One of our readers, Zenster, left a provocative comment in a recent post. Here is the relevant snip:
“People get the government they deserve. Cultures cannot be entirely absolved of what they have become… While Islam is not the most volitional of systems, there still remains a fundamental personal responsibility that individuals have for steering where their societies go.
As Solzhenitsyn observed in “The Gulag Archipelago”, when the KGB started their midnight arrests of Soviet citizens, if people had stormed out of neighboring apartments and strung up those agents from balconies by their shoelaces, things might have turned out quite differently. If ever there has been a supreme example of people getting the government that they deserve, it is the Soviet Union.”
As I said in my reply to Zenster, Soviet citizens were a different category from the desperately poor, illiterate women of Bangladesh who had been the point of my argument.
But that’s merely the context for Zenster’s comment. It is not the focus of this post. Instead, I want to look at Solzhenitsyn’s observation. Is it true? Do we get the government we deserve?
The long affadavit below – addressed to Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II – was sent to us by (among others) someone in the UK, a man who is seriously considering following Mr. John Harris’ example. Thus we have here one man, and perhaps another, who have decided to do what Zenster and Solzhenitsyn advise.
In truth, I do not think Solzhenitsyn’s condemnation of his fellow-sufferers is fair. As Gabriel Marcel said of his own experience of the German occupation of France in World War Two, when people are faced with armed tyranny they have only three choices: to give their allegiance to the tyrants, to lie about their allegiance to said tyrants, or to flee them. Marcel, who worked in the Underground, took the second choice, pretending to be a good German collaborator while secretly subverting them.
Mr. Harris’ “lawful rebellion” against The Crown may be an exercise in futility, but if it is, he may still inspire enough of his fellow citizens to follow suit. Will it be enough?
How many people does it take to bring a failing, bullying government to a halt?
What follows is the copy of Mr. Harris’ “Lawful Rebellion”
I now declare my Lawful Intent to the Traitors in Parliament.
On the 22nd day of March 2008 I personally went to Buckingham Palace to serve an Affidavit on Her Majesty the Queen. My Oath, (which has been signed and sealed by a solicitor) states quite clearly, that I now give Her Majesty 40 days to dismiss the traitors that reside in the Parliament of this country.
I, John James Harris now declare my right under Common Law of England to Withdraw And Withhold all allegiance & obedience to the Person and Crown of Our Sovereign Lady, Elizabeth the Queen, and those who falsely claim to speak &/or to act in Her Name, and by such action, I will remove myself entirely from the authority of those Evil Persons who now seek to abuse & misuse me in the name of Elizabeth, the Queen and in absolute violation of the Common Law of the People to which I belong.
– – – – – – – – –
Click here to view official Affidavit
I hereby place on record of all persons that after said 40 days have expired, being the 1st day of May 2008 and the corrections I seek have not been made, by way of the dismissal of the Traitors in the House of Commons, then I John James Harris, will enter into Lawful rebellion under article 61 of Magna Carta 1215 and therefore will become a Freeman of England within the Freedom of Common Law.
I will then declare myself free from all chastisement, Laws, taxes accorded to the state and any obligations there unto, by way of second and final Lawful Affidavit signed, sealed and served.
Affidavit of John Harris
In Pursuit of Justice and Right, And in Full Exercise Of My Undoubted & Lawful Duty to My Sovereign Lady, Elizabeth the Queen –
I, JOHN JAMES HARRIS, now resident at (address supplied to her Majesty) and being the son of John James Harris (also known as Jack Harris) deceased, formerly resident at (address supplied to her Majesty) who was during his lifetime a loyal and true servant of the Crown and who was during his lifetime employed as a Personal Chauffeur to Sir David and Lady Bowes Lyons and Her Majesty the Queen, from time to time –
MAKE OATH AND SAY AS FOLLOWS:
IT BEING APPARENT TO ME and to a multitude of others that divers evil persons have falsely and unlawfully induced Our Sovereign Lady to believe that they alone are the true representatives of the people placed in Her Majesty’s Care by Almighty God –
AND IT BEING APPARENT TO ME and to a multitude of others that these same evil persons have unlawfully and falsely induced Our Sovereign Lady to give an unlawful effect to legislation that has violated and continues to violate the Common Law: Which legislation further serves to undermine; deny and destroy the Absolute Supremacy of Her Majesty’s Imperial Crown, all to the prejudice of Her Majesty’s People, and in absolute contravention of the right of the people to live in accordance with their own laws and customs (as evidenced by the terms of the Oath that was undertaken by Our Sovereign Lady before Almighty God at the time of her Coronation).
AND IT BEING FURTHER APPARENT TO ME and to a multitude of others that the entirely lawful authority of Our Sovereign Lady the Queen to Uphold & Defend Her People is now so reduced &/or destroyed by the many processes of Treason that have been and are now being employed against Her Majesty’s Authority from within the ranks of those evil persons who have been and are now entrusted with authority to manage the affairs of Her Majesty’s Parliament & Government of the United Kingdom.
That my Security and Safety under the Rule of those Laws that are my inalienable birthright are now threatened to my personal detriment and danger and to the detriment and danger of my family; my people and my country in their entirety ?
AND IT BEING FINALLY APPARENT TO ME that I can achieve no redress to those many grievances that I now have and which result entirely from the Unlawful Conduct of those Evil Persons who now surround the Person and Throne of my Lawful Sovereign, except by means of the lawful process that I now intend.
I NOW PLACE ON THE RECORD of All Persons who now claim to assert a lawful authority over me in the name of Elizabeth the Queen that unless there is correction to the many processes of misgovernment & abuse that have been and are now being imposed on me; with such process of correction being commenced; undertaken; evidenced and given a first and lasting effect within a period of 40 days from this present date.
SUCH PROCESS OF CORRECTION being fully evidenced by Her Majesty’s dismissal of the Assembly of Traitors that is now falsely describing itself as the Representation of the People within the House of Commons AND WITH SUCH DISMISSAL providing the entirety of the People themselves with full opportunity to speak and to act on their own behalf in the election of representatives that are truly loyal to the purposes of Her Majesty’s Throne & People.
THEN I WILL WITHDRAW And withhold all allegiance & obedience to the Person and Crown of Our Sovereign Lady, Elizabeth the Queen, and those who falsely claim to speak &/or to act in Her Name, and by such action, I will remove myself entirely from the authority of those Evil Persons who now seek to abuse & misuse me in the name of Elizabeth, the Queen and in absolute violation of the Common Law of the People to which I belong.
AND I GIVE NOTICE that I will return to my full allegiance to the Person; Estate & Imperial Crown of Elizabeth the Queen only when Her Majesty the Queen is released from the bondage that now prevents her from the free exercise of her lawful authority and duty to Uphold the Common Law that is my birthright and to ensure for all time to come that the government of my country is conducted in full accordance with the laws and customs of my people.
May God in His Mercy, Defend the Right & May God Save the Queen from those who now hold her in an Unlawful Captivity.
Hat tip: Gaia
It’s too bad people can’t vote for a government and get it, but have to settle for what the majority has voted in. I don’t think people get the government they deserve, but they sure get the government they vote in. Do Britains deserve the Labour party? Didn’t the Labour party state they would hold a
Referendum, but have reneged on that promise. Should the British have known the Labour party was just a bunch of liars? Perhaps….
That post just made my day.
What a wonderful stand.
Thanks for finding this:)
I wanted to comment on the previous post that seemed to rely rather heavily on the effect of Islamic totalitarianism for the current state in Egypt. It seems that your first few paragraphs relied heavily on the weight of Islamic fundamenalism for the current citizen unrest, i.e. the bread riots.
I have read two blogs out of Cairo for a few years now; most notable “Rantings of a Sandmonkey” but also “The Big Pharoe” which has gone dark for many months.
However, “Sandmonkey” has been following the price inflation riots rather closely (or at least more closely than any news org. has.)
He attributes the economic situation in Egypt to the police state, not the spread of Islamist fundamentalism. In fact, he has stated a number of times that the Muslim Brotherhood has been supressed in elections and the press by the Mubharek (I’m sure there is an “h” in there somewhere…) police state.
This is coming from a man that abhores Islamic fundamentalism…
About two years ago there was a rather heated exchange on his site about why Egypt hates the U.S. After all, we send something like two billion dollars of aid to the country per year… His response was that the average Egyptian never sees the aid in the terms of sanitary improvements, transport, etc. The fact is that the aid goes to the Egyptian military which the average Egyptian only sees as further opressing their life. Myriad stories have emerged of total brutality in the Egyptian penal system against their own citizens (see videos on his site that will disgust you) which only further inflames the opposition against the current ruling police state and the U.S.
Now women are asking “who they have to bribe” to get a loaf of bread as whitnessed by the video you posted. This has nothing to do with the Islamic faith. This is a break down of a failed semi-secular police state.
I think we have all come to recognized that a vacuum can not exist for long. Something always comes to fill it. So, while I revile the encroachment of Islam into western lands, I cannot chastise very strongly the illiterate and underfed in Egypt for cleaving on to their religious leaders for some type of guidance (no matter how failed their advice might be). Clearly, the state has failed them when their children are being beaten in the streets and tortured in their police stations. But, when the gov’t starts beating their own citizens with batons and launching gas into citizen crowds that are decrying their state of deminishing economic survival, one has to wonder what the outcome will be.
I, for one, think the natural expression of malaise will be to cleave ever closely to religion. After all, what else is there when your state is oppressing you and you have no where to flee to?
Go to Sandmonkey.org to see pictures of the recent riots.
I would be happy is the next 2 billion aid check to Mubharek was lost in the mail…
Mr. John Harris has my most sincere support and appreciation. He is—quite obviously—an intensely loyal British Subject whose concern is in no way unaligned with that of the Crown’s historically declared interests.
Joanne: It’s too bad people can’t vote for a government and get it, but have to settle for what the majority has voted in. I don’t think people get the government they deserve, but they sure get the government they vote in.
Please explain the difference. While your distinction is pretty much clear there seems little differentiation between what we both acknowledge.
The popular election of Hamas stands as a patent example of this. By their majority vote, the Palestinian people have largely declared themselves to be a terrorist state. They expressed their national will and we are absolute fools to take it otherwise. Given the DECADES OR MORE that other “oppressed” nations have had to overthrown their oppressors, it becomes increasingly difficult to draw any other distinctions in their cases as well.
Perhaps we should all give a few weeks to watch the outcome in Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe certainly seems to have been handed a defeat. If his (near-certain) usurpation of the national election carries forward unchallenged, then I would enjoy all ensuing explanations about why this slimeball should be allowed to continue his largely unchallenged crimes against humanity.
Babs: I would be happy if the next 2 billion aid check to Mubharek was lost in the mail…
Me too. There are limits and Al Azhar exculpating itself of imposing starvation upon the Egyptian people is one of them. If Egyptian Muslims cannot, for once and all time, realize that their clerics are causing famine in the name of jihad, THEN LET THEM EAT SAND.
Islam begets more Islam because it is incapable of civility. Civility requires responsibility and as the aptly named Egyptian knows, the US is responsible because it sends a small pittance of dollars to Egypt. The $2b came out of an agreement between the US and Egypt for making peace with Israel. So really it is all the Jews fault. Brilliant.
I am sorry Zenster, but I really must disagree with you here:
Islam and Islamic clerics are not causing famine in Egypt. It is the ill managed semi-secular police state that is doing it. From what I understand, Islamist political figures are being supressed in Egypt right now. However, it is only a matter of time until they will take the forefront due to the failure of the police state. That was the point I was trying to make.
I wonder if the Americans back up the Egyptian police state precisely because it bottles up the Muslim Brotherhood and thereby is an example of enforced moderate Islam in action.
But really, the whole world is facing food shortages. EU Referendum blog has been reporting on this extensively. They say Wheat is being used for “Bio fuels” far too much and causing shortages.
I got an e-mail forwarded to me from Gia on the same subject. Interesting. This guy knows his stuff.
The problem… the problem is that most people don’t know of these rights. Magna Carta? Common Law? That’s old stuff, nobody really thinks it has any power these days. We don’t have a constitution, we have “institutions”, they insist…
The media, if they report on this, will cast him as a crackpot and a crank, which is a terrible shame.
I don’t think that elections count that much. Politics in our so called democracies are made of the lobbies. It’s no matter whom the people elect, because the main lobbies will buy the elected party, whether it’s labour, torrys, democrats or republicans (US). It was already similar in ancient Greece.
I don’t know, how it is in the UK, because I live in Germany. But here the best example is the Greens – they are the most liberal, environmental, multicultural, pacifists. And yet they were the first to send the army to operate abroad, what they would have never agreed, as long as they were in the opposition.
It is only too simplistic to believe that rights is rights and lefts is lefts, as they try to make us believe.
Blogger babs said…4/08/2008 1:23 AM
Don’t be so very sure of that. The Egyptian Gvt. is not unislamic, as they would like to make us believe. I have worked on a topic about a fatwa and there were so many ministers taking an ultrareligious attitude towards that topic…
Its only our MSM that render things like that for us.
The statement by Solzhenitsyn i.m.o. is quite absurd an example of wishful “thinking”. Also a bit discompassionate.
The Soviet coup/dictatorship was part financed by big capital. Corporate, anti free market, capital financed corporate Socialism in Germany and Russia. What could common people have done against that?
Ordinary people, hanging KGB agents, would have had to face tanks and troops the other day, like the brave people in Hungary found out when they resisted submission.
I particularly don’t like the bitter undercurrent of misanthropia in sweeping statements about what people “deserve”.
Harris isn’t the first person to do this. Back in the 90s, a “Sovereign Citizen Movement” appeared in the great plains of the U.S. Some members of this movement, known as the Freemen, had a confrontation with the FBI in 1996. Oddly, the FBI deviated from its SOP, and didn’t kill them all and burn their houses down. One can expect Mr. Harris to end up dead or in prison.
I think that people do get the government that they deserve, or that the majority of them deserve, anyway. The U.S. is a prime example. Our written constitution is observed mainly in the breach. The bulk of government of expenditures are for socialistic income transfer programs, all of which are unconstitutional, not being authorized by Article I, Section 8, and therefore forbidden by Amendment X. The Supreme Court has created novel rights to abortion and sodomy while transforming the right of the people to be secure in their persons, papers, houses, and effects into a joke. Presidents wage wars without Congressional declaration. Congress unconstitutionally delegates legislative authority to innumerable regulatory agencies. The government can’t be bothered to control the borders, but God help you if you fail to buckle your seatbelt. None of these abuses ever becomes an issue in our elections, presumably because a majority of our electorate simply doesn’t care.
I fully agree with zenster statement that is, “people get the government they deserve”. Solzhenitzyn words too reflect his own astute observation about how societies work.
Let see the case of Hungary: Hungarians were the last willing satellites of Hitler at a time when the Russians already occupied half of the country and the war was lost for all to see. Yet Hungarians kept the killing machines on – as volunteer army -as if nothing happened.
And for what?
Fast forward: as soon as the chief Nazis were hanged, Hungarians full heartedly (the yesterday fascist)jointed the Communist Party and they rekindled with great vigor the persecution of the new enemies – whomever was on the plate of the Party. When nobody left to be incarcerated the Commies turned against each other and the people chased away the hard-liners.
Freedom at last…not so fast…
The hardliners returned on the top of Russian tanks and Hungarians immediately signed up to the new Party line and the old timers got the rope. As time passed on the old Communists retired and their sons and daughters took over the show during the last election as member state of the EU.
My conclusion is that with this cultural background Hungarian political system must remain totalitarian: alternating between Fascist and Communist, and this denomination can be used interchangeably because we are dealing with the same people.
The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the – Web Reconnaissance for 04/08/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day…so check back often.
‘God Save the Queen’. Here, here.
But what about the upcoming ‘
Defender of the Faith,: Correction: Defender of ALL Faiths!??
OK. The Anglican leadership has voluntarily flushed itself into the sewer. The Episcopal church leadership has voluntarily flushed itself into the sewer. And the soon to be, King of England, King Charles, has changed his historic calling from Defender of the Faith, to Defender of ALL Faiths!
Hello? Is there a point to be made here? The aristocrats have forteited their right to sit in leadership. HMS Britannia is sinking, and the people are drowning for lack of righteous leadership. Enough with foolish, useless aristocrats. Lead right or get out the way.
babs: I am sorry Zenster, but I really must disagree with you here:
Islam and Islamic clerics are not causing famine in Egypt. It is the ill managed semi-secular police state that is doing it.
However much I’d like to agree with you, I cannot. Islam—as a political entity—bears a direct and overwhelming responsibility for all ills that beset the Muslim world. I suggest that you go back and read ibn Misr’s quotes in the GoV thread, “Bombs or Bread”:
The economic situation in Egypt has been going from worse to catastrophic. We have been predicting that for the last year, warning that the Islamic radicalization would lead the country to a total bankruptcy and turmoil.
Islam is ruining the country, Besides the billions (disguised Jeziah) the US is giving Egypt, Al Azhar Islamic institutions are in command of an open budget that exceeds $10 billion for building mosques, paying sheiks’ salaries, sending Da’wah (missionaries) that are experts in bomb making all over the world.
While the infrastructure, school, universities, medical services, hospitals, transportation, water supply, sewer systems, roads, are falling into disarray, with the highest unemployment rate in the world, 60% of a population below the age of 30…
Note how the author specifically indicts Islam? There is a reason for this. As Kybeline observed:
Don’t be so very sure of that. The Egyptian Gvt. is not [as] unislamic, as they would like to make us believe. I have worked on a topic about a fatwa and there were so many ministers taking an ultrareligious attitude towards that topic…
While Egypt’s government is the usual Muslim train wreck, it is Islam that is the underlying malaise. First of all, if Islam is so compassionate, how is it that the world’s premier Islamic academy, Al Azhar, cannot relinquish a fraction of their $10 BILLION annual budget for the feeding of their own Egyptian flock?
Please do not forget that Islam shapes Muslim governments and not the other way around. Much like colonial Spain’s refusal to allow the collection of interest upon loans, so do a vast majority of Islamic countries prohibit the practice. Notice how both Spain and Islam in general are backwaters of meager industrial achievement? If oil production revenues were deleted from its bottom line, the MME (Muslim Middle East) would show annual industrial revenues of some $5 BILLION. The Finnish telecom company Nokia handily achieves those sorts of numbers on a routine basis.
Why is Al Azhar willing to let Egyptians starve? Is jihad so much more important than the well-being of their fellow Muslim citizens? You’d damn well better believe it is. I invite you to consider how, Yussuf al-Ayyeri—one of Osama bin Laden’s closest associates since the early 1990s—considers prosperity to be the enemy of jihad.
The goal of democracy, according to Al-Ayyeri, is to “make Muslims love this world, forget the next world and abandon jihad.” If established in any Muslim country for a reasonably long time, democracy could lead to economic prosperity, which, in turn, would make Muslims “reluctant to die in martyrdom” in defense of their faith.
Let us go back to what babs was saying:
Islam and Islamic clerics are not causing famine in Egypt. It is the ill managed semi-secular police state that is doing it.
I invite all involved to please examine the 2006 Corruption Perceptions Map published by Transparency International.
Note how all of the WORST famine-stricken areas and the most corrupt governments are unanimously clustered within the MENA (Middle East North Africa) or MME? Does anyone consider this to be a mere coincidence?
Claiming that it is an “ill managed semi-secular police state that is doing it” is reprehensible.
ISLAM IS THE DISEASE AND NOT A SYMPTOM.
Look at how many different forms of government occupy the MME region. Notice how it does not matter whether a dictatorship, theocracy, monarchy or even Hamas’ perverse democratically elected officials are in power? ALL OF THEM are responsible for the very WORST sort of human rights abuses.
ALL OF THEM ARE SUPREMELY UNRESPONSIVE TO THEIR PEOPLES’ NEEDS
Should this be any sort of surprise? Every Islamic government brings with it the exact same set of ills. Corruption, nepotism, bribery, meritocracy, cronyism and feudalistic barbarism. The chauvinistic traditions of Islam are nearly unbreakable. Save in one way:
It is long past tea to invite Lorena Bobbitt to the MME for a lecture tour.
Should the most chauvinistic Imams or violently abusive Muslim husbands find themselves recipients of Lorena’s not-so-tender ministrations, perhaps things might change.
Horrid as it sounds, were numerous Arab males deprived of their manhood on a semi-routine basis, ALL OF THEM would begin to reconsider their religiously, politically and legally accepted ABUSE OF WOMEN.
Islam is THE MOST dysfunctional ideology in our entire world. It must be coerced into proper participation with other cultures that are willing to coexist or Islam must be eradicated from the face of our planet. NO ONE is obliged to put up with this sort of intolerant and intransigent nonsense. Either Islam understands the import of social cohesion or it must become extinct.
Zenster – I appreciate your well thought out comment and maybe between your opinion and mine the truth is lodged…
Sandmonkey posted a few months ago pictures of Cairo in the 60’s. Women and men were in western dress. My point in telling you this is that not too long ago the idea of female supression was not in use. What changed? How did we get from there to here?
I submit that the change has been rapid during certain years, like the 68′ war against Israel and, also gradual over the entire middle east during the last 40 years. Why has the middle east (saving the KSA) turned so doctrinally Islamic? Why have women been made to abandon their freedoms and become nothing more than chattle?
My opinion is that this has come about due to the failed gov’t policies of these various, and Egypt in particular, contries.
How did the bread basket of the Arab world reduce itself to bread riots? Do you really blame the entire thing on Islam or, is there something else speeding this demise along? I submit to you that the two billion dollars in aid to the Egyptian military has as much to do with it as the practice of Islam, probably more… This, in addition to the 10 Billion you state that goes to the Islamic cause, courtesy of the very same corrupt gov’t, sets up a perfect storm for suffering and corruption.
As I stated in my prior post, the Egyptian Brotherhood has been supressed in elections. The corruption of the Mubharek gov’t runs so deep that they are willing to turn against their own countrymen to support their way of life. Once again, I do not think, even though you are able to supply charts and tables, that Islam is the main driver of this disaster. It is human corruption, plain and simple, that is the root of this paired with an unresponsive gov’t.
As a United States citizen I guess the larger question is why do we keep sending this enormous aid package to a gov’t that we all know to be corrupt. Are fly over rights worth two billion/year and the imprisonment and torture of so many Egyptian citizens not to mention the suffering of average citizens?
It turns out, according to Sandmonkey, that the average Palestinian has a better cost of living and a lower mortality rate than the average Egyptian.
babs: What changed? How did we get from there to here?
The answer is almost dumbfounding. Even while so much ink is being spilt over the need to reform Islam, few people actually understand the grim truth.
ISLAM HAS REFORMED.
It has become more violent. It is even more puritanical than before. It has grown more intolerant and it more barbaric than in many past decades. Sayed Qtub is one of the most well known individuals responsible for this extremist mutation.
Far less well known is how—like some evil fairy Godmother—Soviet Russia presided over the birth of modern Islamic terrorism.
The Yom Kippur War of 1973, and the subsequent oil embargo from October 1973 to March 1974, which was aimed against the USA, taught the KGB two lessons: that the traditional, orthodox Arab Socialist partners and their Palestinian proxies could not be trusted and achieved little through military endeavours and terrorism; but that the future was economic, and lay with the oil-fields in Saudi Arabia and Gulf emirates. Thus Political Islam, or Islamism, replaced Socialism as the most promising basis for winning Arab hearts and hurting western interests in the Middle East.
All that aside, it is still Islam itself that remains a root cause.
this has come about due to the failed gov’t policies of these various, and Egypt in particular, countries
The seeds for Islam’s abysmal political engineering were planted long before modern Egypt became a nation. By closing the door to ijtihad (i.e., independent reasoning about the meaning of the Koran and the Hadith), Islam effectively damned itself to eventual extinction.
Muslim scholars (ulama) declared the door of Ijtihad to be closed and ruled that all future Muslims must practice taqlid [blind imitation]. Why did they do this? Because after 400 years they thought all conceivable questions and situations had been explored and resolved by the ulama, obviating the need for new judgments.
… As time passed the pressure from the rulers increased, until the ulama declared the Shariah complete to provide an excuse in the face of an angry ruler. On the one hand the ulama preserved the Shariah from dissolute and corrupt Muslim rulers, but on the other they ensured that the Shariah would remain static and therefore stagnant. As a result we are living in a state of withered intellectual activity, starved for fresh ideas and insights.
By committing this one single act some 1,000 years ago, Muslim scholars set Islam on its inexorable collision course with reality. Taqlid had the basic effect of promoting illiteracy as rote memorization displaced critical analysis. Moreover, like an insect trapped in amber, any possibility for Islam’s growth or adaptation was permanently arrested. Consider how the tiny nation of Portugal translates more books—into the relatively obscure language of Portuguese no less—than the entire MME (Muslim Middle East). This is intellectual stagnation on a staggering scale. To put it more vividly:
… the total number of books translated into Arabic yearly is no more than 330, or one-fifth of those translated in a small country like Greece.
Indeed, the total number of books translated into Arabic during the 1,000 years since the age of Caliph Al-Ma’moun [a ninth-century Arab ruler who was a patron of cultural interaction between Arab, Persian, and Greek scholars—WPR] to this day is less than those translated in Spain in one year.
It’s estimated that 150,000 books are published in English every year, while it’s likely that less than five thousand are published annually in Arabic.
Although Muslim elitism and draconian law has older roots than Islam, Koranic doctrine has served to entrench them—along with every deleterious characteristic—for all time. The persistence of inept and incompetent bumbling modern Islamic governments is not a result of unduly supportive foreign aid. The relaxation or Westernization you mentioned was more a byproduct of Muslim nations having been in almost perpetual decline for several centuries, per the reasons stated above. The advent of oil wealth—combined with access to the West by radicals like Qtub—served as the catalyst for renewed fanaticism.
How did the bread basket of the Arab world reduce itself to bread riots? Do you really blame the entire thing on Islam or, is there something else speeding this demise along?
I blame Islam wholeheartedly. One need only examine modern Iran for a vivid example of how distorted Islamic xenophobia has served to undermine Muslim productivity. Consider Iranian president Ahmadinejad’s policy of khodkafa’i or national self-reliance:
The president’s favorite catchword is “khodkafa’i” or “self sufficiency.” To the horror of most Iranians, especially the millions connected with the bazaars, who regard trade as the noblest of pursuits, Mr. Ahmadinejad insists that the only way Iran can preserve its “Islamic purity” is to reduce dependence on foreign commerce.
“Whatever we can produce we should do ourselves,” the president likes to say. “Even if what we produce is not as good, and more costly.” His rationale goes something like this: The global economic system is a Jewish-Crusader conspiracy to keep Muslim nations in a position of weakness and dependency. Thus, Muslims would do better by relying on their own resources even if that means lower living standards.
One of President Ahmadinejad’s first moves was to freeze a six-year-old policy designed to help the Islamic Republic become a member of the World Trade Organization; in his book the WTO is just another “Jewish-Crusader” invention to cement the inferior position of Muslim economies. It was with reference to “khodkafa’i” that Mr. Ahmadinejad decided to harden the regime’s position on the nuclear issue, even if that meant United Nations sanctions and war with the U.S. The Iranian president claims that the seven countries currently capable of producing nuclear fuel plan to set up a global cartel and control the world market for enriched uranium, once mankind, having exhausted fossil fuels, is forced to depend on nuclear energy.
Convinced that Islam is destined for a “clash of civilizations” against the “Infidel”–led by the U.S., of course–President Ahmadinejad is determined to preserve what he regards as the Islamic Republic’s “independence.” One of his favorite themes is the claim that, forced to choose between freedom and independence, good Muslims would prefer the latter.
Khodkafa’i has had catastrophic results on many sectors of the Iranian industry. Unable to reduce, let alone stop, imports of mass consumer goods (including almost half of the nation’s food) controlled by powerful mullahs and Revolutionary Guard commanders, President Ahmadinejad has tightened import rules for a range of raw materials and spare parts needed by factories across the nation. The policy has already all but killed the once-buoyant textile industry, destroying tens of thousands of jobs. It has also affected hundreds of small and medium-size businesses that, in some cases, have been unable to pay their employees for months.
Mr. Ahmadinejad has also used khodkafa’i as an excuse to freeze a number of business deals aimed at preventing the collapse of Iran’s aging and semi-derelict oil and gas fields. He has also vetoed foreign participation in building oil refineries, forcing the Islamic Republic to import more than 40% of the refined petroleum products consumed in Iran.
Islam’s eggshell ego and collective dismissal of all things Western has led it into a blind alley of economic, cultural and intellectual stagnation. No other single underlying factor can be connected with such ease to these myriad ills.
This sort of near-universal incompetence extends into Arab militaries as well. I invite you to peruse Norvell B. De Atkine’s insightful article, “Why Arabs Lose Wars”. In it you will see the hidden hand of Islamic corruption and influence as it sets about crippling Muslim militaries. Imagine if a country the size of Costa Rica consistently defeated America in conflict after conflict. That is the scale of tiny Israel repeatedly handing Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan their collective @ss on a platter.
In its attempt to become absolute and immutable law, Islam has assured its own obsolescence. Witness the contortionist gymnastics that Muslim financial institutions are going though in order to finally create halal bank loans. They propose fees and charges of every kind but simply cannot break down and admit that these line items are plain and simple interest. The list of this sort of horseradish is endless. Islam is so hopelessly outmoded that only by violent opposition to change—and the concomitant productivity of modern culture—can it remain intact.
This is exactly what we see today.