For some time now, traffic at Gates of Vienna has featured cascades of referrals from Google searches on some variant of “Bill Gates convert Islam.” It has taken several weeks of diligence and research on the part of the Baron to track this oddity to its source. Was it an urban legend? A joke? A hoax? Who was behind it? Why was this site getting so many hits on the subject?
Finally, the original source reported in: one of the members of a Middle Eastern blog called “Secular Kuwait” had posted Bill Gates’ supposed conversion to Islam as an April Fool’s Day joke. From there it took off into the blogosphere, anxious (surprised? delighted? amused?) Muslims everywhere started googling for information. And, had the founder of Microsoft been Bill Smith, there would’ve been no problem here: These are not the Smiths of Vienna, they are the Gates. So just because of the conjunction of names, most of the hopeful surfers washed up on this beach. Thanks, Bill.
In discussing this phenomenon with a number of people, the most cogent explanation came in an email from the Daily Pundit, Bill Quick. Referring to the “malevolent hilarity” of the situation, he said:
|I still, after watching it for several years now, find the natural bent toward conspiracy and fantasy in the Arab world to be nearly incomprehensible. I presume it to be cultural in some sense, but I haven’t been able to nail it down to my own satisfaction. In some ways it reminds me of the more feverish dreams of the American far left, which may be an indicator that it acts as a substitute for actual power, and/or a balm for that lack.|
He’s right. It’s a substitute… in this case for the truth. Islam is a failed project, held up only by a burgeoning birth rate. When prosperity comes and the birth rate falls, Islam will be overtaken by religious beliefs that are better shaped to conform to the inherent human need to be free. Just as the American far left has been overtaken — and slam-dunked — by the reality of how America votes.
So the fantasy of Bill Gates the Muslim will remain just that: a fantasy. A feverish dream.