Monday, November 01, 2010

Scary Names

"Hi, I'm Larry, this is my brother Mohammed, and this is my other brother Mohammed!" — Lost episode of Newhart. Or not.
So Bill Maher is alarmed that "Mohammed" is the most popular name for baby boys in Britain. "And it’s not because of the race," says Maher, "it’s ’cause of the religion. I don’t have to apologize, do I, for not wanting the Western world to be taken over by Islam in 300 years?"

I seem to remember the last time I blogged about what's in a name I was laughing at Glenn Beck for casting suspicion over the name Barack! Remember the whole insinuation that The President was less American or trying to identify with radical Kenyans or whatever because of his name?

Well, I like Bill Maher much more than I like Glenn Beck, but he doesn't get a free pass here. It's not the same issue exactly, but Maher is expressing the same fear that my Republican chain-letter forwarding parents have: that Muslims are out-procreating us white people.

But I'll tell Maher the same thing I tell my parents: start your research at There are some wild population predictions going around that are based on impossible levels of Muslim fertility.

And another thing to consider is that maybe Muslim parents are picking names from a smaller pool of possibilities. So even though the UK is only about 4.6 percent Muslim, if they're all picking the same name, it's going to top the charts.

However, these answers don't tackle the much bigger problem that Beck and Maher (and my parents) seem to have: denying the existence of a moderate Muslim majority and regarding Islam as a problem for the world.

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