Trapped by Headline-Level Knowledge of Muslim Growth

Posted on January 27, 2011


Google Reader encourages it;  successful blog hits demand it: the attention–grabbing  headline. They are, however, often misleading in order to lead you to their door.

We’ve all heard of the venerable Pews Charitable Trusts down in Philadelphia (their blog site is here).  Apropos of last night’s SOTUS, turns out that the man behind the founding Pew Trust was once asked how he would run the country were he President: “Tell the truth and trust the people.”  We could use a report on the death of the American character.

CNN ran the headline this AM based on a recent Pew report:

World Muslim population doubling, report projects

It was in a “go” green color along with the following charts:

WOW.   Our greatest fears realized.  All you need to grasp the heart of the matter would be the headline and the chart – right?  The most important information is in the first paragraph, right?  In this case – very wrong.

Here comes the less awesome heart of the matter several paragraphs later:

While the Muslim population is set to grow at a faster rate than that of the world as a whole, the rate of Muslim growth is slowing, Pew says.

“Growing but slowing” is the key phrase, says Alan Cooperman, associate director of the think tank.

“The increase in the last 20 years is greater than what we expect in the next 20 years,” he said. Muslim population growth “is a line that’s flattening out. They’re increasing, but they’re getting closer to the norm, the average.”

In other words, Muslims are coming into line with global trends toward fewer children per woman and an aging population. But, the report points out, because of the existing Muslim “youth bulge,” or unusually high percentage of young people, Muslim population growth has a certain momentum that will take decades to come into line with world averages – if it ever does.

Interestingly enough, the growth is not fueled by conversion.  The Pew Report, The Future of the Global Muslim Population, says they lose as many as they gain.

The Report does not mention it, but  a takeover of nations and establishing theocratic governments can go a long way to change the picture.  Also, cowering Christians could suddenly become infertile through fear.  Such is the Ying and Yang of research in a world of possibilities.

Posted in: MUSLIM