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October 29th 2013 print

Babette Francis

Islam and birth control

Babette Francis writes:
While I share Michael Galak’s concern about institutional misogyny in Islamic societies, (QED October 2, 2013) and the angry young males these societies produce, I do not believe lack of contraception or large families is the cause.
There is no disapproval in Islam so far as I am aware of contraception as there is by the Catholic Church.  Indeed Muslim countries such as Pakistan have welcomed Family Planning organisations such as the UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) which vigorously promotes contraception, sterilization and abortion.  In Islam, as I understand, abortion is permissible until “quickening”, that is at least during the first trimester.
Furthermore,  some Muslim countries are facing the same catastrophic fall in birth rates as experienced by the West and Japan.  Iran, for example, has a birth rate well below  the replacement level of 2.l children  and the government is offering incentives  for couples to have more children.  In the Muslim  immigrant populations in Europe, the birth rate although higher than the native population, tends to decline within a generation and mirrors that of the locals.
In many parts of  (non-Muslim) southern Africa couples have large families without the inherent tendencies to  militant violence exhibited by young Muslim males. The reason for Muslim disaffection lies deep within the core of the Islamic scriptures and the example of the life of their prophet:  conversion by the sword, death to infidels, kaffirs (that’s us), apostates, homosexuals and stoning of adulterers (female rape victims are identified as adulteresses unless they can produce 4 pious male witnesses to the rape), polygamy, pedophilia (marriage of very young girls to much older men), etc. etc.
  Islamic societies are going through a regressive phase, very different to the regimes of Kemal Attaturk who modernised Turkey, or Mohamed Ali Jinnah who had similar ideals for Pakistan.  Even dictators like Saddam Hussein, Hosni Mubarak and Assad imposed relatively secular regimes, but now it is back to the Koran and Sharia Law.
Consanguinity also plays a role.  There is far too much marriage of first cousins in Muslim  society, this contributes to  a relatively high incidence  of disabilities and lack of educational success which  contributes to the frustration of young Muslim males.