Britain First loves statistics. They’re flexible, they’re manipulable and they lend an air of credibility to any lie the Biffers want to spread around. Take for example the ‘Muslim birth rate’ myth. This is the scaremongering argument that Britain First trots out so regularly to try to frighten non-Muslims about an imagined Muslim takeover.
The basic argument is that since Muslim families have more babies than non-Muslim families the time will come when ‘they’ will take over the whole of society. This myth, which goes hand-in-hand with the ‘white genocide’ myth we covered earlier, isn’t just wrong, it’s downright ludicrous.
There are two main statistics that Biffers and other far-right Nazi groups such as the National Front or the British National Party like to quote as ‘evidence’ here. Let’s look at them both in turn…
Muslims have more babies than others
The fertility rate for Muslim families is actually falling rapidly, not just in Western countries but across the world. In 1995 the average was 4.3 children per family. By 2010 that figure had fallen to around 2.9 and it still continues to fall. In Western countries such as the UK the figure is lower still when counted across the entire time of each woman’s reproductive life (the only meaningful way to calculate her fertility over time).
Actually Western nations have seen this before. We saw it in the 1930s and 1940s when the influx of Jewish immigrants and other refugees fleeing from Britain First’s ideological soulmates, the Nazis, also demonstrated temporarily higher birth rates than the indigenous British population. In fact the birth rate among today’s British Muslims is falling considerably faster than it did among Jewish immigrants in the mid twentieth century.
This isn’t about religion – it’s about the dynamics of immigration and the age at which immigrant families tend to ‘up sticks’ and move. Young immigrants often wait until they’re established in their new home before having children. That doesn’t mean they necessarily will have more children than other couples over the course of a lifetime – simply that they have them after they move. First generation immigrants do tend to have more children than the indigenous population but second generation immigrants are much closer to the established norms of their host nation. That’s not really all that surprising since, having been born here, they are themselves part of that indigenous population. This explains the ‘young bulge’ in UK Muslim demographics (88% are aged under 50).
Mohammed is the most common name for new babies in UK
Well, of course it is! That’s because it’s a name given to extremely high numbers of Muslim boys. There is no equivalent name among the non-Muslim British population and so, despite the relatively low numbers of Muslim births, the incidence of this particular name is comparatively large. Imagine what the result would look like if the right wing press had published babies’ surnames instead of given names. We think that surnames like ‘Smith’, ‘Jones’ or ‘Johnston’ would appear far more prominently than any Muslim equivalent.
The reality is that the right wing press published the research data for first names because it gave the most frightening impression – not because it gave the most accurate reflection of the demographic reality. The truth is that British Muslims’ birth rates are becoming assimilated into UK norms remarkably rapidly. 2010 birth rate research showed only 1% of British babies were named Mohammed. By 2013 it had fallen to only 23rd place in its most common variant – the most popular name in that year being ‘Oliver’. The ‘first place’ claim is arrived at by adding up a number of variant spellings but even so – it’s hardly surprising. Many Muslims give their sons the name Mohammed because the name is traditionally believed to confer characteristics of the prophet onto the child. It’s not a takeover – it’s a religious custom that distorts the figures.
Mohammed may be a common name (especially with all its many variant spellings) but it’s hardly evidence of a national takeover. Far from ‘out-breeding the infidel’ the Muslim birth rate is declining as Westernised Muslims adopt the fertility rates and patterns of the rest of UK’s population.