Thursday, 8 October 2009

Muslims aren't taking over

One of the top stories on the Mail website at time of writing has this headline:

One in four people in world practice Islam... and 1,647,000 of them live in Britain

To which the overwhelming response must surely be - so what?

Of course, what the Mail really wants to do is provoke a reaction along the lines of - 'isn't that shocking how we're being overrun by them Muslims'.

Except, it clearly isn't true.

Look at the British figure for example. Looks quite big, what with all those numbers. But as it amounts to just 2.7% of the British population, it isn't a large section of the population at all.

Why not use 2.7% in the headline? Or say: 'Three in four people in the world aren't Muslim'?

The report - from Pew - reveals that Muslims make up only 5% of the population of Europe.

So much for the Telegraph's recent 'Muslim takeover of Europe' scaremongering.

Or that nonsense about the popularity of the name Mohammed for newborn babies.

The Mail has decided to illustrate the story with a picture of several women wearing the niqab, in order to create a certain impression. One of the comments - currently 21 positive, but unlikely to stay that way - says:

the vast majority of Muslim women in Britain don't wear that attire. This paper is a disgrace.
- B Cave, Manchester, 8/10/2009 10:41

And another - in a bizarre outburst of good sense on the Mail messageboards:

A mere 2.7 per cent of the British population, that hardly fits the view that this "once great Country" is being overrun then!
- Anne, West Midlands, 8/10/2009 10:39

Of course, don't expect everyone to believe anything based on three years of research:

The 1.67 million seem a bit low,or is that only those the authorities know about?
- Dave Pickup, Tarragona,Spain, 8/10/2009 10:31

Muslims form 2.7% of the UK population and the other 97.3% have to bend over backwards to pander to them.
- William J., Plymouth UK, 8/10/2009 10:35

And in the not too distant future they will all live in Britain.
- Anne, London, 8/10/2009 10:33

Very worrying report!
- Simon, London, 8/10/2009 10:35

And best of all, in the face of all evidence to the contrary:

We ae being colonized.
- Richard widmark, Newcastle uk, 8/10/2009 10:30

That means the Mail has done its job of presenting myth-destroying facts in a way that keeps the myths going.


  1. "Muslims form 2.7% of the UK population and the other 97.3% have to bend over backwards to pander to them. - William J., Plymouth UK"

    I'd be interested to know what William J has 'had to' do by way of 'bending over backwards to pander to Muslims' in the past month.

    (Besides having to find something else to do on Tuesday nights ever since the 'PC Brigade' told him he couldn't spend it pushing dog-turds through their letterboxes any more, of course)

  2. That's all very well, but these immigrants are cleaning up on housing benefit. Biased BBC says so, so it must be true. Even if it isn't.

  3. hmm, i wonder if spain has had any headlines about the numbers of brit expats living on their shores? i wonder what dave from spain feels about that style of immigration??!!

  4. Luckily I have an ("indigenous white British") aunt who's lived in Spain for 20 years and doesn't speak a word of Spanish. I mention her every time someone complains about "foreigners coming over here" etc.

    It's good to have a treasure chest of responses!

  5. The brain can only easily take in one fact at a time. That's why they construct sentences along the lines of '1 in 4 people is overweight or obese'; readers come away thinking 1 in 4 people is obese rather than merely overweight and I now hear this altered 'fact' repeated all the time.

    It's the same here: readers will combine the two pieces of data and come away remembering that 1 in 4 people in Britain is muslim.


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