I got forwarded another alarmist email today, with an attached video about Muslim population growth. The narrator, in a dry documentary voice heavy with evil portent (almost wallowing, sensually squirming around in the inevitability of disaster like a movie trailer, although he didn't get to say "In A World...") told of how the population growth of Muslim immigrants in Europe was so much greater than their host countries' that within a "few short years", Europe would cease to exist except as a Muslim continent. It is a pretty alarming video, especially with the drum heavy, Muslim-ish-sounding music playing in the background, and fluttering red Flags of Islam dominating the demographic-graphics of little black construction-paper cutouts of 2.11 and 1.8 people. But it's false. The stats at their best are out-of-context and misleading, and at their worst are utter fabrications. Faked quotes, even.
To learn the truth took just one quick trip to snopes.com.
Now don't get me wrong. There are some alarming trends involving the effects of Muslim immigration that I AM concerned with, things like Sharia Law being somehow "added" to existing Common Law like what is being done in Great Britain. Or should I say TO Great Britain. I'm no expert on how it works, but being American, religious "law" of any kind being afforded any kind of legal equality with real law bothers the hell out of me. Religious "laws" MUST only be applied to those who voluntarily choose to follow them by joining that religion, and must not be applied to or have obedience expected from non-believers, and MUST NOT be enforceable by methods which violate the real law. Like "honor" killings (which show the exact opposite of honor; foolish pride). Nuh uh, nope, no killing your sister for rumors of fooling around, even if they're true!
Another thing that bothers me is the growing perception, nay expectation that criticism of Islam in any form is somehow "worse" than criticism of any other religious, political or ethnic body and should therefore be punishable. Death for drawing a cartoon? I don't friggin' think so. Made me want to draw some, except I suck at drawing.
But that has little to do with this video. Islam is not about to hump Europe out of existence.
So please. Friends, family, members of my bitter political argument email club (you're all wrong about everything, you know...), please, when you get something in your email that sounds like Al Gore's next Nobel Prize For Powerpoint presentation, or the next Dennis Quaid disaster movie, please do me a favor and check Snopes.com. Or Factcheck.org. Or somebody. I'm tired of doing it for you.