Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Excerpt from Daniel Pipes

The book that most shaped my understanding of modern Muslim life was Wilfred Cantwell Smith's Islam in Modern History (Princeton, 1957). To reduce Smith's nuanced thesis to a few sentences, he argues that Muslim military, economic, and cultural success in the premodern period created an expectation that God's people would be rewarded for their faith in mundane ways. That expectation left Muslims incapable of explaining what happened when, in modern times, they fell behind in those same arenas.....

This background comes to mind with the publication of two recent studies, in the United Kingdom and in India. Each of them makes my point in spades. Some highlights of the British report, as summarized by Reuters:

Based on data from the 2001 national census, the 162-page study paints a relatively bleak picture of life for Britain's 1.8 million Muslims, most of whom are ethnic Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. "Of the different religious groups, unemployment rates among Muslims were more than double those in other groups," it found. Some 17 percent of Muslim men and 18 percent of Muslim women were unemployed compared to just five percent of Christian men and four percent of Christian women. "Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Black African groups had low levels of participation in the labor market," the study found. "Their high unemployment rates suggest that even when active in the labor market they experienced difficulties finding employment."

A third of Muslims lived in households which, according to the census definition, were overcrowded, compared to just six percent of Britain's Christians. Some 44 percent of ethnic Bangladeshi and 26 percent of ethnic Pakistani households were deemed to be overcrowded, against an average for the country of seven percent. In a country of nearly 59 million where home ownership is widespread and regarded as a key measure of wealth, Muslims were less likely to own their own houses than followers of other faiths. Just over half of Muslim households owned their houses compared to a national average of nearly 70 percent.

The Indian report has not been released, only portions leaked. From a summary by the prime minister's office: The Muslim community is "lagging behind" in most areas: they are "relatively poor, more illiterate, has lower access to education, lower representation in public- and private-sector jobs and lower availability of bank credit for self-employment. In urban areas, the community mostly lives in slums characterized by poor municipal infrastructure." Some particulars, as presented by the New York Times:

in many states Muslims are significantly overrepresented in prison. In the western state of Maharashtra, for instance, Muslims make up 10.6 percent of the population but 32.4 percent of those convicted or facing trial. In the famed national bureaucracy, the Indian Administrative Service, Muslims made up only 2 percent of officers in 2006. Among district judges in 15 states surveyed, 2.7 percent were Muslim.

Educational disparities were among the most striking. Among Muslims, Mr. Shariff said, the literacy rate is about 59 percent, compared with more than 65 percent among Indians as a whole. On average, a Muslim child attends school for three years and four months, compared with a national average of four years. Less than 4 percent of Muslims graduate from school, compared with 6 percent of the total population. Less than 2 percent of the students at the elite Indian Institutes of Technology are Muslim. Equally revealing, only 4 percent of Muslim children attend madrasas, Mr. Shariff said.



Tony Blair versus Tony Blair: "On this page a few weeks ago, Tony Blair set out his case for the ID card scheme that his Government is preparing to foist upon the British people over the next eight years or so. This was, presumably, a different Tony Blair from the one whose thoughts I stumbled across at the weekend while digging out books for the local Christmas fair. New Britain: My Vision of a Young Country, published in 1996, was a collection of newspaper articles and speeches that encapsulated Mr Blair's Third Way political philosophy, the prospectus on which he would be elected to office the following year. On the cover, he said: "When we make a promise, we must be sure we can keep it. That is page one, line one of a new contract between the Government and the citizen." So what did he think of ID cards? The answer was on page 68: "Instead of wasting hundreds of millions of pounds on compulsory ID cards, let that money provide thousands more police officers on the beat in our local community." So much for Mr Blair's new contract."

Pathetic British Tories: "Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher are conspicuous by their absence in a list of 12 great Britons who created the institutions that shaped the country's history, compiled by the Conservatives and eminent historians. The ranking was prompted as part of the Tory party's review of the teaching of history in schools and comes after surveys showing that many children lack a basic knowledge of history."

Cyber cafes un-Islamic: "Using political violence between Hamas and Fatah as cover, radical Islamists are bombing internet cafes, pool halls and chemists in Gaza to impose their own brand of fundamentalism. Cybercafes have been singled out for allegedly allowing customers to download pornography. Chemists have been bombed for selling hallucinogens smuggled from Israel or through tunnels from Egypt, while pool halls are accused of encouraging immoral behaviour. A group calling itself the Swords of Islamic Righteousness is believed to have carried out more than a dozen attacks in recent weeks."

A good comment on why GWB is as he is: "Read this. The tenor of the story is that there's something wrong with President Bush because he won't publicly acknowledge that things aren't going well in Iraq. But wouldn't it be self-defeating for the leader of our country-its commander in chief-to gnash his teeth in public? His job is to lead and inspire. If he expressed ambivalence about the war, it would be lost in a heartbeat. For us to have any chance to win, he must remain firm and strong. Leftists say that he's being insincere, even duplicitous. They want him to pour his guts out, to admit to doubts, to wonder aloud whether he did the right thing by invading Iraq. In short, they want Jimmy Carter. Leftists don't understand leadership, perhaps because it's been so long since they had power. President Bush is doing what he believes right, and he was elected twice to lead this nation. Those who don't like his decisions or his leadership style can elect someone more to their liking in 2008.



"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

Comments? Email me here (Hotmail address). If there are no recent posts here blame and visit my mirror site here or here. My Home Pages are here or here or here.


No comments: