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Icebergophobia on the Titanic
In the spring of 2013, the journalist Simen Sætre published a highly uneven Norwegian-language biography of me, one that I did not ask to be written.
In late 2013, Mr. Sætre published a new afterword to the pocket edition of his book. In it he stated that my texts “were never meant seriously.” He further proceeded to explain my thought processes by comparing me to the person portrayed in the text The Portrait of the Antisemite, written in 1945 by Jean-Paul Sartre. He insinuates a psychological explanation and indicates that am mainly writing in order to struggle with my inner demons. Sætre explicitly asserts that my texts are not fact-based or rooted in reality.
I’ll respond with some facts, starting with a few simple but significant numbers.
By mid-2013, Bangladesh was estimated to have nearly 164 million inhabitants. Assuming a population growth rate of 1.59%, this equals an addition of about 2.6 million people every year. Another overwhelmingly Muslim country, Pakistan, was estimated to harbor 193 million people. With a population growth rate of 1,52%, that makes for 2.9 million more Pakistanis annually. Combining the two countries, Bangladesh and Pakistan grow by approximately 5.5 million people every year. That’s the annual population growth of just two Muslim countries.
Norway in early 2014 had a population of just over 5 million people. This already includes a significant number of recent immigrants. When I was a boy, there were roughly 4 million inhabitants of Norway. Some of the newcomers are Swedes or Poles, but many of the recent immigrants come from the Islamic world, Africa and other parts of the global South.
This essentially means that the population growth of just two Muslim countries is in principle enough to overwhelm a small Scandinavian country such as Norway in just a single year. Those are simple facts.
If current policies and trends continue, the natives will be turned into a minority in their own country in Norway, Sweden and several other Western European states within this century. Whether this happens in 2040 or 2060, it is simply a matter of time.
Combining all of the Scandinavian and Nordic countries — Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland —by mid-2013 these had a total population of less than 26 million people. Again, this already includes quite a few recent immigrants who didn’t live in these countries 40 years earlier.
Egypt is the most populous country in the Arabic-speaking world. In 1882, it had 6.7 million inhabitants. This is just a little bit more than the population today of countries such as Norway, Denmark or Finland, and less than that of Sweden. In 1947, the year my father was born, the population of Egypt was 19 million people. In 1986 it was 48 million; in 1996, 59 million. The country harbored 85 million people in 2013, and probably 86 million or more in 2014.
Egypt’s population grew by over 26 million people from the middle of the 1990s until 2014. This means that the population growth in a single Arab country in just one generation is greater than the total population of all of the Nordic countries put together. Forecasters predict that Egypt could have as many as 137 million people in 2050, up from less than 7 million in 1882.