Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Nov/08

30

Dangerous Places

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Further to Heather’s remarks:  the London Daily Telegraph has a photo-display titled “20 of the world’s most dangerous places.”

Here are the Telegraph’s 20, with their dominant religions (according to the CIA World Factbook). I think my abbreviations are obvious, except perhaps “A” for “Animist.” There’s a wonderfully broad representation of faiths … though Taoists seem to be pretty peace-loving types, at least since the Yellow Turbans were suppressed.

 Iraq   I 
 Afghanistan   I 
 Chechnya   I 
 South Africa   C(Pr) 
 Jamaica   C(Pr) 
 Sudan   I 
 Thailand   B 
 Colombia   C(RC) 
 Haiti   C(RC) 
 Eritrea   I/C 
 D.R. Congo   C(RC) 
 Liberia   C(Pr) 
 Pakistan   I 
 Burundi   C(RC) 
 Nigeria   I/C 
 Zimbabwe   C/A 
 India   H 
 Mexico   C(RC) 
 Israel/Palestine   J/I 
 Lebanon   I/C

26 comments

  • Ivan Karamazov · November 30, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Iraq I
    Afghanistan I
    Chechnya I
    South Africa C(Pr)
    Jamaica C(Pr)
    Sudan I
    Thailand B
    Colombia C(RC)
    Haiti C(RC)
    Eritrea I/C
    D.R. Congo C(RC)
    Liberia C(Pr)
    Pakistan I
    Burundi C(RC)
    Nigeria I/C
    Zimbabwe C/A
    India H
    Mexico C(RC)
    Israel/Palestine I/J
    Lebanon I

  • Andrew T. · November 30, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    Of course, it’s not exactly the Hindu majority in India or the Buddhist majority in Thailand that are the primary causes of violence in those nations.

  • Author comment by Bradlaugh · November 30, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Sorry, but if you read
    the news stories from Thailand, it actually is the Buddhists, though the conflict’s not a religious one.

  • AC · November 30, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Could you find an equivalent “Safe Places” list? I reckon you’d find they’re all religious, too. All you’ve done is hinted at the pervasiveness of religion, not that it’s any more safe or violent than irreligion.

  • Ivan Karamazov · November 30, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Here are some National IQ estimates, in case that helps make sense of the danger areas. The near and above 90’s stick out, but might make more sense if you allow that an agitated Islam can cause special problems. If one was unkind, one could postulate that it takes religion to turn a “smart” nation into a danger area. :)

    Iraq 87
    Afghanistan 84
    Chechnya ?
    South Africa 72
    Jamaica 71
    Sudan 71
    Thailand 91
    Colombia 84
    Haiti 67
    Eritrea 68?
    D.R. Congo 64
    Liberia 67
    Pakistan 84
    Burundi 69
    Nigeria 69
    Zimbabwe 66
    India 82
    Mexico 88
    Israel/Palestine 95
    Lebanon 82

  • Donna B. · November 30, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Curious… what’s the national IQ estimate for the U.S., Canada, Australia, UK? France?

  • Andrew T. · November 30, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    Bradlaugh: touche’ on Thailand. I stand corrected.

  • Ivan Karamazov · November 30, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Donna B. :
    Curious… what’s the national IQ estimate for the U.S., Canada, Australia, UK? France?

    98 99 98 100 98

  • Author comment by Bradlaugh · November 30, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    No prob. Andrew. Note that Hindus can
    give as good as they get, too.

    AC: My only point was the broad spread of religions there, and the absence of markedly irreligious places (East Asia, Scandinavia) from the list. Come on, it’s a point.

  • Bob · November 30, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    It is completely absurd to put Thailand on a “most dangerous places” list. There is a tiny bit of political violence, but otherwise it is one of the safest places in the world.

    A list of “violent crime rates by country” would be pretty boring though since every entry would be in Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean.

  • Don Kenner · November 30, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    One should be careful how one reads that table. South Africa isn’t dangerous because of Protestant Christianity; it’s dangerous because the ANC established a thugocracy. When it comes to combating terrorism/violence, no one is more useless than the Roman Catholic Church, but they can’t really be blamed for Columbia. Israel (there’s no such country as Palestine) and Lebanon owe their violence to the chief religious source of bloodshed on the planet, Islam. The Jews and Christians are mostly guilty of naivete and self-delusions about co-existence and “peace plans.” Yes, sometimes this self-delusion borders on the criminal.

    Westernized religions have been tamed because they’re…well… Westernized. And because there is nothing INHERENT in them that prevents an evolution toward civilized behavior. In turn, they become soft and allow one of their best (modern) features, tolerance, to be used by their worst enemies (e.g.,Islam).

    It is one of God’s cruelest jokes (and that’s saying something!)

  • wongba · November 30, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    here is some data. however i believe it’s incomplete b/c the worst off states probably aren’t collecting this information. it is also dated. maybe someone can round up newer stats.

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_percap-crime-murders-per-capita

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_ass_percap-crime-assaults-per-capita

  • SSFC · November 30, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    It would be interesting to find a list that accounted for crimes committed by those who makes the laws, as well as by those who break them. Though Sudan would be on both lists, I suspect we might see North Korea, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe, perhaps Belarus, and a few other states not appearing on this this list.

  • wongba · November 30, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    here’s a more up-to-date list, but i know it is missing kazakhstan, china and taiwan at least.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_homicide_rate

  • Hyperbole · December 1, 2008 at 6:53 am

    “Israel (there’s no such country as Palestine) and Lebanon owe their violence to the chief religious source of bloodshed on the planet, Islam.”

    Really?

    so then the massive number of civilian casualties / breakdown of society in the west bank and gaza caused by israeli soldiers, rockets and general policies are islam’s fault? The arab nationalist movements / resistance to colonialism which israel and european powers inspired was different from such movements everywhere else in the world? Please explain…

  • Don Kenner · December 1, 2008 at 8:44 am

    Dear Hyperbole,

    That such a thing has to be explained is testament enough to the depths of ignorance that surrounds this issue.

    First, that there is no COUNTRY called “Palestine” is a fact. Neither you nor the anti-Semites in the UN can change that. You may WANT there to be such a country, and if Condi Rice and Barrack Obama have their way, you will get your wish. Good luck.

    The rest of your post is really quite silly:

    “massive number of civilian casualties” — due to Palestinian Arabs making war on Jewish civilians. Arabs target (specifically and publicly) civilians; Israel does not.

    “breakdown of society” — ha! what society? Barbarism overseen by Hitler-worshipers. Or do you think that street dance celebrating 9-11 constitutes civilization?

    “rockets…are Islam’s fault?” Absolutely. The 1400 rockets that fell on Sderot, and the virtual non-response by Israel, prove my point nicely.

    “The arab nationalist movements / resistance to colonialism which israel and european powers inspired was different from such movements everywhere else in the world”

    Let’s put this in English (if that doesn’t offend you): Five invasions of Israel, in which Arabs were the aggressors and Jews were the victims; land acquired from JORDAN in one such invasion later renamed “Palestine” by a terrorist movement that uses such land as a launching point to conquer “occupied Tel Aviv.” All peace plan promises broken by the Arabs (they’ve never kept one). All land (foolishly) traded by Israel for peace resulted in more aggression and bloodshed.

    I could go on and on, but what’s the use? You’re either late for your Middle East Studies class, or you due at the pub to raise a pint or two with Pat Buchanan. I care not which.

    Shalom.

  • abe · December 1, 2008 at 11:56 am

    So what if there’s no recognized country called “Palestine”? There are Arabs who call themselves Palestinians, and it’s not as if Arabs see themselves as a unified body like the Jews. Stop trying to delegitimize these people, Don. The creation of Israel is colonialism that was possible only because of Arab weakness, and I for one don’t blame the Arabs for resenting that and actively resisting it.

  • abe · December 1, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    And hey Don, the Palestinians celebrated 9/11 because of America’s relationship with Israel. You know, like supplying the weapons which Israel oppresses the Palestinians with? Just more of a reason why Israel is a burden to America.

  • TrueNorth · December 1, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    I vaguely remember reading a article a few years ago which stated that of the 35 armed conflicts then in progress around the world, 31 involved Muslims on at least one side of the conflict. I am recalling this from memory, but if this is accurate, it certainly wouldn’t surprise me. Does anybody have a link to this article?

  • Ivan Karamazov · December 1, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    abe :
    So what if there’s no recognized country called “Palestine”? There are Arabs who call themselves Palestinians, and it’s not as if Arabs see themselves as a unified body like the Jews. Stop trying to delegitimize these people, Don. The creation of Israel is colonialism that was possible only because of Arab weakness, and I for one don’t blame the Arabs for resenting that and actively resisting it.

    How about this. We’ll all get on the Palestinian homeland bandwagon when they’ve contributed even as much as 10% of what Jews have contributed to world economics, science, art, medicine, physics, etc, etc, etc. The Jews have earned the right to carve out a piece of land to call their own, by my lights.

  • abe · December 1, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    @Ivan Karamazov

    What does Jewish contribution to civilization have anything to do with the matter? Does an accomplished group have the right to dispossess a less accomplished one? Does one group being less contributory to civilization render them less deserving of sympathy in matters such as this? I’m just looking at this rationally. Palestinians–and many anti-Zionists–are not necessarily morally wrong to oppose Zionism.

    And if I should support Israel because the Jews have benefited civilization and continue to do so to our collective benefit, then I think it might be even more in our interest to dissolve Israel, as Jewish diaspora are far more accomplished than their Israeli brethren.

  • Transplanted Lawyer · December 1, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    I think the lesson here is that the danger comes not from the kind of religion that dominates an area, but rather the degree to which fanaticism is permitted to flourish. To be sure, religion is not the only cause of violence in some of these nations, but it is very often used as a pretext or justification for the violence even when apologists look in and try to find a “true cause.”

  • Ivan Karamazov · December 2, 2008 at 5:56 am

    abe :
    @Ivan Karamazov
    What does Jewish contribution to civilization have anything to do with the matter?

    Well, it’s hard ( perhaps impossible) to hold two emotions in your mind, at the same time, so when one finds oneself hating on the Jews as a people, one should try instead to feel gratefulness.

  • Hyperbole · December 2, 2008 at 8:35 am

    well, it’s lovely to see all this vitriol… I’m jewish, my father lives in haifa and served in the six day war, and I’ve been to israel almost annually since I was born. In 1948 my family moved there from morocco. I think my non-anti-semitic credentials are impeccable, and my knowledge of the situation is more than adequate. The speed with which things descended into baseless accusations of anti-semitic motivation is breathtaking, illustrating what is possibly the single biggest impediment to intelligent discussion of this issue in the us.

    That being said, there is this tendency to completely brush over the dirtier parts of israel’s history. The right to self-determination of the local inhabitants were ignored, property and land was stolen, and people were kicked out. It surprises a lot of people that in 1948, amidst the war, israelis forcibly rounded up 100s of thousands of palestinians. They either put them on trucks with just a few possessions, and drove them over the border, or forced them at gunpoint to run away. They haven’t been allowed home ever since. My family came to Haifa in 1948, moved into an empty house that used to belong to a palestinian family, and lived there for 30 years. Those people were civilians, they weren’t terrorists. They probably spent the next 20 years living in squalid conditions in a refugee camp.

    “due to Palestinian Arabs making war on Jewish civilians. Arabs target (specifically and publicly) civilians; Israel does not.”

    Israel doesn’t explicitly target civilians, but it certainly causes a lot of indiscriminate destruction. People’s homes are often destroyed for no reason, they are humiliated daily, children accidentally shot for “getting too close” to fences or outposts. Political assassinations usually kill a bunch of random people… It’s pretty absurd to discount that. Also, palestinians live in a cage, with electricity and water randomly cutoff, near political anarchy. Anyone with a basic grasp of human psychology understands how that creates radicalism and other problems down the line. The original palestinians aren’t terrorists by nature.

    “— ha! what society? Barbarism overseen by Hitler-worshipers. Or do you think that street dance celebrating 9-11 constitutes civilization?”

    I think you’ve revealed your racist inclinations. The whole point is that if people live in a state of brutality, they become brutal. You’re too pig-headed to even try to understand the situation.

    finally, the issue of the name of “Palestine” is a complete red-herring; totally unimportant. Aside from that, if you read my post, you’d see that I referred to gaza and the west bank, not palestine.

    You’re a lost cause. You have no desire to understand the issues, just to feed your burning hatred of people.

    for anyone who is interested in the origins of this mess, there are a number of books by respected historians like benny morris or tom segev. You can read the wikipedia page to get a rough analysis of various points.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_of_the_1948_Palestinian_exodus
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1948_Arab-Israeli_War
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1947%E2%80%931948_Civil_War_in_Mandatory_Palestine

    also:

    “Well, it’s hard ( perhaps impossible) to hold two emotions in your mind, at the same time, so when one finds oneself hating on the Jews as a people, one should try instead to feel gratefulness.”

    Can you get any more smug and self-righteous? Give me a break. Plenty of small regions and ethnic groups have had ridiculously disproportionate impacts on human progress. You’re not unique.

    I read gnxp and checked out this blog because of razib, but as it stands, the readership seems to be pretty mediocre. I don’t think I’ll waste anymore time here…

  • abe · December 2, 2008 at 11:20 am

    Accusing me of Jew-hatred is very childish, Ivan.

  • Author comment by David Hume · December 2, 2008 at 11:43 am

    I’m closing this thread since I don’t see much return on the Jewish sidetrack.

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