Does Europe face a Muslim demographic time bomb?
Maybe not, read this article. Here is one provocative bit of several:
"Figures of eight million French Muslims are regularly tossed around, based, it seems, on panicked fears of high Muslim immigration and a high Muslim birth rate. These figures are vastly overestimated, though. Figures on religious affiliation and ethnic background aren't kept by the French government, as part of a long-standing reaction against the misuse of those figures by Vichy to deport immigrant Jews to the concentration camps. The suggestions of The Economist that there are a bit over four million French Muslims seem to be more sensible and generally accepted. This amounts to roughly 7% of the French population--a significant number, to be sure, but not an overwhelming majority.

If this minority population grew for the next 50 years at a rate of 2% per annum (a high rate, and one that doesn't seem to be supported by signs of an ongoing demographic transition), while the remainder of the population shrunk at a rate of 0.5% per annum (also a high rate of decrease, and one that doesn't seem likely to be achieved for a while given generally high French fertility rates), at the end of this 50 year period the total French population would have shrunk by 9%, and France's Muslim population would amount to roughly one-fifth of the total. You'd have to wait for a century to approach a position of parity between the two populations, assuming the same unrealistic growth rates. This is definitely not any sort of imminent threat, nor as I shall demonstrate is it a very plausible threat at all."

Or how about this:
"The French Muslim community, after all, is barely more than a generation old. In Tunisia, fertility rates have fallen below the levels needed to sustain the population over the long term; Algeria and Morocco, Turkey and Tunisia, are not much further behind. There isn't any more reason to assume that French Muslim fertility rates will remain above replacement rate, after all, than there was to expect Western fertility rates to remain above replacement level. If anything, quite conceivably Maghrebin fertility rates could fall far below replacement levels. Societies with a certain minimal level of female autonomy, fairly low living standards, and access to contraceptive technologies can have rather low birth rates despite being generally conservative--look at Romania and Bulgaria, for instance, or Poland and China, or even Italy and Spain. It isn't difficult to imagine a situation where, one day, the countries on the southern shore of the Mediterranean will have a lower fertility rate than the countries on the northern shore of the Mediterranean. I have already. The impact that this will have, of course, on French Muslim fertility rates can hardly be anything but negative."

I would need to play around with the numbers for a long time before I could endorse all of these conclusions. Nonetheless it is worth pointing out that there is another side to the story. Too many people assume, without further investigation, that parts of Western Europe will rapidly become a Muslim sea.

Thanks to the ever-insightful Chris at for the pointer to the article.