The Arab InterParliamentary Union estimates that in the Arab world:
a. 54% of Doctors and 26% of Engineers have migrated out of the region.
b. More than 50% of Arab Students studying abroad don’t return.
Despite the popular perception that Arab countries are rich, overall GDP at the end of the 20th century (US $604 Billion) was little more than that of Spain ($559 billion), with less than 15 percent of the Arab population. After the oil boom of the 1970s, most of the economies of the Middle East and North Africa either stagnated or declined. (UNDP/AHDR 2003)
GDP Per Capita in 1970 and 2001 as Percent of GDP Capita in OECD Countries
E. Asian Tigers
OECD: Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (30 industrialized nations) (15)
The Middle East’s share of international trade and foreign direct investment is less than 1.5 percent of the world total
Firstly, most Arab states have not pursued policies to encourage inter-Arab trade, which was until 1996 about 6-7% of their total trade, and is usually in the form of organized "protocol trade" or bilateral and restrictive trade agreements (16)
In the year 2002, US trade with the Arab world amounted to $43.5 billion in two-way trade, down only four percent from the year 2001, according to US Department of Commerce figures. Of that amount, nearly $18 billion comes from US-Saudi trade, some $13 billion of which is Saudi oil exports to the US. During the same period, US trade with Israel amounted to $19.5 billion, with the US importing nearly $13 billion in goods from Israel.
Due to political instability, poor planning, a corrupt infrastructure, and lack of an educated work force and investment opportunities, Arab economies are dependent on importing food, medicines, and foreign labor. Given the lack of trust and cooperation among Arab countries, oil rich nations prefer importing foreign labor than employ an Arab labor force. Despite the presence of a large Indian labor force in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf these Arab nations are unable to influence India’s growing relationship with Israel. In fact, despite the lip service given by the Arab League to the Palestinian cause, most Arab nations have a poor record in dealing with Palestinian refugees whether in terms of economic, educational, or social support.
Strong recommendations that begin to address such serious and long term domestic issues in the Arab world have been expertly written by the United Nations Development Program through its "Arab Human Development Report", unfortunately, such reports are tragically shelved in favor of the "expertise" of Arab Leaders.
Tragically the Muslims have strayed from their faith and are living in mental and physical squalor. They shed tears in prayers for their downtrodden existence hoping that Allah (swt) will save them from their miserable destiny. Yet while they seek a heavenly miracle they ignore the Qur’anic injunction and the path for their own salvation: Change is in their hands, it’s always been in their hands.
"Verily, God does not change men’s condition unless they change their inner selves, and when God wills people to suffer evil (in consequences of their own evil deeds), there is none who could avert it: for they have none who could protect them from Him…" (Qur’an: 13:11)
American Foreign Policy Since Israel’s Founding in the Middle East
With the exception of President Eisenhower’s intervention in the British, French, and Israeli preemptive attack on Egypt in 1956, American Foreign Policy in the Middle East has been consistent Pro-Israel regardless of a Republican or Democratic Administration. Israel and Oil have been the driving force of such policy. Since Israel’s 1967 victory over the Arabs the large and powerful Christian Fundamentalists have added enormous support to Israel’s cause in American politics, although that support follows the prophecy that Jews must all return to Israel to hasten the end of world battle "Armageddon" where all non-saved Christians will be annihilated (except for 144,000 saved Jews) hastening the second coming of Christ. (See Senator John Kerry’s article: "The Cause of Israel is the Cause of America") (17)
Israel’s political and economic influence upon U.S. foreign policy is not countered by any Arab lobbying in the political arena or by any attempt to educate the American people on the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict nor on the truth regarding Islam. Americans are only exposed to an Israeli monologue that has usurped American foreign policy and constructed Islam as the new threat to western civilization. America has bought the premise that there is a "Clash of Civilizations and Religions" between the West and Islam. How long can the Arab leaders package their impotence as a Zionist ploy when Israel is simply looking after its interests, when in truth it’s their lack of knowledge, sophistication, will, and a realization that their power rests upon oppressing their masses and not their support. In today’s world "Image is Everything" and in that battle Arabs and Islam are losing. Arabs must spend their money on addressing domestic issues and on fighting with words and pictures, not accumulating the latest weapons that languish in desert hangers.
"It’s clear that Islam is on the way to disappearing," Israeli Minister Elon asserts with certainty. "What we are now seeing across the Muslim world is not a powerful surge of faith but the dying embers of Islam. How will it disappear? Very simply. Within a few years a Christian crusade against Islam will be launched, which will be the major event of this millennium."
— Haaretz May 10, 2003
There will be no peace in the Middle East or between the West and Islam until true democracy flourishes in due time from within, not from without, the Middle East Americans must understand that Israel and its illegal occupation of Palestine is the singular most important wedge between them, peace, and good relations with the Muslim world. Americans are a genuinely good people who will support justice and peace in the Middle East once they’re better informed of Israel’s historical injustice against the Palestinian people, an injustice they support with their taxes, weapons, and vetoes. That education is primarily the responsibility of all Arab and American Muslims, a group who’s disunity, feuds, lack of knowledge on conflicts impacting Muslims worldwide, political apathy, fear of retribution, and allegiance to foreign governments or Muslim movements makes them invisible in the American political, academic, or media arenas.
Muslims around the world must fill the streets and proclaim their total opposition to all terrorism and to Al-Qaeda’s in particular. These terrorists are killing innocent civilians around the world in the name of Islam, God forbid, and are harming the very faith they espouse and their own brethren. Silence is not an option but rather a complicit statement.
No human can claim to be a Muslim, one who submits to the will of God, and murder in cold blood innocent civilians on airplanes, trains, cars, or ships. Islam has strict injunctions against killing non-combatants even in war. What madness would drive a human being to push a remote button to murder an innocent child or mother? Yes Muslims have a legitimate right in faith and in international law to defend themselves from occupation and oppression, but Allah (swt) forbids committing injustice and transgressing all bounds even against one’s enemies. Yes Muslims are victimized by the western powers, especially America, who hypocritically proclaim democracy and human rights while enforcing a double standard for Israel’s illegal occupation as well as Iraq’s invasion. No matter, Muslims must still adhere to Islam’s teaching in dealing justly with the enemies of truth and international law. Muslims must fight those who fight against them but not transgress such boundaries as to murder the innocent.
"O you have attained to faith! Be ever steadfast in your devotion to God, bearing witness to the truth in all equity; and never let hatred of anyone lead you into the sin of deviating from justice. Be just: this is the closest to being God-conscious." (Qur’an 5:8)
Extremism in all its manifestations in life is totally rejected in Islam. No greater injunction against what’s wrongfully termed "Islamic Extremism/Fundamentalism" can be found than in Allah’s (swt) command that Muslims must follow moderation in all things. The only fighting permitted in Islam is in defense of faith or nation.
"And thus we have willed you to be a community of the middle way"
— (Qur’an: 2:143)
The upcoming Arab summit must be courageous and clear in their condemnation of all terrorism against civilians by persons, groups, or states and must reaffirm that even in war and animosity Islamic principles must be upheld. Although it’s doubtful such a statement may arise given the recent murder of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, the main problem for the Arab leaders is their total lack of credibility with their own people. Thus it’s up to the Muslim scholars and to the citizenry in the Arab and Muslim world to publicly condemn the murder of innocents by Jews, Christians, Muslims or any other adherents of other faiths, such as Hindus in India.
"There is a light in the heart that is illuminated only by following the truth." Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
In my opinion the entire world’s impotence and inaction against injustice anywhere is responsible for terrorism everywhere. Terrorism is a reflection of desperation emanating from the failed resolution of conflicts and perceived threats by governments and peoples around the world. When governments fail to act, misguided people will act. For 37 years the entire world has been unable to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and until the world resolves this issue and other festering conflicts around the world, terrorism will raise its ugly head.
"Justice will only exist where those not affected by injustice are filled with the same amount of indignation as those offended."
(Empire Builders: Neocons)
(Neo-Con’s Letter to President Clinton 1998)
(See Quotes by US/UK Leaders before/after invasion) 4
(CIA World Fact Book 2003)
http://earthtrends.wri.org/text/ECN/variables/643.htm (GDP percent on Education)