Giants in the Land?
There is story in the Book of Numbers: Moses sent in spies to scout out the land of Canaan before the tribes of Israel entered in to conquer. They came back with a frightening report of giants in the land. The Israelites were demoralized and begged to go back to Egypt. Only Joshua and Caleb dissented.
Numbers 14:3: Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?
The story is a sad one. The Israelites were consigned to wander in the desert for decades because of their lack of faith. The grumpy generation of complainers would have to pass away before Israel would be allowed to enter into the Promised Land. Only Joshua and Caleb, the dissenting spies, would see it.
Today, TV talking heads and government experts are telling us that that there are Islamic giants in the land. We should make peace now, and negotiate for whatever scraps these giants will gracefully allow us.
When I started the research which led to my website, I trusted many of these experts. When I looked for evidence of this Muslim bastion among our neighbors to the south, I was amazed to find that according to some reliable sources, there were at least 25-30 million Arabs in Latin America.
I found out that the Argentine government had donated land to the Saudis to build a mosque in downtown Buenos Aires. Hugo Chávez had allied with Iran. The Iranians were opening up a Spanish language propaganda network: HispanTV.
However, most of these alarming revelations turned out to be nothing more than chimeras.
I have been studying this for almost two years now, and I do not see these giants. There are tens of millions of Arabs, yes; but almost all the Arab-Latins are Christian.
I did discover lies and exaggerations. The imams of Argentina like to say there are almost a million Muslims in their country, and some semi-official figures concur. A more realistic count may be 500,000, but even that figure is suspect.
The Argentine academics Pedro Brieger and Enrique Herszkowich noted that most Muslims in Argentina are assimilated, non-practicing, and likely to marry into Christianity. In reality, they noted:
Assuming four people per family, a realistic guess for the Muslim population of Buenos Aires might be around 4,500, far fewer than the number projected by some Muslim officials. (Source)
From 900,000 down to a little more than 4,500 practicing Muslims in Buenos Aires. There are some in the hinterlands; but even accounting for those, the official numbers are grossly exaggerated.
Of course, the critic will notice that I am citing papers that are roughly ten years old. Times have changed. The Saudis have financed the opening of the King Fahd Mosque in Buenos Aires, and they subsidize the Islamic Center.
The number of Muslims in Argentina is decreasing[.] ... This may, however, change in the future with the construction of the new Islamic Cultural Center King Fahd financed by the Saudi government, which includes a school and a mosque with a minaret in the heart of Buenos Aires. (Source)
Islam was dying in Argentina, until the Saudi government financed it, on land donated by the Argentine federal government. It took the intervention of two governments to make an Islamic giant out of a dying dwarf. What if the subsidies were cut off?
In 2007, Daniel Greenfield of the Sultan Knish blog wrote "The Arab Invasion of South America," where he cited this questionable statistic:
... Venezuela ... has as many as one million Muslims. (Source)
A U.S. State Department report, also written in 2007, estimated more than 100,000 Muslim in Venezuela -- considerably less than Daniel Greenfield's estimate.
The Muslim community of more than 100,000 is concentrated among persons of Lebanese and Syrian descent living in Nueva Esparta State and the Caracas area.
The Spanish-language IslamHoy (Islam Today) reports 250,000 Muslims in Venezuala -- still far less than Greenfield's claim of one million -- with 40,000 Muslims in Caracas.
However, regarding Caracas, the American Foreign Policy Council reported in 2011:
Caracas has a largely Sunni population of 15,000 which is served by the largest mosque in Latin America, built by the Saudis[.](SOURCE)
We have established, from the Argentine academics cited above, that Islamic authorities grossly exaggerate, and so 100,000 Muslims seems to be the more reliable figure for Muslims in Venezuela. Islam Today was off by a factor of 2.5. If one divides their figure of 40,000 Muslims in Caracas by the 2.5 factor, we arrive at 16,000, which is almost identical to the American Foreign Policy Council figure of 15,000 in Caracas. Again, this confirms our suspicion of Muslim mendacity.
Whether we use the more reliable 15,000 estimate or the 40,000 one, one is still left with an oddly low number of Muslims in Caracas. One would expect more Muslims to be concentrated in Venezuela's chief port. This causes even the claim of 100,000 Muslims in Venezuela to be suspect.
The same effect of Muslim exaggeration was noted in Israel by Yoram Ettinger., whose demographic work in the contested areas discovered that the Arabs were inflating their population by over a million.
The U.S. State Department in 2009 reported that in Brazil:
Muslim leaders estimate that there are between 700,000 and 3 million Muslims, with the lower figure representing active practitioners.
The extent of Musim exaggeration is breathtaking.
When I started my website, the numbers I added up were scary -- but over time, I began to realize that the official figures contradicted each other. Islam is dying, except where government monies (often co-financed by Western governments or oil revenues) prop it up. Had Argentina not donated that land in downtown Buenos Aires to the Saudis, Islam might be dead in Argentina now.
Suicidal Western subsidies have kept Islam alive. Islam cannot support itself.
Not just in Latin America, but even in Africa the Muslims admit that Islam is collapsing. The roar of Islam that we see is that of a wounded and dying animal.
The real mass conversions in Latin America are to varieties of Pentecostal and Baptist Christianity. Over a million people a year are becoming Evangelical in Brazil. Chile also has a growing Evangelical community. Argentina is 9% Evangelical now. Even the Arabs in Chavez's Venezuela have started to convert.
There are worrisome trends of growing anti-Semitism in Latin America The Palestinian-Christians of Chile -- of Orthodox Christian or Roman Catholic stock -- are notoriously anti-Israel; but this stems from nationalism, not Islamic sympathies.
Yes, Saudi and Iranian monies flow in to build institutes and set up propaganda networks; but these could be contested with a minimal amount of cash, or a mere refusal to donate land. Don't issue building permits -- until the Saudis allow churches in Riyadh.
There are pockets of Muslim terrorists in Latin America, but they are not typical of the Arab population at large, which is overwhelmingly Christian.
Americans would do better to voluntarily support the Evangelical revival in Latin America, than to tremble in fear of exaggerated numbers; and over-react. There is no looming caliphate.
There are no "Giants in the Land" -- only wailing jackals in flight.
Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who is not Jewish, Latin, or Arab. He runs a website, http://latinarabia.com, where he discusses the subculture of Arabs in Latin America. He wishes his Spanish were better.