Monday, May 30, 2005

Are Americans as Stupid as This Journalist Says?

American journalist Sandy Shanks, who I interviewed in January of this year, has written another opinion piece for Arab propaganda network al-Jazeera. This time Shanks blames Muslim hostility to the West in general and America in particular on thousand-year-old middle eastern history and his perception that, "The vast majority of Americans are clueless regarding the past of faraway lands, as well as their own."

Shanks goes on to compare Israel to al Qaeda:
The greatest ignominy, by far, perpetrated by the West upon the Arab people is the formation of the state of Israel.

Let us assume that the Arab League had the power to carve a nation out of the United States, say in Montana, meaning no disrespect to the inhabitants of that great state, and populate it with our deadliest enemy - members of al-Qaida. Would that not create a bit of a stir on the part of Americans? There could well be some American resentment about that.
I'll let this grossly anti-Semitic passage sink under its own weight.

Let's examine Shanks' central thesis, the stupidity of Americans, in some detail, using actual statistics rather than Shanks' repetition of Arab stereotypes about the United States and her citizens.

Specifically, let's examine selected adult literacy rates from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) from 2001. I won't even mention the fact that a large number of Muslim children, while technically "literate", are educated in the evil and virulent madrassa religious schools that preach anti-Western hatred and breed terrorists the way turds breed flies. Well, I'll only mention it in passing.

Adult Literacy Rates (% over age of 15):
Bahrain: 87.9
Egypt: 56.1
Islamic Republic of Iran: 77.1
Jordan: 90.3
Lebanon: 86.5
Oman: 73.0
Qatar: 81.7
Saudi Arabia: 77.1
Syrian Arab Republic: 75.3
United Arab Emirates: 76.7
Yemen: 47.7

But what you ask, is the literacy rate for the United States? According to Shanks', we're so stupid that we must rank below Yemen, at 47.7% the stupidest of Middle Eastern Muslim countries.

The UNDP ranks the United States at 99% adult literacy. Sandy Shanks didn't do his homework. And Sandy, terrorists murder people because they are vile, damaged humans, not because Sir Harald killed great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, granduncle Abdullah during a Crusade.

I find it grossly irresponsible of Shanks to write inflammatory and factually incorrect articles for people (the al Jazeera audience) who are basically stupid and hostile. Surely Shanks can find money and notoriety writing for the US market?