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Belief Beat

Muslim, Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Population Boom = 2030 Powder Keg?

Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, so check back later for a round-up of how people around the world commemorated the observance. (Jan. 27 is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest of the Nazi concentration camps.)

In other news: The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reports although Muslim birth rates are falling, the world’s Muslim population will still grow twice as fast as non-Muslims over the next 20 years, bringing Muslims up to a quarter of the world’s population in the next generation.

As the AFP story explains, they currently make up about 23 percent of the world’s 6.9 billlion people in the world, mostly in Asia and Africa. Europe is expected to rise from 6 to 8 percent by 2030, reaching about 10 percent in Belgium, France, Austria and Sweden — as Reuters notes, it’s neither a baby boom nor the “Eurabia” that some people worry about, but still a significant demographic.


Meanwhile, earlier this month, the AP reported that one-third of babies born in Israel are now ultra-Orthodox — also known as Haredi or Hasidic Jews — which presents significant political, economic and security challenges for that country and the region.

So, a boom in Muslims and ultra-Orthodox Jews in my son’s generation… anyone got a good lead on a preschool for peacemakers?

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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posted January 27, 2011 at 11:51 am

Disparate birth rates among different cultures would not matter much except for the general problem of overpopulation. What worries me is the sense that the fanatics and crazies are taking over ALL cultures, whether through higher birth rates or the unwillingness of rational people to confront them, debunk their lies and lunacy, and marginalize them as desecrators rather than exemplars of their own faiths.

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posted January 27, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Anyone got a match?

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posted January 27, 2011 at 1:31 pm

In the meantime, right now, holocust is occuring for the gay people in Unganda. Read about it on MSNBC.

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posted January 27, 2011 at 9:13 pm

It seems like the powder keg is already here. The latest unrest in the middle east seems more reminiscent of the end of the Nicolae Ceau?escu regime in Romania. A large demographic bubble of people without much prospects or freedom, and their anger makes them lose their fear. Even repressive regimes will topple when that happens.
I don’t understand the ultra-orthodox Jews in Israel. From what I’ve read a large number of the men study the Torah instead of working. They also have large families as well, so without an income they have poverty problems. Those problems seem self inflicted.

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posted January 27, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Maybe the non-Ultra-Orthodox Jews should start having more kids. :o) Not sure what to do with the Muslim population, but I can’t believe all those born and raised as Muslims will want to kill all the non-Muslims.

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posted January 27, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Too true, Henrietta. It’s a horrifying slaughter.
As far as Muslim birth rates go, I was wondering: I’ve heard rumors from an Iranian friend that Shari’a law allows men to treat their women very badly (“like cattle”); does anyone here have an inside source on that? And does anyone know if Shari’a outlaws birth control?

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posted January 27, 2011 at 9:48 pm

P.S.: Rest in Peace, Auschwitz victims. I pray that the Afterlife has erased all of the suffering you endured and replaced it with bliss.

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posted January 28, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Competitive spawning is not the answer to the high birth rates among groups held in disdain by other groups. The ONLY answer is to marginalize fanatics of every stripe, and that can only be done by the rational people WITHIN each religious, racial, national and cultural group. Fanaticism cannot be eradicated by force majeur; it can only be transformed from dangerous to annoying.

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posted January 28, 2011 at 5:13 pm

We cannot afford fanatics trying to breed their way into power. Our problem is already that there are too many people. And definitely too many fundamentalists!

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