I've been writing about the most popular baby names for over a decade now. This is from my book America Alone (personally autographed copies of which make a delightful and thoughtful Christmas gift):
What's the most popular baby boy's name in Belgium? Mohammed. In Amsterdam? Mohammed. In Malmo, Sweden? Mohammed. By 2005, it was the fifth most popular baby boy's name in the United Kingdom. Yet most Europeans weren't even aware of the dominant demographic trend until 9/11...
Fifth place in 2005, eh? This year, Mohammed is Number One:
Mohammad and Sophia most popular baby names of 2014
Arabic names and 1970s names on the rise while the royals prove out of favour
Victoria Ward reports on the survey by Babycentre:
Its list of the top 100 baby names for 2014 reveals an "enormous" surge in Arabic names.
Maryam is the biggest riser for girls, jumping 59 places to number 35, Nur is a new entry at number 29, while Omar, Ali, and Ibrahim are all new to the boys' top 100.
Sarah Redshaw, managing editor of BabyCentre, said: "Traditionally, Muhammad is often the name given to the first-born boy in Muslim families.
"With the increase of other Arabic names plus Aarav, an Indian boys' name, the top 100 shows the ever-increasing diversity of the UK today."
If you say so. I'd say it portends an ever increasing lack of diversity. For a start, Mohammed, Omar, Ali and Ibrahim are not really "Arabic names" - in the sense that the majority of babies in the United Kingdom so christened (if you'll forgive the expression) are not ethnic Arabs. British "Mohammeds" and "Omars" and "Alis" and "Ibrahims" are ethnically Pakistani and Bangladeshi and Somali: only a small minority of them are Arabs.
So these are not Arabic names, so much as Muslim names. How do Arabic names come to be given to babies from south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa? Robert Spencer:
A few years I came across a group photo of a summit meeting of Southeast Asian government officials. The Vietnamese, Thai, Laotian, Cambodian, Thai, Burmese and Chinese officials all had names indigenous to their nations; the Malaysian and Indonesian ministers had names like Muhammad and Abdullah – names indigenous to Arabia. Converts to Islam the world over give up a bit of their cultural diversity to take on Arabic names, and in many cases feel compelled to adopt the dress of a seventh-century Arab. This is not diversity, it's homogeneity.
Indeed. A few years on, when more Britons convert to the dominant religio-cultural identity, they'll start giving these names to their babies, too: Muhammed Fotheringay-Phipps, Ibrahim McTavish, Abdullah O'Flaherty. When Islam advances, everything is Islamized, and Nigel, Angus and Paddy will be names found only in country graveyards. The hot new hits on the baby hit parade are not "Arabic" names, and they are no testament to "diversity".
~The President convened a meeting at the White House today on policing in the wake of Ferguson. Among the participants was Al Sharpton, making his 82nd visit to Obama's Oval Office. The President does not, of course, have jurisdiction over crime and punishment in Ferguson, so there is something creepy and unsettling about what he's doing, even without the presence of the disgusting race-baiter Sharpton. Not so implicit in everything Obama says and does is that the grand-jury decision was wrong. As with immigration law, America's chief executive is engaging in presidential nullification - and, as I've said before, siding with the lawless over the lawful.
Some of the other aspects of Ferguson cropped up in my conversation with my old Hannity & Colmes co-host earlier this evening:
Monday on "The Alan Colmes Show," Alan spoke with conservative writer, sometimes talk show host and recording artist Mark Steyn about a wide range of topics which covered everything from gay marriage to how to perform a parody song to Ferguson, Missouri.
Steyn told Alan why he wishes conservatives were more effective when discussing political issues, why he disapproves of police having a "Robocop" mentality, and if he would rather talk about music or politics.
Click here to listen.
~Also this evening I checked in with Michael Coren on Canada's Sun News to discuss the interminable case of Michael E Mann vs Free Speech. I liked the way Michael, in the intro, pointed out that I referred to Dr Mann, PhD as a Doctor of Phraudology. I must use that term more often. Click below to listen:
~A week from today - Monday December 8th - I'll be in Hartford, Connecticut for an event presented by the Mark Twain House. "Weekend Edition"'s Scott Simon will be quizzing me, and I believe C-Span will be filming it for future transmission. But do come along and see it live, because how often do you get to see an NPR host on stage together with a Rush guest host? You can find more info and reserve your tickets here.
~Amazon has temporarily sold out of my new Goldfinger CD, but it's available in disc and download form at CD Baby, as well as, of course, the Steyn store.