Friday, June 26, 2009

Which Koran?

The founding document of Islam is the group of writings collected in the Koran. A devout Muslim believes the Koran to be the perfect, immutable, and eternal word of Allah as dictated to the prophet Mohammed and memorized or written down by the companions of the Prophet. The book is complete, every word in it is true, and nothing in it has been altered since it was first transcribed 1400 years ago.

That’s the traditional view of the core Islamic scriptures, and woe betide any Muslim who questions it. Scholars who attempted to research the origins of the Koran and examine its historical variants have been driven out of Pakistan, Egypt, and other Muslim countries, and have been forced to seek refuge in the academic cloisters of the infidel West.

Koran, 9th century AD

In the early 1970s, during the renovation of the Great Mosque of Sana’a in Yemen, a trove of ancient manuscripts was discovered. Among them were fragments of early versions of the Koran and related writings. The German scholar Gerd-R. Puin (who has published lengthy analyses of the earliest accounts of the Islamic religion) obtained access to the documents, and was allowed to study them for many years. Recognizing the sensitivity of the find, he published very little about the manuscripts until they had been completely microfilmed and a permanent record of them safely established outside of Yemen.

In a communication to Christopher Heger on March 13, 1999, Dr. Puin wrote:

I have been lucky — and still I am — to study many of the oldest Yemeni Koran manuscripts written in the most archaic “Hijazi” style.

In these I found variants and peculiarities which are not recorded in the traditional Arabic books on qira’at (variant readings), or in the books on rasm al- masahif (orthography of the Koran[s]) nor in those on the ti’dad al-ayat (counting [systems] of verses).

[…]

If I had not had access to Yamani Koran fragments preserved in the Dar al-Makhtutat al-Yamaniyyah, San’a’, I could have possibly found similar variants and peculiarities in Hijazi fragments of the Koran kept outside the Yemen in many libraries or museums, e.g. in France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, or Kuwait. A most spectacular (complete??) Hijazi Koran can be admired in the Islamic Museum of Cairo, only a few meters from the entrance, in a special vitrine to the right of the main route; this treasure is in Egypt since 1300 years or so, but I know of no investigation, of no publication on its peculiarities!

There is, on the Muslims’ side, no interest in textual research on the Koran since 900 years! Except from some western semitists who, from time to time, detect the etymology of one Koranic expression or another, most of the Arabists feel reluctant to make up their minds on the genesis of the Koran. The reason for this kind of negligence is quite clear: Both the Muslims and most of the Arabists conceive any early deviation from the Koranic scripture (as is represented by the Cairo print edition) for a lapsus calami, a mere scribal error.

Also in 1999, a summary of Dr. Puin’s findings was published in The Atlantic Monthly. Even back then, before 9-11 had fully alerted Westerners to the… ahem… sensitivities of Muslims, the potentially explosive nature of the Sana’a manuscripts was generally recognized.

Christianity and Judaism have long been subjected to rigorous textual and historical analysis. Now, at last, it appears to be Islam’s turn:

Puin is not alone in his enthusiasm. “The impact of the Yemeni manuscripts is still to be felt,” says Andrew Rippin, a professor of religious studies at the University of Calgary, who is at the forefront of Koranic studies today. “Their variant readings and verse orders are all very significant. Everybody agrees on that. These manuscripts say that the early history of the Koranic text is much more of an open question than many have suspected: the text was less stable, and therefore had less authority, than has always been claimed.”
- - - - - - - - -
[…]

By the standards of contemporary biblical scholarship, most of the questions being posed by scholars like Puin and Rippin are rather modest; outside an Islamic context, proposing that the Koran has a history and suggesting that it can be interpreted metaphorically are not radical steps. But the Islamic context — and Muslim sensibilities — cannot be ignored. “To historicize the Koran would in effect delegitimize the whole historical experience of the Muslim community,” says R. Stephen Humphreys, a professor of Islamic studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara. “The Koran is the charter for the community, the document that called it into existence. And ideally — though obviously not always in reality — Islamic history has been the effort to pursue and work out the commandments of the Koran in human life. If the Koran is a historical document, then the whole Islamic struggle of fourteen centuries is effectively meaningless.”

Muslim clerics often assert that the Koran cannot be understood except in the original classical Arabic, but Dr. Puin maintains that much of the book is unclear, even to Arabic scholars:

“The Koran claims for itself that it is ‘mubeen,’ or ‘clear,’“ [Puin] says. “But if you look at it, you will notice that every fifth sentence or so simply doesn’t make sense. Many Muslims — and Orientalists — will tell you otherwise, of course, but the fact is that a fifth of the Koranic text is just incomprehensible. This is what has caused the traditional anxiety regarding translation. If the Koran is not comprehensible — if it can’t even be understood in Arabic — then it’s not translatable. People fear that. And since the Koran claims repeatedly to be clear but obviously is not — as even speakers of Arabic will tell you — there is a contradiction. Something else must be going on.”

Trying to figure out that “something else” really began only in this century. “Until quite recently,” Patricia Crone, the historian of early Islam, says, “everyone took it for granted that everything the Muslims claim to remember about the origin and meaning of the Koran is correct. If you drop that assumption, you have to start afresh.” This is no mean feat, of course; the Koran has come down to us tightly swathed in a historical tradition that is extremely resistant to criticism and analysis.

This is an understatement. In the context of 21st-century Salafist fundamentalism, criticism and analysis of the Koran can cost a scholar his life. The example of Salman Rushdie — who was, after all, only an amateur critic of Islamic scripture — did not go unnoticed.

R. Stephen Humphreys, writing in Islamic History: A Framework for Inquiry (1988), concisely summed up the issue that historians confront in studying early Islam.

If our goal is to comprehend the way in which Muslims of the late 2nd/8th and 3rd/9th centuries [Islamic calendar / Christian calendar] understood the origins of their society, then we are very well off indeed. But if our aim is to find out “what really happened,” in terms of reliably documented answers to modern questions about the earliest decades of Islamic society, then we are in trouble.

The fact that “trouble” can easily turn deadly has stunted the growth of textual scholarship on the Koran. But, thanks to the quiet work of Dr. Puin and other experts, a new picture of Koranic history is emerging.

In 2002, Alexander Stille wrote in The New York Times:

To Muslims the Koran is the very word of God, who spoke through the Angel Gabriel to Muhammad: “This book is not to be doubted,” the Koran declares unequivocally at its beginning. Scholars and writers in Islamic countries who have ignored that warning have sometimes found themselves the target of death threats and violence, sending a chill through universities around the world.

Yet despite the fear, a handful of experts have been quietly investigating the origins of the Koran, offering radically new theories about the text’s meaning and the rise of Islam.

Christoph Luxenberg, a scholar of ancient Semitic languages in Germany, argues that the Koran has been misread and mistranslated for centuries. His work, based on the earliest copies of the Koran, maintains that parts of Islam’s holy book are derived from pre-existing Christian Aramaic texts that were misinterpreted by later Islamic scholars who prepared the editions of the Koran commonly read today.

[…]

Christoph Luxenberg, however, is a pseudonym, and his scholarly tome ““The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran” had trouble finding a publisher, although it is considered a major new work by several leading scholars in the field. Verlag Das Arabische Buch in Berlin ultimately published the book.

[…]

The reverberations have affected non-Muslim scholars in Western countries. “Between fear and political correctness, it’s not possible to say anything other than sugary nonsense about Islam,” said one scholar at an American university who asked not to be named, referring to the threatened violence as well as the widespread reluctance on United States college campuses to criticize other cultures.

While scriptural interpretation may seem like a remote and innocuous activity, close textual study of Jewish and Christian scripture played no small role in loosening the Church’s domination on the intellectual and cultural life of Europe, and paving the way for unfettered secular thought. “The Muslims have the benefit of hindsight of the European experience, and they know very well that once you start questioning the holy scriptures, you don’t know where it will stop,” the scholar explained.

The questions haven’t stopped yet, and Dr. Puin is still at the forefront of Koran scholarship.

If the Arab expansion came first, and the Koran arose later, what religion or religions powered the Arab conquests? According to the most recent analysis, Islam may have developed out of a form of Christianity, which assumed a number of variant forms on the Arabian Peninsula during the 7th century.

The quote below is taken from a synopsis of a new book, The Hidden Origins of Islam: New Research into Its Early History, edited by Karl-Heinz Ohlig and Gerd-R. Puin:

The standard histories of Muhammad and the early development of Islam are based on Islamic literature that dates to the ninth and tenth centuries-some two centuries or more after the death of Muhammad in 632. Islamic literary sources do not exist for the seventh and eighth centuries, when, according to tradition, Muhammad and his immediate followers lived. All that is preserved from this time period are a few commemorative building inscriptions and assorted coins.

Based on the premise that reliable history can only be written on the basis of sources that are contemporary with the events described, the contributors to this in-depth investigation present research that reveals the obscure origins of Islam in a completely new light. As the authors meticulously show, the name “Muhammad” first appears on coins in Syria bearing Christian iconography. In this context the name is used as an honorific meaning “revered” or “praiseworthy” and can only refer to Jesus Christ, as Christianity was the predominant religion of the area at this time. This same reference exists in the building inscription of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, built by the caliph ‘Abd al-Malik.

The implication of these and other findings here presented is that the early Arab rulers adhered to a sect of Christianity. Indeed, evidence from the Koran, finalized at a much later time, shows that its central theological tenets were influenced by a pre-Nicean, Syrian Christianity. Linguistic analysis also indicates that Aramaic, the common language throughout the Near East for many centuries and the language of Syrian Christianity, significantly influenced the Arabic script and vocabulary used in the Koran. Finally, it was not until the end of the eighth and ninth centuries that Islam formed as a separate religion, and the Koran underwent a period of historical development of at least 200 years.

These findings are indeed explosive. If Western academia ever wakes up from its PC-induced slumber, a new scholarship of the Koran based on the Sana’a manuscripts and other artifacts will become possible. The holy book of Islam will join the Hebrew and Christian scriptures as a historical document, one that has been subject to revisions, redactions, and variations, just as any other historical document has been.

Or Islam could rise up against such a possibility. A full rigorous examination of the Koran would inevitably change the nature of Islam, and no one expects the existing Muslim clerical establishment to yield easily to modernity.

Islam may feel compelled to attempt a modern repetition of the burning of the library at Alexandria. This time, however, the task of eradicating all the infidel documents will be a much, much larger one.


I owe a great debt of thanks to our Swedish correspondent LN, who tracked down and collected the material used in this post.

For a German-language review of another book by Gerd-R. Puin, see Perlentaucher.de.

34 comments:

Jedilson Bonfim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jedilson Bonfim said...

I loved the questions posted at the end of the article on the Sanaa Manuscripts at IslamWatch:

Let’s see, once the sacred aura of Quran is gone, what other lies are exposed.

First, if there are two or more versions of the Quran, then there must be equal number of Allahs. So, if only two Qurans are authentic, will Islam be deemed monotheistic any longer? And how to decide which Allah gave which Quran? If there is only one Allah, then which Quran is authentic, and which is fake?

Second, if we still believe that one Quran is authentic, then how Allah allowed the others to survive?


Best of luck to Mr Gerd Puin in completing this work. His findings might indeed have a much greater power in proving to mahoundians that allah (the imaginary) doesn't exist at all than the obliteration of Mecca and Medina; and, as an obvious consequence, greatly help the cause of those who want to save Western civilization from the mahound-worshiping scourge.

Beach Girl said...

How extraordinary. Jesus Christ was Mohammad. How extraordinary it would be if these brave researchers were to find that the Koran is in some aspects the efforts of other writers to "translate" or to "write" early Judeo-Christian holy texts for some purpose unknown and possibly unknowable to us today even with research.

And some other writers tried to capture the teachings of Jesus Christ/Mohammad. Earth shattering concept.

And how interesting it would be if Islam developed following the creation of the eventual Roman Church as another attempt to interpret or "describe" God developing into another sect of Christianity? And then like most "religions" controlled by power-hungry men was transformed into their hold on their power structure?

I am hardly a scholar of Islam but I have read much of the Koran and some parts are clearly similar to the Christian Holy Bible and the Torah.

Thank you, Baron.

randian said...

This time, however, the task of eradicating all the infidel documents will be a much, much larger one.

I disagree. The locations of the heretical texts are known and few in number, as (generally) are the names of the scholars themselves. The actual texts may have microfilm copies, but again the locations are known. Worse, neither the actual texts nor the researcher's notes are part of any public archive where the data can be replicated and copied throught the Web, where it would in fact be virtually impossible to eradicate. No, the centralization of the data and the secrecy with which it is held make it an easy subject of political pressure, and if necessary violent action, in order to suppress and eventually eliminate it.

Henrik Ræder said...

And how interesting it would be if Islam developed following the creation of the eventual Roman Church as another attempt to interpret or "describe" God developing into another sect of Christianity?

Well...

If you really dig into the genesis of Islam, you'll find that it isn't 'another attempt', it is an original religion (sortof), based on the life of Muhammad, teaching its believers to basically behave like him (Quran 33:21).

That's not very nice.

Jesus was a good human being with courage and compassion, a rare combination. He'd go in and absolve people from the stiffness of ancient Jewish law, abolish stoning and the like. Good stuff.

Muhammad, on the other hand, reintroduced stoning and other barbaric punishments. That he called upon the ancient Arab moongod Allah to justify this is scary, but at least one shouldn't taint Christianity by assuming it's the same god - it isn't.

some parts are clearly similar to the Christian Holy Bible and the Torah.

That's because it's lifted from Christian and Jewish sources. Muhammad paid the Jews in Medina to provide him with material for his 'relevation', but unfortunately his memory wasn't too good, and he misrepresented many of those stories.

One of the more interesting is the twisted Kain & Abel story found in sura 5, where the greatest problem becomes hiding the evidence of fracticide. That's a prelude to the violent passages 5:32-5:35, frequently misquoted by our Dear Leaders to prove Islam peaceful.

More important than the Quran is actually the Sirat, the life story of Muhammad. Two versions exist, by Ibn Ishaq and Al-Tabari (both ancient Islamic scholars). They explain what Muhammad did in his life, and why those emulating him tend to act in such violent ways.

A wonderfully entertaining (yet scholary) analysis of the life of Muhammad can be found at Prophet of Doom. It's free.

heroyalwhyness said...

Quote from the above: ". . .criticism and analysis of the Koran can cost a scholar his life. The example of Salman Rushdie — who was, after all, only an amateur critic of Islamic scripture — did not go unnoticed.

I note:
Coming July 11: Remember Hitoshi Igarashi -- a day for worldwide vigilance against jihadist intimidation

&

“Revival” of Koranic Research, by Dr. Andrew Bostom

from which I quote:

"From this article in today’s (1/12/08) Wall Street Journal, “The Lost Archive”, regarding a unique photo archive of ancient manuscript iterations of the Koran, which may provide critical evidence of the evolution of the Koranic text
&

US "eliminating Islamic scholars and intellectuals in the Muslim world" Muslim Arab world conconcts conspiracy theory regarding the murder of Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai, an Islamic scholar.

From this last link I quote a comment by Hugh Fitzgerald:

That is why the study of the historical origins of Islam, treating it as all other religions have been treated, is likely to prove so threatening to Believers. They simply will not accept any such investigation. Christoph Luxenberg, Patricia Crone, Gerd Puin, Ibn Warraq, Nevo, and many others are those they fear the most -- for it is they who bring to bear philological, archeological, and other kinds of evidence to the problem of when, where, and how the belief-system we call Islam first got started.

Islam is a brittle religion; it will not bend, but break, for Believers if the burden of real history is placed on it. That is the likely outcome. Scholarship, real scholarship, threatens Islam as it threatens no other religion. There will still be hundreds of millions of true believers. But among the most thoughtful and intelligent, the ability, and therefore the will, to believe will be shaken, perhaps forever. And that will have consquences. "

Baron Bodissey said...

randian --

It's not just Koran scholarship that will have to be eliminated, but all heresies, which include texts from other religions, the history of the jahiliyya (the benighted pagan times before Mohammed), any science which contradicts the Koran, and many, many other modern texts of sociology, psychology, aesthetics, poetry, and fiction.

Virtually anything but the Koran, the hadith, the sunna, and the phone book will have to go.

Snouck said...

Finds such as this one are the most dangerous threat to Islam. More dangerous than a nuclear strike on the Islamic world or even Mecca. Islam can deal with violence, but it can not very well deal with a threat to its legitimacy. A faith amounts to nothing, without faith.

But it is off course very difficult to get this message to the believers, as Islam has ways to deal with dissent.

And how much time do we really have?

Another question is, what should take Islam's place once it is gone?

Even so this is an important path to follow for the counter-Jihad if you ask me.

Regards,

Snouck

Top Kafir said...

“Between fear and political correctness, it’s not possible to say anything other than sugary nonsense about Islam,” said one scholar at an American university who asked not to be named, referring to the threatened violence as well as the widespread reluctance on United States college campuses to criticize other cultures."

Here, not in the Koran, is the real rot that is destroying Western civilization. That Muslims and other fascists believe and act as they do is not to be wondered at; dominance-subservience has been the historical norm for humanity as far back as we have any record. That we participate in that game, that we accord it any respect whatsoever, is what will kill liberty and reason.

Beach Girl said...

Henrik, thank you, Beachie. Am copying your comments to include in a short post linking to this post by the Baron. I am not a scholar and know these things on only a superficial level. All I know is that Islamists following the Koran want to kill us or dominate us.

wildiris said...

When it is noted that Christian influences may have been one of the original historical sources for Islam, some historical context is absolutely necessary. I don’t have the references to cite to back this up, but if I remember correctly, Syria and that area became the last hold out for followers of the Christian heretic, Marcion. It is said that the Apostle’s Creed was written in response to the heresy of Marcionism. In other words, if Islam was in fact, influenced by Christianity then it most likely was by a heretical sect of Christianity and not by the main stream Roman Catholic Christianity that has come down to us today.

Another main influence was probably from Manichæism, which was a synergistic religion of Persian origin that combined features of Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian and Buddhist teachings.

But from what I’ve read, Judaism, (granted, in a very misunderstood fashion) was probably the largest single influence in the creation of the Koran.

Henrik R Clausen said...

It is said that the Apostle’s Creed was written in response to the heresy of Marcionism.

Probably no. Islam (literally 'Submission') was created through action, not through writing. If you read the Sirat (Al-Tabari Vol. 6 through 9 will do fine), you'll see the beginnings of Islam in Mecca.

Muhammad disputed the religion of his kin (who were worshipping Allah, Manat and a lot of other deities), reproaching them for not having a real religion. He reviled their religion for 8 years, without getting as much as a bruise in return.

Then, in an interesting move, Muhammad accepted Allah and the other gods of the Kaaba, received Aisha in marriage (she was 6), and joined the ruling of Mecca. 3 years later he was kicked out.

In Medina came Jewish influence, for good and for bad - mostly bad, actually, for Muhammad reasserted the most brutal bits of Judaism, that the Jews had long discarded. Also, this is where Jihad enters the picture, the 'Effort' to establish Islam as superior - and do whatever that takes, including plunder, rape and killing.

There are almost no traces of Christian influence in the life of Muhammad. That must have entered his religion as an afterthought long after his death.

Gregory said...

This is a remarkable post. I am going to copy and paste it into a word document. I hope that soon I hear some muslim saying the koran is the unchanged word of god...Now I have some good ammo. Thanks. And the part about the koran being 1/5th pure non-sense is great.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Talking of influences, the Hanif religion of Yemen probably has been the inspiration for several early Suras, such as sura 55, which is an ode to the honour of Al-Rahman. Ir's really quite nice.

No wonder that the Allah-worshippers of Mecca were annoyed with the new religion that threatened their business. They had means to fix that problem...

Influence from Syria would probably not be heretic, BTW. It would be fromthe Assyrian Church, which used to be of comparable size to the Ortodox and the Roman Catholic ones. The Seljuks, later the Turks, dealt with that heritage.

Holger said...

The way I see it, it's going to be impossible to convince illiterates in the Middle East about the Qu'ran's fallacies anyway. Thus, Islam won't go away. BUT if this becomes widely known in the west (unless it's quited down because of some hate-speech law) it will work to secularise muslims in Europe and prevent native Europeans from converting to Islam. Therefore it is very important research and that it spreads worldwide!

Henrik R Clausen said...

Holger, I think the way to use this information is to target the clergy, who try to be so smart about how logical and wise Islam is. By presenting material like this, we embarrass them and make them lose authority. That should dismantle the attraction of Islamic religious law and the Kaliphate.

One_of_the_last_few_Patriots_left said...

Holger said, "...it's going to be impossible to convince illiterates in the Middle East about the Qu'ran's fallacies anyway."

Indeed! I hate to sound like a broken record, but let me point out (once again) that we are dealing with ULTRA-VIOLENT third world BARBARIAN THUGS. I predict that if this research starts to become widely publicized and discussed, it will simply drive the perennially
thugish Musulmen to new heights of mass-homicidal frenzy.
Remember what happened after the Pope's speech a couple of years ago when he quoted a Byzantine emperor. That was enough to set off a couple of weeks of mayhem, arson, riot, and murder (including the shooting of a nun) worldwide.
Just wait, we ain't seen nothin' yet.

JPT said...

If somehow you were able to get hold of Mohammed (time travel) and put a lie detector on him and ask him 'now, did God REALLY talk to you in that cave?'.
What d'you think the test result would be...?

Henrik R Clausen said...

JPT, I think the answer would be 'Yes', and the lie detector would show that he believes it.

I would of course not take his word for it.

Another good question would be: "Which god, exactly?"

Czechmade said...

This is more subtle than the cartoons, it could hit deeper. I think real research is done at the University in Saarland in Germany.

Some islamic countries showed even interest in these studies, if I remember properly Iran and Malaysia.
Some were strictly against it.

Besides quran also arabic language is still not put in a propre context. Imagine there is no etymological dictionary od semitic languages, something we get en masse in our European languages as far as Iranian and the key issue Sanskrit!

What are those lazy Israelis, Eastern Christians or Persians doing all the time? I want to enjoy all the stolen words in Arabic!

For ex. lugghat - Greek logos - language

deen - religion from Persian.

mihraab - from Persian

and this one is very funny:

A زنجبیل zanjabīl (S. śringgavera), Ginger; wine, especially that which the Muhammadans suppose to be in heaven; a fountain of paradise

S. means Sanskrit, they imported some heavenly beverage from polytheistic India like Coca-cola.

I love it! Something special, like ice-cream with Marx brothers!

Salome Bintullah said...

Excellent and very informative post. I'm doing a post on my blog directing people to go read it. I'll have to try and get a hold of Puin's books.

heroyalwhyness said...

Czechmade said... "Some islamic countries showed even interest in these studies, if I remember properly Iran and Malaysia."

Interest like this Harvard-educated Iranian academic, who sliced sections out of priceless historical books?

Gregory said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Baron Bodissey said...

Gregory --

That was uncalled for.

Gates of Vienna's rules about comments require that they be civil, temperate, on-topic, and show decorum. Your comment violated the first of these rules — no name calling, gratuitous insults, personal slurs, denigration of someone's intelligence, etc.

For a more detailed explanation of these rules, see this.

Perhaps you are unaware that many (if not most) of our commenters do not have English as their native language. Yet their comments here are fluent and well-phrased.

Their command of English far exceeds my ability with French, Danish, Swedish, Dutch, Czech, Portuguese, etc.

So I take umbrage on their behalf. English is an exceedingly difficult language to learn, and they do a good job with it.

Zenster said...

“To historicize the Koran would in effect delegitimize the whole historical experience of the Muslim community,” says R. Stephen Humphreys, a professor of Islamic studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

He says that like it's a bad thing.

If the Koran is a historical document, then the whole Islamic struggle of fourteen centuries is effectively meaningless.”.

If Muslims keep up with this jihad bu||$h!t, it's quite likely that all of the MME (Muslim Middle East), will be rendered "effectively meaningless".

Henrik R Clausen said...

He says that like it's a bad thing.

With good reason. For if that was to happen, those studying and interpreting Islam - like himself - would have to find productive work.

Marian - CZ said...

I believe that one single important reason for the current unhappy state of Islamic scholarship is financial. Quite a lot, if not absolute majority of, Islamic studies departments are funded or co-funded by Arab, especially Saudi, sources.

Of course, these people do not bite the hand that feeds them. Therefore, critical look at Islam is undesirable on most Western universities.

This is a serious problem and should be dealt with, probably through legal means.

In an awful twist of fate, the money flowing from Arabia is actually money that was paid by the Western consumers of oil. Therefore, we finance ideological jihad against us.

The only long-term solution is to get rid of oil dependency and let the Arab kings ride camels again.

ANTI-ISLAMIST said...

Marian - CZ said... The only long-term solution is to get rid of oil dependency and let the Arab kings ride camels again.
- - - - -
Somewhere I have seen that the US, that is 1/5 of the world population, consumes 25% of the world´s energy resorces.
20% consuming 25 % - that does not sound so bad!?

The truth is, however, that the population of the US: 306.8 milj people consumes 21 miljon barrels of crude oil each day;
that is 68.4 barrels per 1000 people per day.

Isn't ca 80% of that oil imported from the Middle East?

The European Union consumes 29.5, Germany and UK 29+, Japan and Sweden 29, South Korea 45, China 5.75 barrels per 1000 people per day.

In the EU the price of petrol per liter is around $1,7
How little do you pay in the US?
No need for practising any strict economy, Eh?

Ever since the latter days of FDR, US foreign policy has primarely down under been centred on the Middle East (that is first and foremost Saudi) oil resources. One presidental "doctrine" has followed the other; lastly Saddam was supposed to become a threat to Saudi oil production, ergo he had to be eliminated etc, etc.

US oil dependency will remain unaltered in this century.

Never will you see any Arab kings ride camels again!

Henrik R Clausen said...

US oil dependency will remain unaltered in this century.

Nope. The financial crisis, which is really the end-result of a long-term trade deficit problem, will change that.

When the US citizens have only useless dollars to purchase oil with, the oil will go elsewhere. Oil dependency will change, by need.

randian said...

The financial crisis, which is really the end-result of a long-term trade deficit problem

Since trade deficits aren't a problem, I'm not sure what you mean here.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Randian, could you elaborate why trade deficits are not a problem?

I simply don't understand...

randian said...

A large and growing U.S. trade deficit is evidence that investment capital is flowing generously into the United States rather than away from the high-wage, high-labor-standards American economy.


Are Trade Deficits a Drag on U.S. Economic Growth?

Deficient Economic Thinking

The Economic Meaninglessness of Political Borders

Henrik R Clausen said...

Randian, since we're way off-topic here, I'll not continue the discussion here. I read the articles and maintain my disagreement. That'll be for another thread.

AMDG said...

The Origins of the Koran, by Ibn Warraq is aldo a classic.