Outside of marketing who really cares about demographics

The Cambridge Dictionary defines demographics as:

the number and characteristics of people who live in a particular area or form a particular group, especially in relation to their age, how much money they have and what they spend it on

I have to admit that up until about five years ago demographics was one of those subjects that sounded as if you never wanted to look into unless you were in marketing because the whole concept seemed so dry and boring.  Yet after living overseas for so long the concept gradually entered my consciousness and I began to realise that this is something that will change our culture forever.

Being based in Belfast in Northern Ireland, which is the smallest province of the UK by far we are probably 10 years behind the `mainland’ (as we call the rest of the UK) when it comes to the changes in society.  We have started to see immigration but not to the extent that the rest of the UK has seen so in reality, we are in many ways insulated to the whole `multicultural’ debate.

For my family and I, we are a bit different as we would be seen as the perfect example of multiculturalism because my wife and I are from two very different cultures (one being an Ulster Scot and the other from an Asian heritage), our children being a product of two ethnic and cultural backgrounds and traditions.  Yet our children are just like every other teenager in the UK and the cultural differences of their parents are not even a topic of discussion as it is taken for granted and accepted. Our children do not see themselves as any different from any of their peers because they are not.  They grew up in the UK and they are British but British with an Asian influence in the way they think and act.

How will demographics change our children’s lives?

I am no stranger to different cultures and religions as I have lived and worked in Asia, Africa and the Middle East (with a lot of time spent in Mulsim Majority countries).  So I do not bat an eyebrow when I see people dressed in different cultural or religious dress.  Being used to seeing women with head coverings, whether it is the Hijab, Niqab or the Burkar (although you can see from this link there are more than just three versions of the Muslim women’s headdress) so most times I do not give women who wear them a second thought.

Yet the rise in women wearing them in the UK gives rise to many worries concerning what this means for the future of our children, but especially for their children. The reason these questions have been on my mind particularly the past weekend was the sight of two Somalian women on one of my local streets, near my daughters swimming classes.  Unlike most in the UK that are not of Somali origin, I know a little about Somalian culture as I lived and worked there in recent years.

A book everyone should read

What struck me was not that I was seeing two Somalia women dressed in full Muslim attire on the streets of Belfast (the sight is becoming more and more common) but the number of children that accompanied the two women (approximately ten I would guess).  I don’t know why this stuck in my mind this day but it did and I started to run over in my mind Douglas Murray’s book The Strange Death of Europe.

Murry is one of the clearest thinkers and commentators in Europe today and having lived in many Muslim majority countries (many of which provide us with the majority of the Muslim migrants coming into Europe today), I find his commentary and arguments very persuasive.

After starting thinking of demographics and Murray’s commentary on the cultural and social suicide of Europe because of mass Islamic migration (a huge change in our demographics); I went with my son to the last swimming gala of the year (as at 14 years of age he is just coming good as a competitive swimmer).  I was acting as a volunteer turn judge for the Swim Ulster gala and I could not get out of my mind would we see such gala’s in Europe in 50 years time.  Seems a strange thing to be thinking about but today I am wondering if it is so strange. According to a recent Pew Report:

Europe’s Growing Muslim Population Muslims are projected to increase as a share of Europe’s population – even with no future migration

According to this report, the UK has just over four million Muslims (6.3% of the population), but of course, with regional variations, i.e. certain parts of the country have denser concentrations of Muslims.  What struck me this past weekend was the growing influence of Muslims in the UK and how their culture and ethical norms are slowing being incorporated into British society – slowing replacing our culture and heritage.

It reminds me of a story involving a swimming pool in Luton in 2016 where the local authorities started men only swimming sessions in order to accommodate local Muslim `culture and practice’.  The Daily Mail Online reported the issue by quoting a local Imman:

Ajmal Masroor told talk radio that women “prefer a segregated pool where they can enjoy themselves without being an object of desire”.

This goes to the heart of the issue.  According to Islam women should cover up because they are an object of men’s lust and thus should not tempt men by revealing any part of their body.  It is not the man’s fault that he looks at women in a sexual way but their fault because she did not cover up, thus tempting him. If the reader wants a good Islamic explanation of the purpose of women covering up see Allamah Sayyid Sa’eed Akhtar Rizvi’s article:

The future of British swimming pools?

Hijab, The Dress of Modesty in Islam

An object of desire

I have included an interesting Channel Four debate on women covering up and it is very enlightening.  If you look at many of the female defenders of covering up in Islam today you will hear the same rhetoric that is presented in this TV debate.  Muslim women cover-up in devotion and obedience to Allah.  So to say that they do it by choice is hardly the whole truth.

They do it by choice because they chose to submit to Allah and his prophet.  It can hardly be empowering if you are required to do it by Allah and Allah’s word is cast iron – you disobey and you suffer hellfire.  It’s like a husband saying to his wife, `you have the choice to obey me or not but if you disobey me I will kill you’.  There are choices and there are choices!


The essence of Islam is “Submission to the Will of Allah”, to make one’s opinions, inclinations and actions subservient to the commands of Allah.

”And it is not for a believer man or believer woman to have any choice in their affair when Allah and His Messenger decided a matter; and whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, indeed he has strayed a manifest straying.”1

Therefore, if one asks why Hijab or Purdah is necessary, the only proper reply would be, ‘because Allah and His Messenger have so decided’. And that should be the end of all arguments, so far as the believing men and believing women are concerned. But in this age, Hijab has been equated with backwardness of society and is regarded as a symbol of servitude of women.

Many preachers think it is safer to avoid this subject in their lectures. But the Holy Prophet has said: ”When Bid’ats appear and an ‘Alim does not say what he knows (against that Bid’at) then he is cursed by Allah, the angels and the men.” 2 Islam is a compact religion in which all rules and regulations are well-synchronized, and if one wants to tamper with a certain part, the whole system would disintegrate. You have to accept the whole machinery as it is; you cannot choose from it.

According to Islam Muslim women have no choice in the matter if they wish to be obedient to Allah.  Allah and the prophet said it, so it is settled.  This explains the attitudes of the British Mulsim women in the video.  This is frightening, especially when you think of the last words quoted above: `Islam is a compact religion in which all rules and regulations are well-synchronized, and if one wants to tamper with a certain part, the whole system would disintegrate. You have to accept the whole machinery as it is; you cannot choose from it.’  This goes beyond women’s headdress but to every aspect of society and a person’s life.

Are we committing suicide as a society?

Murray is correct when he says that by importing this set of beliefs we are committing cultural and societal suicide and unlike the Muslim migrants we have nowhere to go.  Where can our children and grandchildren go?

These questions are asked because our society is already adapting to accommodate 6.3% of the British population and Muslim communities are very focal when it comes to their rights to impose Sharia-based practices in the UK. We have many Islamic/Sharia courts running a  parallel legal system in the UK and these are part of the problem of spreading  Sharia law in the UK.  One Law for All gives a devastating commentary and response to the government’s recent review of the Sharia court system in the UK:  Sharia Laws are part of the extremist threat and not a solution.  They conclude their criticism in this way:

A forensic examination of the operation of Sharia in Britain lays bare what fundamentalists do to achieve their goals, not merely what they think. We do not accuse them simply of ‘thought crimes’ but of promoting crimes and human rights violations.

The review is a botched attempt at consultation established with flawed terms of reference and an explicit disregard for gender discrimination. The government and the reviewers have failed the women most affected and ignored the concerns of rights advocates.

We will be providing a more detailed submission. Meanwhile, we call on you, as Home Secretary, to ensure that none of the recommendations contained in the review are implemented without consultation with those advocates who are able to make clear connections with extremism, fundamentalism and inequality. The government has, so far, failed in its duty to make an equality impact assessment, which it needs to do with the full weight of evidence before it. Continued indifference to the government’s duty to respect, protect and fulfil human rights will leave us in no doubt that there is no change to the social contract in which women’s rights are traded off as part of a process of appeasement of fundamentalists and extremists.

It seems obvious that this is a perfect example of what Murray means when he calls our politicians cowards.

With the projections showing rapid growth in the Muslim population across Europe (including the UK), it is hard to see a situation where there will not be an increase in the calls for the implementation of more Sharia-based practices and laws that will negatively impact our culture and heritage.  Practices and laws that will severely restrict not only our cultural heritage but our freedoms as well.

This is more dangerous than the many terrorist attacks that we face – although evidence is mounting that Islamists use terrorism to play on the cowardice of our politicians who are increasingly giving more and more concessions to Islam.   Under no circumstances can we afford to offend Muslims, is this not what we hear nearly every day in the UK and Europe?  If we offend them will we not drive them into radicalisation, and we know where that leads to, yes?  We offend them, they radicalise, they radicalise and they kill us.  So it is better not to offend but to accommodate and give them what they want.

I fear that our children’s children will live in a very different country than what we live in today as our freedoms and way of life is gradually eroded and replaced by Islamic Sharia law.  David Wood’s The Three Stages of Jihad seems very adept.  As is quoted above:

The essence of Islam is “Submission to the Will of Allah”, to make one’s opinions, inclinations and actions subservient to the commands of Allah.

Are we destined to submit to the will of Allah as defined under Sharia law?  Will this be the fate of our grandchildren? It is heartening that the British courts are ruling against gender segregation in the UK:  Court of Appeal finds gender segregation can amount to unlawful sex discrimination Yet this is only one of many battles that we face in the UK to protect the long history of individual freedoms that we now have.

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Lived and worked in Muslim-majority countries for over 12 years while working in the international development sector as a senior director/manager. This included South East Asia, East, and West Africa (including the Horn of Africa), the Middle East and Afghanistan. Main interests in life is the study of Political Islam and how this has interacted with non-Islamic civilisations, especially Judeo-Christian civilisations, in history and currently.

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