By Dr M Husain Sadar
October 09, 2012
The most dangerous disease that is destroying the mental health of most if not all Arab/Muslim societies is their irrational behaviour toward others, conveniently labelled as non-Muslims
It does not take a genius to recognise that we are living in a globally competitive Internet economy. Obviously, its health is based upon a properly educated and trained work force, a high level of scientific knowledge and research, and the availability of modern technology. Consequently, in order to ensure good employment opportunities for the population and maintain the highest standards of productivity and future economic progress, countries around the world are planning and implementing appropriate measures for achieving the desired goals and objectives in all such areas.
Some of the most common steps that are being taken include:
- Increased investment in primary, secondary and post-secondary education, professional training and scientific research;
- Regular availability and use of modern technological tools such as computers at early stages of education, training and in industrial design and production;
- Using effective and modern methods of supervision, administration and management for ensuring greater efficiency and productivity at all factories and workplaces;
- Emphasising greater focus on personal honesty and integrity, responsible behaviour, importance of teamwork and greater focus on improving individual and collective contributions by adopting a strong work ethic.
Anyone who has visited, worked in, or done business in various Arab/Islamic countries including the oil-rich Gulf Arab states, as I have done, must have observed a lack of most if not all the needed elements as noted above. On the contrary, in numerous Arab/Islamic countries, especially Pakistan, the rate of public illiteracy remains very high. On top of that, the investment in primary education is extremely low. As a result, a significant number of young children are being driven to enter religious schools just to learn reading or memorising the Holy Quran. On top of that, there is bottomless corruption, dishonesty and injustice at all levels of society. Consequently, the level of efficiency and productivity in most public and private institutions remain at extremely low levels.
Hence, some of the key questions that must be addressed by every sensible citizen of Pakistan and especially those exhibiting repeated outrage against the west and especially the US for all the ills facing Pakistani or Arab/Islamic societies are:
1. How can any Muslim-majority society produce adequately qualified workers and professionals who can compete successfully with their European and North American counterparts?
2. How can a society raise children capable of getting early education and grow up to meet the challenges of the future in this age of the Internet economy and rapidly advancing technology when they are raised by illiterate, oppressed and powerless mothers?
3. Why do some Pakistani political parties such as Jamaat-e-Islami and the Pakistan Muslim League and their leaders keep on glorifying oil-rich governments, especially Saudi Arabia, and allowing them to exercise an ever increasing influence over key government policies, public institutions and the general public?
4. Knowing well that Pakistan does not have vast oil reserves but must rely on the abilities and productivity of its people, why then do successive governments keep on spending so lavishly on the military and other areas rather than on improving public education, training and health and welfare of the common folks?
4. If indeed the US, Canada and other western countries are ‘enemies of Islam’, as some self-proclaimed defenders of Islam keep on claiming, then why have all these countries been providing safety, productive lives and better economic opportunities to their citizens of the Islamic faith over the past many decades?
5. Finally, how is it that in spite of all their oil wealth, a UN report prepared by a group of independent experts including Arab/Muslim members, concluded that the total economic wealth of all Arabic speaking nations was less than that of one European nation, Spain, if the crude oil sale revenues are not taken into account?
However, the most dangerous and common disease that is destroying the physical and mental health of most if not all Arab/Muslim societies is their irrational, illogical and destructive behaviour toward others, conveniently labelled as non-Muslims. For instance, the recent mob violence by thousands or perhaps millions of angry Muslims in countries around the world was not only criminal when judged according to any international law, but also had no clear purpose. Moreover, it resulted in a horrible loss of life of their fellow citizens, some foreign diplomats and enormous destruction and damage of local properties.
It is extremely important that the mass media, educated and middle class and more importantly, the political leadership in all Arab/Islamic countries should promote an objective, honest and factual dialogue on the root causes of such frequent, destructive and mindless outrages and then introduce specific remedial measures to reverse this dangerous course. Failing that, the future stability, security and economic progress of all Arab/Islamic countries but more specifically Pakistan will be in great jeopardy.
Dr M Husain Sadar is a Canadian of Islamic faith and Pakistani ancestry. He is a retired professor of Environmental Sciences