Universal Relevance Versus Jaguh Kampong Irrelevance


OutSyed The Box


Do you realise that for about 30 years after the advent of the New Economic Policy the Malays and Muslims in Malaysia were catching up pretty well with the others in business and economics. Our country promised an upward trajectory for all.

However the increasing pace of ‘islamisation’ or islamic-cessation of things is making Muslim business and economics regress and go backward again. For example :

i. Islamic banking imposes higher costs of financing on Muslims. Muslims become poorer faster.

ii. Strange Islamic rules make some businesses downright uncompetitive. For example jewellers CANNOT sell gold on monthly payment terms. Why? Because gold is classified as a ‘riba’ item (along with dates, salt, silver and some other things).  So more customers will go to non Muslim jewellers. Muslim jewellers can lose business and close shop.

iii. The overzealous enforcement of halal regulations is making halal food cost more for Muslims.  Muslims pay more to make sure that the fish they eat was fed dead chickens that were ‘halal’ slaughtered. (Meanwhile tastier and healthier fish that grow naturally in rivers can eat whatever they find floating in the river  – dead animals, pig poop, elephant dung or whatever).

Imposing irrelevant rules is making the Muslims become irrelevant again. In the process the Muslims also become poorer than their non Muslim neighbours.

Anyway here is a rehash of something I wrote in 2012. How time flies. On the world stage more Muslims have become even more irrelevant to the rest of the world. In Turkey, the pro jihadi Erdogan has not only banned Twitter but now he is going after You Tube. They are crawling back into their cave.

The Ottoman Empire was founded in the early 14th century. By the 17th century the Turks were the most modern and the most relevant society on earth. Then they got stuck. By the 20th century they were still stuck in the 17th century.

Then Mustafa Kamal Ataturk came along in the 1920s. He got rid of the mullahs and fast forwarded Turkey to catch up with the 20th century. The Turks did catch up – well almost.  Now Erdogan is taking Turkey the other way – back to the Stone Age.

Turkey is again becoming not relevant, first to Twitter and Youtube. Twitter and Youtube dont care about Turkey. If Erdogan has his way, Turkey will grow more in its irrelevance.

In today’s world, the Muslims are largely not relevant to the continued functioning and prosperity of the rest of the human race. We certainly dont like to hear this but it is true.

This is a sad decline from the heights of Muslim achievements of say about 700 to a thousand years ago when Muslims were very relevant to the rest of the world. The Muslims of the present age have just lost it.

If tomorrow an alien space ship were to appear and suck up all the Muslims and disappear into the sky, there would not be much of a negative impact on the lives of other human beings on earth.

Muslims dont make Toyotas or Peugeot or Volkswagen so no one will be deprived of cars.

We dont sing anything that is on the popular charts in the world (singing and music is possibly haram for some) so no one would miss any ‘Muslim’ music.

We do not grow, harvest and process any food that the world cannot already provide for itself – so no one will starve either.

Muslims dont make any brand name clothes or even the underwear that they wear – so the rest of the world will still be clothed quite comfortably.

The few Muslim countries (including Malaysia) that do appear on the world scene run on natural  resources like oil and gas.  They run on oil money.  If you take away the oil and gas these Muslim countries will disappear just as quickly.

And even the oil and gas has to be extracted by the non Muslims.  New oil deposits have been discovered off Pahang. But an American oil company discovered the oil and is drilling it. They keep 75% and give Petronas 25%.  This is a petroleum sharing contract and it is good. But still it is “buta money” – we did not drill for the oil ourselves.

Going back to Turkey, for about 90 years since Kamal Ataturk, Turkey has been a strictly secular nation. This means they have upheld good Islamic ‘secular’ values. In many ways Kamal Ataturk has contributed a lot for Turkey. Ataturk made Turkey relevant.  Unfortunately not anymore.