The Dark Cloud Forming Over The Middle East

Judeo/Christian/Islamic belief will be forced to adjust to the reality of an ecologically disintegrating planet with humans on it searching not for solutions restricted to their past, but built on new ideas within a thought process reaching beyond. This is not to say that all Abrahamic thought will die. Many ancient texts and beliefs will find value. However, a new world-wide cosmic realism will be taking hold. Past religious belief in all three of the religions of Abraham will be made to measure its value against a new form of thought that encompasses the nonlinearity of all matter and non-matter in the context of human/planetary consonance – and survival.

The ecological threat facing our civilization is being heightened through many of the originating beliefs of the three Abrahamic religions. This is most apparent in the Middle East. Because they were formulated in a prescientific age when challenges like the ones now facing human society today did not exist, many believers; be they Jewish, Christian or Muslim, are unable to fully comprehend this threat. The one Abrahamic faith that is having the most difficulty, although parts of extremist Judaism and Christianity too have much of the same problem, is Islam. A discussion of the Islamic incomprehension in the Middle Eastern countries follows:

There is a dark cloud forming over these countries. It can be seen by the anguish in the faces of the young men filling the streets in the crowded cities. It can also be seen in the flow of refugees north into the European countries. Unrestrained population growth encouraged by Islamic belief has left a new generation with no future. They find themselves living in a world separated from the 21st century material affluence and lifestyle of the outside world. The ancient societal family centered structure of their parents and grandparents built upon the Koran and the Sharia law embodied in it has left them ill-equipped to deal with the transformative demands of the new world in which they find themselves. Anger and immigration is their only outlet.

At the center of the problem is the Islamic (originally Hebraic) belief and custom of large family size and the encouragement—at least among those who can afford it, of polygamy. As a result, in many countries the population has exploded as at the same time agricultural land and water resources have been depleted. Syria is an example. There the break point has been reached. Many Syrians find themselves left in the wasted land of their forefathers.

Author’s Note:

Syria has had a population growth rate that before the recent crisis was one of the world’s highest; at about 2.4 percent.

1950 3,495,000
2015 22,878,524

At the center of the Syrian problem is the Islamic belief and custom of large family size. As a result, the population in Syria exploded at the same time agricultural land and water resources were being depleted. The break point was reached. Many Syrians now find themselves left in the wasted land of their forefathers.

Large numbers have moved into refugee camps. Many able to do so have left the country.

Other Middle Eastern countries will soon be sinking into the same chaotic disorganization. Given religiously inspired exponential population growth in them, it will be very difficult to have any form of civil society. As this occurs, extremist groups, many financed from outside, will be attempting to dominate.

These Syrians are asking; how could those Infidels living by the “corrupted” version of the Word; Jews and Christians, have such earthly reward and we have none? Isn’t our Islam the one true religion?

A view of Islamic history as outlined below can give an answer. It is a view that remains largely unaddressed today not just by Muslims but also by Jews and Christians as they attempt to understand Islam and those who practice it. If all sides did, perhaps there would be better communication and insight into the problem. Key is an historical fact: Unlike Judaism and Christianity, Islam was not forced during the European Enlightenment in the 17th and 18th centuries to question its own doctrinal anthropomorphic weakness. During that time period Islam lay dormant, encapsulated in its own originating doctrinal mold.

Prior to that dormancy there was, however, a high point of Islamic intellectualism. It took place during the first five hundred years after the death of The Prophet. As Europe in its medieval slumber slept, the Muslim world became an intellectual center for science, philosophy, mathematics, medicine and education. Even the Greek classics were translated and studied. But the movement died out beginning in 1299 when it was overtaken by the Ottoman Empire and then left to stagnate. One fact must be understood about this early pre Ottoman intellectual period. And this is the most important. It was unlike the European Enlightenment. The validity of the Qur’an was not questioned and the Hadith and Sunna were only studied to ascertain their meaning. The Qur’an and the Hadith and the Sunna were not to be questioned. The Islamic interpretations were built upon the same seventh century conviction according to adopted Judaic discipline; that is interpretation was to be only for the purpose of reading, interpreting and explaining the Qur’an and the Hadith and the Sunna.

Now to another important fact: The intellectualism of the European Enlightenment beginning in the 16th and 17th centuries had a far different purpose and outcome. In many ways it challenged and redefined Christianity – and also Judaism. All Christian and Jewish thought was given close scrutiny and questioned intellectually. Islam in its dormancy was not part of the exercise.

It escaped this; remaining encapsulated within the Ottoman Empire. The result; Islamic countries today, and particularly those at the center in the Middle East, did not experience the disruption that brought about a questioning of ancient Abrahamic religious thought – and the opening of the medieval mind. Islam lay in silence; in a sense a “sleeping giant.”

Then, suddenly that “sleeping giant” was awakened. After the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th and 20th centuries and the discovery of oil in the Middle East, Muslims were suddenly exposed to a strange new Western world of self-critical secular intellectualism.

For this reason, many Muslims in the Middle East today – and many of those who have immigrated into continental Europe – are having great difficulty meeting the challenges of a highly educated technocratic post Enlightenment European world where male and female are increasingly equally valued both in the family and in the workplace and flexibility of mind and extensive educational training of all youth – without emphasis on religious doctrine as found in Islam, is encouraged.

It should be emphasized: This is not to say that all Muslims today in the Middle East or outside of it are confined by this constrictor or will be in the future. Nor is it to say that many Islamic precepts do not have value in the Western world and should not be a part of the societal fabric of a future civilization, but the fact remains; today those in many of the Muslim Middle Eastern nations and many immigrants from there into the West find themselves far behind the modern Western civilizational curve.

The calcification of Islamic religious belief as seen today in the Middle East could spell the end of stability in many of those countries. As above for Syria, population growth rates in some have been exponential. Oil revenues will be in decline over the next fifty years. These revenues now provide the necessary foreign exchange needed to purchase commodities from the outside world.

Many presently “oil rich” Middle Eastern countries are close to having exhausted their oil and gas reserves. Others with several decades of supply in front of them will be facing global pressure against the sale of oil and gas. We must keep in mind the fact that 25/50 years from now a turning point in human planetary consciousness will occur as a result of the overheating of the planet. There will be the implementation of taxation as well as other punitive measures to reduce consumption of fossil fuels. Major world economies will be turning against all carbon based sources of energy.

As the global ecological implosion unfolds and demands for solutions in all regions of the world intensify, the Islamic mindset in the Middle East, both Shia and Sunni, will continue to be an impediment toward adjustment. Fanatically observant Muslims looking back to Islamic origins will retreat further into Islamic paradisiacal suicidal militant orthodoxy. We are already seeing this, and it will intensify. The doctrines of earlier anti-western revolutionaries such as Hassan al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb and Osama bin Laden will prevail, as will those of ISIS and other such groups.

From its very beginning the idea of a utopian Islamic society coming about by way of the righteous destroying the unrighteous has been a core Islamic belief. The clash in values between the radical Islam of today that has adopted this is now spilling over outside of its Middle Eastern origins. 9/11 was the first of the highly visible signs. Islamic extremists view the post Enlightenment secular world as the enemy of Allah. Because of state access to sophisticated weaponry, including atomic, theocratic Islamic nations with that technology are posing a very serious threat to all human civilization.

As ecological factors combined with exponential population growth press on the limits of the land area, some of the Middle Eastern countries will soon be sinking into chaotic disorganization. It will be very difficult for them to maintain any form of civil society. We already see the beginning of this pattern in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen. Wherever it occurs, extremist groups will attempt to dominate the society. They will—as they are today, be funded by affluent Muslims with Middle Eastern oil money, so long as it lasts.

Fires stoked under ancient religious animosities fueled by religious reactionary fanaticism in Orthodox Judaism and Fundamentalist Christianity rooted in the same ancient violent religious imagery and doctrinaire belief as Islam; the superior righteous destroying the inferior – i.e. the Philistinian unrighteous, will add to the powder keg. These groups with their common ancient mindsets will in the name of their God be anxious to go into battle. Islam will be anxious to go into battle with “Philistinian” secular “Infidel” western Christianity and the Nation of Israel. All of those on all sides holding to the orthodoxy of their Abrahamic religious doctrines will be poised to enter the conflict.

Can the Middle Eastern Islamic boiling pot be brought to a simmer and then cooled down? Can the Jewish and Christian? If so, how long will it take? What will be the extent of the human suffering? These are some of the most pressing questions for our time. All indications are that the pot will continue to boil and that within Middle Eastern Islam there will be enormous human suffering over the next fifty years as population exceeds available oil revenues needed for commodity imports. There may even be an inter Islamic atomic battle that could take the lives of millions both within and outside of Islam. Terrorist activities in the West could be far more damaging than before.

The ancient forms of Islam prevailing in the Middle East and elsewhere at some point will be forced to face planetary reality. As it was with the opening of the Western mind during the Enlightenment period in Europe, the Muslim mind too will be forced open. Muslim clerics and intellectuals will be forced to accept planetary and cosmic reality. (We are seeing the beginnings of this in Egypt) The question at this moment is how much damage to the planet and to its citizens will be incurred before this reality takes place.

With ecological events unfolding – oceans rising, food shortages, etc. – the bellicose voices of religious extremism in all three of the Abrahamic faiths will be drowned out. The violence brought on by their action and inaction will in effect wear out their planetary welcome. The shared orthodoxy among the three will bring down upon each its own demise. As with the lessons learned in past Abrahamic religious history; from the early Roman/Israel period to the Islamic Christian war period to the Crusades to the Inquisition to the more recent horrors of the holocaust and then to 9/11, and then to Iraq and Afghanistan and Syria, and now ISIS; the radical nature of covenantal exclusivist Abrahamic religious ideology will be exposed for its planetary humanistic incompatibility. The carnage left in its wake will spur a global wakeup call leading to mass condemnation of religious fanaticism in all of its forms.

As the pain and suffering continues to unfold, even moderate Abrahamic religious voices will be drowned out by the exigency of the events. They will find that their Judeo/Christian/Islamic understanding of the Cosmos and the planet and their relationship to it, grounded on ancient biblical concepts is not adequate to form the basis for the societal changes needed to meet the challenges presented by the extreme geophysical forces in play and the abruptness of those forces as they trigger enfolding ecological planetary tipping points.

Judeo/Christian/Islamic belief will be forced to adjust to the reality of an ecologically disintegrating planet with humans on it searching not for solutions restricted to their past, but built on new ideas within a thought process reaching beyond. This is not to say that all Abrahamic thought will die. Many ancient texts and beliefs will find value. However, a new world-wide cosmic realism will be taking hold. Past religious belief in all three of the religions of Abraham will be made to measure its value against a new form of thought that encompasses the nonlinearity of all matter and non-matter in the context of human/planetary consonance – and survival.

Review & Commentary

  • Steven Dawson


  • Steven Dawson


  • JB

    Doesn’t feel right to me. I think the problem is more non democratic countries as far as the situation in the Middle East. Those who are leaving are often the highly educated who can afford to leave as well as some young men who don’t want to fight in the countries military or the rebels military and probably some Islamic militants who are taking advantage of the situation. Of course ecology is playing a part in all of this but I don’t think it is the major thing. And population growth is also playing a part but not the major part. I think it has more to do with freedom and justice. But if all three of the Abrahamic religions, Hindus and other religions don’t work together on both of these issues, ecology and population growth, we will all eventually be in trouble.

  • Andy Vivian

    This article is a thinly veiled attack on Islam despite the apparently even handed opening paragraph. High rates of population growth are not limited to Islamic countries. The growth rates in Israel (75% Jewish) and the Philippines (94% Christian) are much the same as in the Islamic example quoted – Syria (87% Islamic). From the figures I found, they start off around 3.5% in 1960 and end up at about 2% in 2011 – so the trend is down all round. David Anderson talks about the ‘modern Western civilizational curve’ as though we in the West offer the only sensible future for the planet. Really? In 2007, the last year for which I could find figures to compare, the carbon footprint of the average American was over five times higher than the average Syrian. If our goal is ‘planetary humanistic compatibility’ will we really find all the answers in our Western individualist culture? Don’t you think that the community values which rank high in Islamic culture might be worth learning from? And to talk of ‘Islamic incomprehension’ is insulting. Yes, there are some Muslims with what you a call pre-scientific view. But Christian creationists are not in short supply either, especially in the States. And if you sacked all the Muslim scientists contributing to the welfare of our planet it would be a devastating loss.

  • LuthersMom

    ISIS is a creation of the Obama Administration, the Israeli Secret Intelligence Service, and the CIA….they are not Moslems, they are American and British and Israeli MERCENARIES PAID to terrorize and bomb countries to produce fear, END GAME: Getting the world population CHIPPED!

  • D J Krause

    Although I come to it late, IMO there is almost more truth in this article than can be easily assimilated. How tragic it will be before it is. Anderson correctly sees the ultimate origin of the problem: “The Qur’an and the Hadith and the Sunna were not to be questioned.” In comparing the contrasting reactions of Christianity and Islam to the Enlightenment, I made a similar point in a footnote to an unpublished article back in the ’90s, writing: “Islam, another ‘religion of the book,’ early faced the same challenges that Christianity did. In both cases the intellectual battles were protracted but the results were contrasting. Grossly simplified, we might say that in Islam the book won. In the West the book lost, but Christianity resourcefully managed to survive its own demise by “accommodating,” that is to say, by submitting to the terms of surrender dictated by Greece and then simply calling the defeat a victory. Today [that is, the 1990s] Islam is again confronted by the same challenges, and this time it too will find, as Christianity did previously, that the forces of rationalism are irresistible over the long run. In the New Middle Ages in the Middle East the Islamic priestly caste and supporting laity rage against modernism and denounce those who would sell out the truth for a mess of pottage. Intellectuals such as Nasr and Butt, however, are calling for an “accommodation” that will result, they say, in an “authentic Islamic science” that will be a “handmaiden” to the Qur’an (this sounds familiar and I wish them luck: they will need it). Other Moslems embrace the West but retain Islam as little more than a cultural icon. In this form, shorn of intensity and conviction, Islam will undoubtedly survive indefinitely, as Christianity is also doing.”

    I’m less optimistic today.