Imam W. Deen Mohammed, son of the Nation of Islam’s Elijah Muhammad, last week held his annual convention to Detroit, with the theme “Have a Winning Spirit for Success.”
Amusing. This “Have a Winning Spirit for Success” is merely a copying of those Christian churches and revival meetings and assorted great awakenings where holy-rollers explain that Jesus was simply the first great Motivational Speaker, and that the Royal Road to Riches lies through belief. Believe in Jesus, and your investments, your work, your everything will “pay off” — oh, and if it doesn’t, you still have the rest of what is in the Bible as your consolation prize so don’t, please, ask that your contributions to this Church of Immaculate Worldly Success be given back.
In another sense, however, getting beyond the con-men, the mountebanks, the preachers-as-megachurch-motivational-speakers, there is a point that can be made. It is this. Islam does not encourage economic success. Islam gets in the way of economic success. Islam actively encourages two things that help explain the dismal economic performance of Muslim states and peoples, broadly speaking (there are always individual exceptions), as well as the fact that despite having received more than ten trillion dollars, the Muslim oil states have yet to build modern economies, but remain rentier states, dependent on Infidel wage-slaves. Not a single Muslim Arab state, for example, manages to build its own highways, its own skyscrapers, its own anything, but relies on the West. Just see how Libya has been throwing fits until Italy agreed to build for it a coastal highway that the Libyans, despite their tens of billions in annual income, just can’t manage. Or else they rely on West and East — in Saudi, for example, so many of the buildings are put up by South Korean contractors.
The first reason is inshallah-fatalism. If in every second phrase, you use that term, and if you really believe that at any moment Allah can come in, and exercise his will or his whim, and if all things are decided by him, well then — to the extent that that is truly believed, you are less likely to strive. It will, inshallah, succeed, inshallah, or it will, inshallah, fail. Muslims who can get away, in the West, and are surrounded by non-Muslims, or working with a team of non-Muslims, can perform as non-Muslims to the precise extent that they mentally jettison that inshallah-fatalism. But in Muslim states suffused with Islam, such is not possible, save for the handful of the most advanced, who keep their real views largely to themselves.
The second reason is the habit of mental submission, which Islam encourages. It encourages it because the whole basis of the Total Belief-System is not reason, but authority: you accept what Allah does, without questioning. You follow the human example of Muhammad, without questioning. If Muhammad “marries” little Aisha when she is nine, no need to question that or to question, therefore, the Ayatollah Khomeini when, as virtually his first act, he lowers the marriageable age of girls to nine. If Muhammad said this about the Unbelievers, or did this to them, because Muhammad is the Perfect Man, al-insan al-kamil, what he did, at the Khaybar Oasis, with the Banu Qurayza, with Asma bint Marwan, with the Meccans in his breach of the treaty of Al-Hudaibiyya, are not only fine, but positively exemplary.
Look at Saudi Arabia. Who works? The Filipinos, the Thais, the Sri Lankans, the Indian girls, in the palaces and houses of Saudis. The Indian laborers (with some Pakistanis, too, non-Arab Muslims who can and are treated contemptuously). The South Korean contractors. At the upper levels, the West Europeans and North Americans who provide the advanced medical care, teachers, and so on, with a few Arabs — or even Lebanese Christians who know Arabic as native — in the mix.
What do the Saudis do all day?
Check the Dow, check the Nasqad, check the Footsie, check the Nikkei, check the Hang Seng. Get on the phone, and move money around, or try to buy this or that in the West: a factory, a company, a mover-and-shaker in Washington, an estate in Aspen, a Plantagenet hunting lodge in Sussex, an apartment on the Avenue Foch, or order a 350-foot yacht, or another specially-outfitted 747. And then there is all that important work to do, meeting with “Western consultants” about some new grand scheme, say those five or six so-called “Economic Cities” that the Saudis are building, and about which you can read in those comical multi-page advertisements that the Saudis and other Gulf Arabs like to take out in The Economist or The Financial Times or even The New Duranty Times, with pictures of those dishdasha’ed and often sinister-looking and grossly overweight Al-Thanis and al-Saudis and Al-Maktoums e tutti quanti, with their big plans, their whirling skyscrapers rising high, higher, highest, and the nothingness of it all, the phoniness of it all, the absurdity of it all, unconnected to any enterprise or industry by the people who happen merely to have been the beneficiaries of completely unmerited wealth. Take away that accident of geology, and where would any of these places be?
No, if you want “worldly success” — not in the mountebank-and-motivational-speaker sense, but in another sense — whatever you do, stay away from Islam. That is the message that the Infidel governments of this world should be conveying to the inhabitants of the poorer countries. Islam is a prescription for economic paralysis. And partly because Islam stunts the mental growth. Compare Pakistan with India. Compare the economic performance of Hindus and Chinese with the Muslim Malays in Malaysia. Compare the economic performance of the Christian Ibo with the Muslim Hausa, or just compare the Muslim Yoruba with the Christian Yoruba. Everywhere you look, Islam holds people back economically.
That’s not the reason for opposing Islam. But it’s a good reason to offer to those who might, just might, because they see “religion” as a way to get rich, to think again before checking the box marked “Islam.” You need evidence? For god’s sake, look at the last 1350 years. Look at the last century. Look at the last decade.