This via SmallDeadAnimals.com.
This excuse, that Arabs are not responsible for their personal failings, has been used before, and often, by others. It's been used to explain away political chaos and genocide in Africa and Asia. It has been used to brush off the frightening lack of responsibility in many minority communities here in the United States.
People are not responsible for living in terrible squalor, poverty, crime, fear and insecurity because of the racism/colonialism/prejudice/intolerance/neglect/exploitation/mis-understanding (take your pick) of OTHER PEOPLE who are not a part of the 'rightfully-aggrieved' suicide-Jihadi cult. The Islamic world is fucked up because the West made it so, they say. It's dangerously volatile because, despite enormous economic resources, people are poor, uneducated and deprived, they say. I read the above,and thought of something I had written in what now seems another life (bolded text inserted to make my points relevant to the present issue) :
"Many Hindus are poor, deprived, illiterate, and their culture suffered under colonialism, yet they do not go on killing sprees.
Many Buddhists the world over are poor, deprived, illiterate, and their cultures suffered under colonialism, yet they do not go on killing sprees.
Many Christians the world over are poor, deprived, illiterate, and their cultures suffered under colonialism, yet they do not go on killing sprees.
If poverty, deprivation, illiteracy, and the legacy of colonialism were the main causes of terrorism, then we'd see more terrorists from Bombay, Burma, and Budapest instead of Riyadh, Lahore and Aden.
The poverty/deprivation/illiteracy/colonialism connection does not wash since there are people in non-Muslim lands who suffer under the same (or even greater) deprivation who do not vent their frustrations by hijacking airliners and slamming them into office buildings.
Speaking of the 9/11 attack, the majority of the attackers in that plot were of distinctly middle-class backgrounds, many college-educated. Those 19 men were certainly not "poor, deprived and illiterate". More like "perverse, depraved and indecent".
What DOES cause Islamic terrorism is a culture in which every aspect of human activity, from which hand one wipes one's bottom with, to whom and how many wives one should marry, in which economic, social and political activity are strictly defined and proscribed, is dictated by the words of dead lunatic who created a guide for the world as he would like to have had it, and somehow managed to convince enough people that God told him that THIS is the way life is to be lived.
The lunatic was Mohammed, and the guide is the Koran. He is, in a metaphor most westerners would understand, that guy sitting at the corner stool in the local bar who muses "Wouldn't it be great, if...?", but who then managed to actually work up the ambition to make it so. Mohammed was like Norm from "Cheers"... only with a work ethic.
The first mistake Muslims make is to believe that Islam is a religion. It is not. It is a system by which every aspect of life is systematically controlled, and given a religious patina. It is a system that totalitarian systems of the West would have recognized easily, and which the worst of them (The Nazis and the USSR) certainly wished they could emulate. It was created by a very small, and otherwise-powerless man bent on revenge for slights both real and imagined, and used to enlist people to his cause of visiting revenge upon the people who had deprived, ridiculed and insulted him.
Much like Nazism and Soviet Communism, Islam cannot abide a rival system of belief or a foreign concept of personal freedoms divorced from it's own orthodoxy. No rival to Islam can be allowed to survive. It ruthlessly seeks out and destroys any rival system that poses a threat to it. Like Nazism and Communism, it denies the existence of human nature and believes that all human activity (and it's own eventual victory) is pre-ordained. It believes that human nature, when it does rear it's ugly head, can be controlled with violence or the threat of violence. It smothers the individual on behalf of the collective, which then serves and props the system up.
It violently rejects the idea that authority can and should be challenged if the human race is to advance in any meaningful way. As a result, the Islamic world, from all intellectual, artistic, economic, political, historical, scientific and cultural standpoints, is stunted. Nothing happens in the Islamic world that is not subject to the relentless scrutiny of religious orthodoxy. No potential threat to the status quo ante (the rule of the Imam, or the select elite backed by or in league with the Imams) is allowed to survive; the full force of religion (and often religion backed by the police or military power of the state) typically being brought to bear upon it, whether it is the concept of interest-bearing loans, women's rights (or even a woman's basic humanity) , the power of the press, or Brittney Spears' belly-button on the television screen. If you doubt this, just recall that music (which leads to dancing!), television (which might actually inform the people or show them images that will lead them astray) and a free press (which might actually incite the people against the Imams) were all banned in Afghanistan. Note that most Islamic equivalents of said media in most other Arab/Islamic countries are strictly controlled and censored by religious bodies operating under government auspices. Just recall that the first printing press in the Islamic world was not sanctioned by the Ottoman Empire until 1825, and even then it was only allowed to print the Koran.
Why? Because Islam is allergic to ideas. It is especially allergic to any idea which the Koran does not specifically address. The reaction, when this eventuality occurs, is not to revise or reconcile the dogma (which is the standard Judeo-Christian practice regarding conflicts between doctrine and progress)to new circumstances, but to destroy the offending concept and make it outlaw.
If you need a graphic example of just how stunted and culturally-retarded Islamic society is, we need only look at the toolbox of the modern, Islamic terrorist; intercontinental airliners, flight schools, cell phones, the Internet, chemical explosives, international funds transfer, credit cards, the AK-47, the battlefield artillery rocket, the short-range ballistic missile, videotape, broadcast television (Al' Jazeera) and mass media, and last, but not least, the boxcutters used by the 9/11 hijackers -- are all Western inventions. These are all the result of a robust scientific, economic and cultural experimentation which was created under a system of secular rationalism.
What did the Islamic world provide? Nineteen lunatics willing to die.
So, in the end, the poverty the Islamic world struggles under is not one of financial resources; it is a poverty of the mind. The deprivation is suffers is not one of material goods and comfort; but a spiritual one. The illiteracy it contends with is not caused by a lack of books and people educated to read them; the stratification of it's political and social forms is not a legacy of colonialism; it is an inability to reconcile modernity with an outdated orthodoxy with which the underlying desert nomad culture is too frightened to deviate from.
The first step in the liberation of the Islamic world is not to tear down the West, but to break free of it's own, self-imposed, mental chains."
Perhaps if these "100 Arab Scholars" (I'll bet majority of them were educated in Europe and the United States, by the way) could convince their people to look inwards instead of searching for scapegoats, there would be no more poor, deprived, illiterate suicide bombers at all. But there I go, applying logic again.
I should know better by now...