[Muslims participating in Dua on the last day of Tablighi Jamat Ijtema in Malegaon in April 2006. (ummid.com file photo)]
Mumbai: Tearing into pieces the claims by propagandists about "Muslim Population Bomb" a latest report called "threat of growing Muslim population" in India exagerrated, and also found that the fertility rate of the community is declining worldwide as compared to other communities.
"Hindu nationalists often fan anxiety about Muslim population growth; the proportion of Muslims in India grew about 0.8 percent between 2001 and 2011, to 14.2 percent. “If this remains the situation, one should forget about their existence in one’s own country by 2025,” said the leader of a major Hindu nationalist organization last year.
"But the fertility gap between Muslims and Hindus in India is narrowing fast, and the greatest birthrate disparities are between states, not religions: Hindu women in the very poor state of Bihar have about two more children each than Muslim women in more developed Andhra Pradesh", The Atlantic said quoting a 2015 report by The Hindu and an indepth finding brought by India Spend.
"Similar concerns echo across countries like France, Germany, the U.K., and the Netherlands. Although Muslims make up less than 10 percent of the total population in each of these countries, perceived overpopulation has been at the center of anti-immigration discourse.
"About 7.5 percent of France is Muslim, yet on average French people believe Muslims constitute about one in three people in the country. Although Muslim women in Western Europe do currently have more children than their non-Muslim counterparts, research shows that European Muslims’ fertility rate is also declining much faster, so their fertility rates will likely converge over time", The Atlantic said in its report quoting The Guardian and PRB - Population Reference Bureau.
Putting a question why does the overpopulation myth persist worldwide, even though it’s typically demonstrably false (like in Burma) or nowhere near the epidemic that its proponents assert (like in Europe and India), The Atlantic said, "It’s true that the global Muslim population is growing, and fast. But it’s not growing at the same speed across regions. And the trope seems to have the most power not where Muslim populations are actually growing the fastest — like sub-Saharan Africa — but in places where they are culturally distinct minorities.
Stating that there’s nothing inherent in Islam to link it to higher fertility, The Atlantic referring Pew Research, said, "On the latter point, a major takeaway of the Pew report (and its companion from this year) is that fertility has much less to do with religion and much more to do with economics, social services, women’s empowerment, and conflict.
"The fertility rate across all 49 Muslim-majority countries fell from 4.3 children per woman in 1990-95 to about 2.9 in 2010-15. This was still higher than the global fertility rate in 2015, but it’s a strikingly fast drop given the fact that it took some Western European countries nearly a century to transition from six children per woman to three."
"The fastest fertility drop in modern history happened in the Islamic theocracy of Iran. In 1950, Iranian women had about seven children each; today they have about 1.68, fewer than Americans", the report said.