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Dennis Prager
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What the Arab World Produces

Comment

At least since the early part of the 20th century, aside from oil, the Arab world has produced and exported two products.

It has produced essentially no technology, medicine or anything else in the world of science. It has almost no contributions to world literature, art or to intellectual development.

According to the most recent United Nations Arab Human Development Reports (2003-2005), written by Arab intellectuals, Greece, with a population of 11 million, annually translates five times more books from English than the entire Arab world, population 370 million. Nor is this a new development. The total number of books translated into Arabic during the last 1,000 years is less than Spain translates into Spanish in one year.

ArabianBusiness.com reports that about 100 million people in the Arab world are illiterate; and three quarters of them are between the ages of 15 and 45.

As for Arab women, the situation is even worse. Nearly half of the Arab world's women are illiterate, and sexual attacks on women have actually increased since the Arab Spring, as have forced marriages and trafficking. And the exact number of women murdered by family members in "honor killings" is not knowable. It is only known to be large.

In Egypt, the largest Arab country, 91 percent of women and girls are subjected to female genital mutilation, according to UNICEF. Not to mention the number of women in the Arab world who must wear veils or even full-face and full-body coverings known as burkas. And, of course, Saudi Arabia is infamous for not allowing women to drive a car.

Another unhappy feature of the Arab world is the prevalence of lies. To this day, Egypt denies that it was the Egyptian pilot, Ahmed El-Habashi, who allegedly crashed an EgyptAir jet into the ocean deliberately. Vast numbers of Arabs believe that Jews knew of the 9-11 plot and avoided going to work at the World Trade Center that day.

So, then, is there anything at which the Arab world has excelled for the past two generations? Has there been a major Arab export?

As it happens, there are two.

Hatred and violence.

The Arab world has no peer when it comes to hatred - of the Western world generally, and especially of Israel. Israel-hatred and its twin, Jew-hatred, are the oxygen that the Arab world breathes.

Two of the most popular songs in Egypt over the past decade have been "I Hate Israel" and the ironically named "I Love Israel."

Lyrics of the latter song include:

"May it [Israel] be destroyed. May it be wiped off the map. May a wall fall on it. May it disappear from the universe. God, please have it banished."

"May it dangle from the noose. May I get to see it burning, Amen. I will pour gasoline on it. I am an Egyptian man. I am not a coward."

"I Hate Israel" is so popular that it was the song which Egypt's pop star Chaaboula sang at the largest music festival in the Arab world, Morocco's Mawazine.

The festival, one of the biggest in the world, featured Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake, Ricky Martin and Kool and the Gang.

Some of the lyrics:

"I hate Israel, and I would say so if I was asked to.

"Two faces of the same coin, America and Israel. They made the world a jungle and ignited the fuse.

"About that [Twin] Tower, oh people. Definitely! His friends [Israel] were the ones who brought it down."

The other major Arab product and export has been violence.

It is difficult to overstate the amount of violence in the Arab world. Mass murder and cruelty have characterized the Arab world.

Regarding Iraq under Saddam Hussein, Dexter Filkins, the New York Times correspondent in Iraq from 2003-2006 wrote: "Here, in Hussein, was one of the world's indisputably evil men: he murdered as many as a million of his people, many with poison gas. He tortured, maimed and imprisoned countless more. His unprovoked invasion of Iran is estimated to have left another million people dead."

Syria, too, has been a country of mass murder, torture, and brutal totalitarian rule — under the rule of Hafez Assad (in power 1971-2000), and his son, Bashar, the current killer-dictator who, among other atrocities, used Sarin gas against his own people in 2013.

In the ongoing Syrian Civil War, according to the United Nations, between March 15, 2011 and April 30, 2014, 191,000 Syrians, about a third of them civilians, were killed. In addition, 2.5 million people have fled Syria to neighboring countries, and 6.5 million have fled their homes within Syria.

In Algeria in the 1990s, Islamist terrorists engaged in wholesale murder of their fellow Algerians. That war cost Algeria about 100,000 lives, mostly civilian.

In Sudan, the Arab government's atrocities against the non-Arab population in the region of Darfur led to about 300,000 deaths and over a million refugees. In addition there was systematic rape of untold numbers of non-Arab women by Arab gangs known as the Janjaweed.

And then there was the terror unleashed by Palestinians against Israeli civilians in restaurants, at weddings, on buses, etc. The Palestinians are the modern fathers of terrorism directed solely at civilians.

There are two possible reactions to this description of the Arab world. One is that it is an example of anti-Arab "racism." That would be the reaction in much of the Arab world, on the left and among most academics — despite the fact that the description is of a culture and that the Arabs are not a race. The other is that is that it is tragically accurate. That would be the reaction of some in the Arab world and anyone who cares about truth. One such individual is an Arab. In Politico Magazine two weeks ago. Hisham Melhem, Washington bureau chief of Al-Arabiya, the Dubai-based satellite channel, titled his article "The Barbarians Within Our Gates." The subtitle is "Arab civilization has collapsed. It won't recover in my lifetime."

Islamic State, which is overwhelmingly Arab, is just the latest manifestation.

Dennis Prager's latest book, "Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph," was published April 24, 2013 by HarperCollins. He is a nationally syndicated radio show host and creator of PragerUniversity.com.

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Comments

3 Comments | Post Comment
Female Genital Mutilation is not an Islamic problem or an Arab problem. It is a Central African problem. Eritrea is a CHRISTIAN country and has almost 90% GM. Ethiopia is a CHRISTIAN country and has 75%GM. So should we condemn all Christians or 'the African world' or all Africans, or should we instead, condemn the countries and governments that condone & practice this barbarism?
Only in Egypt and nowhere else in Muslim majority states is GM an issue. But this author, he educated man but weasel for want paint all Muslims/Arab and countries w/same tarbrush. Muslim majority countries have had seven women as heads of states. How many America have?
Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Turkey all Muslim majority & all open societies and equal rights for women. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan are closed societies and their governments suppress women but these few countries & zealot governments not representative of a religion of one and one half Billion people, is it? No, they represent extremist problems within those countries not problem w/Islam or Arabs.
In the months we've been discussing ISIL, Saudi Arabia beheaded 19 people, but we conveniently ignore that fact & their extreme suppression of women because they our 'ally' w/in the region.
Islam doesn't promote violence or peace. Like every religion in world, it depends upon what we, you, me bring to it. If you violent person, your Islam, your Judaism, your Zionism, your Christianity, your Buddhism going to be violent. Today, Buddhist monks are slaughtering women and children in Burma. Does Buddhism promote violence?
Is individual people who are violent or peaceful, not religion, and that is based on many influences. The barbaric practices of those countries should be banned by everyone but to say all Arabs are the same or that Pakistan and Turkey are the same, or Indonesia and Saudi Arabia are the same because they are Muslim or Arab is ignorance and bigotry personified.
Seems you all up in arms when an Arab country suppresses it's women or it's barbaric government kills own people but ok when an illegal state occupies, suppresses & murders it's indigenous population and refugees and sterilizes & tortures & imprisons African refugees by the thousands. Or don't mention the Sabra and Shatila massacre? If I follow your own bigoted logic then must follow all Jews and Israeli's are bloodthirsty murderers and torturers.
When you going to address atrocities committed by US, EU, Israeli, Christian, Jew, Catholic & white race? How many have died and been tortured & ethnically cleansed in the name of Christ, Christianity, and Catholicism or to grab land and countries from indigenous populations? Should we condemn all whites & all Christians for their barbarism as you would have us condemn Arabs & Muslims?

Suggest everyone go on YouTube and watch Russell Tribunal on Palestine.

Comment: #1
Posted by: steveM
Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:46 PM
Sir;... I have only lived sixty years, but in that time I have met hundreds of people who have no books in their homes and many who only had one book: The Bible; which they read; but barely understood. The intelligent people of Islam are very good at business and must be because their religion and culture does not let them lay back and bleed each other with interest. Nor do they put peace before Justice, and every Muslim is thought to have an absolute right to justice. Other than that, their culture is their culture with as many flaws as our own. We have more people in prison per capita than they do, often for quite trivial crimes, and while their methods across the board may seem drakonian, how do we, with out limited consciousness of our own culture judge them? What they have had works. Many of their cultural norms are not native to Islam but are accretion taken over from the cultures of converted people. And that is one thing about Islam no one can deny. Their concern was religious, rather than cultural. Their martial religion and concern for justice appealed to many people that it converted because it did not judge, nor try to change native cultures which are unique to each people only because it represent their particular knowledge and experience. Attack some ones culture and you attack their knowledge; and then see how far you get with them. So I understand your purpose in writing. You seek to encourage a cultural prejudice rather than a common understanding. To deny the intellectual contribution of Islam is a false charge. The first wave of invaders who swept across Egypt and North Africa did great damage. Their mathamaticians, philosophers, physicians, historians, and astronomers where in their glory while we crept in the shadows of the dark ages. It was they who preserved the Greek classics of Philosophy and history. They gave us much of Plato and all of Aristotle if I am not wrong. And yet; just as in Europe, it was the rejection of reason in regard to religion that ended much of their scientific advancement. Most people have absolutely no understanding of the extent to which interest- which has been extreme and destructive- has fed the advances of technology even while leading to wars and the destruction of whole societies. Islam is full of warlike peoples who still know how to live in relative peace without exploiting each other. If they presume to be able to turn all of our technology against us they are likely correct. At the same time, our mass communication reveals our moral terpitude, our weakness, and our vanity. They can see we put everything before our God, and that makes us infidels, unfaithful, and open to slaughter.
It is a false argument to point out the attrocities against Christians where we cannot defend them when their defense was unnecessary before we made our attack. These people are relatively primitive with ideas common once in Tribal America and Tribal Europe. There is no fine distinction between the innocent and guilty. If you attack them, then you have put your own at risk. It is a simple equasion. If you cannot get the guilty party, then the guilty people will do. In that sense, the totally stupid attack on Islam was doubly cruel, because cruel as well to our own having no means to protect themselves. It is a marvel to me why these fools we have in government so like yourself, want to attack people they do not understand. What would SunTzu, and the Art of War say of that? We do not understand ourselves, or our culture any better than we understand theirs, so any success is doomed to be a prelude to failure.
Thanks... Sweeney
Comment: #2
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:38 PM
Re: steveM;... Agreed. Like circumcision practiced among the ancient Jews, it is where nature is at everyone's front door that people must be tamed, and their animal nature denied to make their social nature possible. Some cultures cook their breast milk because that is what people do while what animals do is quite obvious. We load people's minds up with neurosis to deny their animal instincts, and they cut up their women. Is this not a sign of the relative fear they have of the power of the woman wild to set men at odds and destroy social amity? It is not that I like it, or encourage it; but I certainly see the power of women, not as much individually as mythologically. I don't feel the need to cut them up, but I am certainly on my guard around them. And women there, and here, do not need fear men so much as other women cutting them down to size. It is almost always women doing this mutilation to other women, and the men may well expect it, and they may well fear the wild woman as much as desire her, but they have simply known no other than what they know.
Thanks.... Sweeney
Comment: #3
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:58 PM
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