Saturday, February 18, 2006

we kid you not

Muslims do have too many children, insists rightwing columnist Angela Shanahan, who incidentally has nine children herself (happily, none of whom are Muslim.....yet).

"DANNA Vale's comments this week were a classic case of someone saying something everyone is thinking, but no one will say….Vale stated the obvious: that people who have children will be more numerous in the future than those who don't."

Well, no. What Vale actually stated was that Muslims—specifically--are out-breeding us.
Here, Shanahan begins by making the no-brainer case that Muslims have more children because (wait for it) they begin matching and hatching at a younger age, which is a consequence of their religious faith. It’s funny, actually, because Islamic women are doing exactly what Angela Shanahan has often prescribed for Australian women as the solution to declining fertility: be devout, marry young, have lots of kids, and forget about a career (those are for the menfolk). You’d think she’d be congratulating Islamic women on their lack of emancipation.
But Shanahan is deeply concerned about those fanatically-breeding Muslims. She warns, "Islamic fertility is an issue with economic and security ramifications." That’s right, security ramifications. Think of all those little terrorist babies being created. She spends the rest of her column elaborating about Muslim welfare dependency and entrenched unemployment, crime and potential terrorism.
"One of the biggest problems associated with high Islamic fertility [is] the explosive combination of highly concentrated numbers of young people and almost endemic unemployment."

Note that choice of adjective, "explosive". Somewhat loaded, with its connotations of terrorism, wouldn’t you say?
"If Australian Muslims were a prosperous community this wouldn't matter so much. However, unemployment is now affecting a the third generation. And continuing high fertility means that large numbers of children are growing up in households where no one has work."

She repeatedly states that problems of disadvantage amongst Australian Muslims are caused by high unemployment, yet she does not advocate trying to find ways of improving employment prospects for Muslims. All she offers is the vague conclusion that we need to "remove our PC blinkers and look at this growing, disaffected population of young people." I’m unsure what she would like us to do besides 'look at' (read: watch) these people. Chemically sterilise them, perhaps?