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The Myth of the Muslim Tide: Do Immigrants Threaten the West? Paperback – August 21, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for The Myth of the Muslim Tide:

"Brilliantly detailed and statistically unarguable. . . . Saunders knocks down all the arguments of an Islamic wave destroying the Western democratic paradise (cough) with the ease of Roger Federer smashing away badly aimed lobs."
Herald de Paris 
"Doug Saunders may be on his way to becoming the most important journalist in the Canadian mainstream media. . . . In a cool-headed manner, Saunders dismantles [Eurabia] claims one at a time with a relentless onslaught of facts. . . . At times, Saunders's book reads like a doctoral dissertation as he bludgeons readers with data. But in light of all the hype about the so-called Muslim threat, it's a prudent approach because it makes Muslim-tide authors like Steyn, Bruce Bawer, Melanie Phillips, and Christopher Caldwell look like buffoons. . . . The Myth of the Muslim Tide is a welcome antidote and for that reason alone, it deserves wide readership."
— (Toronto) 
"Sensible, fact-driven. . . . Doug Saunders is a journalist of the rare kind these days. He actually researches, explores, investigates and only then reports on the major trends of our global community."
Firedog Lake Book Salon 
"Using an exhaustive supply of numbers, trends and comparative history in a slim book, Saunders makes a strong case for his arguments, which are meant to challenge those alarmists who think Islam will eventually dominate Europe and North America."
Winnipeg Free Press
"Thorough, fact-dense and convincing. . . . An impartial examination of the notion that Muslim immigration urgently threatens Western civilization. . . . Ultimately, Mr. Saunders’ book provides a perverse sort of hope: Catholics and Jews overcame precisely the same sorts of suspicions Muslims now face to become more or less unquestioned members of Western societies. By the time Muslims are supposed to be taking over the entire Western world, perhaps they will instead join hands with their fellow citizens in worrying about the next wave of immigrants—or better yet, not."
National Post
"A compelling case. . . . Draws uncanny parallels between modern-day Islamophobia and the outmoded anti-Semitic/anti-Catholic rhetoric of our past—and it refocuses our attention on the real immigration problem we should be worried about. . . . Its reassurances and warnings resonate."
The Grid (Toronto)
"An invaluable contribution to the contemporary debate over Muslim immigration and integration into Western communities. . . . The author takes a nuanced, informative look at the alarm that has greeted the latest wave of Muslim immigrants to Western countries and explains, with admirable precision, why this response is unjustified. . . . Saunders’ approach is refreshingly levelheaded and fact-based; he reproaches those who have allowed fear and anger to overwhelm reason, while acknowledging that terrorism and religious extremism pose real dangers to Muslims and non-Muslims alike."
Kirkus Reviews 
"Cogent and timely. . . . Saunders sets out to correct the rumors and misinformation that plague the world's second largest religious group. . . . Saunders proceeds to systematically denounce numerous alleged ‘facts’ or perceived trends (e.g., the rate of Muslim immigration will increase; Muslims are guided by an ideology rather than a faith; terrorism is inherent in fundamentalist Islam; etc.), and then offers some solutions."
Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Doug Saunders is the European bureau chief of The Globe and Mail. He is the author of Arrival City, which won or was a finalist for several prizes and was published in eight languages around the world.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (August 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307951170
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307951175
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #801,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Doug Saunders is a Canadian-British author and journalist. He is the author of the book Arrival City (2011) and the London-based European bureau chief for The Globe and Mail. He writes a weekly column devoted to the larger themes and intellectual concepts behind international news, and has won the National Newspaper Award, Canada's counterpart to the Pulitzer Prize, on four occasions.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Shah Alam on January 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
The one thing that stands out in "The Myth of the Muslim Tide" is that it's not based on the author's personal whims or views: it's based on exhaustive research and the derived statistics. It delves deep in to the history of immigration and assimilation from as far back as 200 years.

Reading this book had me better educated not only about the myths of the current immigration tide of Muslims but also on the history of Catholic and Jewish immigration to US and Western Europe. Comparing and correlating that background with the analysis of the current statistical data, the author very ably and logically concludes that the fears of the Muslim tide are over blown. The chapter "We have been here before" draws an excellent comparison of similarities between the fears and myths of earlier migrations and that of the current one of Muslims.

Let me make an honest admission here. I am a Muslim immigrant myself and had almost started to believe somewhat in the fears expressed by those who said that Muslims were working on an agenda - that of having the entire host society succumb to the Sharia law - and it's only after reading this book I realized that such reservations were no more than hallucination.

I would recommend this book to all who have reservations about the growing Muslim population and culture among their midst and would go beyond: I would seriously suggest that a condensed version of this book be made part of the curriculum for grade 9 to 10 students so that they can enter their adult life equipped with facts rather than fallacies.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joseph F. Leavitt on November 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent Book. Saunders does a great job of countering the popular fear that many seem to have about the "threats" that Muslims bring to the "West" by providing an overwhelming amount of empirical data. The only downside is that it can sometimes be somewhat repetitive and somewhat data overload (but would rather have it lean this way than the other). Great book to challenge misinformed perceptions.

One example is the fact that Mohammed is the most popular name given to sons in Britain. Saunders does a good job of explaining that over 50% of Muslims give their son this name. Also, this fact includes counting around 11 or 13 different variations of the name Mohammed.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ken Kardash on January 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
Congratulations to Doug Saunders for raising a voice of calm and reason against hysteria about Muslim immigration to the West. His meticulous reporting should reassure anyone fretting that Muslims are set to conquer the world by ideological intent and demographic inevitability. If you harbour any such anxieties, this book is well worth reading. For most of us living with Muslim neighbours, we already know that this fear is illusory, fanned by fringe elements of the media to the benefit of only their own book sales. In fact, the author begins each chapter with quotations from popular alarmists, then systematically demolishes their claims. I found this format to be powerful and convincing.
What I found most original and interesting about this book was how it places the current islamophobia in historical context. Saunders demonstrates nicely how prejudice against an influx of potentially dangerous "others" has recurred throughout modern Western history, only to be ultimately washed away by the peaceful forces of integration into a prosperous society. The ironic sense of "tide" in the title thus becomes apparent only when you finish reading the book, or at least the middle of its three sections.
The final section, "What we should worry about", offers politically correct suggestions about how better education and job opportunities would help prevent extremist violence. Those measures would improve life for all of us. What is only tangentially addressed here, and I was hoping would be further explored, is how a tiny minority of second-generation immigrants are indoctrinated and enabled to act out violently against the West. As Saunders points out, these extremists tend to be well educated and integrated into western society. It seems to me that this is something we should worry about. Maybe another book can address that, which is why I withhold one star in rating this one.
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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Daniel G. Schaeffer on June 30, 2014
Format: Paperback
If you're one of these people who's OD'd on the Horowitz crowd and you lie awake sweating over the impending fall of Western civilization, this is the book for you. There aren't enough Muslims in the US to be statistically significant and probably never will be, and England won't magically turn into Iran any time soon. And yeah, Melanie Phillips really has shown herself to be a a bit of a twit and a whiner, hasn't she?

The problem here is about what one would expect. Much like Noam Chomsky or Ian Buruma, though in an admittedly far less toxic way, because he's clearly non-PC, Doug Saunders doesn't have a very firm grasp of what Islam actually is, and what it has really done to impede any social OR ETHICAL progress in Dar-al-Islam, and why.

He has a long section comparing the position of Muslim immigrants with that of previous Catholic and Jewish ones. It's a really shallow analogy, because Islam is a radically different KIND of religion than either. As follows:

"I am in agreement with secular Muslims like Salman Rushdie and Ayaan Hirsi Ali ... when they argue that the instructions of the Koran ... are enormously harmful to those who are subject to them, especially women ... (p. 6)."

Catch what's wrong here? Rushdie and Ali are not Muslims at all!!! They're apostates, and hence under death sentences. Further, they know a LOT more about the Koran than Saunders does. Example: Muslims are ordered not to fraternize with, or sympathize with, the infidels for fear of risking damnation, and these orders are absolute and forever. No wonder so many have a difficult time integrating. Further, if it will take one Muslim family two or three generations to integrate fully, what about the fact that fresh immigrants will have to repeat the process indefinitely?
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