Will Muslims Ever wake up?
By Ali Sina
In an article entitled “What
went wrong?” Dr Farrukh Saleem, a freelance writer from
painted a very bleak picture of the Islamic world showing the Muslims are the
poorest, the most illiterate and the most backward people of the world. He
The combined annual GDP of
57 Muslim countries remains under $2 trillion.
, just by herself, produces goods and services worth $10.4 trillion;
$5.7 trillion, Japan $3.5 trillion and
$2.1 trillion. Even
's GDP is estimated at over $3 trillion (purchasing power parity basis).
collectively produce goods and services (mostly oil) worth $430 billion;
alone has a higher annual GDP while Buddhist Thailand produces goods and
services worth $429 billion.
Muslims are 22 percent of
the world population and produce less than five percent of global GDP. Even more
worrying is that the Muslim countries' GDP as a percent of the global GDP is
going down over time. The Arabs, it seems, are particularly worse off. According
to the United Nations' Arab Development Report: "Half of Arab women cannot
read; One in five Arabs live on less than $2 per day; Only 1 percent of the Arab
population has a personal computer, and only half of 1 percent use the Internet;
Fifteen percent of the Arab workforce is unemployed, and this number could
double by 2010; The average growth rate of the per capita income during the
preceding 20 years in the Arab world was only one-half of 1 percent per annum,
worse than anywhere but sub-Saharan Africa."
The planet's poorest
. At least six of the poorest of the poor are countries with a Muslim majority.
Conclusion: Muslims of the
world are among the poorest of the poor.
Fifty-seven Muslim majority
countries have an average of ten universities each for a total of less than 600
universities for 1.4 billion people;
has 8,407 universities, the
has 5,758. From within 1.4 billion Muslims Abdus Salam and Ahmed Zewail are the
only two Muslim men who won a Nobel Prize in physics and chemistry (Salam
pursued his scientific work in
, Zewail at California Institute of Technology). Dr Salam in his home country is
not even considered a Muslim.
Over the past 105 years, 1.4
billion Muslims have produced eight Nobel Laureates while a mere 14 million Jews
have produced 167 Nobel Laureates. Of the 1.4 billion Muslims less than 300,000
qualify as 'scientists', and that converts to a ratio of 230 scientists per one
million Muslims. The
United States of America
has 1.1 million scientists (4,099 per million);
has 700,000 (5,095 per million).
Fact: Of the 1.4 billion
Muslims 800 million are illiterate (6 out of 10 Muslims cannot read). In
Christendom, adult literacy rate stands at 78 percent.
Consider, for instance, that
Muslims constitute 22 percent of world population with a 1 percent share of
Nobel Prizes. Jews constitute 0.23 percent of world population with a 22 percent
share of Nobel Prizes.
What really went wrong?
Muslims are poor, illiterate and weak. What went wrong? Arriving at the right
diagnosis is extremely critical because the prescription depends on it. Consider
Here is where I thought he is going to tell it like it is and make it clear
that Islam is the cause of it all. But you will be surprised to see what were
Dr. Saleem's diagnoses:
Diagnosis 1: Muslims are
poor, illiterate and weak because they have 'abandoned the divine heritage of
Islam'. Prescription: We must return to our real or imagined past.
Diagnosis 2: Muslims are
poor, illiterate and weak because we have refused to change with time.
Keep pace with time -- al