September 26, 2012

Absent education, there is only hard work. Not an office job they hate”€”more like digging ditches. View it in terms of pre-1940 American poverty. No welfare or widespread social programs. Only the death of a hitherto unknown affluent relative, astronomically unlikely inventiveness, or almost as rare upwardly mobile marriage (in the case of an exceptionally beautiful son or daughter) can lift them from this morass. Otherwise, they’re stuck.

So they have children and go to church. Perhaps somehow or someway, if they fight and slave enough, their child’s future may be a shade brighter. However, given the exigencies of Arabic existence such as lack of dowries or employment to support a family, children are sometimes too expensive.

What does that leave? Televised football? No, many don’t have televisions. Stamp collecting? No, several haven’t ever sent or received a letter in their lives. An interest in classic cars? Wrong again. They couldn’t afford the spark plug on a Jaguar.

It leaves faith, because only God can save them or make their lives any better.

Obama infamously quipped that people “cling to guns or religion” because they fear instability. This was probably the most insulting way to phrase it, but it was essentially correct. Despair breeds belief. That doesn’t make faith any less valid, but it often makes it more fervent.

So when someone ridicules their deity, or draws cartoons about him, or makes an insipid film whose purpose is to say, “Hey, look at this idol of yours! Now do you see you dirty folks are both poor AND stupid?” those people will become very angry. And I don’t blame them.

I don’t condone violence in the Middle East. I don’t care for the entire region and think all of the West would be better off disengaging. Let them go their own way so long as it is not on a collision course with us. Often, they say the same. That is what 9/11 was purportedly all about: getting us out of their countries.

But they are not “irrational” or “overemotional.” In proportion to what they have, God occupies about the space one would realistically expect. His is the only presence that stands to make any positive difference. The West, however, is eager to send over mockery and drones.

Already the vast majority of the Muslim world, outside of sheikdoms or their enforcers, has nothing and no prospects of getting any more to make themselves comfortable. So let them have their God. In fact, leave the Muslims alone and they’ll probably do the same for us. If not, then force them to leave us alone, but do so from the comfort of our home and not from the middle of theirs.



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