Why I Wish I Had Been Born Islamic Instead Of Catholic
In my Hub dealing with Islam's scientific heritage, I have come up against resistance from some who believe that Muslims are generally uneducated and backwards. I wanted to counter this with some verifiable facts, instead of hearsay.
The Organization of the Islamic Conference has confirmed that the main 57 Islamic nations have a combined GDP of $7.74 trillion, very close to the USA's and a much higher per capita GDP than China or India. This GDP is expected to reach close to $9 trillion in the next reporting year at the same time that the USA's is expected to drop significantly. The CIA's Factbook states that last year Saudi Arabia's GDP was $564.6 billion and various financial research institutes have stated that it is expected to exceed one trillion dollars in the next few years.
Not all Muslims are Taliban who spend their day blowing up Buddhist statues and pulling women out of medical schools. Women have been able to attend university in Egypt for almost 90 years. The University of Istanbul and Cairo University are among the most distinguished educational institutions in the world.
Muslims don't have any stranglehold on poverty: A quick check at the IMF or CIA's ranking of GDP per capita and it is obvious that there are just as many "Christian" nations at the bottom as Islamic!
A figure that is often tossed around is that fifteen percent of the Arab workforce is unemployed. Wow! Really? In my native southern Italy, the capital of Catholicism, almost 30% of the workforce is unemployed. Maybe I should tell my paisanos to move south so that they can get a job?
Anyway, everyone knows that there are lies, damned lies and statistics. But the bottom line is that there is no such thing as Islamic poverty, or illiteracy. Those are global problems and they are shared by Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and every other major religion on Earth. Instead of wasting our energies pointing fingers, why don't all people of good will work to help these poor populations to better their lot in life?
The measure of a civilization should not be marked by the amount of junk it makes. Why does the so called "Western Civilization" have a monopoly on what life should be? After all, mercantilism was frowned upon even in Europe up to a couple of centuries ago. Any Westerner staggering under the crushing weight of credit card and mortgage interest debt would be amazed to learn that Islamic banks are forbidden from charging interest! They charge fees, but so does my Canadian and very un-Islamic bank, while still ripping me for 20% every time I pull my Gold Visa out of my pocket. They suck a $100 annual fee out of me as well over and above the interest. Sign me up for a MuslimCard!
Shari'a law is harsh, but then again, most Muslim countries have crime rates that are virtually nonexistent. The annual totals of rapes and murders in Saudi Arabia are roughly equal to some small Midwestern towns. There's nothing like seeing a guy walk down the street with one hand missing to dissuade you from holding up the Riyadh Seven-Eleven! I'll take Shari'a over our North American revolving door justice system that often gives equivalent sentences for murder as for bouncing a check!
Islamic culture has placed the wholesomeness and protection of the family at the center of its structure, while we "advanced Westerners" have engaged in an orgy of utterly destructive and repugnant social behavior for half a century which has given rise to a totally disconnected, media and drug-soaked, meaningless, self-centered, and feral generation. The ethical codex of the West is to be found on youporn.com, while Islam always promises and delivers morality and family over promiscuity and decadence.
I was born a Roman Catholic and now respect all major religions, thus I am not a Muslim. But if I had to live my life over again, I would want to be born into a loving, socially-integrated, intellectual and completely orthodox Islamic family where I would have been raised with discipline, loyalty, a strong sense of family and society, as well as a profound love for each other and our God.