Recently I’ve received quite a few emails citing a review of a book by Nonie Darwish entitled “Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law.” The review states (apparently from the book) that “In twenty years there will be enough Muslim voters in the U.S. and Britain To elect the President by themselves! Rest assured they will do so… You can look at how they have taken over several towns in the USA .. Dearborn Mich. Is one… And there are others…Britain has several cities now totally controlled by Muslims.” In one form or another this assertion has been made by Robert Spencer, Brigitte Gabriel and others. So perhaps we should look at the evidence.
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First – cities taken over in Britain? Name one. Yes, Birmingham England has a Muslim major. How does that constitute a takeover. His city council isn’t Muslim. The laws that govern the city are not Islamic. And is there another city with a Muslim Major? Not that I know. What about Dearborn? living under Islamic law? Well a quick directory check shows dozens of liquor stores – and the sale of alcohol is forbidden in Islam. Anecdotal I know, but strongly suggestive that Dearborn isn’t under Muslim control. (Birmingham is pretty well stocked with liquor stores and pubs as well – by the way) So part two of this assertion is false.
The most recent, and only neutral, study of American religious affiliation is found at: The Pew Charitable Trust Survey: http://religions.pewforum.org/report . It states that the total population U.S. Muslims is likely to be less than 1% of the population. A larger figure is given by Ibrahim Hooper of the Council of American Islamic Relations and is cited at ( http://pluralism.org/resources/statistics/tradition.php#Islam ) It dates from 1998 and is hardly trustworthy, as no source is given. The current population of the United States is just over 305 million.
Of course raw population figures are not as important as growth rates. The Pew report notes that Muslims (and Mormons) have larger than average families. Thus they will grow relative to other parts of the population. But does this mean that the Muslim proportion of the population will increase relative to Christians? Well no. Because other Christian portions of the population (Mormons, Catholics) are also growing at a faster rate than the population as a whole. What it means is that Anglo Protestants and Jews will decrease relative to other Christians. The Muslim population will remain about the same proportional to the population as a whole for as long as anyone can accurately project.
Does this take into account immigration and conversion? To some extent We need to remember that far more Christians migrate to the U.S. from Christian Latin America than Muslims do from other parts of the world. And conversion works both ways. Unfortunately we don’t have accurate reports on conversion either way, but my observation of local mosques suggests that there are no more than handfuls of converts to Islam in Dallas each year.
In any case for Muslims to have a significant impact on elections they would need to have far more than 1% or 2 % of the population, and there is absolutely no evidence that this will happen.
Okay – Could it happen? Let’s do the math. Let’s assume that in every 20 year generation the Muslim population doubles. That would make it 4% in 20 years if no other group grew at all. Hardly electoral dominance even if it were true. And it isn’t. So fact two in also false.
So when you read things by authors like Darwish, Spencer, Gabriel, and other fear mongers then turn up the B.S. detector, because mostly that is what they have on offer. And yes, I mean that about their other assertions as well. Not grounded in fact, but the desire create fear. A recognizable political tactic.