Recently when I have read a Liberal's idea of what to do about Islam, it always involves the idea of an Islamic Reformation. Which seems a strange thing to want, after all the Reformation brought centuries of war, hatred and bitterness to Christianity. What they really want is for Islam to become more Liberal. What they really want is a miracle.
The truth is that there is no Islamic Reformation on the horizon and everyone with any sense knows this. If anything Islam is heading the other way, towards a more traditional view of religion and we can thank Liberalism for a large part of that. The modern Islamic world has to a large degree given off a distorted view. It builds new modern buildings and gives the impression that it is westernizing, but much of that is window dressing. A show for us the outsiders and for the Muslim insiders. The truth is that the economies of much of the Islamic world simply doesn't exist. Instead of building a diverse economy, the Islamic world has come to rely on oil to produces it's wealth. And it does produce wealth. But it is also destroying any possible way out because it corrupts the Traditional rulers and it destroys any hope of leading a traditional life. It also destroys more westernized states, because it corrupts them as well. But the greatest corrupter of the Islamic world is the West, but I'll come back to that.
Islam was once one of the great Civilizations of the world, but it has been dying for centuries. It's greatest days were 1000 years ago, it's hard to think of any major or important advance or discovery that has been made in the Islamic world in the last 500 years. A century ago the Islamic world was stagnant. In the 20th century Oil took a stagnant culture and corrupted it because it gave massive amounts of wealth to people who never earned it. One little talked about fact is that nearly everything in the oil business is done by Foreigners, financing, exploration, planning infrastructure, building infrastructure, management, drilling and extracting oil, fire fighting, transportation and shipping are in many places done by Foreigners. In many places the local people, don't do this kind of work, but they get the benefit through cheap oil and social programs. For rulers and ruled, the wealth that comes from oil is like mana from heaven, like winning the lottery every day.
But just as failure causes problems so does success. For better or worse the traditional ways of life are dying out and in there place is a hybrid Islamic/Western culture. But modern Western life can be very alienating, add to this the problem of people having too much time on their hands and add to that a population that is over educated. Now many of these problems we in the West understand because we have them as well. But us Westerners don't have a way out, we are Westerners living the Western way. In the Islamic world one way of breaking out is Islam, because unlike the West which is overwhelmingly secular, the Islamic world is still overwhelmingly religious. When these people embrace Islam, they are also rejecting something, they are rejecting the West, the Liberal West, the Liberal vision.
For us in the West this leaves us with three large problems.
1) Islamic Immigration
The economies of the Islamic world are failing jobs, money and meaning are missing (there are exceptions, South East Asia for example) . Many are over educated, angry and frustrated and they look at the West and decide to emigrate. They look to build a new life, but they often find that the promised land is every bit as frustrating as the one they left behind. The culture is alien, nearly everything is strange and they seek comfort in the old ways. Now I'm not against Islamic immigration, I'm against all immigration, legal and illegal, Islamic and non-Islamic because a country should look after it's own people first and always.
2) Islamic Terrorism
Another path is to fight the West, to attack Liberalism. Some might think that as we are also opposed to Liberalism we have something in common, but we have no common cause with radical Islam. Radical Islam is as much our enemy as it is Liberalisms, just as Nazism and Communism were our common enemy. Radical Islam is a mad dog and you don't make peace with mad dogs, you shoot them. Classical Liberalism was capable of fighting our common enemies, modern Liberalism is very confused and it keeps hoping for that miracle I mentioned at the start, unfortunately for us I think they are unlikely, very unlikely to get it.
Nauru is a tiny nation of 8000 people in the Pacific Ocean just above the Equator. It was first a Germany colony before Australia captured it in 1914 and it was one of Australia's very few colonies. In 1968 Nauru became independent and most people believed it had a wonderful future ahead of it. You see Nauru was rich, it had Phosphate, which is a fertilizer. It made Nauru rich and while the Phosphate was running out Nauru had a future fund, hundreds of millions of dollars which it would invest in foreign countries and live off of the interest. It was a good plan and most people thought it would work. But it failed and it failed because the people of Nauru had never earned this money, it was like mana from heaven, like winning the lottery every day. So they spent it like it was free money and now Nauru is not rich. This will be the fate of the oil rich countries and it will be a massive destabilizing factor that will effect us all.
Islamic immigration we can end, if we have the will, currently Liberalism wants the opposite. We can defeat Islamic terrorism, if we have the will, currently Liberalism does not have that will. Maybe it is possible to stop the Islamic world from becoming Nauru. The modern economic history of the Islamic world makes quite sad reading. Some will say they are not our problems, but they will be because they will affect us and that makes them our problem.
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