Imagine that you know there’s a problem of profound proportions and despite your awareness of this problem, let’s call it a cancer, you can’t stop youself from supporting the growth of the problem because you have an addiction, I dunno, let’s call it smoking, that forces you to continue to feed that cancer.
Well, at least you can quit smoking.
It’s a little harder to quit driving, or flying, or running machinery and factories, or heating homes and buildings. In fact, it’s pretty well impossible to quit any of those things in today’s society. And while it’s no mystery who is benefiting from our addiction to oil, it is interesting that the New York Times chose to highlight how our addiction is funding militant Islam around the world.
Their point, and it is well made, is that a portion of every dollar we spend at the pumps is going back to Saudi Arabia, which in turn, funnels that money directly and indirectly to charities and organizations that support and promote the growth of the Wahhabi school of Islam around the world.
But what it still pays for, and what the religious charities its citizens are obliged to contribute to pay for, is a worldwide network of mosques, schools and Islamic centers that proselytize the belligerent and intolerant Wahhabi variant of Islam that is dominant in Saudi Arabia. As a result of this oil-financed largess, the teachings of more tolerant and humane Muslim leaders are losing ground in countries like Indonesia and Pakistan. Wahhabi mosques that glorify armed jihad have also made alarming gains among the Muslim populations of Europe and the United States.
Some estimates suggest that as many as 80% of the mosques in North America receive funding from Saudi sources. The tradeoff is that the mosques often import or hire imams who promote Wahhabi views. MEMRI reports that:
OnMarch 1, 2002, ‘Ayn-Al-Yaqeen, a weekly news magazine published online by the Saudi royal family, detailed the efforts of the Saudi royal family to spread Islam throughout the world. The article states, “The cost of King Fahd’s efforts in this field has been astronomical, amounting to many billions of Saudi riyals. In terms of Islamic institutions, the result is some 210 Islamic centers wholly or partly financed by Saudi Arabia, more than 1,500 mosques and 202 colleges and almost 2,000 schools for educating Muslim children in non-Islamic countries in Europe, North and South America, Australia, and Asiaâ€¦”
I know there are some small companies and startups here and there that are seeking alternative methods to provide energy for cars and other oil consuming machines. I also know the big car makers are trying hybrid engines and other solutions. Sadly, these efforts are not providing solutions. What I don’t understand is why our government, together with private enterprise, doesn’t make it a priority to put significant sums into this type of research. Never mind the government, what about entrepreneurs? Imagine the value of a patent on a viable replacement for oil.
In the meantime, the US should be using its real clout with Saudi Arabia to discourage them from continuing to send their ideology abroad.