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

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