Edward Dutton: “Why Islam makes you stupid but also means you’ll dominate the world”

Edward Dutton is one of the most fearless, iconoclastic, and “just the facts” social scientists working today.  I’ve started calling him “Charles Murray on acid”.  I’ve reviewed two of his books here: At Our Wits’ End and How to Judge People by What they Look Like.  Today, he posted a video on his “Jolly Heretic” YouTube channel titled “Why Iran, and other Islamic Countries, Will Dominate the World”, but described on his @jollyheretic Twitter feed with the title I have used for this post.

His argument is that a variety of aspects of Islam reduce the mean intelligence of the populations of countries in which it predominates, reinforces ethnocentrism, and that the two effects are synergistic.  Since ethnocentrism can allow a group endowed with it to prevail over more intelligent opponents who have no strong ethnic identity, this may allow Islamic societies to defeat the West despite the handicap of lower intelligence.

Sources listed in the YouTube post supporting these conclusions are:

Bakhiet, S., Dutton, E., Ashaer, K., Essa, Y., Blahmar, T., Hakami, S. & Madison, G. (2018). Understanding the Simber Effect: Why is the age-dependent increase in children’s cognitive ability smaller in Arab countries than in Britain? Personality and Individual Differences, 122: 38–42.

Dutton, E., Bakhiet, S., Essa, Y., Blahmar, T. & Hakami, S. (2017). A Negative Flynn Effect in Kuwait: The same effect as in Europe but with seemingly different causes. Personality and Individual Differences, 114: 69–72.

Hammond, R. & Axelrod, R. (2006). The evolution of ethnocentric behaviour. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 50: 1–11.

Rushton, J.P. (2005). Ethnic nationalism, evolutionary psychology and Genetic Similarity Theory. Nations and Nationalism, 11: 489–507.

Kuran, T. (2018). Islam and Economic Performance: Historical and Contemporary Links. Journal of Economic Literature, 56: 1292–1359.

Knipscheer, J., Vloeberghs, E., Van der Kwaak, A. & Van den Muijsenbergh, M. (2015). Mental health problems associated with female genital mutilation. BJPsych Bulletin, 39: 273–277.

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Author: John Walker

Founder of Ratburger.org, Autodesk, Inc., and Marinchip Systems. Author of The Hacker's Diet. Creator of www.fourmilab.ch.

28 thoughts on “Edward Dutton: “Why Islam makes you stupid but also means you’ll dominate the world””

  1. John Walker:
    Since ethnocentrism can allow a group endowed with it to prevail over more intelligent opponents who have no strong ethnic identity, this may allow Islamic societies to defeat the West despite the handicap of lower intelligence.

    I watched this yesterday on BitChute. I didn’t find this argument compelling. For one thing, lack of ethnocentrism is curable while low IQ is not. There are signs that the West is waking up from its collective stupor. Witness the rise of nationalist parties throughout Europe. Black Pigeon Speaks has an alternative take:

    On BitChute:

    https://www.bitchute.com/video/1Po4bGHiMi5Z/

    He discusses the US starting at about 12:35.

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  2. I wonder if Dutton would say that Trump’s slogan, “America First” is basically a call to action to drive back low ethnocentrism in the US?

    To me Dutton’s list of the drivers of high ethnocentrism in Islamic countries does make some sense, but wouldn’t time be a multiplier of them?  If these drivers have been doubling down and doubling down over centuries, unchecked, wouldn’t solidly Islamic nations be populated by literal neanderthals by now?

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  3. Pencilvania:
    I wonder if Dutton would say that Trump’s slogan, “America First” is basically a call to action to drive back low ethnocentrism in the US?

    To me Dutton’s list of the drivers of high ethnocentrism in Islamic countries does make some sense, but wouldn’t time be a multiplier of them?  If these drivers have been doubling down and doubling down over centuries, unchecked, wouldn’t solidly Islamic nations be populated by literal neanderthals by now?

    No because Dutton argues that the environmental factors merely prevent individuals from attaining their phenotypical maxima. Since IQ is mostly (up to 80%) heritable, the environmental factors only cover the last bit. This is not a continuing process, i.e., it doesn’t continue to lower IQ. The environmental factors only clamp IQ at a lower level than could be achieved if individuals didn’t waste so much time in prayer, if the schools didn’t emphasize rote learning, etc.

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  4. Pencilvania:
    To me Dutton’s list of the drivers of high ethnocentrism in Islamic countries does make some sense, but wouldn’t time be a multiplier of them?  If these drivers have been doubling down and doubling down over centuries, unchecked, wouldn’t solidly Islamic nations be populated by literal neanderthals by now?

    I haven’t thought thought through the implications of his arguments nor read the research papers he references, but at a first glance the numbers seem to make sense.  He says that in Kuwait, testing of young children finds their IQ around 95.  This is consistent with 100 IQ for people with their genetic heritage minus the 4 to 5 points one loses due to cousin marriage, which is endemic in Near East countries.  They then find an erosion of IQ down to around 75 as children enter a school system which focuses on rote memorisation rather than exercising the mind in the kinds of problem solving which is required by IQ tests.  This makes sense, although I haven’t seen comparable studies of the magnitude of the effect.  Then, as people graduate and enter the real world, IQ rebounds somewhat, reaching a peak/plateau of around 80 at age 30.  This is also reasonable, as real life poses problem-solving challenges greater than stultifying schooling.

    These are all effects which would not degrade intelligence over time, but rather result in a fairly static IQ which was well below the genetic potential of the population.  This also makes sense, because there are plenty of examples of children from wealthy families in these countries who have been educated in the West and perform comparably to natives of Western countries (and often have no desire to return to their countries of origin, contributing to brain drain).

    What Dutton’s hypothesis suggests is that there’s an attractor based upon a religion and culture which reinforces cousin marriage, subjugation of women, rote memorisation in education, disdain for independent inquiry and problem solving, and reinforcement of kin solidarity which, together, reduces the mean adult IQ of the population, which in turn preserves the system.

    I’m less convinced that the ethnic solidarity this creates is sufficient to overcome the handicaps it imposes on a society.  But I think that Dutton may be on to answering the question Bernard Lewis posed about Islamic civilisation: What Went Wrong?

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  5. The meaning of the word “islam” is submission. When you’re busy submitting, it doesn’t encourage “investigating” your world or even your surroundings.

    Not a study but the pretty universal experience of Air Force instructors trying to teach Saudis to fly American military transports (C-130’s) was that day-to-day the students could not retain what technical info they supposedly learned by the next day.

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  6. Devereaux:
    The meaning of the word “islam” is submission. When you’re busy submitting, it doesn’t encourage “investigating” your world or even your surroundings.

    Not a study but the pretty universal experience of Air Force instructors trying to teach Saudis to fly American military transports (C-130’s) was that day-to-day the students could not retain what technical info they supposedly learned by the next day.

    Momentito….I was totally down with all this, I was thinking hive-mind, “the locusts have no king, yet  go they forth in bands”..until we got to the part about “rote memorization”.  I’m kinda a fan of that!  I don’t think there’s enough of it going on now.  Furthermore I think of it as a skill.  What’s the difference between “rote memorization” and retaining what you learn?
    Furthermore, define “stupid”. I think among the umma, unlike in Western cultures, there is (still) large, solid base of worker bees, mentally “stuporous”.  Look at their  lemming-like behavior which always results in deadly stampedes, in Mecca, and like at Soleimani’s funeral. Whatever the individuals may be, in a group, they are part of a single energy unit.  A “wave”, something that has a separate identity and a force not found in the droplets of water that compose it.

    I just saw the movie 1917.  Those men, in their insect-like trenches, stripped of every physical comfort, clinging silently to the slope of the trench, waiting for the “wave” of which each was a fungible  part  to gather and be released.  Maybe it can happen in any culture.  Maybe it has  to happen, if that culture is to win a war, overwhelm its antagonists.

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  7. Hypatia:
    …until we got to the part about “rote memorization”.  I’m kinda a fan of that!  I don’t think there’s enough of it going on now.  Furthermore I think of it as a skill.  What’s the difference between “rote memorization” and retaining what you learn?

    The kind of rote memorisation common in schooling in Muslim countries consists of such things as committing large portions of the Koran and other religious texts to memory and being able to recite them at will.  Since these texts are considered the literal word of Allah transmitted through the Prophet, they are not to be questioned or analysed in any way, even (as is frequently the case) they are ambiguous or entirely contradictory.  This instills a submission to authority and an atrophy, or failure to develop, independent critical thinking and analytic skills.  The equivalent in mathematics would be to confine teaching to memorising the addition and multiplication tables but never progressing to solving word problems in order to learn how to apply the basic skills to situations in which they are useful.

    Some years ago I watched a documentary about how Saudi Arabia was changing as more of its population had to work and not passively live on oil revenues.  One part that stood out was an interview with the manager of the service department of a Mercedes dealership (as I recall, an East Indian) who described hiring young Saudis to work in the garage.  What he said was (I’m paraphrasing from memory), “They’re willing to work hard and want to please, but all they’ve learned in school is how to recite the Koran.  That isn’t of much use in repairing a fuel injector or doing a brake job.”

    There are many kinds of IQ tests, but most consist of basic analytical and problem-solving skills.  These are learned, and learning occurs through practice.  The most plausible explanation I’ve encountered for the Flynn Effect (large and long-term increase in IQ scores in many countries around the world) is that the population being tested has had increased exposure to these kinds of problems and gotten better at taking the tests.  If one’s schooling does not exercise these skills, they don’t develop.  But the ability to think critically and analyse problems is useful for a lot more things than just taking IQ tests, as the many decades of experience of the U.S. military in correlating scores on the Armed Forces Qualification Test with performance in a wide variety of military occupations and different levels of responsibility.

    A society in which a large part of the population does not develop these skills is going to be a very different place than one in which they do, even if the ethnic makeup of the populations are identical.

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  8. Islamic background does not necessarily indicate low intelligence.   I know really bright engineers of Turkish, Egyptian and Pakistani families.   (They all benefitted from western-style education.)   I also know a good engineer, now retired, whose education was in Iran under the Shah.

    So, at least in some parts of the Islamic world, educational choices are available.   It makes a difference.

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  9. MJBubba:
    Islamic background does not necessarily indicate low intelligence.   I know really bright engineers of Turkish, Egyptian and Pakistani families.   (They all benefitted from western-style education.)   I also know a good engineer, now retired, whose education was in Iran under the Shah.

    So, at least in some parts of the Islamic world, educational choices are available.   It makes a difference.

    Yes, but all those educations were NOT in traditional islamic environments. Take Turkey. Until Erdogen Turkey was an open and free nation, in which Christians had a significant role; religion was what you practiced on your own for yourself.

    THE single most open, encompassing, tolerant religion – by far – is Christianity. NOTHING comes close. As a result those cultures which embraced Christianity have had the largest and most all-encompassing improvements.  Other cultures have taken and applied the fruits of Christian culture advances, but precious few have invented OR discovered new things.

    America is the dominant nation in the West, in large part because it is the freest of the Western nations, by a good bit. Freedom and Christianity are THE biggest stimulus to free thinking, and so development.

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  10. John Walker:
    The most plausible explanation I’ve encountered for the Flynn Effect (large and long-term increase in IQ scores in many countries around the world) is that the population being tested has had increased exposure to these kinds of problems and gotten better at taking the tests.

    Dutton posits that improved education was responsible for the positive Flynn Effect by permitting people to attain their phenotypic maximum potential. This is somewhat different from simply mastering test-taking; it results in useful skills outside of artificial environments such as IQ tests.

    As Dutton has noted, there’s evidence that a negative Flynn Effect (declining IQ) has taken hold recently. Once the benefits of improved environment are attained, they no longer counteract the dysgenic factors at work that are discussed in At Our Wits’ End, resulting in declining IQ scores.

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  11. MJBubba:
    Islamic background does not necessarily indicate low intelligence.   I know really bright engineers of Turkish, Egyptian and Pakistani families.   (They all benefitted from western-style education.)   I also know a good engineer, now retired, whose education was in Iran under the Shah.

    So, at least in some parts of the Islamic world, educational choices are available.   It makes a difference.

    Finding outliers proves nothing. Better environments may or may not have helped these few individuals. It’s altogether possible that they were simply exceptional. For one thing, they are part of a select group who emigrated: not exactly a representative sample of the population of their native lands  Second, they have engineering jobs. You don’t get to meet the dumb ones

    This is the kind of argument people make in attempts to undermine any statistical difference. I know three people that violate your alleged statistical claim about group differences. How do you explain that??? An uncontroversial example: men are taller than women, on average. That can’t be right. I know three women taller than you. 

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  12. Related article by blogger JayMan provides a nice overview of the geographic distribution of IQ, the Hajnal Line, and the rate of consanguinity (cousin marriage). Islamic countries are known for high levels of consanguinity that have negative effects on IQ and on certain aspects of social organization. He has numerous useful links to relevant papers and blog posts, including this one from hbdchick on consanguinity in Islamic cultures.

    The JayMan article also includes this helpful graphic:

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  13. Devereaux:
    Yes, but all those educations were NOT in traditional islamic environments. Take Turkey. Until Erdogen Turkey was an open and free nation, in which Christians had a significant role; religion was what you practiced on your own for yourself.

    Most of the professionals I’ve met who were born in Islamic countries who are prominent in their fields were educated (university and graduate/professional school, and for some whose parents were wealthy, boarding school for secondary education as well) in the West, usually Britain or the U.S.  Even if they return to their countries of origin after their education (which many are disinclined to do, if they can manage to avoid it), having that degree from Cambridge or Harvard gives them a huge leg up in their careers.

    Iran is an outlier.  Perhaps as a carry-over from the the Shah’s modernisation campaign, but also due to the culture’s tradition of learning, their universities are actually pretty good in the hard subjects, producing domestically-educated professionals in science, technology, and medicine.  University education is open to women, and at points in to 2010s, female enrollment was as high as 65%, and the government tried means to reduce these numbers.  In 2012, 52% of all university graduates and 68% of science degrees went to women.  The country seems to have somehow grafted a fascist theocracy at the top of what would otherwise appear to be a promising second-tier developing country.  Iranian expatriates (of which there are many, especially dating from 1979) have, of course, been highly successful almost everywhere they have settled.

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  14. John Walker:
    Iran is an outlier. … Iranian expatriates (of which there are many, especially dating from 1979) have, of course, been highly successful almost everywhere they have settled.

    I have the same impression. Iranians are not Arabs; maybe that’s a factor. Islamic countries are diverse. Dutton may be painting with too broad a brush.

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  15. drlorentz:

    MJBubba:
    Islamic background does not necessarily indicate low intelligence.   I know really bright engineers of Turkish, Egyptian and Pakistani families.   (They all benefitted from western-style education.)   I also know a good engineer, now retired, whose education was in Iran under the Shah.

    So, at least in some parts of the Islamic world, educational choices are available.   It makes a difference.

    Finding outliers proves nothing. Better environments may or may not have helped these few individuals. It’s altogether possible that they were simply exceptional. For one thing, they are part of a select group who emigrated: not exactly a representative sample of the population of their native lands  Second, they have engineering jobs. You don’t get to meet the dumb ones

    This is the kind of argument people make in attempts to undermine any statistical difference. I know three people that violate your alleged statistical claim about group differences. How do you explain that??? An uncontroversial example: men are taller than women, on average. That can’t be right. I know three women taller than you. 

    But there are plenty of outliers.   Enough so that I doubt the general applicability of the theory that Muslim peoples demonstrate lowered intelligence on account of their religion.

    I think it is true that Muslims from Muslim-majority lands have lower intelligence, but that is on account of a number of developmental disadvantages in those countries.   If you grow up in one of those countries and are not part of a wealthy family you will have a similarly stunted intellectual development even if your family is Christian.   Water quality, food quality, sanitation, pre-natal and neo-natal nutrition, and a variety of other factors come into play.   Inferior education also hurts, because I think that education before age nine or ten is a component of intelligence.   (After that age, subsequent education can make up for prior educational deficiencies, or at least I think so.)

    Now, the fact that those disadvantages are associated with Muslim-majority countries may be attributable to Islam, but I cannot tell how you can distinguish the Islamic effects from the effects of ordinary garden-variety corruption.

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  16. MJBubba:
    Now, the fact that those disadvantages are associated with Muslim-majority countries may be attributable to Islam, but I cannot tell how you can distinguish the Islamic effects from the effects of ordinary garden-variety corruption.

    I shall defer to Winston Churchill on this question, in that passage from The River War which you’re unlikely to see unless you score a rare 1899 first edition, as it was deleted in subsequent editions with Churchill’s permission, as it might offend some of his constituents, having since been elected to Parliament.  In 2014,  a British subject, candidate for the European Parliament, was arrested for reading this text on the steps of the Guildhall in Winchester, Hampshire.

    How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die: but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.

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  17. MJBubba:
    I think it is true that Muslims from Muslim-majority lands have lower intelligence, but that is on account of a number of developmental disadvantages in those countries.

    Dutton’s point is that some of these disadvantages are directly related to the Muslim religion. These countries may have other problems but that’s an independent argument that does not vitiate Dutton’s or Churchill’s.

    The question can only be settled rigorously and quantitatively. Dutton is making a conjecture based on a constellation of facts specific to Islam. His case is reasonable but unproven. Likewise, “there are plenty of outliers” is not a quantitative argument. There are plenty of tall women, viz. the WNBA, which is why that kind argument is unconvincing.

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  18. John Walker:
    Winston Churchill on this question, in that passage from The River War which you’re unlikely to see unless you score a rare 1899 first edition

    Aren’t most of those criticisms also true of the entire Orient?  (Including Hindu, Buddhism, Tao, Confucius, et al)

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  19. drlorentz:
    I have the same impression. Iranians are not Arabs; maybe that’s a factor. Islamic countries are diverse. Dutton may be painting with too broad a brush.

    In Lee Smith’s The Strong Horse, he makes a case for a long-term cultural dysfunction (as seen by the standards of the West) of Arab societies.  From my 2010 review:

    All of the debate about Islam, fundamentalist Islam, militant Islam, Islamism, Islamofascism, etc., in Smith’s view, misses the entire point. He contends that Islam has nothing, or next to nothing, to do with the present conflict. Islam, born in the Arabian desert, simply canonised, with a few minor changes, a political and social regime already extant in Arabia for millennia before the Prophet, based squarely on rule by the strong horse. Islam, then, is not the source of Arab culture, but a consequence of it, and its global significance is as a vector which inoculates Arab governance by the strong horse into other cultures where Islam takes root. The extent to which the Arab culture is adopted depends upon the strength and nature of the preexisting local culture into which Islam is introduced: certainly the culture and politics of Islamic Turkey, Iran, and Indonesia are something very different from that of Arab nations, and from each other.

    Thus, the extent to which Islamic countries exhibit the dysfunction depends upon the degree to which they have adopted the Arab cultural traditions upon which it is founded.

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  20. John Walker:
    Thus, the extent to which Islamic countries exhibit the dysfunction depends upon the degree to which they have adopted the Arab cultural traditions upon which it is founded.

    This, I think, is a useful concept.   Someone needs to put this book on the reading list at the State Department.

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  21. John Walker:

    drlorentz:
    I have the same impression. Iranians are not Arabs; maybe that’s a factor. Islamic countries are diverse. Dutton may be painting with too broad a brush.

    In Lee Smith’s The Strong Horse, he makes a case for a long-term cultural dysfunction (as seen by the standards of the West) of Arab societies.  From my 2010 review:

    All of the debate about Islam, fundamentalist Islam, militant Islam, Islamism, Islamofascism, etc., in Smith’s view, misses the entire point. He contends that Islam has nothing, or next to nothing, to do with the present conflict. Islam, born in the Arabian desert, simply canonised, with a few minor changes, a political and social regime already extant in Arabia for millennia before the Prophet, based squarely on rule by the strong horse. Islam, then, is not the source of Arab culture, but a consequence of it, and its global significance is as a vector which inoculates Arab governance by the strong horse into other cultures where Islam takes root. The extent to which the Arab culture is adopted depends upon the strength and nature of the preexisting local culture into which Islam is introduced: certainly the culture and politics of Islamic Turkey, Iran, and Indonesia are something very different from that of Arab nations, and from each other.

    Thus, the extent to which Islamic countries exhibit the dysfunction depends upon the degree to which they have adopted the Arab cultural traditions upon which it is founded.

    If you look closely, you find Arab “culture” is merely subsistence culture, the original version of tribalism. Since subsistence cultures live on the edge of extinction, they naturally adopt “the strong horse” leadership model as their best chance of subsisting. They have no excess production so the leader “leads” them forward so they will survive. His word is law, and all hook their destiny to his “wisdom” – the reason he is the leader in the first place.

    Subsistence cultures also have no room to fail. The ability to fail requires excess production enough to sustain those who failed and not kill off the culture. Marginal cultures don’t have that luxury. Plentiful cultures do, so you get “innovation” – which often translates, at least in the early stages, to trial and error until you find success.

    Horse cultures (Kozaks, Turks, Arabs) have generally found themselves marginal living groups.They have then tended to produce warriors, not farmers (numerous reasons). So if you take a global view of the world history of combat, you find there are 4 breadbaskets, which produce excess – Europe, Mesopotamia, India, and China. In the middle of this ring you have the “horse cultures”, which have produced the various waves of combat, conquering breadbaskets, intermingling, adding the warrior genes to the pool of farmers, and being assimilated, allowing the breadbasket to continue to thrive with a rejuvenated warrior class to protest it. Innovation (art, science, alchemy, production methods) continue to advance, leading to larger excesses of wealth.

    But the “horse cultures” have little to contribute other than force of arms and horsemanship. Their “birth lands” (the Steppes, the sands of the Mideast, central Russia) have little to offer “productive” cultures as the primary means of production, farming, isn’t viable there. Thus, eg. if you look at the architecture of the Ottomans, or Musselmen, you find it all basically represents tents.

    The question of whether islam is cause of effect may not be scientifically proven, but I would contend that it is separate from the underlying “horse culture”. The Goths and Visigoths were similar horse barbarians, but they were Christian. they did not show the kind of characteristics that islam does. Even Christianity, in its more militant stages, failed to have the kind of characteristics islam does. Christianity did “mass conversions” but not by the sword but by the leadership. The king would become a Christian and so, then, would all the followers. Muslims would convert by the sword (“Support mental health … or I’ll kill you!). Furthermore, horse cultures, while generally pagan in beliefs, would readily convert to the breadbasket religion after conquering. Only islam has not done so but maintained hegemony.

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  22. John Walker:
    Iranian expatriates (of which there are many, especially dating from 1979) have, of course, been highly successful almost everywhere they have settled.

    Is this because Iranians were more influenced by Sufism which is a fairly benign version of Islam? (Sufis are persecuted in Iran as the schools assign children to read the Sufi poet Rumi.)

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  23. I think Islam itself is the problem. I will do this from an empirical perspective.

    1) Eritrean Christians immigrants from Eritrean Muslim immigrants: I have never heard a single account of Eritrean Christians immigrants continuing to practice female genital mutilation (FGM). FGM has continued to be practiced by a minority of Eritrean Muslims. This is very fascinating since Eritrean Christians and Muslims are remarkably similar.

    2) Sikhs and Hindus vs. Muslims in India and Pakistan: The partition of India in 1947 led to horrific violence between Hindus and Muslims and Muslims and Sikhs. The Sikhs and Hindus may not have intermarried with one another but they didn’t slaughter each other en masse.

    3) Central African Animists and Christians vs. Muslims: Likewise in Central Africa. Christians and Animists don’t kill each other their is terrible between the Muslims and everyone else.

    4) Southern Thailand and the Philippines: Thailand is overwhelmingly Thervada Buddhist and the Philippines is overwhelmingly Catholic. Both have Islamist terrorist groups. I’ve never heard of a subsection of Thai Buddhists or Protestant Filipinos doing terrorism.

    All these groups are not Arab but they are all Muslim and they can’t seem to get along with anybody else. Now Christians and Buddhists and Sikhs have engaged in some nasty religious wars but at various points and times. The barbarism of these wars should not be discounted and at times they have rivaled the violence of Islamic cultures. However, at many other points and times, Christians and Buddhists and Hindus and Sikhs have been quite peaceful with other religions. With the exception of dhimmitude, fighting with the non-Muslims seems to be part and parcel of the Islamic tradition.

    Even if Arabic culture is the problem and Islam is a fine religion. Why hasn’t any society (with the exception of Tunisia) been able to shirk the backwardness and tribalism of the bad parts of Arab culture?

    Furthermore, why haven’t I heard of Christian Arabs blowing stuff up in Europe? A significant minority of Arabs are Christian after all. There seems to be one unifying factor that limits human flourishing.

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