The story of Europe is the continual decline in its birth rate which means in the coming years there will not be enough new babies to compensate for the death rate. The German government is offering strong incentives for women to remain home caring for babies. A woman who elects to remain with the child receives up to 67% of her net income and there are also provisions for both parents to remain home as care givers. However, the number o births in Germany dropped during the months of October and November just when it appeared the incentives might work to increase the number of births. The drop in births during those two months was about 11.7% fewer babies. Overall, it is estimated the drop for the year is about 1.7%.
Reality is if birth rates do not increase the alternative is to increase immigration since a modern nation needs bodies in order to fuel its economic growth. Who knows, will there come a time in the future when Americans will be headed to Europe to take jobs created by the decline in the birth rate.
A perennial complaint of those who seek to create the image that Muslims are terrorists is to cite some religious figure who urges violence toward those in the west. The German government has decided to open a private institute for the education of Muslim imams in order to create a new generation of Muslim leaders who have an intellectual foundation which is centered not only in the Muslim community but in broader issues of society. “We want to educate German-speaking imams who are anchored in society and have a perfect command of the language. “If such imams emerge there will be less need for imams from other countries who lack knowledge of either German or European societies and thus communicate ignorance about the West.
The new institute has already reached out to local churches and other groups in order to create a sense they wish to center Muslims in the community rather than having them come across as a foreign group. Naturally, local neo-Nazis have threatened to demonstrate against such an institution.
Among the disasters of the Bush invasion of Iraq was the resulting prejudice against Christians in that nation which has resulted in the flight of over two-thirds of the prewar population. Ironically, under the Saddam Hussein regime, Christians enjoyed freedom of religion and protection against persecution. Saddam disliked and feared fundamentalist Muslim leaders so he allowed Christians to live in peace. The American invasion resulted in a rise to power of Muslim fundamentalist and an unleashing of violence against Christians. Most have fled although few have ben welcomed in the United States. The European Union is granting refuge to over 10,000 Iraqi Christians and at least one fourth will be granted asylum in Germany.
Most of the historic Chaldean Christians trace there ancestry back over a thousand years and predate the arrival of the Muslim religion. The blundering Bush invasion which did not even recognize the precarious position of Iraq Christians has resulted in their need to flee from their homes and seek safety elsewhere. Does President Bush ever regret what he did to the Christians of Iraq?