What exactly is a ‘Muslim baby’?

How exactly did the Times manage to discern that the children in question were believers.

The Times has a strange, scaremongery headline on its front page today warning (at least it comes across like a warning) of a ‘Rise in Muslim birthrate as families feel British’.

This is the sort of thing one expects from the likes of the Daily Mail and Express, so it feels rather strange to see it pasted across the front page of a respectable organ like the Times.

Without trying to guess the ‘motive’ of the paper’s headline writers, there is another problem with this article quite apart from it blurring the distinction between news and scaremongering about ‘birthrates’.

In the opening paragraph of the ‘story’, the Times says the following:

“Almost a tenth of babies and toddlers in England and Wales are Muslim, a breakdown of the census figures shows.”

What on earth is a “Muslim baby”?

What I mean to say is, can we not at least wait until a child is old enough to make their own mind up before we try to deduce with strand of theology they adhere to? I very much doubt it would be ok to write about Communist babies and Tory babies; so why, then, is it ok to do so with religion?

This sort of thing is not unique to Islam of course; and I can already hear the counter argument: that the children in question are ‘culturally’ Muslim rather than necessarily believers.

Again, though, if it is about culture rather than religion, would it be acceptable to label babies in this fashion based on the political ‘culture’ of their parents? I very much doubt it.

And anyway, in the third paragraph the Times has the following to say:

“One expert said it was foreseeable that Muslims who worshipped would outnumber practising Christians.”

So it isn’t about culture at all, but rather refers to practicing, worshipping and believing religion.

In which case I’d like to know how exactly the Times managed to discern that the children in question were believers.

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25 Responses to “What exactly is a ‘Muslim baby’?”

  1. JC

    I suppose that given the general attitude of Muslims towards apostates, I think it’s fair to say that a Muslim baby is one born to Muslim parents. It would be good if it were illegal to follow any form of religion before you were old enough to vote, but I would need to be convinced on how it might be enforced.

  2. Scott

    I’ve also herad that most of these newborns prefer Keynes over Freidman, shop at Waitrose and support Man Utd (hopefully that last one is just a rumour)

  3. Mark

    I haven’t read the article and presume you have, but you still ask the question. From the snippet you give, I’d suppose from the census, it’s the parents who fill it out and declare their children of a certain religion, so is it just reporting the parents’ view? Then, are the journalists assuming, or taking from a study, that if you are born into a muslim family, you are much more than likely to become a practicing muslim? I can only ask the questions myself. And of course, it is wrong of the parents to label children with a religion when they are too young to decide, but it goes on in most cases and may even be the fault of how the census questions are posed. I’d probably think that my non-church-going parents may have labelled me a ‘christian’ because it was the thing to do.

  4. edward bentfield

    Of course there are Muslim babies; just as there are Irish babies, Catholic babies, Jewish babies, Sikh babies, Communist babies (if a baby’s parents are longtime followers of Marx and devote a part of the day to those politics, members of a Communist or Marxist Party, do you honestly think they’ll bring that baby up to be a Tory?

    Come on, you’re playing a game of semantics or some such ‘twisted logic’ is at play here, to set out your Religious store.

    It is a fact that a far higher percentage of children born to Muslim parents will remain as Muslims throughout their entire lives -compared to babies born to ‘Christian Parents’. The reason being that it is a main ‘focus of faith’ not to leave your parents’ GIFT Do so at your own peril. Fear is what keeps Muslims and Sikhs from ‘making up their own minds to the extent that Christians or Jews are allowed to.

    Just ask any member of the British Council of Ex-Muslims -they’ll put you in the picture -Into the real world of Islam. http://www.cebm.net/

  5. Brass

    The Quran on loyalty to a non-Muslim government.

    O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result. http://quran.com/4/59

  6. Ross Aitken

    James, there is a debate to be had regarding the large numbers of immigrants to this country , our heritage in the UK stems from a judeo/christian background muslim immigrants to this country are tending to have a large amount of children (hence the Times article) there is nothing strange or scaremongery about it thats what the fourth estate is all about.

  7. Mark

    There only only babies born to muslim parents, or to use your example, communist parents. Are you entirely sure you want to make a comparison to politics here?


    U dont need to wait until the child has grown up. Cos all statistics show that practically everybody remains muslims.

  9. edward bentfield

    Of course. Read the Koran -Islam IS political. And many Muslims who take it literally, are those who turn to Islamic Fascism. Don’t take my word for it -read what the British EX-Muslims have to say on the subject of Islam. http://www.cebm.net/

  10. edward bentfield

    Herod? (if there’s room for humour here)

  11. Rugs99

    By three years old a child born to muslim parents will have been brainwashed into the ideology of islam, they do not get a chance to make their own mind up I’m afraid. I must just add- this is one of the most stupid things I have read on the internet and that’s saying something.

  12. edward bentfield

    That’s just the thing they don’t want to be reminded of. Who do these people think they’re kidding -besides themselves? We ‘done that’ -got the T-shirts; been there -been enlightened… They’ve got that coming to them -‘on the drip’ …for them a ‘painful emotional’ drip. The reality of life -and death; No virgins in paradise to look forward to. Just a gang of worms trying to break into your coffin from day one.

    Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, if the women don’t get you the Whiskey (maggots) must.

  13. edward bentfield

    My thoughts too. Couldn’t have put it better in a month of ‘Sundays’…. or Sabbaths, or ‘Fridays’…

  14. JC

    Not the best way in a democracy. 😉

  15. edward bentfield

    Humour -black or not, do you mean? Or the waving of religious sacred swords outside and inside a theatre in Brum?

  16. sarah ismail

    A ‘Muslim baby’ is a baby born to Muslims. Being born Muslim, of course, does not necessarily mean that you will remain a Muslim once you are old enough to decide for yourself but, if you are born into any religion, your parents like to think that you will grow up to practice and believe it.

    That’s why parents must have spoken for their babies/toddlers in the census.

    You might think it is a badly phrased headline, but the point being made is clear, to me, at least.

  17. bcarter007

    people reverting to Islam exponentially outnumbers the converts out of Islam.

  18. bcarter007

    just like the empire fell so shall the small island of britian

  19. Esa Soudbakhsh

    Rugs, your intelligence is one of the most stupidest things I have read on the internet because by the time the child grows older, he will be able to think for himself whether he wants to stay in Islam or not. Ever thought of that? Human beings can think for themselves, apparently you had a birth disorder so your an exception to that.

  20. Andrew Walker

    The American foreign policy towards Muslim countries over the last 35 years has created a political and media narrative along the lines of “Islam is bad” as a smokescreen to get closer to controlling the oil supply since the oil crisis of the 70’s.
    What this article serves, is to perpetuate ignorance amongst those who perhaps need to get out more.

    I think Islam and Islamic culture has more to fear from some aspects of western neo liberalism and culture than the other way round.

    Religious justification for bad behavior is never a good excuse.. Christian, Islam, Jew or Hindu.
    all cultures can easily be labelled for a few flawed characters if you wanted to.

    Where cultures clash in some ideals of human nature and behaviour, its usually under the banner of control or common sense.
    Morals are a mechanism to reduce how much you hurt someone else through your actions.

    The anxiety surrounding rising populations and birth rates, all competing for jobs, housing, food and resources is not a cultural or religious problem, but a wealth , equality & opportunity problem.
    People from poor families tend to have more children than wealthier families, because it provides insurance in later life that there is someone to look after us.
    that’s not fear, that’s family.
    Family appears to be a concept that gets in the way of making money,
    instead of the means of supporting a healthy family.
    Islam isn’t the highest threat to cultural identity, ignorance and mistrust are.qq

  21. George Carty

    The notion that apostates should be killed is a misunderstanding which dates back to the Ridda Wars of the 7th century (the enemies of the Muslims there were not just apostates, but violent rebel traitors, so the analogy is invalid).

    The inconsistency is clear when according to the Islamic doctrine of “fitra”, EVERY newborn baby is Muslim (before its parents decide to raise it as a Christian or Jew or atheist or Hindu or whatever…)

  22. John Smith

    If a baby needs adopting the religion matters little. Its more about the positive behaviours of the parents & any siblings

  23. John Smith

    One wonders why . . .

  24. Fasdunkle

    “What I mean to say is, can we not at least wait until a child is old enough to make their own mind up”

    Can the parents? Will the child eventually renounce the islam which was imposed upon him/her? Some will but it can be very dangerous.

    Anyway, according to islam every child born everywhere is a muslim

  25. ofthehighest1@yahoo.com

    Sharia law says that every child born to a Muslim father is a Muslim. The child is then forever threatened with death if he/she leaves Islam.

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