Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The numbers.

OK. So I'm not posting this as a call to arms or a wallowing in fear of Marauding Musselmen. It's simply to reinforce the fact that we need to figure out how to speak to the "Muslim world," because the Muslim world is not confined to the Arab states. The tone of the clip recalls at times the McCarthy ads from the 1950's, but the numbers are sound and, I think, speak for themselves. (My other reason for posting this is that we don't all have time to read books or articles on demographic change in the West. But the facts here match those I've read in, among other things, First Things and America Alone.) Something to consider as we raise our beautiful children.


Christine said...

Egad, Erika. That's more than a little McCarthy-ish. You say the numbers "speak for themselves" despite the right-wing extremist tone of the text...what is it you think they say? Because I'm still a little baffled as to why my brilliant friend would post something like this (and reference a nut-job book like America Alone) -- I'd love to hear more of what's behind your thoughts here...

e2 said...

Aw, shucks. :(

I guess I was thinking about all the moms who look at me like, "HUH?" when I talk about demographic changes and reproductive trends in the West. The numbers are good--they match Weigel's and other articles I've read. I think what they say is that the individual choices we make to either not reproduce at all or to only have 1-2 children have much larger social and cultural consequences than we imagine when we're in our 30's or 40's. Ideas have consequences, and all that.

I do think that the extremist tone can be ignored just to get a good visual of the numbers... I was trying to get some Planned Parenthood stats a few months ago and used some of their research, even though it was presented in an ideological sort of way.

Anywho, I won't be too defensive! We all suffer our lapses in judgment! :) Too bad my batting average just dropped.

earthie said...

Two years ago we stopped in an airport in Canada, we could not help but realize that this is already very real there because the number of Islamic workers and travelers was so striking.

What the video and research doesn't account for is how secularized many Muslims are also becoming. It would be perhaps more interesting to see numbers on those who profess Islam without 'practicing' it or believing major tenets, because just as we have nominal Christians or cultural Catholics, there is a parallel with Muslims.

It's also an occasion to recall that when a culture rejects God's laws and embraces contraception, etc. you can't expect much better. And there's not much that you or I can do about that but pray and do what we're called to do each day.

Perhaps we will just return to being a tiny, persecuted, suffering Church-- the ideal environment for saints.

Anonymous said...

Dear Philosopher mom,

I have only just been introduced to your blog and my first visit was to the page where you quoted the brilliant T.S.Eliot, whom I greatly admire.
But slowly, I came to this page on Islam and shortly after, had the distinctly unexplainable experience of viewing this video that brought to mind some of the war propaganda employed in the early 20th century.
My point of contention here is a simple one for I am a humble student, building my path in the world of academia and in life.
I believe, and find support in a particular scholar, that being of the Islamic faith, or Muslim, does not necessitate an abrogation of the culture of where that individual may find himself. It's not as if being Muslim means that you are no longer a Swiss or a Spanish, that you can no longer speak their language or love that country and locality. The rich history of that place is not put under the mercy of the delete button as soon as the person behind the keyboard accepts Islam.
I personally don't appreciate the manner of speech of those who, while pretending to speak for all of Islam, as ridiculous as that sounds, purport the idea that the faith will silently vanquish its foes.
From the 8th to the 13th centuries, Islam contributed to every thing under the sun; from literature and philosophy to industry and technology. Muslims worked side by side with Jewish and Christian intellectuals and freedom of speech and religion fostered these relations. This wasn't called the Golden Age for nothing.
And you probably know this better but most of Aristotle's work, if not all of it, survived primarily because of its translation from Greek to Arabic. I'm not suggesting that I'm particularly fond of philosophy, a simple student as I said I am I can hardly make that suggestion but nonetheless, that is history that gets easily overlooked despite its apparent nature.
I myself found the video to be a bit embarassing, especially since I believe strongly in the preservation of cultures and languages. And on that note, of the 7000 languages spoken in the world at this very moment that I'm writing to you, only half of them will survive and make it to the next generation. How come people do not lament that loss or the loss of all of the great indigenous traditions.
In the end, I had really wished to tie my view with what I had read at the very outset of my introduction to your blog, quoted Eliot as you had. If considered through that lens, Islam can be seen as the one constancy that ties together all the streams of intellect and consciousness. This shared value system can address the want for harmony and repair the fragmented ethos of wisdom of modern man.

thank you for giving me this space and I hope I have not offended you in any way.

Erika said...

Dear Anonymous,

Yes, this post really got me into trouble! Thanks for sharing your perspective on it as a practicing Muslim, and I am truly sorry for any embarassment it caused you. I do regret posting it, not because I think the demographic information is erroneous, but because of the tone. I keep it up as a reminder to me that I make significant lapses in judgment from time to time. :)

I am grateful that so much culture has been preserved over the centuries: I believe God has at times used men and women of Islam to preserve what is good and true in human accomplishment. Some of the most beautiful names of God are in the Koran.

Of course, as a Catholic, I also believe that the fullness of His revelation is in the person of Jesus Christ. God is not only Majesty, but has also chosen to be "with us" in the Emmanuel, Jesus. And so, instead of Islam, I believe that Christ is the one who unites all streams of consciousness (as Eliot says).

Thank you for your comments. I hope to hear more from you in the days to come! I'm glad you spoke up. And, again, I am sorry for any hurt I caused you.

in God,
The Philosopher Mom

Erika said...

Oh, and here's an article that articulates well some of the differences: http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles6/NeuhausRegensberg.php