Lack of initiative in Islamic societies

The people also expect their leaders to do miracles, to save them, and take care of them from cradle to grave. This condition spills down to the rest of society. As a child I remember my grandparents’ hands being kissed by poor villagers who needed something. My grandparents often refuse the bowing and the kiss, but are often pleased by it. Servants submit to their masters, workers to their bosses and children to their parents. Maids often have to express total respect and submission and very often to physical and sexual abuse. There is a sad dependency for one’s welfare upon the graces of any one above you in the Moslem hierarchy of submission. Since initiative is stifled, most people wait for things to happen to them rather than change things on their own. Thus dependency becomes the norm. Slavery may have been abolished officially, but it is alive and well in a different form called submission.

Nonie Darwish, ex-Muslim


Jacob S Wells said…
We are all slaves or dependent on someone or something. We are either dependent on the Lord and slaves to Him or we are dependent on and slaves to the world's system and the ruler of this world, Satan.
Paradoxicon said…
I remember reading in an article somewhere that the Umayyad Caliphate was the "first modern welfare state", and that this purportedly praiseworthy development was a result of the institution of 'zakat'. If the Umayyad Caliphate is, in circular fashion, the standard by which such a claim is to be judged, then its historical verdict is certainly false, as the Popes of Rome had been sponsoring welfare programs for years in Italy on a larger scale than that conducted by the Umayyads. But more fundamentally, the notion that it is someone else's job to take care of you is ethically problematic, and explains why practically every Middle Eastern economy (with the exception of Turkey) is most socialized, public sector-driven, and welfare-oriented, and stagnant with high poverty and unemployment rates at the same time.
Abu Daoud said…
Paradoxicon: I'm not sure about your statement re the Pope. I know they helped the poor, but it could not be a welfare state until he had a state of his own, which was not for a long while.

Jacob: Yes, I suppose this is true, but I do think that there are some cultures that emphasize creative solutions and self-initiative. I think Darwish is correct in saying that these are largely lacking in Islamic societies. It's a real problem.
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