Month: Apr 2017
Death by a Thousand Cuts?
The History of Islam, is the history of strife in and around the middle-east and Mediterranean Sea. Wherever Islam, has butted up against other religions, and cultures, there has been war, battles and strife.
In recent years, in the 1990s the war in the former Yugoslavia, was caused largely due to the influence of the U.S., which encouraged and provoked unrest, to bring the Socialist Republic, into the western sphere of influence, as Slovenia in the North, and Croatia in the North West seceded from the state that General Josip Tito had unified during the 1940s, at the end of the Second World War.. And of course if you remember, your history, the first World War was started in that region, when a Bosnian Serb called Gavrilo Princip killed Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo, Bosnia.
But what few in the News media tell you, is that in Albania which sits alongside the former Yugoslavia, (and Kosovo) the majority of the population are Muslims – roughly 55% in Albania. The other Balkan States are a mixture of Slavs – Catholics originally from Northern Europe, and Greek Orthodox.
After the war began, those ethnic Serbians began ethnically cleansing Muslim Kosovans in the Moldovan region. – when 8,000 were killed in a genocide – remember Srebrenica? But, although Albania, has applied to join the EU., it is the poorest country in Europe, and if it IS granted membership, we are likely to see a tide of people leaving to find work elsewhere in the EU.
So, what does this have to do with today?
The wars in Libya, Iraq and Syria, to overthrow those hard-liners in power, is according to some, because those nations challenged the American dominated International Financial System, because these nations refused to have a Central Bank controlled by the Rothschild controlled IMF. In Iraq’s case, Sadam Hussein, began to sell oil for Euros. While, in 1998, it’s Saudi neighbours were obliged to sell their oil in Dollars, When Sadam Hussein fell, one of the first things to change was the oil price – back to dollars…
The Saudis, have a long-standing agreement – probably more like a veiled threat – that the U.S. would defend the Saudi Kingdom, from all threats as long as the House of Saud sold its oil in dollars, – and as we know back in 1974, when the agreement was negotiated between Henry Kissinger, and the Saudi ruler – that potential threat, was the Soviets, who were considered the biggest threat.
Libya too, threatened the dollar hegemony, when Muammar al-Qadaffi, began to build a consensus for a golden Dinar, of known size and weight, to be used in trade throughout Northern Africa. The Gold which he had traded oil for, has of course, mysteriously disappeared from the nation’s coffers in the aftermath of that revolution.
Syria’s Basher al-Assad, also judged a threat to western efforts, is also allied with the Russians, who have long had a naval base on the Syrian Mediterranean coast, and as we saw recently, Russia supported the President, to fight the CIA backed IS, who were encouraged to push for a new caliphate. But in reality, this was to scupper the deal between Assad, and Iran to pipe Iranian Gas from the Persian Gulf, where a huge gas field, has long been known about. Whereas, the Americans would prefer if Saudi and American oil interests exploited that gas and piped it to Europe.
But the oil wealth and the rising religious fervour in that part of the region, has been cause for a “Hijra” to be called.
The word Hijra (emigration) relates back to 622, when Mohammad and his followers migrated from Mecca to Yathrib (now Medina) and the 5+ million Syrians, Libyans, Somalis. Eritraens and other African nationals, that have faced the vagaries of the Mediterranean Sea in small boats and inflatables seem to think, that Europe in general, and Britain in particular is their future, but how many of them, are not Asylum Seekers, not refugees, but perhaps bear a cultural hatred borne of their religious texts, or teachings. It has been both a push from Islamic Nations, and a pull from Western European nations with birth-rates falling and so low that even the current population levels in Europe couldn’t be maintained. The objective of the emigration by the clerics is clear to make Europe an Islamic continent, and eventually the world.
Britain faces a unique position, because if your first language is not English, your second language, usually is… And that goes for 70% of the world’s population. And between China, and the Atlantic Ocean, just India, and Britain speak English widely.
With Muslim families typically having four or more children, and under Sharia Law, upto four wives, those European nations with large immigrant populations, will by 2050 have a huge and quickly rising Islamic population. The economic consequences of such a large contingent, demanding Sharia law, will if allowed, cause a major headache for Western Economies – even to the point of economic collapse.
How so? I hear you ask…
The Islamic faith is not just a faith, but a political philosophy too, and the consequences of such are not often discussed.
If you like your Traditional English Breakfast, with its Pork Sausages, and English or Danish Bacon, what will you do when Pork Farming is outlawed? Where will those few producers of Pork Dripping, Lard, and other Charcuterie producers find their income? Where will you go to dine, and have a glass or two of wine when alcohol is no longer permitted? What will happen to the few British Pubs that remain, when they too close for lack of demand or by religious diktat? And the Breweries that supply them?
Where will we go for summer holidays, when women are denied the chance to travel alone, And where will you women, wear revealing bathing costumes – bikinis, lingerie, or provocative clothing? What will happen to the fashion industry as restrictive dress codes challenge modern fashion elements, and what will publishers do when fashion magazines and designers are no longer needed? Where too those workers of publishing houses, whose purchasers of the likes of Razzle, Cosmopolitan, and Hello, are restricted in what they can publish, and advertise?
Where too will women work, if they are restricted from studying, and who will employ them, when/if they are so poorly educated, they lack sufficient skills except to pour coffee, and what will happen to the ham-burger suppliers and the chains of stores that cook them? Or if the Saudi interpretation that restricts women from even driving without a male chaperone? And what will women do, if the rape of a woman, requires four witnesses before it would be proved? While the punishment for such – unless proved – is “stoning”, or beheading of the woman!
As a recent video showed, on you-tube.com, young women of 18 and below being auctioned on the streets of London, by men wearing Arab Islamic dress, with arguments by Islamic preachers suggesting that taking a wife as young as one is within the teaching of Islam, and is acceptable, what does that say about how women are valued in society?
The economic consequences of having 50% of the population set-back more than 100 years, and essentially being restricted to the hearth and home once more by a patriarchal society is dire. Women’s rights would be set back a century. Who will staff the hospitals, nursing homes, and hotels – presupposing anyone would want to visit a nation that supported such hard-line policies. Who will work as P.A.’s to senior executives in the few corporations of any significance? What will those female aspirants to parliament do, when they are not allowed to engage in public life? Where will the future Margaret Thatchers, Theresa Mays, and Barbara Castles of these islands come from?
The western economies, with their liberties, which were hard won over many centuries, needs to beware of the Trojan Horse within, and to allow liberties to be set back, by a Liberal elite who have tolerated two classes of citizens to live in these nations is remiss at the least – those who follow, abide and vote for the policies, that our western societies believe in, are tolerant, while the other class, who use that tolerance to restrict those who live within their strictly enforced religious enclaves, are Fascistic. This, as other you-tube videos shows, non-muslims are being chased by physical presence from the streets where large Islamic populations live, and where there are protests against this, frequently this results in physical and emotional abuse, particularly of women, by young Islamic males.
If we do not address this growing division, by strongly enforcing the laws (and liberties) of the land, the consequences will be as stated – dire. As multi-culturism has been forced on a largely unsuspecting population, there are those segments of world society, that still insist – “There is only one way, and that way is theirs.”
But, what is also concerning, is that many followers of Islam, believe that non-muslims are second-class individuals. These hard-liners follow the strict interpretation of the Qu’ran. These are the people whose dress code and behaviour, are a throw-back to the 7th century, which is, and will be a source of division, and eventually war if we do not confront these sterotypes.
A photograph of a woman ballerina – posted by Alicia Keys on her twitter account – wearing a Burka, with her bare leg thrust forward provocatively, promoting equality, received short shrift from many Muslim women, who are forced by their patriarchal overlords to wear the garment.
Will this be a feminist issue? At the moment, those on the left seem more concerned with religious equality, rather than gender equality. If people do not awaken from this slumber, and this naiveté, there will come a day, when the realisation dawns, they were wrong, and that will be their new shocking reality.
So, in conclusion, will the imposition of Sharia Law , or even large populations of Muslims in the nation cause economic dislocation and collapse hinted at in the title?
Even the technological revolution waiting in the wings of Artificial Intelligence, and 3D technology – 3D printing, and 3D video and Image projection through holographic systems becoming commonplace, will perhaps not create sufficient new wealth and new jobs to support the rising number of people with little or nothing to contribute, save their muscle, and/or religious fervour.
And the rising demands on the Social Security budget, will cause the population to question who, what when and where social security is given.
– April 2nd, 2017
This piece is in Two Parts – Part Two is Here
I woke up the other morning, sweating, heart pounding and breathing heavy. I didn’t know what time it was, but I knew it was early. I daren’t put the light on, or even check the clock by pressing the illuminate button, because I knew it would wake my wife. So I ended up lying there, tossing and turning, thoughts churning over in my mind.
I’d been dreaming, and the dream was one of those were you end up fighting some unknown foe. I quickly realised who I had been fighting, in this somnabulistic nightmare.
I’ve been studying, and watching a huge number of videos on Islam, and the history of it over the last 1400 years recently, and this must have been playing on my mind.
Of course this blog is not normally dedicated to religious topics, as it is usually too contentious, and people get upset when you challenge their deeply held beliefs, even if you use rationale and logic to do so – or especially because you do.
But, as I began thinking about the theology, I realised that there are economic consequences, quite serious consequences. I realised that there are monetary and economic forces at work, so I also began studying the history of the man who became the prophet, that so many revere in the world, and casting my analytical eye over the whole piece, reaching some surprising conclusions.
I was surprised to learn, that an Islamic Caliphate had existed pretty much since the death of Mohammad in 632 A.D., until 1924, when the last of the major European economies, rid itself of Islam, at least in its political role in the state. But, that at its height, it was bigger than the Roman Empire, of which we learned so much as children. Why weren’t we taught that?
The turnaround in fortunes began as Europe began to be more economic than spiritual, and the breakaway from the Papacy, by King Henry VIII, for his own ends, began the change.
That was followed by the reformation, when the schism in the Roman Catholic Church began, set in motion by Martin Luther, when he wrote: “The Ninety-Five Theses”.
This was reinforced by the renaissance, when science began to become the major driver of thinking, and the improvements in productivity this allowed, coupled with the movements from the countryside to the towns began to occur. The Gutenberg Press spread the word far and wide as cheap books became commonplace.
Europe expanded through education and enlightenment as European ships set sail towards the New World, to return, with wondrous trinkets from Native Americans, and fortunes in Gold and Silver as these new lands were discovered, explored and plundered. As mechanisation took hold, this cemented Europeans in the ascendancy as they could develop stronger economies, and build well-funded armies.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, was the founder and first leader of modern day Turkey and established the state, after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the early 1920s when he created the Grand National Assembly on 23rd April 1920. He had studied Western nations, during his extensive military career, and began to build his new nation, on more secular lines.
Mustafa Kemal fought a final battle with the Islamic Caliphate Army, shortly after the signing of the Treaty of Sèvres, which was imposed by the allies on the Ottoman Turks, and by September 18, 1922, the occupying armies were expelled. On November 1, the newly founded parliament formally abolished the Sultanate, ending 623 years of Ottoman rule. The Treaty of Lausanne of July 24, 1923, led to the international recognition of the sovereignty of the newly formed “Republic of Turkey” as the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, and the republic was officially proclaimed on October 29, 1923, in the new capital of Ankara. Mustafa Kemal became the republic’s first President which finally broke up the Ottoman Empire.
On 1 March 1924, at the Grand National Assembly, (GNA) Mustafa Kemal said: The religion of Islam will be elevated if it will cease to be a political instrument, as had been the case in the past.
On 3 March 1924, the caliphate was officially abolished and its powers within Turkey were transferred to the GNA. Other Muslim nations debated the validity of Turkey’s unilateral abolition of the caliphate as they decided whether they should confirm the Turkish action or appoint a new caliph. The only political party of the GNA was the “Peoples Party”, founded by Mustafa Kemal on 9 September 1923.
He forbade women to wear the Hijab, ensured they got an education, by establishing free compulsory primary schooling and forbade men to wear the beard.
He made Turkey a secular state and gradually its importance in the region grew as its economy and population did, aided by membership of NATO and acting as a bulwark against soviet expansion, which meant American money went there.
The West (in the guise of the EU) dangled the carrot of membership, but the rhetoric of recent months, and the animosity between Muslim President Recep Erdoghan and the Netherlands, seems to have put paid to that – at least for a while. Turkey despite shooting down a Russian MIG fighter jet over Northern Syria, as it apparently ventured into Turkish airspace seems to have patched things up with Russia, as they apparently were co-aligned in fighting so-called “Terrorist groups”
In Russia’s case, they were fighting anyone who threatened their relationship with Basher Al-Assad, which is largely because if he falls, Russia loses one of its allies in the region, and probably the warm water port it has in Northern Syria. Turkey, meanwhile is intent on fighting the Kurds who have been pushing to have a homeland in South-Eastern Turkey, and Northern Iraq for decades, and Kurdish oil, would give them money and influence, which Turkey is wary of having, on its south-eastern flank.
The Tribes of Islam – Sunni and Shia, have been fighting amongst themselves for domination ever since the demise of Mohammad. Mohammad’s father-in-law – Abu Bhaqhar, and his cousin – Ali ibn Abi Talib, began feuding over who should succeed him, after his death by poisoning, in 632, and the interpretation of the religion, and these two strands of thought have been fighting for dominance ever since.
But one of the things that has perplexed me over the time I have been thinking about this problem, is that if a person is praying 5 times a day, how much time they have for study of scientific, and other critical thinking subjects. In fact according to one source, I was surprised to learn, that the whole of the Islamic world (of 1.4 billion souls) translates fewer books each year than tiny Liechtenstein.
But, the Islamic world has had two events happen, to help them:
In the 1920s, oil was found, in the Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia, and the Arab-American Oil Company (Aramco) was established, before it was nationalised some years later… This with the establishment of the Petro-Dollar system, by Henry Kissinger back in the 70s, gave the House of Saud, rising importance in the world, as dollars flowed into the Kingdom’s coffers. That immense wealth went into Palaces, British and American Defence Technology as the Kingdom purchased British Fighter Jets, and American missiles and equipment, which has provided the Kingdom, with an excuse to spend their wealth, and recycle some of that wealth into British and American jobs.
Behind the scenes, the Sunni dominated House of Saud, and the Shia dominated establishment in Iran, have been feuding: funding and promoting unrest throughout the region for decades. Whoever wins that battle, wins the battle for dominance in the whole of the Islamic world, and therein, lies the root of the problem for the west.
Back in the 70s, two important things happened… The oil-crisis, brought about by rising world demand, due to an increasing dependence on oil and oil derivative products such as plastics, fertilizers, chemicals, paints, and the pharmaceuticals industry etc; drove the price of oil, as it rose from circa $1.60 per barrel in 1969, to $41.00 per barrel briefly in 1980, and that meant huge amounts of wealth transferred from the west to the oil producing nations (Largely OPEC).
The second thing that happened was, that the ruler in Iran in 1978 was the U.S. installed Mohammad Reza Pahlavi – the last Shah of Iran. But a new twist was about to happen. On January 16, 1979, Pahlavi left Iran after a citizen’s revolt, and two weeks later, on February 1, the Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran. Khomeini had been exiled to various countries, including France, where he made several contentious speeches. He was arrested and exiled to Iraq, then Turkey and finally Paris, France in 1964, but shortly after his arrival back in Iran, on February 11, 1979, Khomeini appointed his first own prime minister, Medhi Bazargan. On March 30, 1979 a referendum took place in Iran and as a result, the monarchy was replaced with an Islamic Republic. After the Islamic Revolution, Khomeini became Supreme Leader of Iran.
As a young man, Khomeini, studied in Qom, an Iranian city, where he received a traditional religious education, but Khomeini, also had other plans. Wiley as a fox, Khomeini – intended to bring Islam to the world. The oil wealth, would allow him and his government to spread the word, and buy the support of those around him. Just as the House of Saud, and the hundreds of Royal Princes do in the Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia.
These two almost tribal nations, one espousing Sunni Islam, the other espousing the more traditional Shia, eye each other across the Persian Gulf. The Straits of Hormuz a narrow waterway, as narrow as the Dover Straits, separates the two nations. And through those straits, 40% of the world’s oil travels. If any one of these two nations decided to close the straits, oil would hit $200 barrel within days at soonest, and weeks at most.
The other choke point – The Baab-el-Mandeb (The Gates of Tears) sits on the other side of the Saudi Peninsula and allows entry to the Red Sea, and the short-route to Europe through the Suez Canal.
In 1973, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria went to war for the second time, the Egyptian President – Anwar Sadat, and Basher Assad of Syria attempted to take back the land won by Israel in the six days war in 1967.
Oil was hovering around $2.30 a barrel. Just days later, while the Israelis, the Syrians, the Jordanians and the Egyptians were still slugging it out acorss the Sinai Peninsula, The Libyan Colonel, who had taken power just four years before, and had nationalised the Libyan oil-fields, and their production technology, raised the price of oil heading to Italy. First to $3., then four, then six, and finally in one final flourish to $11.69. The war lasted almost three weeks, before a UN resolution and a threat by Leonid Breshneyev Soviet President, to put troops on the ground unless the U.S. did, brought hostilities to a swift halt. the War had lasted from October 6-24, 1973.
Reports emerged later that at the time Iran had charged as much as $17 per barrel during the crisis briefly. The small Islamic nations had risked everything against the Western Powers, and survived. The U.S., Italy, France, Germany, former Empire holder Britain, she who had controlled 50% of the earth’s land-mass at one time, were reduced to penury. No armies arrived, no foot-soldiers, no planes bombed their fields, and no jack-boots patrolled their streets, nor gun-boats patrolled their shores. These tiny Arab nations had stood up to the great western powers, and were emboldened. That winter, brought a severe crisis, in Britain, as inflation would reach 26.9%. Mineworkers went on strike, and then power workers. The UK government of Ted Heath was forced to bring in the three-day week to conserve fuel, and council workers joined the fray.
Heath announced a snap election for February 1974, and asked the question – “Who governs Britain?” the electorate answered not so emphatically – “Not you.”. The election was insufficient to give Labour a full mandate, and a brief pact between Labour’s Harold Wilson, and the Liberal’s Jeremy Thorpe maintained things until a second election in October that year, gave Labour a slight majority.
The Americans, had their own crisis that year end, as cars queued at gas-stations for $5.00 worth of fuel, and gas-stations ran out of fuel causing frustration at the Arab nations.
But what does all that have to do with us?
Find out in Part Two