Raksha Kumar for The New York Times
Dear Ibrahim Awwad Al-Badri, alias Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, and all Brothers and Sisters in ISIS:
The world is changing. The global culture our children inherit will be vastly different from that of today.
We are about to witness a radical demographic change to the advantage of the Islamic world, but Your violent, intolerant attitude is messing it up.
Lots and lots of Muslim leaders and scholars have told you so.
ISIS, you are out of touch with reality. If what you really want, as you claim, is the installation of a world caliphate, then you lack intelligence and patience.
Violence will only mess up your dreams, and you will always face opposition. There is no way of accelerating the process by force. Be patient.
Listen to this carefully. For a culture to maintain itself for more than 25 years it requires a fertility rate of at least 2.11 children per family. Anything less will cause its decline.
Historically, no culture has reversed a 1.9 fertility rate, and a rate of 1.3 is impossible to reverse. It would take 80 to 100 years to correct itself, and there is no economic model that can sustain a declining culture during that time. As a population shrinks, so does its culture.
More mosques than churches
Europe has been declining dramatically. Its downward spiral is no longer reversible. Ten years ago, the fertility rate of France was 1.9, England 1.6, Germany 1.3, Italy 1.2 and Spain 1.1. Across the whole European Union, the fertility was a mere 1.38.
By 2013, the rates had improved negligibly: France at 2.0, Germany at 1.4, Italy at 1.4 and Spain at 1.3. The small improvement was attributed to immigration. Europe as we know it today will cease to exist.
Since 2006, Europe’s absolute population was not declining thanks to immigration. This changed in 2014, and for the first time in history, Europe’s population declined in spite of massive immigration.
Since the 90s, Islamic immigration to Europe accounts for 85 per cent of its absolute growth. By 2013, natural migration into Europe accounted for 95 per cent of the total population change.
In France, the average family had 1.9 children in 2013, while Islamic immigrants had an average of 7.1 children per family. In Southern France there are now more mosques than churches.
In larger cities, there are already more Muslim children than non-Muslim children below the age of 15. By 2027 one in five French will be Muslim, and by 2050 France will be an Islamic Republic.
France’s traditional and historical ties to secularism and liberté will change, for as population shrinks so does culture.
In Britain, the Muslim population has experienced a 30-fold increase in the last 40 years. In the Netherlands and Belgium, 60 per cent of the new born are Muslim. In 10 years, half the population will be Muslim.
ISIS, this is a reality. Like it or not, numbers do not lie. Whatever reasons or whatever values the Western world had put in place will not matter. As population shrinks, so does culture.
ISIS, the Western world is not as Christian as you imagine. Christianity was left by many in the cupboards long ago and reduced to practically three events in the life of most so-called Christians: baptism, wedding and burial.
Some do not even do baptism anymore, so they are content with two. Others add an extra one, First Holy Communion, raising the number to four.
We pretend to feed this feeble faith by attending sporadic services on Sundays. Very few do so in Europe and the percentage is dropping drastically.
In fact, many European churches have been turned into museums or meeting halls. They are not sacred spaces anymore.
You will be happy to know that in southern France a good number of churches have already become mosques.
In many Christian churches, some Sunday services have become concerts of discordant voices while others are fashion shows.
Truth be told, some are genuine places of prayer and inspire beautiful reflections to love you and forgive you and others.
The problem is deep. Faith was left in the cupboard and what we called freedom of choice is now our own undoing. This will be your ultimate success. You need not be violent. Just be patient.
Ever since the thirties, when the Anglican Church decided to give the green light to contraception, and most denominations followed suit, what was intended to be an exception became more frequent, and eventually turned into a sort of compulsory social norm.
Large families became a crime. I was born as a crime. I’m a walking crime, because I’m the eighth-born in a family of eight.
Even though my parents were both professionally successful they had a hard time explaining to friends that they indeed had a TV set at home.
I always felt we were six or seven too many in my family. Yet, this was a contradiction, for if I did not justify the goodness of our family number I would be declaring myself redundant in the world, for I was the last-born.
Yet, we had great fun at home. I loved my brothers and sisters more than any friend. Yet how could I explain our joy to a socially unforgiving world? They all thought we were just too many, and it was partly my fault.
ISIS, ever since the 60s when a huge number of Catholic bishops decided to disregard Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae as a retrograde, fundamentalist view on sexuality, the change accelerated.
We never realised this for we were happily focused on the free choice of one generation, but did not pay due attention to numbers, and numbers are unforgiving.
ISIS, the world has entered into an irreversible gear in demographic change. Our children and your children will not know the same world as we know it today.
‘A false pretence’
Whether we agree or not, whether we like it or not, numbers are, again, unforgiving and perhaps annoying to many. Europe is resting on a time bomb that has already triggered irreversible demographic changes.
The late Col Gadhafi had already declared, “There are signs that Allah will grant victory to Islam in Europe without swords, without guns, without conquest. We don’t need terrorists [this means we don’t need you, ISIS], we don’t need homicide bombers. The fifty plus million Muslims in Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.”
He had a point. He knew about numbers.
ISIS, you are spoiling the name of millions of peace-loving Muslims who will simply conquer the world by numbers. You are messing it up.
Many people will not agree with me and may get annoyed, just like those who disregarded the Infotrak polls last week. Numbers are usually painful, truly painful. More so when they do not match our likes and beliefs.
ISIS, your senseless approach has also driven away any possible support from Muslim youth. Abdullahi Abdirahman, one of my young and brilliant students, has written that “ISIS’ dream of Islamic domination is delusional in the sense that it is so blatant and evident through their acts of violence, rape of Yazidi women amongst many others, that they don’t represent Islam in any way but rabid extremism and lunacy… ISIS’ ideal of a world caliphate is a false pretence. They just want to watch the world burn.”
ISIS, drop your senseless and brutal violence now. It makes no sense. Just let your fighters have children. You are jeopardising the final outcome.