Iraq. But there is also clear evidence of the Respect party using racism to drum up support for their candidate. And it seems to have worked.

Anonymous raised the issue of Merkel - Erdogan and Germany's Turks. But I think you have to put this in context. Charles De Gaulle went to Montreal and urged French Canadians to rise up and overthrow the government of Canada. In terms of criminal irresponsibility and disregard for diplomatic protocol, no one is likely to overtake the General any time soon.

Marc said...

Randy,

I don't think you are responding to anonymous' main point. What is happening in Europe is not colonialism in the sense that we are used to hearing the word, but it is, over the long haul, ethnic destruction and replacement, and the fact that it has happened quite a few times throughout history doesn't mean it is moral or should be encouraged. If people are justified in going to war to preserve their future as a people, they are certainly justified in passing restrictive immigration policies to the same end.

I would add to anonymous' post that there are well-documented differences in cognitive ability found between different human subpopulations, and that the theory that these are entirely due to environmental influences, while politically correct, simply doesn't ring true for a lot of people. Personally, the more I have studied the issue, the less likely it seems to me that the robust IQ gaps repeatedly found among various human sub-populations are entirely environmental in origin. I would prefer that they WERE entirely environmental in origin, but that isn't what the evidence I have seen suggests.

Given that national IQ scores have been shown to correlate with national wealth, and that IQ is highly hereditary, how is it a good idea in the long run for any nation to promote the large-scale immigration of people from groups that do poorly on tests of cognitive ability?

Randy said...

"I don't think you are responding to anonymous' main point. What is happening in Europe is not colonialism in the sense that we are used to hearing the word, but it is, over the long haul, ethnic destruction and replacement, and the fact that it has happened quite a few times throughout history doesn't mean it is moral or should be encouraged."

"Ethnic destruction and replacement"? How, pray tell, does migration act to destroy--not just alter, but _destroy_--and replace populations? Did I, by moving to Ontario four years ago, help destroy the Ontarian population?

"If people are justified in going to war to preserve their future as a people, they are certainly justified in passing restrictive immigration policies to the same end."

If people can convince their national governments to pass restrictive immigration legislation because they want to retain their country's imagined and/or experienced ethnic homogeneity, that's within their rights. These people should also be prepared to offer viable solutions to the resulting shortages of skilled and unskilled labour that will greatly hinder economic growth.

"I would add to anonymous' post that there are well-documented differences in cognitive ability found between different human subpopulations, and that the theory that these are entirely due to environmental influences, while politically correct, simply doesn't ring true for a lot of people."

This is unfortunate, especially since the correlation of poverty and discrimination with low IQ scores seems to be well-established, as is the growth in IQ over time in high-income societies, perhaps thanks to improved educational and nutritional standards for all.

Randy said...

georgesdelatour:

I agree with you that ethnic lobbies can have a strongly negative impact, but I'd suggest that they can do so only to the extent that the population at large is willing to support them, or at least look the other way. Perhaps because of the appeal of a soft of pleasantly unfocused Irish-American romantic nationalism to the American population at large, the United States government did relatively little to prevent IRA funding, while the United States' support for Israel owes at least as much to Christian Zionism and hard-eyed conservates as to any Jewish lobby. Conversely, the relative lack of success of Arab lobbies would appear to be predicted by, among other things, world events.

These lobbies can achieve local success, but more than that ... If the policies favoured by one-tenth of a country's population provoke outright opposition among the nine-tenths remaining, it could be inadvertantly self-destructive.

"Anonymous raised the issue of Merkel - Erdogan and Germany's Turks. But I think you have to put this in context. Charles De Gaulle went to Montreal and urged French Canadians to rise up and overthrow the government of Canada. In terms of criminal irresponsibility and disregard for diplomatic protocol, no one is likely to overtake the General any time soon."

Most definitely. At the same time, there's always going to be quite a lot of overlap between sovereign nations and their different electorates--"O Canada" was written in New England by a French Canadian migrant. Barring some sort of serious threat, I really can't imagine many reasons to ban or limit this, for the simple reason that even without voting rights all sort of cross-border participation in politics is possible. Has my movement to Ontario deprived me of any right to comment on what's going on with Prince Edward Island? For that matter, does the fact that I'm a Canadian mean that I've no right to write about things American or European?

Anonymous said...

I'm a female, 38, mom of 4. High School Education only. I enjoy reading your posts, but I can't write in the complex-multi-sylible manner that you do. How ever, you may be able to practice your "tolerance" and listen to my common sense in laymans terms (I do have my doubts seeing as how you were not very tolerant of one post that capitalized a word.)

You keep referring to America and Canada as examples. They are unique "melting pots" not for Europe to be compared to or followed.

I've noticed that a lot is said such as "in my studies" or "I have researched extensivly" these are thrown around to intimidate and munipulate points.
So does my sitting in front of a 20/20 and watching about the Danes being the most content people in the world count as research?

One of the main things that made Danes happy was a sense of community, and identifying with one another. It's part of our psychie's make up as humans. This point was proven on this very site when it was threatened to deleate someone who posted things in a manner that wasn't like yours. He was differant you didn't like it.

We are suppose to be differant from each other, individually and culturally. And just like there are some glowing individuals, and currupt individuals so it is the same as cultures. People make a vision of what to be, cultures do the same.

Lastly, cultures are forever changing, but that is what makes them so prescious. They should be preserved, guarded, even revered.

Please, if anyone can translate this into university speak I would be grateful.

Randy said...

You keep referring to America and Canada as examples. They are unique "melting pots" not for Europe to be compared to or followed.

America is unique in the scale, but I'd also argue that the Canadian experience bears more similarities. Until the 1960s, the Canadian population was overwhelmingly of British and French background, with other ethnic communities represented mainly in urban areas. On the other side of the Atlantic, France is a pretty good example of a melting pot.

"I've noticed that a lot is said such as "in my studies" or "I have researched extensivly" these are thrown around to intimidate and munipulate points."

Intimidate? I'm providing evidence gathered by various agencies, including national statistical institutes. If I'm using bad data, or if I'm misinterpreting the data, I really would like to be informed of this. I really don't see how providing information can be seen as intimidating.

"One of the main things that made Danes happy was a sense of community, and identifying with one another. It's part of our psychie's make up as humans. This point was proven on this very site when it was threatened to deleate someone who posted things in a manner that wasn't like yours. He was differant you didn't like it."

I happily converse with people who are willing to make points clearly and calmly, discussing their background assumptions--especially when they make some fairly surprising claims (immigration as colonization?). If people continue to harp on one thing repeatedly, even though it has been addressed, is dialogue even possible?

"Lastly, cultures are forever changing, but that is what makes them so prescious. They should be preserved, guarded, even revered."

Certainly. How are they to be preserved while being made to change?

Colin Reid said...

I must say, I don't like this conservationist school of culture, like it's some natural ecosystem built up slowly over millions of years that needs to be protected from humanity (or some subset thereof) - it's a patronising way of putting people into faux-'species'. I don't care if my distant descendants share a sense of Britishness or what have you, because it's none of my business what they believe or how they think. I want future humans to live fulfilling lives, but I have no reason to think they'd be happier if they followed some version of my own peculiar mores.

If we're going to look at present-day Europeans preserving their own culture and identity individually and among social groups, of course they have a right to do this (assuming it is voluntary). But I see no risk of them losing culture in their own lifetimes, except the cultural aspects they abandon of their own free choice. It's not like an adult Italian speaker is going to suddenly forget how to speak Italian, for instance, or feel compelled to stop drinking espresso simply because Nigerians prefer different hot drinks. After all, it's not like the immigrants are massacring existing Italians. Deracination is slightly more of a hazard for the immigrants themselves, but that's a choice they make when migrating. We also shouldn't forget that culture is fundamentally a state of mind rather than a material condition. Being able to look out your window and see mostly white faces (or in Enoch Powell's example, rent rooms in your B&B only to white people) isn't culture; it may be part of your culture to *prefer* such an environment, but I don't think the loss of such a preference would be something to mourn.

If someone can make a convincing argument that 'melting pot' cultures are objectively inferior to the individual 'ingredients', or that we are inherently wiser than those who will follow us, then that's an argument for safeguarding culture and for preventing too much mixing between different cultural groups. But otherwise, it's just a futile exercise in trying to impose the whims of the dead on the minds of the living. Who are we to ban our grandchildren from cooking 'foreign' food or wearing 'foreign' clothes? And if anything, Europe suffers too much already from the persistence of semi-mythical 'cultural' grievances, supposedly dating back centuries, which are treated as both factual and current simply because our ancestors believed them as well.

Anonymous said...

I think first and foremost, what Europeans are trying to preserve is the respect and equality of women. That's the number one concern IMO. I haven't heard anybody say that it is the cuisine that causes the most culture clash. Multiculturalists think of foreign cultures too much as just "just like us, just different food and some different clothes, why would that be a problem?" But the main cultural difference is the treatment of women and sexuality in general. People who say that they don't care much about their own culture or that ask what their own culture really is, are usually the ones that haven't seen and experienced the rest of the world. It is when you go abroad and live with other people with a different culture, that you become more aware of your own culture and identity as a Brit/Dutch/French etc.

Anonymous said...

Extension to the comment above: I think the treatment of women is the main reason why muslims are so poorly integrated in Europe relative to other immigrant groups. If muslims allowed the women to be free, then muslims would have:

1. A much higher labor force participation rate. When both men and women work, they are far less likely to be relatively poor

2. Lower birth rates, fewer mouths to feed, which would also make them less likely to be poor.

3. They would also intermarry with locals much more frequently when the women get freedom to choose.

I also think one of the main reason why there is so much extremism and fundamentalism in the middle east is because of the extreme segregation between the sexes which builds up alot of sexual frustration among the young men. The more gender apartheid, the more extremism. And muslim countries are in a class of their own in this respect. Sure other non-western, non-muslim countries are far from perfect in their treatment of women either, but they are still given much more freedom in general than what is the case in the islamic cultural sphere when everything revolves around the control of the woman/daughter/wife/sister.

Bond investor said...

Randy and Edward:

This post and conversation is very interesting. Keep up the good work!

I read abstracts of Sobotka's work as suggested. I've read all of "America Alone" by Steyn. I agree (and I think even Steyn agrees) that not all Muslims are highly religious, and not all highly religious Muslims are terrorists.

However, demography is the study of trends in important minorities and in majorities. The rapid (by demographic standards) development of a population cohort with very different cultural, political and religious norms is a big challenge for Europe.

In particular, while Sobotka adjusts for biases in TFR coming from older mothers, I think Randy and Edward are wrong to link that to their conclusion that significantly higher Muslim TFRs won't drive public policy. Democracy is about "one person, one vote," and it's also about "the squeaky wheel gets the grease." Louder and more numerous voices are sure to get concessions to their points of view.

And what of these cultural problems? Here Steyn cites plenty of examples: polling data on the acceptability of sharia. Anecdotal evidence (since we thankfully don't have a statistically significant sample size for terrorist acts) that Muslims in Western countries are *more* radical than in traditionally Muslim countries. Cultural and economic ghettos for these minorities.

The Archbishop of Canterbury's recent remarks about the inevitability of sharia being incorporated in some way into British legal structures is further evidence of attitudes, though certainly not fact.

Steyn's point is that the "cultural divide" is about the bedrock of free, democratic, pluralistic societies. Radical Islam is unfree, authoritarian, and intolerant. What's worse, those attitudes seem to be exacerbated, not moderated, among radical Muslims in Western countries.

So Romney probably did get a little florid in his rhetoric, but I think he hit the nail on the head in pointing to demography as a major source of the future challenges facing Europe.

Marc said...

Randy said:

"I happily converse with people who are willing to make points clearly and calmly, discussing their background assumptions--especially when they make some fairly surprising claims (immigration as colonization?). If people continue to harp on one thing repeatedly, even though it has been addressed, is dialogue even possible?"

I am curious as to how dialogue is even possible when you, or whoever runs this blog, deletes comments in which one lays out, quite clearly and calmly, evidence against your own presumptions.

I am referring here to my second post, which respectfully presented evidence against your faith-based belief that 50,000 years of divergent evolution have resulted in human population groups across the world turning out exactly the same, on average, in cognitive ability.

There is plenty of scientific evidence against this belief, and the more we understand the human genome, the more evidence is accumulating. Such evidence is extremely relevant to any debate on immigration, demographics, and economic growth, and for this reason I would love to present it. But why bother go through the trouble of quoting and citing sources? You'll just delete my post. Again.

Which is certainly your perogative. But it stands in contrast, certainly, with your image of yourself as someone who enjoys a polite and well-intentioned exchange of ideas.

Marc said...

"If someone can make a convincing argument that 'melting pot' cultures are objectively inferior to the individual 'ingredients', or that we are inherently wiser than those who will follow us, then that's an argument for safeguarding culture and for preventing too much mixing between different cultural groups."

Well, diverse societies certainly have lower levels of trust than do homogenous societies:

A bleak picture of the corrosive effects of ethnic diversity has been revealed in research by Harvard University’s Robert Putnam, one of the world’s most influential political scientists.

His research shows that the more diverse a community is, the less likely its inhabitants are to trust anyone – from their next-door neighbour to the mayor...

...The core message of the research was that, “in the presence of diversity, we hunker down”, he said. “We act like turtles. The effect of diversity is worse than had been imagined. And it’s not just that we don’t trust people who are not like us. In diverse communities, we don’t trust people who do look like us."

...When the data were adjusted for class, income and other factors, they showed that the more people of different races lived in the same community, the greater the loss of trust. “They don’t trust the local mayor, they don’t trust the local paper, they don’t trust other people and they don’t trust institutions,” said Prof Putnam. “The only thing there’s more of is protest marches and TV watching.”'


http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c4ac4a74-570f-11db-9110-0000779e2340.html?nclick_check=1

Randy said...

Marc:

"There is plenty of scientific evidence against this belief, and the more we understand the human genome, the more evidence is accumulating. Such evidence is extremely relevant to any debate on immigration, demographics, and economic growth, and for this reason I would love to present it. But why bother go through the trouble of quoting and citing sources? You'll just delete my post. Again."

I deleted that post on the grounds that, besides being potential flamebait, the question of the innate intelligence of different human populations really isn't germane to the discussion at hand.

Are we concerned about the possibility of low-IQ immigrants entering Europe? OK. Let's say that European states adopt a points system for immigration on the Canadian model, preferentially selecting for educated immigrants fluent in at least one major European language and their immediate families.

With that one change--their cultures of origin would remain the same--would opinions on immigrants in Europe change, or not?

Moreover, Putnam makes different points apart from "diversity is bad." The Guardian optimistically and City Journal pessimistically playing up Putnam's thinking on how to generate social capital and constructing new concepts of national community.

Diversity isn't just a west/east issue, of course. Of particular note to us, from The Financial Times article, is the below paragraph.

"Prof Putnam found trust was lowest in Los Angeles, “the most diverse human habitation in human history”, but his findings also held for rural South Dakota, where “diversity means inviting Swedes to a Norwegians’ picnic”."

Randy said...

"However, demography is the study of trends in important minorities and in majorities. The rapid (by demographic standards) development of a population cohort with very different cultural, political and religious norms is a big challenge for Europe."

It poses issues, yes. It doesn't pose existential issues.

"In particular, while Sobotka adjusts for biases in TFR coming from older mothers[.]"

It's worth noting--again--that, in Europe, the national populations with the highest cohort fertility rates tend to be northern and western European ones, where secularization is most advanced. More religious and conservative societies elsewhere in Europe fare relatively poorly. Romney's attempted correlation between religious practice and high fertility doesn't seem to exist.

"I think Randy and Edward are wrong to link that to their conclusion that significantly higher Muslim TFRs won't drive public policy. Democracy is about "one person, one vote," and it's also about "the squeaky wheel gets the grease." Louder and more numerous voices are sure to get concessions to their points of view."

They're sure to get concessions? How many and of what kind?

This wouldn't be an accurate representation of the situation in France, Germany, and the Netherlands, where relatively large Muslim populations haven't managed to change national policy-making in regards to religious dress, immigration policy, or foreign policy. So far, the evidence seems to be that Europe's Muslim electorates haven't had all that much influence on that sort of policymaking, partly because of fear of Muslims in general, partly because of the relative unpopularity of many of their causes. The people have their say and democracy wins?

Out of curiosity, what's necessarily wrong with the idea of Muslim voters influencing polycmaking in a democratic environment? The European Union's decision to (say) support a Saudi Arabian peace initiative seems no more threatening of European identity to me than EU support of a Chinese GPS system.

"Anecdotal evidence (since we thankfully don't have a statistically significant sample size for terrorist acts) that Muslims in Western countries are *more* radical than in traditionally Muslim countries."

Anecdotal? Steyn quoting the random cleric or taaxi-driver who talks about the imminent victorry of Islam and generalizing from that anecdote might be good rhetoric but isn't good research.

"Cultural and economic ghettos for these minorities."

... will, among other things, limit their influence on wider society.

"The Archbishop of Canterbury's recent remarks about the inevitability of sharia being incorporated in some way into British legal structures is further evidence of attitudes, though certainly not fact."

Besides noting how quickly it was shot down throughout Britain and the Anglican Communion, it's worth noting that the Archbishop was working from an explicitly Christian perspective, arguing about the need to anchor all forms of faith securely in public life--Muslims and Jews would have access to shari'a law for personal and financial services, Christian churches could establish public agencies (adoption, say) which could discriminate against prospective clients on theological grounds, and so on. It failed, badly, and may have done more to further the separation of the Anglican Church from the British state than anything else in British public life.

"Steyn's point is that the "cultural divide" is about the bedrock of free, democratic, pluralistic societies."

His point is that it's confusing to readers for an author to have a split mind. How can he seriously push for the extension of women's rights in Muslim countries while berating feminists in the West?

"Radical Islam is unfree, authoritarian, and intolerant."

And some of the suggested solutions are just as bad.

In the thirty years before the meltdown, Bosnian Serbs had declined from 43 percent to 31 percent of the population, while Bosnian Muslims had increased from 26 percent to 44 percent. In a democratic age, you can't buck demography -- except through civil war. The Serbs figured that out -- as other Continentals will in the years ahead: if you can't outbreed the enemy, cull 'em. The problem that Europe faces is that Bosnia's demographic profile is now the model for the entire continent.

Leaving aside his non-analysis of the war in Yugoslavia and his consistently innumerate evaluation of ethnodemographics (Muslims do not constitute anything like 26% of the population of "Europe," and aren't likely to do so unless the European Union expands to Turkey and all of North Africa including Egypt), what's interesting with Steyn is the way that he associates the mere presence of Muslims with the inescapable corruption of the society they live in. Radical Islam wasn't a problem; Bosnian Muslims were as secularized as Orthodox Serbs or Roman Catholic Croats.

Sadly, it's the first of these groups in particular that started to wage war against Bosnian Muslims on the grounds that their religious identity threatened their security. The irony that the Bosnian Serbs were supported by the Serbian Orthodox Church in their holy war seems to have gone unnoticed.

We need more facts. Sadly, Steyn doesn't seem to provide them.

Anonymous said...

I take it that since no one is answering my posts, no.56 and 57 that they agree with me?

hoosier said...

" I also think one of the main reason why there is so much extremism and fundamentalism in the middle east is because of the extreme segregation between the sexes which builds up alot of sexual frustration among the young men. The more gender apartheid, the more extremism. And muslim countries are in a class of their own in this respect. Sure other non-western, non-muslim countries are far from perfect in their treatment of women either, but they are still given much more freedom in general than what is the case in the islamic cultural sphere when everything revolves around the control of the woman/daughter/wife/sister."

I agree that the traditional attitude toward women in Muslim societies is a sore point. And it is one where the secular Western European values have to be upheld. However, I need to make the point hat their attitude is not much different than the attitude toward women in Victorian England or it has been until 1940's in Eastern Europe villages ( I may agree that we are talking of somewhat lesser degrees of gender discrimation/domination but overall the attitude was patriarchal).

sexual frustration may be an impetus for restlessness for young men. But is only a small part of it. Large numbers of young unemployed poorly educated men are a big problem in all societies that face with this issue. no question they are a rowdy and rebelious bunch. they stood behind french revolution, behind bolshevic revolution and behind anumber of other social upheavals throughout the world. if one looks at American poor neighbourhoods, or Haiti, or Brazil's favellas or Africa's slums can easily discern that is not a religious, cultural or a sexual matter. but a social and economic matter. young men need jobs/careers and wives and then ( as a group) they are the core of the economic engine.

hoosier said...

"There is plenty of scientific evidence against this belief, and the more we understand the human genome, the more evidence is accumulating. Such evidence is extremely relevant to any debate on immigration, demographics, and economic growth, and for this reason I would love to present it."

You are right in your presentation of the fact. however one has to look at these IQ averages very carefully. It may be that the IQ of average algerian or turk villager is below that of the average Brit or Dutch. however, you're looking at a large spread. very likely a significant percentage ( maybe even 20-25%)of these Algerians and Turks are above your average European national that had a whole different set of nutritional, medical and educational opportunities. and I'm not sure there are any comparisons between lets say the IQ of the children with both educated parents that live in Cairo vs the ones that live in London or Oslo, have been done.

also, keep in mind that genetic differences between Caucasians ( be them Persian, Punjabi or Germanic are very small) while culturally and historically they are very different.

beware of the danger of racism... the natural variation within a kinship is likely a lot larger than the variation between different kinships. plainly put one won't have a hard time to get a lot of smart Semitic Arabs and a lot of dumb Arian Germans.

hoosier said...

"No matter how you look at it, a "Demographic Takeover" of many of these European countries is in progress. These foreign immigrants are setting up "colonies". As those immigrants grow in number they'll begin to work to gain political power and their politics will be geared towards the interest of that ethnic group, not necessarily for Italy. Plus that ethnic group will be lobbied by their homeland to represent those interests as well."

the takeover would happen only if the immigrants don't assume the body of the actual majorities. i.e. if they don't integrate. as I told before this the crucial point of the matter, and it should start at the economic level then work it's way up to the social and cultural levels.

what you expressing is plain old xenophobia, and fear of some people you don't know and you can't try to understand. frankly, there is no way of saving those cherished European values other than adopting this openness towards immigrants, and yes this American view.

I am East-European and an immigrant myself but I come to stand firmly to the principle that says "all men are created equal". sure the Europens have their absolute right to decide their countries policies. including immigration.

on one hand they can close their borders, scrape off the 50 years of integration and go each on their own. but they will run a substantial risk of descending into stagnation, lose their importance and significance in the world and in the end jeopardize these core values they stand ( or at least they used to stand for).

on the other hand they can keep open to the world, accept globalization, and use their economic, technological and administrative advantages they have worked hard the last 4-5 centuries to achieve.

this whole thing needs in order to succeed the commitment from both parties. the host country should offer the immigrants the opportunities they need to succeed and the accomodation for their own identity and pride as human beings. an immigrant that will be economically successfull, respected socially for his own value and acknowledged culturally by the larger community will become a good citizen and will adopt the core values of his ( and more importantly his children's country). in reciprocity the immigrants should accept the rules and respect the history and core values of the adopting country. even if his own he will never be neither fully integrated in the adopting country nor, after 10-15-20 years of living outside his own country, fully identified with his mother country.

the whole problem arises when the immigrant communities isolate within their adoption country, and the communication and mutual respect is broken, this is where the work should be done.

Randy said...

All I'll say about the IQ/immigration link is that it has dubious origins and tends to be used to make judgements of dubious good sense.

As for assimilation/integration, I thought that the big problem debate was identified fairly neatly by Doug Saunders wrote in The Globe and Mail of Toronto.

There is probably no trickier word in modern politics than "integration." In political campaigns and casual conversations, it sounds like the most obvious thing: People come here from somewhere else, and they ought to fit in. Maybe we should help them do so. Maybe we should make them. But they should integrate.

But, as the Spanish have discovered and Canadians are constantly discovering, this is not such a simple concept. Some people mean "assimilate" - - become identical to a native - - which isn't the same. The Paris kids who rioted in 2005 were fully assimilated Frenchmen, but they weren't integrated. They weren't part of the economy, or accepted by the society.

"I'm happy to sign an integration contract, because we immigrants want nothing more than to be accepted, and that's what integration means, doesn't it," Kamal Rahmouni of the Association of Moroccan Immigrants in Spain asked me. "But we say, Mr Rajoy, what do you mean by integrating? Which customs, which habits? Are they Andalusian ones or Catalan ones or Basque ones? Do they mean eating a Spanish tortilla, sleeping a siesta? I have no idea."

Spain itself is in the midst of great social change - - it's giving up the siesta, abandoning the old macho culture and embracing sexual minorities, changing its diet, accepting its multiple languages. How do you integrate people into a "culture" that is itself changing and various? Don't we need to integrate some of the immigrants' culture as much as they need ours? That's Spain's big question, and it's ours, too.


Achieving the balance is the key. Good luck to whichever countries can manage it.

hoosier said...

change happens even within ethnicaly homogeneous societies. economic development changes culture, technology changes culture, generational differences play a huge role... that theoretically should make this integration process easier. in an ever changing landscape the odd bush or bird can go little noticed.

about the question the Morrocan raised there is an easy answer... Its not that much the siestas or the tortillas (for that matter Spanish and Moroccan couisines are already somewhat integrated, isn't it?). It's about secularism, it's about not blowing oneself up in the train cars or in the apartment next door, its about respecting your neighbour, it's about understanding some of Cervantes, Dali or Garcia Lorca... simply because somebody has troble defining the uniqueness of an culture does not mean that there is no such a thing as national cultural identity. and of course does not mean that the newcomers can not build their own subidentity that is not at odds with or isolated from the one that is already existing in that country.

Anonymous said...

That moroccan is obviously not integrated. He is integrated if he allows his daughter freedom and to marry who they want including a spanish man, if he allows his wife to work and if he tries to live together with spanish people instead of creating parallell ethnic ghettos. Immigrant groups who do all these three things are in 99.9% of the case integrated. Immigrant groups who don't will be a pain in the ass.

Colin Reid said...

randy: It's fascinating the differences in attitude we see between countries in Western Europe to essentially the same situation, and how little it seems to correlate with either scale of migration or historical tolerance.

At one end you have Spain, which has many episodes in its history of having extreme reactionary policies when it comes to religion and culture, the last of which ended only 30 years ago, and where even the relatively small cultural differences between its indigenous populations are a source of great political tension. Yet this country seems to have more thoroughly embraced immigration than anywhere else in Europe, with the possible exception of Ireland. (Strangely enough, of all the immigrant groups in Spain, the Brits and Germans could be the most politically influential, and it seems that despite actually being migrants, these groups may be more immigration-phobic than either native Spaniards or natives in the UK/Germany.)

At the other end you have say the Dutch or Danes, who for a long time used to be known for their liberal, tolerant societies, even including histories as havens from religious persecution (eg the Huguenots) and with no real separatist issues, yet they now seem to be spawning the most 'anti-dhimmitude' crazies of anywhere in Western Europe.

Perhaps migrants from conservative Muslim countries have a more similar worldview to the conservative/patriarchal parts of Europe, and so it is these societies where assimilation is easiest?

Randy said...

hoosier:

"about the question the Morrocan raised there is an easy answer... Its not that much the siestas or the tortillas (for that matter Spanish and Moroccan couisines are already somewhat integrated, isn't it?). It's about secularism, it's about not blowing oneself up in the train cars or in the apartment next door, its about respecting your neighbour, it's about understanding some of Cervantes, Dali or Garcia Lorca... simply because somebody has troble defining the uniqueness of an culture does not mean that there is no such a thing as national cultural identity. and of course does not mean that the newcomers can not build their own subidentity that is not at odds with or isolated from the one that is already existing in that country."

How many Spaniards know Cervantes that well? Every society has to deal with a gap between ideal and actual behaviours, and it has to find some way of either tolerating or diminishing these gaps. That's a difficult task in an exceptionally plural state like early 21st century Spain. What if the local government wants you to be Catalonian?

Colin:

"At the other end you have say the Dutch or Danes, who for a long time used to be known for their liberal, tolerant societies, even including histories as havens from religious persecution (eg the Huguenots) and with no real separatist issues, yet they now seem to be spawning the most 'anti-dhimmitude' crazies of anywhere in Western Europe."

I can only speak with any authority about the situation in the Netherlands. Until as late as the 1960s, the division of Dutch society into ideologically or religiously defined "pillars"--Catholics, Protestants, Socialists, others--was the established order, the existence of a relatively unified Dutch society being relatively recent. That this has been achieved without violence is a significant achievement--perhaps there's a feeling of threat at the existence of minorities seen as opposing this post-1960s consensus? The gradual shift of the religious balance inside the Netherlands between Catholics and Protestants had its own import, too.

There might be a north/south division in Europe, but it might be one where northern European minorities are ghettoized but self-governing and southern European minorities are incorporated into wider society if all goes well. That's just pure theorizing, of course. Who knows?

G. said...

You should write an article about the recent British citizenship survey...

Randy said...

I'm unfamiliar with it. What's it about?

SESALMONY@aol.com said...

Dear Friends,

I am imagining that the following questions are rhetorical ones to many demographers.

“Why are politicians and skeptics so willing to risk their future and everyone else’s future on blindly clinging to a course of action that has a high probability of leading to a seriously crippled future? If you even suspect that global warming represents a serious risk to your survival (and we have far more than suspicion these days), why wouldn’t you do everything protect and conserve your planet?”

It would please me to hear from others; but from my humble perspective the “answers” to these questions are all-too-obvious.

The leaders in my generation of elders wish to live without having to accept limits to growth of seemingly endless economic globalization, of increasing per capita consumption and skyrocketing human population numbers; our desires are evidently insatiable. We choose to believe anything that is politically convenient, economically expedient and socially agreeable; our way of life is not negotiable. We dare anyone to question our values or behaviors.

We religiously promote our shared fantasies of endless economic growth and soon to be unsustainable overconsumption, overproduction oand overpopulation activities, and in so doing deny that Earth has limited resources upon which the survival of life as we know it depends.

My not-so-great generation appears to be doing a disservice to everything and everyone but ourselves. We are the “what’s in it for me?” generation. We demonstrate precious little regard for the maintenance of the integrity of Earth; shallow willingness to actually protect the environment from crippling degradation; lack of serious consideration for the preservation of biodiversity, wilderness, and a good enough future for our children and coming generations; and no appreciation of the understanding that we are no more or less than human beings with “feet of clay.”

We live idolatrously in a soon to be unsustainable way in our planetary home and are proud of it, thank you very much. Certainly, we will “have our cake and eat it, too.” We will fly around in thousands of private jets, own fleets of cars, live in McMansions, exchange secret handshakes, go to our exclusive clubs and distant hideouts, and risk nothing of value to us. Please do not bother us with the problems of the world. We choose not to hear, see or speak of them. We are the economic powerbrokers, their bought-and-paid-for politicians and the many minions in the mass media. We hold most of the Earth's wealth and control the power it purchases. If left to our own devices, we will continue in the exercise of our ‘rights’ to ravenously consume Earth’s limited resources; to expand economic globalization unto every corner of our natural world and, guess what, beyond; to encourage the unbridled growth of the human species so that where there are now 6+ billion people, by 2050 we will have 9+ billion members of the human community and, guess what, even more people, perhaps billions more in the distant future, if that is what we desire.

We are the reigning, self-proclaimed masters of the universe. We have no regard for human limits or Earth’s limitations, thank you very much. We are idolaters of the global political economy. Please understand that we do not want anyone to present us with scientific evidence that we could be living unsustainably in an artificially designed, temporary world of our own making…… a manmade world filling up with distinctly human enterprises which appear to be approaching a point in human history when global consumption, production and propagation activities of the human species become unsustainable on the tiny planet God has blessed us to inhabit........and not to overwhelm, I suppose.

Sincerely,

Steve