Our local media is regularly flooded with anti-Islamic and anti-western opinions. This often results in a gratuitous display of ignorance, racism and fear. At the same time it also consents to an important discussion that is stifled across most of the world. That our local media abides this interaction speaks volumes for the positive value of a free media in a democratic society.
What intrigues me about many opinions is the belief of an inevitable clash between Islam and the West. I believe that those who seek this conflict deliberately distort and misconstrue both cultures. In “The Watchman’s Rattle” Rebecca Costa suggests that the problem with humanity is usually based on 5 dictums. Number  is irrational opposition,  is personalization of blame,  is counterfeit correlation,  is a silo mentality and the most important is  extreme economics.
Extreme economics suggest that making money by any means has become the principal barometer of legitimacy and the alpha and omega of all interaction. Costa uses modern marriage as an example where a pre-nuptial is regarded as standard. This suggests that even love is ancillary to financial risk.
Costa also proposes that for decades, solutions have been available to solve major human issues like access to cheap energy, food and medicines. Since systematic solutions that benefit humankind do not always fit into the accepted western economic models for profiteering, progress on these solutions are purposely inhabited. Successful solar powered homes and alternatively powered cars threaten the profit margin of oil oligarchs who benefit directly from the incessant Arab conflicts. Even the City of Cape Town is concerned about its revenue income should electricity sales fall too drastically.
While millions go hungry, to increase profits, dumping food is accepted in many nations. Another is the destruction of new clothes by stores in New York even though 20% of New Yorkers live in poverty. Though this seems illogical, it is the belief that giving clothes or food to the poor would affect profits.
Concepts like “demand determines price” and “willing buyer, willing seller” is partly responsible for local bread companies arbitrarily increasing prices through collusion. Are these concepts relevant in a society where people starve? This approach is also responsible for renewed calls for nationalization. Society has realized that it is being exploited by a few oligarchs, who have little interest in “restoring the balance or the struggle for the greater good”. This is one reason for the plethora of political parties such as Agang, the Economic Freedom Fighters and so on.
The conflict that the world historically and persistently faces is western oligarchs who seek to transfer their system of extreme economics to the rest of the world. The new world order that President Bush so allegorically spoke about is principally the re-colonisation of global resources and the extension of the oligarchy structures to subdue the rest of us.
In essence, extreme economics is the antithesis of religion. As a by-product, it ventures to obliterate the concept of a supreme God and subjugate humanity on several levels. Most of the African and Arab elite accept this proxy edifice. Hence, most of the wars for democracy in Africa and on Arab soil are not only conflicts about religion; it is also an intuitive resistance to humanities future enslavement.
In the words of John Berger the critic “The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other. It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich”.
Cllr Yagyah Adams
Cape Muslim Congress