Saturday, May 10, 2008

Is Islam a peaceful religion or a warlike one? or How Can the Peaceful Majority be Irrelevant?

These are interesting questions, which have come to salience in current international discussion since 9/11. Much has been said on this, examining commonsense and worldwide experience as well as the sources of Islam (which are, at least on this point, contradictory, depending on whether one prioritises the Meccan or Medinan portions of the Koran). However, the most sensible contribution to the contemporary debate is probably Paul E. Marek's February 2006 article, "Why The Peaceful Majority Is Irrelevant".

Marek, who apparently lives in Saskatoon, is a second-generation Canadian; his grandparents fled Czechoslovakia just before the Nazi takeover.

I have tried without success to get hold of him in order to secure his permission to print his text here; if someone can enable me to do so, I will be pleased. Here is the text of his article:

"I used to know a man whose family were German aristocracy prior to World War Two. They owned a number of large industries and estates. I asked him how many German people were true Nazis, and the answer he gave has stuck with me and guided my attitude toward fanaticism ever since.

“Very few people were true Nazis” he said, “but, many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.”

We are told again and again by “experts” and “talking heads” that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unquantified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.

The fact is, that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars world wide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. The hard quantifiable fact is that the “peaceful majority” is the “silent majority” and it is cowed and extraneous.

Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China’s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people. The average Japanese individual prior to World War 2 was not a war mongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet. And, who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were “peace loving”?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points. Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by the fanatics. Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awake one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun. Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Bosnians, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others, have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.

As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts; the fanatics who threaten our way of life."

So, according to Marek, is not for non-Muslims to state, assert or proclaim whether or not Islam is a peace-loving religion.

It is for the peaceful majority to organise and empower themselves so that they out-think, out-argue and out-manouver the fanatics from the mosques, the internet, and the streets.

Otherwise the peaceful majority will continue to demonstrate their irrelevance. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, May 09, 2008

The return of stagflation

A short while ago, I alerted readers to the fact that there will be official intervention in markets in order to raise the value of the dollar. This has now been announced (see my posts titled: "The Euro, the Dollar, Bubbles and the simple fact of the oversupply of money" as well as "Further developments on the Euro").

It is now fairly clear to me that we will have a return of stagflation (combined economic stagnation and inflation) - if we are lucky only till mid-2009, if we are unlucky then till longer.

In broad terms, notwithstanding the complexity of the factors that contributed to the stagflation of the 70s, it could be argued that the Keynesianism contributed to it - and its failure to explain it or to have instruments with which to solve it led (at least partly) to the rise of monterism and to supply-side theories.

However, as the imminent bout of stagflation is actually caused by monetarist policies worldwide, it will be interesting to see what new theory emerges to account for our world economy which is massively financially over- leveraged and monetarily over-supplied .

More important, it will be interesting to see what new tools are going to be developed to deal with the situation. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Further developments on the Euro

Readers who are interested in the future of the Euro may care to read, in addition to my remarks on the subject posted here a few days ago, the following story:,1518,551043,00.html

The FT assures us that the current crisis has passed (or is passing). It may possibly have passed for certain kinds of companies, but the crisis is yet to fully hit real people, who will suffer from the effects of the crisis at least till mid-2009, possibly for very much longer. The effects on the real economy will, in turn, also have effects on all companies. So the crisis even for such companies may not be wholly over yet.

Meanwhile, real people continue to be subject to official attempts to dupe them with faked figures regarding what governments regard as "inflation". German officials, for example, may like people to believe that the inflation rate has been "2% or less since the creation of the Euro". Real people, however, know that this is a lie on the basis of their own monthly accounts and their real life experience, which is not limited to the few items that are included in the baskets used to calculate inflation.

As long as the real economy continues to suffer, real people will give voice to their issues and challenges - and will increasingly call (whether with right logic or wrong) for the dismantlement of the Euro (and, depending on how long and deep the crisis is, possibly even for the dismantlement of the EU itself). Sphere: Related Content