Saturday, August 05, 2006

They aren’t going to leave gracefully...

I wish for a world where T-P just meant a bathroom product.

My frequently-insightful brother made a statement today of unusual succinctness and clarity. I’ve taken the liberty of amplifying it a bit, and adding some further observations.

1) Europe in the middle ages was very much hobbled by its obstinate focus on the Bible. Medicine, literature, mathematics, astronomy, history... Every area of human concern was truncated and subordinated to Biblical-Spiritual-Christian doctrine.

2) The Islamic world is stuck in that mode now. Their society and religion are the legacy of many centuries in a harsh and demanding region of vast deserts, that rewarded maybe the raider more than the builder or gardener. They suddenly find themselves rich beyond the dreams of most countries, from oil wealth that they did not themselves have the technology or inclination to develop. They have not experienced and have no respect for the long discipline by which western countries gradually and painfully arrived at their current level of industrial sophistication.

3) Without a deep comprehension of how their wealth came into their hands, they do not value the attitudes, disciplines, and skills that are necessary to develop and maintain technology, and nor do they grasp the intellectual freedom which derives from Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian heritage that lead finally to the Renaissance.

Of course, it’s Culture not Biology.(Naturally, the Politically Correct Crowd will say that’s just as insulting.) In the Arab-Islamic world the word “sheik” is an honorific reserved for a male who has committed the text of the Qur’an to memory. Astricted by sacrosanct tradition to treat the rote memorization of its sacred text as the highest possible intellectual achievement, Islamic nations of the modern era reject as pointless or even subversive the diversion of their energy to the study of modern technologies and sciences.

Farouk El-Baz is a respected American scientist of Egyptian roots, who added his scientific and technological expertise for years to the Apollo Program. In the past he served as Anwar el-Sadat’s science advisor, and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and director of Boston U Center for Remote Sensing. He has written a few penetrating articles about the failures of the modern Islamic world, and the internal forces that have contributed.

A few excerpts from the website

Although the Arab region is considered oil-rich and wealthy, all indications point to its knowledge deficit. This fact is clearly conveyed in the Arab Human Development Report: Building a Knowledge Society that was issued in 2003 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The report, which I helped to review prior to its publication, pointed out that the Arab region trails behind all other regions in knowledge indicators, except sub-Saharan Africa. These indicators included the number of books, newspapers, radio stations, television channels, telephone lines, personal computers and Internet access.

• The number of patents produced by Arabs is meager; during the past two decades, South Korea registered in the US over 44 times the number of patents from all Arab countries combined.

• ... the number of books translated in all 22 Arab countries is equal to one-fifth of those translated into Greek.

• Although Arabs constitute five per cent of the world population, they produce only 0.8 per cent of the literary and artistic literature.

Without attempting an encyclopedic defense of this statement, I would add this: Within the West, just as there is an intensifying co-dependency between the Elite Liberal-Socialist Leaders and their welfare-voting-block clients, there is at the higher level of transnational cultures, a similarly intensifying co-dependency between the Transnational Progressives (with all the baggage of Post-Modernist / Deconstructionist / Moral Relativist / Unresolved-White-Liberal-Guilt), and the radical Islamicist components of the Muslim world, cynically ready to accept support from even those they despise.

Self-styled Socialist-Liberal-Progressives reflexively blame any deficiencies in their designated victim groups as having been caused by Western excesses, colonial depradations, racism, bigotry, capitalist greed, Christian chauvinism, et cetera. They obstinately refuse to acknowledge that there could be any internal basis for the madness of Islamic fanaticism. They ignore 14 centuries of Islamic Jihad, the conquest of much of the world (that Charles Martel and the Franks stopped in France in 732, and the defenders of Vienna successfully resisted in the 1680’s); they ignore the text of the Qur’an and the Hadith, the less formally-sacred but still widely worshipped anecdotal verses on the Life of the Prophet.

Whit [the “nom-de-net” of one of the principals of the website] in his post today referred to a list of items with which it would be good for all Westerners to acquaint themselves:
...the history of Palestine from the start of the Zionist movement in the late 19th century
... the Balfour Declaration
... the Zionists buying (not stealing) barren lands and making them productive.
... Arab uprisings in the 1930's
... the history about the Grand Mufti [Mohammad Amin al-Husayni of Jerusalem] and his relationship with Hitler.
... the history of Israel since 1948.

That list makes a great start. I have also found descriptions that describe terrorism by fanatical jews during that period. Even if they can be shown to be exaggerated or apocryphal, it’s important to be aware of them, because the Arab Palestinians certainly cherish those as compelling justification for their persistent outrage. I would recommend also the “essential list” from Steven den Beste’s site USSClueless archives. (Be not dismayed by his quirky interest in Japanese animation... His political insights are nonetheless breathtaking.) Finally, as a Christian (however conflicted and confused!) I think it is vital to be fully informed about how Islamic regimes treat “infidels” among them.

It is vital to inform ourselves, to look at sources that challenge our assumptions, and to resist the acquiescence of the Transnational Progressives in the assault by Islamic Fascists on our civilization.


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