Jihad Watch Advisory Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald comments on this Arab News piece in which Naushad Shamimul Haque identifies several putative causes of jihad terrorism, including poverty and “the West’s double standard.”
From the Arab News, that appears in, and is supported by, one of the richest countries in the world, the main beneficiary of the greatest transfer of wealth (and entirely unmerited wealth at that) in human history (some $10 trillion from oil-consuming nations to the OPEC members, almost all of them either Arab or predominantly Muslim), comes a remark that attributes the behavior of Muslims, in Muslim countries, and in non-Muslim countries, to “poverty.”
This is a hard sell, not least becuase Osama Bin Laden came from the second richest family in Saudi Arabia; Ayman al-Zawahiri came from one of the most prosperous and prominent Muslim families in Egypt (his great-uncle Azzam Pasha was the first Secretary-General of the Arab League), and was himself a surgeon; and Muhammad Atta was the spoiled member of an upper-middle-class Egyptian family. Every study of Muslim terrorists shows them to be far above average in their education (including education in the West) and in the economic status of their families. The problem for Infidels is not Muslim “poverty” but Muslim wealth, the wealth that since 1973 has funded mosques and madrasas around the world (which of course help Muslim migrants plant Muslim roots in non-Muslim Europe). Another problem is not merely the wealth, but the idleness which that enormous accidental wealth creates. If the Saudis had to work the way that, for example, Americans and Japanese do, they would have less time to spend going to mosques, memorizing the Qur’an, taking to heart what the imams say in the khutbas. They would even have to worry about pleasing Infidel customers. And the great wealth of some Muslims (all those with oil and gas) has not le them to share any of it with the poor Muslims. Somehow the preposterous assumption has not only been made, but apparently accepted by all concerned, that it is the Infidels who should be keeping afloat Egypt, and Pakistan, and the “Palestinians” and the Jordanians — any Muslims at all who don’t happen to live over a sea of oil.
Instead, it would be far better to constantly turn the spotlight on the greed, and failure to share with fellow Muslims (except insofar as they may be rewarded for activities as Muslim martyrs, or to pay for terrorist activities, or for the direct spread of Islam and the conduct of Da’wa), of the Saudis, Kuwaitis, and denizens of the Emirates.
They will share the wealth for one reason and one reason only: to further the Jihad. Infidels pick up the slack — building subway systems and water-treatment plants and power plants, and roads and bridges, and schools and hospitals. It is time for that Infidel Jizyah to end; it buys no friends, and it helps to suppress the anger of poor Muslims which should rightly be directed at their wretched governments and at the rich Arabs. Such intra-Arab and intra-Muslim resentments should be encouraged, always and everywhere — for they are based on a truth that we allow to remain unremarked, and by Infidels, unexploited.
As to “injustice” — there is certainly a great deal of injustice within Muslim countries. And that reflects Islam itself, but we do not allow Muslims to see the connection between the nature of Islam itself, with its Total Regulation of Life, its Total Explanation of the Universe, and its Total Submission to Authority (for the habit of such submission is not limited to the prostrations in the mosque, but create a habit of mind that cannot easily be shaken). But presumably the writer of this Arab News squib means such “injustices” as — “Palestine” or “Iraq.” In the former case, 0.2% of the land area possessed by Arab Muslims has been reclaimed from the Ottomans who owned it (there was scarcely any private land-ownership in the vilayets that became Mandatory Palestine), by the tribe that had originally lived there, and which gave “Palestine” everything of value that it had ever produced. The “injustice” is that which the relentless Jihad against the Jews has caused: beginning with the million that might have been saved had not the British, appeasing the Arabs, prevented immigration by Europe’s Jews all through the 1930s, even though Rumania’s Black Sea ports remained open, and a million Jews might have been saved. What the Arabs call “the Arab world” is nothing of the sort. There are Kurds, Berbers, Armenians, Jews, Maronites (who use Arabic but are not Arabs), Copts, and many much smaller groups, reduced over time by the circumambient Muslim Arabs.
As for the “injustice” in Iraq — that is a strange way to refer to the American invasion that finally removed a monstrous regime that had been in place for 35 years and was prepared to remain for another 35 years. The Iraqis are not grateful: “the Iraqis hate us [the Americans]” one interpreter, himself an Iraqi who identified with the American effort, despairingly told Anne Barnard of The Boston Sunday Globe. But so what? It is not an “injustice” to have rescued the Kurds and the Shi’a, even if some of them are not grateful. And what are the Americans doing now, if not (foolishly) expending money and lives on trying to make Iraq a better place? During the 35 years of Saddam Hussein’s reign, not a syllable of protest came from any member of the Arab League about his mass murdering of Kurds and Shi’a Arabs, or about his oppression of those Sunnis who did not fully accept him. But the Americans not only removed him, and his sons, and his aides, but have poured money into the country to rebuild schools, hospitals, water-treatment and power plants, and have done so much that is hardly mentioned — and for which they have received no real or permanent gratitude from the Iraqis, save for a tiny group of Western-educated ones (Kanan Makiya does not, alas, represent Iraq — not even close).
And then there is the third in the Muslim roundup of Usual Suspects — the “West’s double standard.” What “double standard” would that be? Would it be turning a blind eye to the persecution of Christians and other non-Muslims all over the Islamic world, while Muslim migrants are not only allowed into Western countries by the millions? Would it be the fact that once there, these immigrants are allowed to build mosques and madrasas freely, while Christians in Saudi Arabia are seized and tortured merely for meeting for private worship? Is that “double standard” the one that assures that the aggression of Muslims against non-Muslims, as in the southern Sudan, northern Nigeria, Israel, the Moluccas, East Timor, and the Hindus persecuted and murdered in Pakistan, Kashmir, and Bangladesh, will almost never be brought to the attention of the so-called (but non-existent) “International Community” and its main expression, the Islamintern-dominated United Nations?
There is a “double standard.” In Muslim countries non-Muslims are treated with contumely and worse. In non-Muslim countries, Muslims take to the streets (“Death to France” they chanted in the middle of Paris), or use mosques to store false papers and weapons, or demand that the indigenous Infidels modify their own ways of life, their customs and manners, their laws, to accommodate quite different customs, manners, and laws of Muslims, or make threats to intimidate political figures who show some gumption, or even kill those they do not like among the local political and cultural figures (Theo van Gogh, Pim Fortuyn).
Yes, he got it right, that Arab News reporter — on one thing. There is a “Western double standard.” And those who contribute to Jihadwatch, and related sites, are determined to put paid to that double standard, everywhere in the Western world.