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Why are so many Muslim countries poor countries?


Mr Rayon
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In addition the fact that it has not shown conclusively a link between religion and wealth, it strikes me as odd that the more important issue, namely history, has been rather completely ignored.

Thanks that you added it.

 

This entire thread is a very selective presentation of facts, so I am not surprised that this has been ignored so far... Why use facts when you have already made up your mind that Islam is a bad religion? Facts can only undermine this bias.

 

Something else which was ignored so far is that many Islamic states were colonized by Western powers at some point, and many only became politcally independent after WWII - and many countries are economically still dependent on the more powerful economies. The main purpose of colonization was to increase wealth of the Western countries (it was not philantropy), so goods and resources were shipped back to the colonizers. This, obviously, was not very helpful for the local economies.

 

None of that has anything to do with Islam. The Western countries did not selectively pick out Islamic countries to colonize.

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No doubt about that. You are asking a lot but you don't take part to the conversation, why?

Well, it's not really my area of expertise you see. I'd rather just stay quiet and read everybody's posts while you guys debate it through.

I ask many questions here because they're all silly questions that I can't really ask in real life however nonetheless am still curious about them.

 

Also, science is quite related to pretty much everything in life, so it's easy to post new threads on SFN without looking as though you're trolling (which you would in any other internet forum) but I suppose initially I was trolling to begin with but I have grown to become interested in what people are saying. I am also currently not a committed SFN user, that is why I don't post as many replies. I probably only go here 10-15 mins daily whenever I am bored or have nothing better to do.

 

What can I do with power of the internet?

 

I think the onus is on the original poster to keep the thread alive !

All this responsibility sounds like a burden to me...

I'm not committed enough yet, give me some time.

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Thanks that you added it.

 

This entire thread is a very selective presentation of facts, so I am not surprised that this has been ignored so far... Why use facts when you have already made up your mind that Islam is a bad religion? Facts can only undermine this bias.

 

Something else which was ignored so far is that many Islamic states were colonized by Western powers at some point, and many only became politcally independent after WWII - and many countries are economically still dependent on the more powerful economies. The main purpose of colonization was to increase wealth of the Western countries (it was not philantropy), so goods and resources were shipped back to the colonizers. This, obviously, was not very helpful for the local economies.

 

None of that has anything to do with Islam. The Western countries did not selectively pick out Islamic countries to colonize.

Also ignored is that before European colonialism, the primary system of government in the lands of discussion was feudalism. Moving from feudalism to colonialism to dictatorship sounds like a recipe for poverty.

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It's not strictly true (Iran and Turkey are prosperous for example) but there is some truth in what you suggest. This is mainly because the West hinders their progress by sponsoring corrupt dictatorships which essentially steal all the people's money and do the Wests bidding by selling the countries produce to the West for knock-down prices. Maybe the 'Arab Spring' will change this - but I doubt it.

 

Also, Before the last Iraq war and before the West put sanctions on Iraq (circa 1988) that country had a higher standard of living than Belgium by some measures. Similarly Libya had a standard of living higher than Portugal or Greece before this current war. Imagine how rich Saudi Arabia would be if the oil wealth wasn't horded by a dictatorship and banked in the West?

 

Also, there are many Christian countries that suffer the exact same problems, e.g. Kenya, South Africa (most people are very poor there) and many other African states, so Islam has nothing to do with it.

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It's not strictly true (Iran and Turkey are prosperous for example) but there is some truth in what you suggest.

Those two countries also happen to be democracies... Even though the Iranian one doesn't seem to get along very well with most other democracies in the world.

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due to your weak knowledge about islam you are saying this...............according to islam God says "help yourself then only i will help you"

The obvious answer, is that it's due to the fatalistic attitude induced by the Muslim religion. " Don't help yourself, Allah will provide".

 

But could it be, because a lot of Muslim countries are in hot parts of the world. The heat disinclines the inhabitants to do any work. So they just lay around all the time.

 

There's a similar effect in Europe. The hot Southern parts of Europe, like Greece, are full of people who don't work. This lack of work, causes their country to build up huge monetary debts. These debts then have to be paid by the hardworking Northern people. Like the people in Germany, who are rightly getting annoyed.

 

Same with the USA, and her neighbouring country Mexico. In the last few decades, haven't you Americans let 50,000,000 Mexicans enter Southern and Western states like California? What effect have they caused? Your once hi-tech "Golden State" of California has become bankrupt, and even has power blackouts!

 

This is a result of your letting in people with heat-induced torpor in their genes. You can't blame the new "Poor California" on religion. The Mexicans are all Catholics.

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The obvious answer, is that it's due to the fatalistic attitude induced by the Muslim religion. " Don't help yourself, Allah will provide".

 

 

Actually, Allah means literally "submission to God", so the problem lies within what is personal will and what is God's will, in the eyes of a splinter group fanatic.

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Actually, Allah means literally "submission to God", so the problem lies within what is personal will and what is God's will, in the eyes of a splinter group fanatic.

 

"Allah" is just the Muslim name for their God. "Islam" means "submission".

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"Allah" is just the Muslim name for their God. "Islam" means "submission".

According to wikipedia, it means "voluntary submission to God", which has quite a different sound to it than just "submission".

Edited by CaptainPanic
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Isn't it funny that when I think of "Muslim countries" all the countries coming to my mind spontaneously seem to be the "few exceptions"? Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Iran, Kuwait, and Qatar, for example. I doubt that the relative wealth (compared to world average) of these nations is related to or even due to the religion of the people there, of course.

I checked the five countries with the lowest Human Development Index according to the German Wikipedia: 3/5 have a predominantly Christian population (Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Kongo, Burundi), 1/5 is almost exclusively Muslim (Niger), and 1/5 mainly some local religion with Christianity coming second (Mozambique).

 

So what is the basis you foot your statement that "Muslim countries are poor and generally just doesn't compete that well in the global economy" on, and what is the definition of "poor and generally just don't compete that well in the global economy"? Or are you merely asking why the US, Europe, China, and Japan are not Muslim?

 

@Fuzzwood: Yes, indeed: you do sound very racist (in lack of the word "religionist"). But you're not alone in there.

 

Saudi Arabia and other 'rich' muslim nations also have a very high proportion of citizens living in poverty I believe. There is a big gap between the minority of haves and the majority of have nots.

 

They are also overwhelmingly counties with high fertility and a very large proportion of their citizens under the age of 30. A demographic profile that promotes political instability when the younger demographic can't get jobs and a slice of the wealth.

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Saudi Arabia and other 'rich' muslim nations also have a very high proportion of citizens living in poverty I believe. There is a big gap between the minority of haves and the majority of have nots.
Assuming you are correct: what's your point?
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Poverty in Arabia

 

 

That Saudi Arabia is not an exception to the previously mentioned proposition that islamic countries are third world /develoing countries.

I get tired of fighting this discussion... some people seem determined to make the point that Islam and poverty are related, but show no proof, use definitions in a very broad way, and place the burden of disproving it on the other camp.

 

Just do me one favor: YOU look up the income distribution of Saudi-Arabia, and compare that to some other non-Muslim country... then we're talking.

Until then, I will just ignore this. I have posted multiple posts here to show that Islamic countries are quite average in an economic sense, and by no means exceptionally poor. And you just blunder in with a post that Saudi Arabia also has poverty. Well, so does the USA. That also proves nothing.

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I complain about the lack of a definition of "poor country" and you claim that Saudi Arabia is no exception from that undefined pool of prejudice? I can assure you that reports about poverty in the US are much more frequent in German TV than reports about poverty in the oil countries. I wouldn't call the US a poor country because of that. Would you? If "no": what's your point?

 

I'm not going to waste time here with a discussion that is not at least based on quantitative statements (even if they are as shallow as the graph presented by DJBruce).

Edited by timo
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I get tired of fighting this discussion... some people seem determined to make the point that Islam and poverty are related, but show no proof, use definitions in a very broad way, and place the burden of disproving it on the other camp.

 

Just do me one favor: YOU look up the income distribution of Saudi-Arabia, and compare that to some other non-Muslim country... then we're talking.

Until then, I will just ignore this. I have posted multiple posts here to show that Islamic countries are quite average in an economic sense, and by no means exceptionally poor. And you just blunder in with a post that Saudi Arabia also has poverty. Well, so does the USA. That also proves nothing.

 

 

 

Sorry to rain on your parade but here is some more facts and figures that don't support you assumptions about Arabia.

 

 

My link

 

 

 

There is an estimated population of 20,850 million people that live in the borders of Saudi Arabia, about 5,000 hold over 400 billion dollars of the countries currency. United States and other countries around the world have a common misconception that Saudi Arabia has an unlimited amount of money, due to their petroleum exports.

 

 

 

In Saudi Arabia the upper class is the government, and they have set up a monarchy referred to as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This gives them the power to dictate how much each family receives.

 

 

The truth about Saudi Arabia is that about 40% of the countries GDP goes straight to the few extremely fortunate.

 

I complain about the lack of a definition of "poor country" and you claim that Saudi Arabia is no exception from that undefined pool of prejudice? I can assure you that reports about poverty in the US are much more frequent in German TV than reports about poverty in the oil countries. I wouldn't call the US a poor country because of that. Would you? If "no": what's your point?

 

I'm not going to waste time here with a discussion that is not at least based on quantitative statements (even if they are as shallow as the graph presented by DJBruce).

 

Poverty Hides Amid Saudi Arabia's Oil Wealth

 

 

There is another consistant characteristic of islamic countries - a sectarian divide with a rich and powerful minority, of either sunnni or shiite, oppressing an impoversihed majority of the other group. Or in some cases another religious or ethnic group entirely, e.g. Sudan

Edited by Greg Boyles
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You quoted the following from that link:

The truth about Saudi Arabia is that about 40% of the countries GDP goes straight to the few extremely fortunate.

But a quick Google search revealed that according to the UN, worldwide:

World's richest 1% own 40% of all wealth, UN report discovers (source: Guardian)

What I have said all along: Muslim countries, not even Saudi-Arabia, are either extremely rich or poor... they're quite average.

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You quoted the following from that link:

 

But a quick Google search revealed that according to the UN, worldwide:

 

What I have said all along: Muslim countries, not even Saudi-Arabia, are either extremely rich or poor... they're quite average.

 

 

I guess you would have to compare, between western and islamic countries, how effectively wealth is shared across the population. How big are their middle and upper classes compared to those living in poverty. It is probably safe to say that the middle and upper classes of most islamic countries are quite small. That is why they are pretty much all politically unstable.

 

Not withstanding the difference in wealth between western and islamic countries.

 

 

If they acquired more wealth then the upper classes of islamic countries would likely become even more wealthy with little sharing out of that increased wealth. Apart from the fact that any increase in wealth would be greatly diluted, if it was shared out, by their quite large and growing populations. They would remain politically unstable.

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I guess you would have to compare, between western and islamic countries, [...]

Ah, and there we have the core of our disagreement.

 

I have said earlier that rich and poor should be compared worldwide. Compared to the rich west, everyone else is poor.

 

If we take the rich western nations as the reference point, we can conclude the following:

 

- All muslim countries are poor

- All Asian countries are poor

- All South-American countries are poor

- Heck, all the world except us and a few small exceptions is poor

 

Therefore, we can safely correlate "not being us" with "poverty". Still, it has nothing to do with Islam.

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Ah, and there we have the core of our disagreement.

 

I have said earlier that rich and poor should be compared worldwide. Compared to the rich west, everyone else is poor.

 

If we take the rich western nations as the reference point, we can conclude the following:

 

- All muslim countries are poor

- All Asian countries are poor

- All South-American countries are poor

- Heck, all the world except us and a few small exceptions is poor

 

Therefore, we can safely correlate "not being us" with "poverty". Still, it has nothing to do with Islam.

 

Point taken but I am not convinced that increasing the wealth of islamic countries would signficantly decrease their political instability or poverty levels.

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