26 August 2006

How many Muslims is enough?

Fox News reports this morning that Israel Encouraging Muslim Countries to Send Peacekeepers to Lebanon . Why? I mean they already have France! Isn't that a Muslim country?

I am actually somewhat serious about this. The notion that France is 83-88% Roman Catholic is a joke, unless being RC is just a matter of having one's name on a list. At this writing (and it may change before I am done with this post), Wikipedia cites a study by Froese from 2001 that says that 54% of the French are agnostic or atheist, while. (The same source says the CIA number is high, claiming 77% but is without a source.)

Let's take the CIA numbers "Roman Catholic 83%-88%, Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 5%-10%, unaffiliated 4%" and massage them with the Froese number. (And I know, you can do this a lot of ways ...) If you are going to claim to be a French protestant, Jew or Muslim, you are not an agnostic or atheist. Other sources claim that there are 4.5 million muslims in France. With a total population of 60 million, that represents 7.5 percent (the median of the CIA range.) So let's use the median of the CIA's RC range too: 85% RC. Assume that the Froese number includes the "unaffiliated 4%".

That leaves (85-50) 35% of the population claim to RC and the RCC claims them. For the number of actual practicing RC's, anecdotal evidence suggests that this is astonomically high. But let's assume that it is 1/3. That leaves the country 12% RC, and 7.5 % Muslim. It may not be there yet, but aren't we darn close to saying, "Isn't France a Muslim country? with no tongue in cheek at all.

Oh, and Bully to Israel for encouraging Muslims to join the UNIFIL 2. Good divide and conquer strategy to help prevent Shiite dominance. (Which this commentator says is not much of a danger anyway.)

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