--- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, "jyouells2000" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> Goofed up the link try this one:
> Furor Over Cartoons Pits Muslim Against Muslim
> tml?hp&ex=1140584400&en=e85120f56c914a0a&ei=5094&partner=homepage>
> JohnY

That's a great article. Friedman's commentary today is spot on, too:

Empty Pockets, Angry Minds

I have no doubt that the Danish cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad
have caused real offense to many Muslims. I'm glad my newspaper didn't
publish them. But there is something in the worldwide Muslim reaction
to these cartoons that is excessive, and suggests that something else
is at work in this story. It's time we talked about it.

To understand this Danish affair, you can't just read Samuel
Huntington's classic, "The Clash of Civilizations." You also need to
read Karl Marx, because this explosion of Muslim rage is not just
about some Western insult. It's also about an Eastern failure. It is
about the failure of many Muslim countries to build economies that
prepare young people for modernity — and all the insult, humiliation
and frustration that has produced.

Today's world has become so wired together, so flattened, that you
can't avoid seeing just where you stand on the planet — just where the
caravan is and just how far ahead or behind you are. In this flat
world you get your humiliation fiber-optically, at 56K or via
broadband, whether you're in the Muslim suburbs of Paris or Kabul.
Today, Muslim youth are enraged by cartoons in Denmark. Earlier, it
was a Newsweek story about a desecrated Koran. Why? When you're
already feeling left behind, even the tiniest insult from afar goes to
the very core of your being — because your skin is so thin.

India is the second-largest Muslim country in the world, but the
cartoon protests here, unlike those in Pakistan, have been largely
peaceful. One reason for the difference is surely that Indian Muslims
are empowered and live in a flourishing democracy. India's richest man
is a Muslim software entrepreneur. But so many young Arabs and Muslims
live in nations that have deprived them of any chance to realize their
full potential.

The Middle East Media Research Institute, called Memri, just published
an analysis of the latest employment figures issued by the U.N.'s
International Labor Office. The I.L.O. study, Memri reported, found
that "the Middle East and North Africa stand out as the region with
the highest rate of unemployment in the world": 13.2 percent. That is
worse than in sub-Saharan Africa.

While G.D.P. in the Middle East-North Africa region registered an
annual increase of 5.5 percent from 1993 to 2003, productivity, the
measure of how efficiently these resources were used, increased by
only about 0.1 percent annually — better than only one region,
sub-Saharan Africa.

The Arab world is the only area in the world where productivity did
not increase with G.D.P. growth. That's because so much of the G.D.P.
growth in this region was driven by oil revenues, not by educating
workers to do new things with new technologies.

Nearly 60 percent of the Arab world is under the age of 25. With
limited job growth to absorb them, the I.L.O. estimates, the region is
spinning out about 500,000 more unemployed people each year. At a time
when India and China are focused on getting their children to be more
scientific, innovative thinkers, educational standards in much of the
Muslim world — particularly when it comes to science and critical
inquiry — are not keeping pace.

Pervez Hoodbhoy, a professor of nuclear physics at Quaid-i-Azam
University in Islamabad, Pakistan, bluntly wrote the following in
Global Agenda 2006, the journal of the recent Davos World Economic Forum:

"Pakistan's public (and all but a handful of private) universities are
intellectual rubble, their degrees of little consequence. ...
According to the Pakistan Council for Science and Technology,
Pakistanis have succeeded in registering only eight patents
internationally in 57 years. ...

"[Today] you seldom encounter a Muslim name in scientific journals.
Muslim contributions to pure and applied science — measured in terms
of discoveries, publications, patents and processes — are marginal.
... The harsh truth is that science and Islam parted ways many
centuries ago. In a nutshell, the Muslim experience consists of a
golden age of science from the ninth to the 14th centuries, subsequent
collapse, modest rebirth in the 19th century, and a profound reversal
from science and modernity, beginning in the last decades of the 20th
century. This reversal appears, if anything, to be gaining speed."

No wonder so many young people in this part of the world are
unprepared, and therefore easily enraged, as they encounter modernity.
And no wonder backward religious leaders and dictators in places like
Syria and Iran — who have miserably failed their youth — are so quick
to turn their young people's anger against an insulting cartoon and
away from themselves and the rot they have wrought. 

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