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At least since the early part of the 20th century, aside from oil, the Arab world has produced and exported two products.
It has produced essentially no technology, medicine or anything else in the world of science. It has almost no contributions to world literature, art or to intellectual development.
According to the most recent United Nations Arab Human Development Reports (2003-2005), written by Arab intellectuals, Greece, with a population of 11 million, annually translates five times more books from English than the entire Arab world, population 370 million. Nor is this a new development. The total number of books translated into Arabic during the last 1,000 years is less than Spain translates into Spanish in one year.
ArabianBusiness.com reports that about 100 million people in the Arab world are illiterate; and three quarters of them are between the ages of 15 and 45.
As for Arab women, the situation is even worse. Nearly half of the Arab world’s women are illiterate, and sexual attacks on women have actually increased since the Arab Spring, as have forced marriages and trafficking. And the exact number of women murdered by family members in “honor killings” is not knowable. It is only known to be large.
In Egypt, the largest Arab country, 91 percent of women and girls are subjected to female genital mutilation, according to UNICEF. Not to mention the number of women in the Arab world who must wear veils or even full-face and full-body coverings known as burkas. And, of course, Saudi Arabia is infamous for not allowing women to drive a car.
Another unhappy feature of the Arab world is the prevalence of lies. To this day, Egypt denies that it was the Egyptian pilot, Ahmed El-Habashi, who allegedly crashed an EgyptAir jet into the ocean deliberately. Vast numbers of Arabs believe that Jews knew of the 9-11 plot and avoided going to work at the World Trade Center that day.
So, then, is there anything at which the Arab world has excelled for the past two generations? Has there been a major Arab export?
As it happens, there are two.
Hatred and violence.
The Arab world has no peer when it comes to hatred – of the Western world generally, and especially of Israel. Israel-hatred and its twin, Jew-hatred, are the oxygen that the Arab world breathes.
Two of the most popular songs in Egypt over the past decade have been “I Hate Israel” and the ironically named “I Love Israel.”
Lyrics of the latter song include:
“May it [Israel] be destroyed. May it be wiped off the map. May a wall fall on it. May it disappear from the universe. God, please have it banished.”
“May it dangle from the noose. May I get to see it burning, Amen. I will pour gasoline on it. I am an Egyptian man. I am not a coward.”
“I Hate Israel” is so popular that it was the song which Egypt’s pop star Chaaboula sang at the largest music festival in the Arab world, Morocco’s Mawazine.
The festival, one of the biggest in the world, featured Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake, Ricky Martin and Kool and the Gang.
Some of the lyrics:
“I hate Israel, and I would say so if I was asked to.
“Two faces of the same coin, America and Israel. They made the world a jungle and ignited the fuse.
“About that [Twin] Tower, oh people. Definitely! His friends [Israel] were the ones who brought it down.”
The other major Arab product and export has been violence.
It is difficult to overstate the amount of violence in the Arab world. Mass murder and cruelty have characterized the Arab world.
Regarding Iraq under Saddam Hussein, Dexter Filkins, the New York Times correspondent in Iraq from 2003-2006 wrote: “Here, in Hussein, was one of the world’s indisputably evil men: he murdered as many as a million of his people, many with poison gas. He tortured, maimed and imprisoned countless more. His unprovoked invasion of Iran is estimated to have left another million people dead.”
Syria, too, has been a country of mass murder, torture, and brutal totalitarian rule — under the rule of Hafez Assad (in power 1971-2000), and his son, Bashar, the current killer-dictator who, among other atrocities, used Sarin gas against his own people in 2013.
In the ongoing Syrian Civil War, according to the United Nations, between March 15, 2011 and April 30, 2014, 191,000 Syrians, about a third of them civilians, were killed. In addition, 2.5 million people have fled Syria to neighboring countries, and 6.5 million have fled their homes within Syria.
In Algeria in the 1990s, Islamist terrorists engaged in wholesale murder of their fellow Algerians. That war cost Algeria about 100,000 lives, mostly civilian.
In Sudan, the Arab government’s atrocities against the non-Arab population in the region of Darfur led to about 300,000 deaths and over a million refugees. In addition there was systematic rape of untold numbers of non-Arab women by Arab gangs known as the Janjaweed.
And then there was the terror unleashed by Palestinians against Israeli civilians in restaurants, at weddings, on buses, etc. The Palestinians are the modern fathers of terrorism directed solely at civilians.
There are two possible reactions to this description of the Arab world. One is that it is an example of anti-Arab “racism.” That would be the reaction in much of the Arab world, on the left and among most academics — despite the fact that the description is of a culture and that the Arabs are not a race. The other is that is that it is tragically accurate. That would be the reaction of some in the Arab world and anyone who cares about truth. One such individual is an Arab. In Politico Magazine two weeks ago. Hisham Melhem, Washington bureau chief of Al-Arabiya, the Dubai-based satellite channel, titled his article “The Barbarians Within Our Gates.” The subtitle is “Arab civilization has collapsed. It won’t recover in my lifetime.”
Islamic State, which is overwhelmingly Arab, is just the latest manifestation
A security contractor with a gun and three prior convictions for assault and battery was allowed on an elevator with President Obama during a Sept. 16 trip to Atlanta, violating Secret Service protocols, according to three people familiar with the incident.
The incident occurred as Obama appeared at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to discuss the U.S. response to the Ebola crisis.
The contractor did not comply when Secret Service agents asked him to stop using a phone camera to videotape the president in the elevator, according to the people familiar with the incident.
Agents questioned him, and used a database check to learn of his criminal history.
When a supervisor from the private security firm approached and learned of the agents’ concern, the contractor was fired on the spot and agreed to turn over his gun — surprising agents, who had not realized he was armed during his encounter with Obama.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said he was appalled when whistleblowers came forward to him with this account. The Washington Post confirmed details of the event with other people familiar with the review.
“You have a convicted felon within arms reach of the president and they never did a background check,” Chaffetz said. “Words aren’t strong enough for the outrage I feel for the safety of the President and his family. “
He added: “His life was in danger. This country would be a different world today if he had pulled out his gun.”
Elements of the breach were first reported Tuesday afternoon by the Washington Examiner.
It is the latest in a string of embarrassments for the Secret Service, whose director, Julia Pierson, drew criticism Tuesday from lawmakers in both parties during a combative hearing focused on security breaches.
A Secret Service spokesman said the agency would provide a response soon.
Sept 30 (Reuters) - U.S. health officials said on Tuesday the first patient infected with the deadly Ebola virus had been diagnosed in the country, in a new sign of how the outbreak ravaging West Africa can spread globally.
The patient had recently traveled to West Africa and developed symptoms several days after returning to Texas, state officials said. The patient was admitted to an isolation room at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the diagnosis. U.S. health officials and lawmakers have been bracing for the eventuality that a patient would arrive on U.S. shores undetected, testing the preparedness of the nation's healthcare system.
The Texas Department of State Health Services said it was working with the CDC, the local health department and the hospital "to investigate the case and help prevent transmission of the disease."
"The hospital has implemented infection control measures to help ensure the safety of patients and staff," the statement said.
U.S. hospitals have treated several patients who were diagnosed with Ebola in West Africa, the center of the worst known outbreak of the virus that has killed more than 3,000 people. The previous U.S. patients were all medical and other aid workers who were diagnosed while still in West Africa.
Ebola symptoms generally appear between two and 21 days after infection, meaning there is a significant window during which an infected person can escape detection, allowing them to travel.
CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden has said U.S. hospitals are well prepared to handle Ebola patients and has assured the public that the virus should not pose the same threat in the United States as it does in Africa.
Stocks in small biotechnology companies working on Ebola therapies or vaccines rose on the news of the U.S. Ebola patient in after-hours trading.
The shepherd walks right up to the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate to him and the sheep recognize his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he gets them all out, he leads them and they follow because they are familiar with his voice. They won't follow a stranger's voice but will scatter because they aren't used to the sound of it.
Does God still speak to people today? Is He interested in what happens to us as individuals? Does He really have a master plan for our lives?
God truly is interested in us as individuals. He does have a master plan for our lives, and He does want to speak to us. Jesus described Himself as our Good Shepherd. And as His sheep, we can hear and recognize His voice.
So how can we know when it is God speaking? First, we need to remember that God primarily speaks to us through His Word, and He will never lead us in a way that contradicts that Word. We don't have to go any further than the Bible to know the will of God for our lives.
God also speaks through circumstances that can include failure or even hardship. We don't enjoy it when God speaks to us through tragedy and hardship, but as C. S. Lewis said, "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."
Often I have found that if something is the will of God, then it will be confirmed. There are times when I feel the Lord has been speaking to me through circumstances, such as an opportunity that has opened up. But I never make decisions by looking at circumstances alone.
Lastly, God speaks to us through His peace. Colossians 3:15 tells us, "Let the peace of God rule in your hearts." God is the author of peace, not of confusion.
Maybe we hear the voice of God more often than we think. Then again, maybe we're not giving Him the opportunity to speak. Today would be a good day to take your Bible and get alone with Him, away from the noise and confusion, and ask, "Lord, what do you have to say to me today? I am listening!"
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