Adrian Michaels is the Group Foreign Editor at the Telegraph Media Group responsible for its network of correspondents and world news output. He previously worked with TMG editor-in-chief Will Lewis at the Financial Times, where he served for 15 years, the last four of it as its Milan correspondent.
On 8 August 2009 two articles appeared under Michaels' byline characterizing Muslim Europeans as a 'demographic time bomb', who he claims will constitute one fifth of the population by 2050. The first article attributes the claim to 'various sources', all of them unnamed. As the accompanying article reveals, the more outlandish claims come from neoconservative columnist Christopher Caldwell In the article he lamented:
Britain and the rest of the European Union are ignoring a demographic time bomb: a recent rush into the EU by migrants, including millions of Muslims, will change the continent beyond recognition over the next two decades, and almost no policy-makers are talking about it.
After acknowledging that Muslims aren't the only recent immigrants to Europe, Michaels adds:
But Muslims represent a particular set of issues beyond the fact that atrocities have been committed in the West in the name of Islam.
Michaels then goes on to quote Christopher Caldwell of the neoconservative Weekly Standard for claims such as:
Whites will be in a minority in Birmingham by 2026, says Christopher Caldwell, an American journalist, and even sooner in Leicester. Another forecast holds that Muslims could outnumber non-Muslims in France and perhaps in all of western Europe by mid-century. Austria was 90 per cent Catholic in the 20th century but Islam could be the majority religion among Austrians aged under 15 by 2050, says Mr Caldwell.
The article also uses Policy Exchange as a source.
Inflammatory language such as 'timebomb' aside, these claims are based on neoconservative myths that have been repeatedly debunked, by Newsweek and the BBC among others. Commenting on Caldwell and Bruce Bawer (another proponent of the Eurabia myth) Eliot Weinberger writes in the London Review Blog, 'there are two sets of population statistics: those of the Islamophobes and those of everyone else'.
The general consensus is that Muslims now make up merely 3.6 per cent of the population of Western Europe, and the fertility rate of European Muslims is a fraction of 1 per cent higher than that of Christians. Allowing that second and third and fourth generations of immigrants tend to be better educated and have higher incomes, and thus have less children, and that intermarriage is common, it doesn’t seem likely there will be ever be a muzzein at the top of the Eiffel Tower, let alone, as the I-phobes warn, Sharia law in Denmark and Britain.