Civilizations At Risk

By Moorthy Muthuswamy, September 1999

In Israel recently, the suspected participation of its Muslim citizens’ in bombings for the first time has opened up a new chapter in Islamic terrorism. America too has been affected through embassy and the World Trade Center bombings. Islamic terrorism in various forms has been going on all over the world.

Islamic terrorist groups with "self-determination" agenda are also flourishing in countries such as India, Russia, Yugoslavia, and the Philippines. In future, Israel and many Western nations will face some of the similar problems as those countries' Muslim population swell. There is yet another element to Islamic terrorism that is not receiving the attention it deserves--the Muslim population growth.

Muslims around the world tend to have large families. While this rapidly increasing population certainly puts a great deal of pressure on ecology and environment, there is also an increasing threat of the indigenous civilizations vanishing in combination with Islamic terrorism. It is a challenge in the context of democracy and the respect of human rights how the right of a civilization to exist and not be overwhelmed can be ascertained.

Countries such as India are showing improved signs of opening up their markets and participate in the world economy. However, they find themselves forced to fight the bankrupting Islamic terrorism. It is notable that while there is a substantial Muslim population in Israel, as a percentage of the total, the Jewish population is no where near that in Islamic countries. It is worth reminding that there was a large Jewish population in Middle-East countries at the time of Israel's birth. High growth rates of Muslim Arabs in Israel together with a tense Israeli-Arab standoff certainly puts Israel’s long term survival under jeopardy.

A country that is facing an immediate danger from Islamic expansionism and terrorism is secular and democratic India. Studying this problem in India helps realizing the full extent of this threat. When India was partitioned by the British in 1947 to India and Pakistan, there were about thirty five percent non-Muslims in Pakistan. Today it is less than three percent thanks to extensive ethnic cleansing. However, the Muslim population in India swelled from eight percent in 1947 to about sixteen percent due to high growth rates.

While in the secular India, every one, including Christians and Muslims have enjoyed equal rights, in the Islamic Pakistan, Christians and Hindus do not have equal voting or other rights. As the Indian Muslim population increases, there is once again a great potential of India dividing again and minority non-Muslims ethnic cleansed. It is notable that even in a region of India that has the highest the literacy rate and the Muslims economically not disadvantaged, Muslims still have much larger families compared to the rest. The government officially discourages large families in this poor and over-populated country.

The issue India now faces and others such as Israel will do so in future is how a civilization can ensure its survival while still being democratic and secular. Secondly, what steps can ancient civilizations take to avoid being exterminated and prosper?

In light of this recent Muslim history, these countries should be well within their rights to selectively reduce Muslim population growth rates.

One may say that such a solution is inherently unequal and unjust. But it is still much better than the non-Muslim community losing its rights, ethnic cleansed and exterminated. After all, the most fundamental right is the right to exist!

As we reach the millennium, the issue of Muslim population growth and its consequences, especially in countries where Muslims are a minority should be addressed. This can not only ensure the survival of ancient civilizations, also make civilized world’s long term war with Islamic terrorism an effective one.