The Self-Appointed Altruists - Part II

Written by Sam Vaknin

Continued from page 1

NGO's are becoming not only all-pervasive but more aggressive. In their capacity as "shareholder activists", they disrupt shareholders meetings and act to actively tarnish corporate and individual reputations. Friends ofrepparttar Earth worked hard last year to instigate a consumer boycott against Exxon Mobil - for not investing in renewable energy resources and for ignoring global warming. No one - including other shareholders - understood their demands. But it went down well withrepparttar 132512 media, with a few celebrities, and with contributors.

As "think tanks", NGO's issue partisan and biased reports. The International Crisis Group published a rabid attack onrepparttar 132513 then incumbent government of Macedonia, days before an election, relegatingrepparttar 132514 rampant corruption of its predecessors - whom it seemed to be tacitly supporting - to a few footnotes. On at least two occasions - in its reports regarding Bosnia and Zimbabwe - ICG has recommended confrontation,repparttar 132515 imposition of sanctions, and, if all else fails,repparttar 132516 use of force. Thoughrepparttar 132517 most vocal and visible, it is far from beingrepparttar 132518 only NGO that advocates "just" wars.

The ICG is a repository of former heads of state and has-been politicians and is renowned (and notorious) for its prescriptive - some say meddlesome - philosophy and tactics. "The Economist" remarked sardonically: "To say (that ICG) is 'solving world crises' is to risk underestimating its ambitions, if overestimating its achievements."

NGO's have orchestratedrepparttar 132519 violent showdown duringrepparttar 132520 trade talks in Seattle in 1999 and its repeat performances throughoutrepparttar 132521 world. The World Bank was so intimidated byrepparttar 132522 riotous invasion of its premises inrepparttar 132523 NGO-choreographed "Fifty Years is Enough" campaign of 1994, that it now employs dozens of NGO activists and let NGO's determine many of its policies.

NGO activists have joinedrepparttar 132524 armed - though mostly peaceful - rebels ofrepparttar 132525 Chiapas region in Mexico. Norwegian NGO's sent members to forcibly board whaling ships. Inrepparttar 132526 USA, anti-abortion activists have murdered doctors. In Britain, animal rights zealots have both assassinated experimental scientists and wrecked property.

Birth control NGO's carry out mass sterilizations in poor countries, financed by rich country governments in a bid to stem immigration. NGO's buy slaves in Sudan thus encouragingrepparttar 132527 practice of slave hunting throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Other NGO's actively collaborate with "rebel" armies - a euphemism for terrorists.

NGO's lack a synoptic view and their work often undermines efforts by international organizations such asrepparttar 132528 UNHCR and by governments. Poorly-paid local officials have to contend with crumbling budgets asrepparttar 132529 funds are diverted to rich expatriates doingrepparttar 132530 same job for a multiple ofrepparttar 132531 cost and with inexhaustible hubris.

This is not conducive to happy co-existence between foreign do-gooders and indigenous governments. Sometimes NGO's seem to be an ingenious ploy to solve Western unemployment atrepparttar 132532 expense of down-trodden natives. This is a misperception driven by envy and avarice.

But it is still powerful enough to foster resentment and worse. NGO's are onrepparttar 132533 verge of provoking a ruinous backlash against them in their countries of destination. That would be a pity. Some of them are doing indispensable work. If only they were a wee more sensitive and somewhat less ostentatious. But then they wouldn't be NGO's, would they?

Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He is a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, and eBookWeb , a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent, and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory Bellaonline, and Suite101 .

Visit Sam's Web site at

Muslims - Europe's New Jews

Written by Sam Vaknin

Continued from page 1

Both Vladimir Putin, Russia's president and Yuri Luzhkov, Moscow's mayor, now takerepparttar trouble to greetrepparttar 132510 capital's one million Muslims onrepparttar 132511 occasion of their Feast of Sacrifice. They also actively solicitrepparttar 132512 votes ofrepparttar 132513 nationalist and elitist Muslims ofrepparttar 132514 industrialized Volga - mainlyrepparttar 132515 Tatars, Bashkirs and Chuvash. Evenrepparttar 132516 impoverished, much-detested and powerless Muslims ofrepparttar 132517 northern Caucasus - Chechens, Circassians and Dagestanis - have benefited from this newfound awareness of their electoral power.

Though divided by their common creed - Shiites vs. Sunnites vs. Wahabbites and so on -repparttar 132518 Muslims of Europe are united in supportingrepparttar 132519 Palestinian cause and in opposingrepparttar 132520 Iraq war. This - and post-colonial guilt feelings, especially manifest in France and Britain - go a long way toward explaining Germany's re-discovered pacifistic spine and France's anti-Israeli (not to say anti-Semitic) tilt.

Moreover,repparttar 132521 Muslims have been playing an important economic role inrepparttar 132522 continent sincerepparttar 132523 early 1960s. Europe's postwar miracle was founded on these cheap, plentiful and oft-replenished Gastarbeiter - "guest workers". Objective studies have consistently shown that immigrants contribute more to their host economies - as consumers, investors and workers - than they ever claw back in social services and public goods. This is especially true in Europe, where an ageing population of early retirees has been relying onrepparttar 132524 uninterrupted flow of pension contributions by younger laborers, many of them immigrants.

Business has been paying attention to this emerging market. British financial intermediaries - such asrepparttar 132525 West Bromwich Building Society - have recently introduced "Islamic" (interest-free) mortgages. According to market research firm, Datamonitor, gross advances inrepparttar 132526 UK alone could reach $7 billion in 2006 - up from $60 million today. The Bank of England is inrepparttar 132527 throes of preparing regulations to accommodaterepparttar 132528 pent-up demand.

Yet, their very integration, however hesitant and gradual, rendersrepparttar 132529 Muslims in Europe vulnerable torepparttar 132530 kind of treatmentrepparttar 132531 old continent meted out to its Jews beforerepparttar 132532 holocaust. Growing Muslim presence in stagnating job markets within recessionary economies inevitably generated a backlash, often cloaked in terms of Samuel Huntington's 1993 essay in Foreign Affairs, "Clash of Civilizations".

Even tolerant Italy was affected. Last year,repparttar 132533 Bologna archbishop, Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, cast Islam as incompatible with Italian culture. The country's prime minister suggested, in a visit to Berlin two years ago, that Islam is an inherently inferior civilization.

Oriana Fallaci, a prominent journalist, published last year an inane and foul-mouthed diatribe titled "The Rage andrepparttar 132534 Pride" in which she accused Muslims of "breeding like rats", "shitting and pissing" (sic!) everywhere and supporting Osama bin-Laden indiscriminately.

Young Muslims reacted - by further radicalizing and by refusing to assimilate - to both escalating anti-Islamic rhetoric in Europe andrepparttar 132535 "triumphs" of Islam elsewhere, such asrepparttar 132536 revolution in Iran in 1979. Tutored by preachers trained inrepparttar 132537 most militant Islamist climates in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and Iran, praying in mosques financed by shady Islamic charities - these youngsters are amenable to recruiters from every fanatical grouping.

The United Kingdom suffered some ofrepparttar 132538 worst race riots in half a century inrepparttar 132539 past two years. France is terrorized by an unprecedented crime wave emanating fromrepparttar 132540 banlieux -repparttar 132541 decrepit, predominantly Muslim, housing estates in suburbia. September 11 only acceleratedrepparttar 132542 inevitable conflict between an alienated minority and hostile authorities throughoutrepparttar 132543 continent. Recent changes in European - notably British - legislation openly profile and target Muslims.

This is a remarkable turnaround. Europe supportedrepparttar 132544 Muslim Bosnian cause againstrepparttar 132545 Serbs, Islamic Chechnya against Russia,repparttar 132546 Palestinians againstrepparttar 132547 Israelis and Muslim Albanian insurgents against both Serbs and Macedonians. Nor was this consistent pro-Islamic orientation a novelty.

Britain's Commission for Racial Equality which caters mainly torepparttar 132548 needs of Muslims, was formed 37 years ago. Its Foreign Office has never wavered from its pro-Arab bias. Germany established a Central Council for Muslims. Both anti-Americanism andrepparttar 132549 more veteran anti-Israeli streak helped sustain Europe's empathy with Muslim refugees and "freedom fighters" throughoutrepparttar 132550 1960s, 70s and 80s.

September 11 put paid to this amity. The danger is thatrepparttar 132551 brand of "Euro-Islam" that has begun to emerge lately may be decimated by this pervasive and sudden mistrust. Time Magazine described this blend as "the traditional Koran-based religion with its prohibitions against alcohol and interest-bearing loans now indelibly marked byrepparttar 132552 'Western' values of tolerance, democracy and civil liberties."

Such "enlightened" Muslims can serve as an invaluable bridge between Europe and Russia,repparttar 132553 Middle East, Asia, including China and other places with massive Muslim majorities or minorities. As most world conflicts today involve Islamist militants, global peace and a functioning "new order" critically depend onrepparttar 132554 goodwill and communication skills of Muslims.

Such a benign amalgam isrepparttar 132555 only realistic hope for reconciliation. Europe is ageing and stagnating and can be reinvigorated only by embracing youthful, dynamic, driven immigrants, most of whom are bound to be Muslim. Co-existence is possible andrepparttar 132556 clash of civilization not an inevitability unless Huntington's dystopic vision becomesrepparttar 132557 basic policy document ofrepparttar 132558 West.

Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He is a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, and eBookWeb , a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent, and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory Bellaonline, and Suite101 .

Visit Sam's Web site at

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