an estimated 1,476,233,470 Muslims on the face of the planet: one billion in
Asia, 400 million in Africa, 44 million in Europe and six million in the
Americas. Every fifth human being is a Muslim; for every single Hindu there are
two Muslims, for every Buddhist there are two Muslims and for every Jew there
are one hundred Muslims. Ever wondered why Muslims are so powerless?
Here is why: There are 57 member-countries of the Organisation of Islamic
Conference (OIC), and all of them put together have around 500 universities; one
university for every three million Muslims. The United States has 5,758
universities and India has 8,407. In 2004, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
compiled an 'Academic Ranking of World Universities', and intriguingly, not one
university from Muslim-majority states was in the top-500.
As per data collected by the UNDP, literacy in the Christian world stands at
nearly 90 per cent and 15 Christian-majority states have a literacy rate of 100
per cent. A Muslim-majority state, as a sharp contrast, has an average literacy
rate of around 40
per cent and there is no Muslim-majority state with a literacy rate of 100 per
cent. Some 98 per cent of the 'literates' in the Christian world had completed
primary school, while less than 50 per cent of the 'literates' in the Muslim
world did the same. Around 40 per cent of the 'literates' in the Christian world
attended university while no more than two per cent of the 'literates' in the
Muslim world did the same.
Muslim-majority countries have 230 scientists per one million Muslims. The US
has 4,000 scientists per million and Japan has 5,000 per million. In the entire
Arab world, the total number of full-time researchers is 35,000 and there are
only 50 technicians per one
million Arabs (in the Christian world there are up to 1,000 technicians per one
million). Furthermore, the Muslim world spends 0.2 per cent of its GDP on
research and development, while the Christian world spends around five per cent
of its GDP.
Conclusion: The Muslim world lacks the capacity to produce knowledge.
Daily newspapers per 1,000 people and number of book titles per million are two
indicators of whether knowledge is being diffused in a society. In Pakistan,
there are 23 daily newspapers per 1,000 Pakistanis while the same ratio in
Singapore is 360. In the UK, the number of book titles per million stands at
2,000 while the same in Egypt is 20.
Conclusion: The Muslim world is failing to diffuse knowledge.
Exports of high technology products as a percentage of total exports are an
important indicator of knowledge application. Pakistan's exports of high
technology products as a percentage of total exports stands at one per cent. The
same for Saudi Arabia is 0.3 per cent; Kuwait, Morocco, and Algeria are all at
0.3 per cent while Singapore is at 58 per cent. Conclusion: The Muslim world is
failing to apply knowledge.
Why are Muslims powerless? Because we aren't producing knowledge. Why are
Muslims powerless? Because we aren't diffusing knowledge. Why are Muslims
Because we aren't applying knowledge. And, the future belongs to knowledge-based
Interestingly, the combined annual GDP of 57 OIC-countries is under $2 trillion.
America, just by herself, produces goods and services worth $12 trillion; China
$8 trillion, Japan $3.8 trillion and Germany $2.4 trillion (purchasing power
Oil rich Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar collectively produce goods and
services (mostly oil) worth $500 billion; Spain alone produces goods and
services worth over $1 trillion, Catholic Poland $489 billion and Buddhist
Thailand $545 billion (Muslim GDP
as a percentage of world GDP is fast declining).
So, why are Muslims so powerless?
Lack of education.