There has been a lot written about Islam and since 911, about the problems with Islam. I’m not her for those, I’m here to bring up another issue. Economics.
Good Muslims who practice the 5 pillars of Islam are either poor or rich – there is no in between. The reason is simple – while it is nice to be reminded of your relationship with God five times every day – it makes it pretty hard to accomplish anything when you need to wake up 30 minutes before dawn, ablute (ritual washing), and then say your prayers. Then, you have to do the same thing four more times through the day. Close your shop, go to the mosque (or not) and wash and say your prayers. It’s not like washing once in the morning does the trick because if you fart or piss or any number of other things – you must ablute again.
If you have sex, your body is considered dirty and you must do a much more in depth washing before talking to God. If a woman is menstruating, she is not allowed to talk to God – she is considered dirty. This and other rules encourage a negative attitude and perception towards the body and towards women in general.
Try to get a taxi during prayer time in a Muslim country. Good luck unless you get a bad Muslim, who generally are the ones who are willing to cheat and steal from you. Want to know why there is so much despair and turmoil in Muslim countries? Because people are waiting for God to answer their thirty-five prayers per week, they are wondering why they are being punished, why their children are being punished, why their lives are harder than those of the west…
It’s simple – Islam interrupts innovation. It gets in the way of industry. It breaks your concentration. It makes you tired and grumpy. And then…you are forced to endure a month of no food or drink during daylight hours during which you lose the thread even further. Ramadan is more than a celebration of God, it is a time of short tempers and fist fights in the street.
Generally, it is not a religion of tolerance or understanding. It is a religion of “Do it my way or die by the sword” and while there are many great souls who come from or have found truth in Islam – there are far more who condemn every non-Muslim to hell and death -either by the hand of God or through the hands of disenchanted youth who can’t understand why God is punishing them and their devout parents.
It is a religion that encourages laziness in the world through giving the ultimate excuse “Inchallah” If God Wills it or “KanK’raa” It is written.
An Arab friend once told me a joke, the Arabs invented zero and have had nothing ever since. Funny, but more to the point would be that the Arabs invented Islam (which is perfectly suitable to a 7th century nomadic desert lifestyle of trade and warfare but which doesn’t work very well anywhere else) and have been waiting for God to answer their prayers ever since. It must be frustrating. Like wating for Godot.
I’m sure there are examples of extraordinary people who have made it work – just like there are extraordinary people with no legs who become skiers or track athletes – humans are remarkable – but for the most part – it appears to be a huge set of hurdles placed in front of normal people who would probably have a hard enough time getting by if they weren’t forced into a religion created attention deficit disorder situation and unable to do any task without being interrupted and forced to stop.