Tuesday, March 6, 2007

A List We All Should Read

While I would not title this list "10 Questions for Muslims" but rather "10 Questions for Muslim Countries," This is still a list people need to consider. It is too bad that, according to question 3, half of Arab women cannot read this, and that only 1% of the population of these countries have computers - half of which have internet access (also according to question 3.)

Here is the list, and all credit goes to Jack Lacton aka Kerplunk in Australia. While I've quoted this list in it's entirety, please visit his blog. His entries are well thought out and documented.

10 Questions For Muslims

1. Why is it Oil or Nothing? The combined annual GDP of the world's Muslim majority countries is under $2 trillion. That's less than 20% of the USA even though Muslims outnumber Americans by about four to one. Their GDP is about the same as that of Germany. The GDP of the major oil rich nations of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar combined is roughly equal to Thailand's $430 billion. Remove oil and gas from the Gulf states' exports and their export figure is below that well known exporting giant...Finland. What else do you do besides oil?

2. Why do you only account for 5% of the world's economy? How does it come about that 25% of the world's population is responsible for only 5% of the world's GDP? And that percentage is falling. Where is your industry? Where are your global companies? Where are your world-leading scientists? Heck, why are you not even any good at any sport?

3. Why are Arab nations so underdeveloped? According to the United Nations' Arab Development Report: Half of Arab women cannot read; one in five Arabs lives on less than $2 per day; only 1% of the population has a computer of which half use the Internet; 15% of the workforce is unemployed and that's expected to double by 2010; and the average growth rate per capita over the last 20 years was only 0.5% which is worse than anywhere but sub-Saharan Africa. How do you blame the rest of the world (or the Jews) for that?

4. Why don't you focus on education? The Muslim majority countries have less than 600 universities for 1.4 billion people. India has 8500 and the US 5800. In the history of the Nobel Prize, Muslim countries have produced only 8 Laureates from their billions of people. In the meantime, less than 12 million Jews have produced 167. That means it's more than 2000 times more likely for a Jew to be awarded a Nobel Prize than one of Allah's followers. In an age of increasing technological reliance how will most Muslim nations do anything other than fall even further behind?

5. Why do you do so poorly in prosperous nations? Essex University released the results of a study The incomes of ethnic minorities that showed the economic conditions of these groups in Britain. According to the report:

Pakistanis and Bangladeshis are easily the poorest groups in the country. High unemployment among men: low levels of economic activity among women: low pay: and large family sizes: these all contribute to a situation in which 60% of Pakistanis and Bangladeshis are poor. This is four times the poverty rate found among white people.

Indian and Chinese people have high levels of employment, and their earnings are on a par with white workers. On these measures they can be seen to be prospering.

The survey also concluded that Pakistanis and Bangladeshis would be poor regardless of where they lived. Given the fact that Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Indians are the same people who had the same advantages of colonial Britain from which they were separated at the same time, why are the Indians so much more successful than the others? Indians are Hindus not Muslims. Why do Muslims do so poorly when others do so well?

Why don't you denounce terrorism performed in your name? Thousands of violent attacks are undertaken in the name of Islam each year by Muslims against non-Muslims. Why do you not condemn terrorist groups like Hamas, Al Qaeda and Hezbollah? Why are there no senior Muslim figures denouncing these acts of barbarity against innocents? Instead, all that we hear is an excuse for violence and blame for the attacks placed on the victims. Why can't you tell right from wrong? When will Muslims develop societal values that don't belong in the 7th century?

7. Why are your countries not free? According to Freedom House of the world's majority Muslim nations only Mali is free. One country from around 50! 60% are not free and 38% are partly free. Why do Muslim nations account for the majority of 'not free' nations? Of the 10 worst of the worst, 7 are Islamic states. Why is this? Are you born to be in chains?

8. Why the nutty Fatwas every time someone criticises Islam? Salman Rushdie, a Muslim of Indian descent, writes The Satanic Verses in 1988 and, for his efforts, has a fatwa calling for his murder placed on him by Iranian nutjob Ayatollah Kohmeini. Why is it that all who criticise Islam get the same treatment? Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Robert Spencer, Kola Boof, Khalid Duran, Naguib Mafouz...it's a long list. Why was Hitoshi Igarashi stabbed to death in 1991? For the crime of translating The Satanic Verses into Japanese. Why can't you learn to deal with criticism like the rest of the world did about a thousand years ago?

9. Why is truth optional? What's the most popular book in Arab nations? The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Readers may know that the book is an anti-Semitic fiction created by Russian secret police in around 1900. However, in the Middle East it's presented as fact. Ridiculous, you say. Really? The Saudi newspaper Al Madina ran a series in 2005 confirming the truth of the 'Protocols', as the book is known. The series was broken down into separate articles such as Muslims must be familiar with the Protocols in order to know how to defend themselves and The Match between the Protocols and real events is the most convincing proof of their authenticity. Shortly after 9/11 a survey of Muslim countries reported that only 18% of people believed that Muslims were behind the attacks. These days they're blaming the Jews. Last month Egyptian researcher Muhammed Al-Buheiri appeared on Nile Culture TV to claim that the Jews are still kidnapping Christian children, murdering them and using their blood in their Passover matzos. It's as if the 9/11 Truthers were in charge of news. In an environment of such lies and denial how do Muslims expect society to advance?

10. What is it with the cartoons, anyway? Why did you go crazy in February 2006 over cartoons published in September 2005? Do you people have no sense of humour? Do you not understand the irony of violence for such a trivial matter? Do you not understand the concept of freedom of expression even if you aren't allowed to practice it in your own countries? Are you so brainwashed that you don't understand the self-harm you inflict by your over reaction?

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