Thursday, 6 September 2012

Shale Gas Will Destroy Islamism

Three seemingly disparate stories to mull over:

1. Yet again sectarian violence flared at an EDL Demonstration in Walthamstowe.
2. John Hayes - a pro- shale gas MP, is appointed as Energy Minister
3. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reports in the Daily Telegraph that Saudi Arabia may hit Peak Oil much sooner than expected.

So what connects them?

As many people know, the Saudis use their vast oil wealth to finance the spread of the ultra-puritan Wahabi strain of Islam, with new mosques and preachers being sent all over the world, not least to Western Europe, in order to radicalise the local Muslim population. Fears about rising Muslim demographics and Islamic radicalism  has created a reaction in the formation of Defence Leagues in several countries, of which the English Defence League was the first. Sectarianism, almost totally absent from England for hundreds of years, is very much on the rise and many of our cities appear to on the edge of being ulsterised. Meanwhile, our cosseted  Metropolitan Liberal elite simply turn a blind eye and pretend such events aren't really happening, and if even they are, don't form part of an escalating and very ominous trend.

Why then is there reason, in the long term, to be optimistic that Islamism will be defeated? Yes, the link between declining Saudi oil revenues and the ability to finance Wahabism is an obvious one, but what on Earth has that got to do with shale gas?

The answer lies in understanding mainstream Sunni Islam theology. Unlike Christianity, which (mostly) made its peace with science several hundred years ago, Sunni Islam completely rejects the laws of cause and effects that are the very basics of physics. Whereas Christianity is more or less happy with the concept that God created a rational universe for man bound by certain laws, in Sunni theology, Allah wills at any given moment what occurs*. The concept of fixed physical laws, and for that matter human Free Will, are considered serious blasphemy.

Hence the presence and extraction of huge quantities of oil in Saudi Arabia is seen as evidence of Allah's continued approval of Wahabism, as he wills its bounty from moment to moment.* Saudi oil therefore doesn't only finance the spread of militant Islam, but even more gives it a great deal of intellectual underpinning as well.

It follows that as the oil runs out in Saudi Arabia and vast shale gas reserves are exploited in the West, the theological rationale behind Islamism will be undermined.

Unless of course, radical Muslims interprete a causal relationship between the discovery of shale gas in Europe and the rapidly changing demographics in their favour.

Oh, hang on a minute....


*For a fascinating discourse Sunni theological development, I would strongly recommend 'The Closing of the Muslim Mind' by Robert Reilly.