Muslim Takeover of Australia?

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I get a lot of emails expressing fear that Australia, or the Western world in general, will be taken over by Muslims because of a) immigration from predominantly Muslim countries, b) Muslims’ high fertility rate or c) both.

Obviously, if Muslims do breed faster then non-Muslims they will inevitably achieve a majority one day. But is it imminent? I constructed a small Excel model and put in some simple assumptions for Australia. Here they are:

  1. Muslims represent 3% of the Australian population now.
  2. Muslims’ natural rate of increase is 1.5%pa while that of non-Muslims is 0.5%pa.
  3. Annual net immigration is equivalent to 1% of the population.
  4. Muslims represent 30% of net immigration.
  5. Anyone born to Muslim parents adopts their faith.
  6. Nobody converts to or from Islam.

This set of assumptions produces a Muslim majority in the year 2289, at which time the total population of Australia will be 3.6 billion.

I’d be happy to receive evidence-based data to replace my crude assumptions; or to send out my little model to be played with by you or anyone else.

As an atheist myself I earnestly hope that nobody follows any religion at all by 2289, rendering this a pointless exercise. Fun, though.

Buying a New Car

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Mrs SG and I just bought a new car – the first new car we’ve ever bought. My first car cost GBP60. My first car with 4 wheels cost GBP220. This new car cost AUD25,500!

At least, that’s what we thought it cost when we’d finished negotiating with the salesman. Then a young lady with a lovely smile and a strange title came to talk to us. She explained that if we wanted the really important ‘extras’ – that we might have supposed were already built into the car, what with it being a new car and everything – we’d have to pay another AUD1,700.

So beware, dear reader! Before your sign anything in a car showroom, ask if that’s the lot. I think we’ll go back to buying second-hand… except that at our age this new car is probably going to last longer than we do.

Poster Children

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The photo of a drowned 3-year-old lying face-down on a Turkish beach suddenly became visual shorthand for the miserable situation in Syria and the desperation of people seeking refuge.

It is an admirable human trait that our sympathy is aroused by the sight of a child in distress. Indeed, if we did not react that way very few children would make it into adulthood. But I am uneasy about the kneejerk-ism that such sympathy provokes. Complex issues should be addressed thoughtfully and with full understanding of causes and effects.

At the moment nothing is more complex than the tangle of superstition, competition and ancient hatred that characterises the Arab world. I want my government and other governments to behave rationally. I do not want them to be pressured by compassionate electors to take heart-warming, headline-grabbing decisions that buy short-term popularity at the expense of actions that could, perhaps, lead to long-term solutions.