lots of christians like sharia, too!

when i posted the other day on what egyptians want, i was surprised to find out that, at least according to the world values survey, 50% of christians in egypt agreed or agreed strongly that sharia law would be a good idea for egypt! (click for LARGER images):

this holds true for some christians in other middle eastern/south asian countries as well.

in jordan, 34.5% of roman catholics are cool with sharia law:

in iraq, 40% of roman catholics like the sound of sharia law. on the other hand, 100% of orthodox and other christians were NOT ok with it. (mind you, the numbers are small.)

and in saudi arabia, 93.3% of the (15) christians surveyed really like the idea. there was one hold-out (there’s always one!):

finally, in bangladesh, 29.4% of the hindus surveyed agreed/strongly agreed with sharia; 40% of the five buddhists surveyed agreed with sharia; one roman catholic likes it; a couple of other christians don’t; and the lone jew surveyed was really enthusiastic:

like i said, all of this really came as a…

…to me!

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cousin marriage conundrum addendum

several years ago now, stanley kurtz, steve sailer and parapundit wrote a great bunch of articles/posts about the futility of america trying to secure the oil resources in bring democracy to iraq since the society there is tribal and the tribalism is based on the long-standing iraqi practice of inbreeding (i.e. marrying their cousins).

steve sailer wrote about how cousin marriage leads to “strong nepotistic urges” ’cause, of course, working from the “selfish gene” perspective and bill hamilton’s idea of inclusive fitness, it makes sense to favor your relatives that share a heck of a lot of ur genes over some strangers in the next town.

and the MORE you are related to your relatives (for instance, ’cause ur clan members have been inbreeding for generations), you’d think the MORE you’d favor them. which is exactly what we see in the world.

from cousin marriage conundrum:

“In Iraq, as in much of the region, nearly half of all married couples are first or second cousins to each other. A 1986 study of 4,500 married hospital patients and staff in Baghdad found that 46% were wed to a first or second cousin, while a smaller 1989 survey found 53% were ‘consanguineously’ married. The most prominent example of an Iraqi first cousin marriage is that of Saddam Hussein and his first wife Sajida.

By fostering intense family loyalties and strong nepotistic urges, inbreeding makes the development of civil society more difficult. Many Americans have heard by now that Iraq is composed of three ethnic groups — the Kurds of the north, the Sunnis of the center, and the Shi’ites of the south. Clearly, these ethnic rivalries would complicate the task of ruling reforming Iraq. But that’s just a top-down summary of Iraq’s ethnic make-up. Each of those three ethnic groups is divisible into smaller and smaller tribes, clans, and inbred extended families — each with their own alliances, rivals, and feuds. And the engine at the bottom of these bedeviling social divisions is the oft-ignored institution of cousin marriage.

“The fractiousness and tribalism of Middle Eastern countries have frequently been remarked. In 1931, King Feisal of Iraq described his subjects as ‘devoid of any patriotic idea, connected by no common tie, giving ear to evil; prone to anarchy, and perpetually ready to rise against any government whatever.’ The clannishness, corruption, and coups frequently observed in countries such as Iraq appears to be in tied to the high rates of inbreeding.

“Muslim countries are usually known for warm, devoted extended family relationships, but also for weak patriotism. In the U.S., where individualism is so strong, many assume that ‘family values’ and civic virtues such as sacrificing for the good of society always go together. But, in Islamic countries, loyalty to extended (as opposed to nuclear) families is often at war with loyalty to nation. Civic virtues, military effectiveness, and economic performance all suffer.

“Commentator Randall Parker wrote, ‘Consanguinity [cousin marriage] is the biggest underappreciated factor in Western analyses of Middle Eastern politics. Most Western political theorists seem blind to the importance of pre-ideological kinship-based political bonds in large part because those bonds are not derived from abstract Western ideological models of how societies and political systems should be organized. Extended families that are incredibly tightly bound are really the enemy of civil society because the alliances of family override any consideration of fairness to people in the larger society. Yet, this obvious fact is missing from 99% of the discussions about what is wrong with the Middle East. How can we transform Iraq into a modern liberal democracy if every government worker sees a government job as a route to helping out his clan at the expense of other clans?'”

[btw – i highly recommend reading steve’s “cousin marriage conundrum” and all of parapundit’s posts on the topic.]

this is why i was babbling about the levels of cousin marriage in egypt (38.9% in 2000) the other day. egyptians are inbred like the iraqis — so there’s a lot of nepotism and corruption and generally not getting along with other, not-so-related egyptians. egypt has probably functioned as well as it has over the last few decades precisely because they haven’t had a free democracy and, as meng b pointed out, the military has basically been running the place (which a majority of egyptians don’t actually mind!).

what stanley kurtz absolutely nailed, tho, is the fact that not only do a lot of middle easterners and south asians inbreed a lot, they also do it in a very special way.

a very common form of marriage in that part of the world — which tends to be avoided by most other human populations, btw — is called “father’s brother’s daughter” (fbd) marriage or patrilateral parallel cousin marriage, which sounds like a bunch of gobbledygook but just means that the typical form of marriage is that of brothers’ children (i.e. cousins who share a common paternal grandfather -or- cousins whose fathers are brothers).

what difference does that make? a LOT. for one thing, it means that pretty much all of the men in an extended family share (virtually) the same y-chromosome. the genes that make them men? — they have pretty much the same exact ones.

to my mind, the practice should really be called “father’s brother’s son” marriage because, in terms of the y-chromosome anyway, the advantage in this arrangement goes to the father-of-the-bride since he gets to have (virutally) his y-chromsome inherited by any grandsons his daughter bears since she will be married to his paternal nephew [click on chart for LARGER version – adapted from here]:

somehow, some way — and i haven’t thought it through fully yet — fbd marriage makes the males in an extended, inbred family — like the ones in the middle east/south asia — very paternalistic.

again, stanley kurtz nailed it in “veil of fears” [read that, too]:

“The ‘family’ to which a Muslim Middle Easterner is loyal, however, is not like our family. It is a ‘patrilineage’ — a group of brothers and other male relatives, descended from a line of men that can ultimately be traced back to the founder of a particular tribe. Traditionally, lineage brothers will live near one another and will share the family’s property. This willingness of a ‘band of brothers’ to pool their labor and wealth is the key to the strength of the lineage.

“But the centrality of men to the Muslim kinship system sets up a problem. The women who marry into a lineage pose a serious threat to the unity of the band of brothers. If a husband’s tie to his wife should become more important than his solidarity with his brothers, the couple might take their share of the property and leave the larger group, thus weakening the strength of the lineage.

“There is a solution to this problem, however — a solution that marks out the kinship system of the Muslim Middle East as unique in the world. In the Middle East, the preferred form of marriage is between a man and his cousin (his father’s brother’s daughter). Cousin marriage solves the problem of lineage solidarity. If, instead of marrying a woman from a strange lineage, a man marries his cousin, then his wife will not be an alien, but a trusted member of his own kin group. Not only will this reduce a man’s likelihood of being pulled away from his brothers by his wife, a woman of the lineage is less likely to be divorced by her husband, and more likely to be protected by her own extended kin in case of a rupture in the marriage. Somewhere around a third of all marriages in the Muslim Middle East are between members of the same lineage, and in some places the figure can reach as high as 80 percent. It is this system of ‘patrilateral parallel cousin marriage’ that ex plains the persistence of veiling, even in the face of modernity.

“By veiling, women are shielded from the possibility of a dishonoring premarital affair. But above all, when Muslim women veil, they are saving themselves for marriage to the men of their own kin group. In an important sense, this need to protect family honor and preserve oneself for an advantageous marriage to a man of the lineage is a key to the rise of Islamic revivalism.”

the particular sort of clannishness that we see in the middle east and parts of south asia that steve sailer talked about in “cousin marriage conundrum” is based on: 1) inbreeding, AND 2) the type of inbreeding.

the societies in that part of the world are split into a myriad of extended families and clans and tribes that will never get along so long as they continue their current marriage practices.

previously: on the origins of the multicultacracy, aígyptos, assimilation interrupted, kissin’ cousins.

update 03/09: see also all cousins are not created equal


double bonus:

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what egyptians want

well, obviously, a helluva lot of them wanted mubarak out. they’ve got that, so now what?

taking a look @the world values survey, most of them prolly do NOT want another strong leader. they’ve had enough of that. in the 2008 survey, 84% thought having a strong leader was bad or very bad (click on charts for LARGER views):

they’d much rather have the military in charge (handy that since that’s what they’ve got for now) — 56.6% of them thought in ’08 that military rule was fairly or very good:

most of them — 89.3% — prefer democracy:

and that very much includes free elections (good luck with that, egyptians!):

but … just ’cause someone uses fb and twitter doesn’t mean that they think and feel just like you (we) do. nuh-uh!

no. most egyptians think that the cultural invasion of their country by the west is a serious or very serious problem — and that included 86.1% of people between the ages of 15-29 in 2000:

according to a more recent pew survey, 85% of muslims in egypt (ca. 90% of egyptians are muslim) think islam’s influence on politics is just swell:

and back in 2000, 80.2% of egyptians agreed or agreed strongly that shari’a law for egypt would be a good idea — and that included 50.6% of the christians!:

those sentiments don’t seem to have changed much over the last decade — from pew again:

and there’s more — 97.6% of the christians responding in 2000 said that they thought women ought to wear a veil! that beat out the muslims @94.9%:

the thing is, more egyptians prolly think and feel closer to how this egyptian lady thinks and feels…

…than they do to these egyptians folks…

see also: The Egyptian Thriller @gov.

previously: aígyptos

bonus: a couple of coptic women from the past in hijab –

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germanic peoples are sooooo trusting

and they’ve been getting MORE SO over the last couple of decades! (and the italians, too, for that matter.)


from the world values surveys of the early-1980s** and the mid-2000s***, here are the percentages of people responding that “most people can be trusted” for the following countries (selected based on data availability):

so, while the peoples of many countries like the u.s. (slightly) and the u.k. (very) have become less trusting since the 80s, germans and scandinavians and the dutch have become more trusting. a LOT more trusting in some cases! sheesh. no wonder their countries are being populated by turks and somalis and iraqis and all sorts of foreigners!

in the anglo world, older folks tend to be more trusting (highlights indicate the cohort that is most trusting):

in other parts of the world (not including germanic nations), younger folks tend to be more trusting:

the most naïve and gullible trusting germanic + italian volk also tend to be younger:

previously: trust me on this

**Argentina [1984], Australia [1981], Canada [1982], France [1981], Germany West [1981], Great Britain [1981], Italy [1981], Japan [1981], Netherlands [1981], Norway [1982], Spain [1981], Sweden [1982], United States [1982]

***Argentina [2006], Australia [2005], Canada [2006], France [2006], Germany [2006], Great Britain [2006], Italy [2005], Japan [2005], Netherlands [2006], Norway [2007], Spain [2007], Sweden [2006], United States [2006]

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political iq

from the audacious e:

“Shocker–Men know (and care) more about what’s going on in the world than women do”

“Pew frequently conducts ‘News IQ’ surveys, randomly quizzing 1,000 people on current events. The most recent results are from November 2010. As is always the case, men outperformed women by more than a full point on the 12-item test.”

i ain’t surprised.

the audacious e got 12 out of 12. (show off!) (~_^)

i got 10 out of 12. (yes. i’m still taking stupid quizzes online….) not bad for a chick! i got the “national inflation rate reported by the gov’t” wrong. i guessed on that one. i never read gov’t stats. i’m not big into fiction. i prefer my reality more real, ya know? i also got wrong “when the congress reconvenes in january, will republicans have a majority in….” don’t ask me why i answered the senate. (wtf??) i’m gonna blame it on taking the test in the wee hours of the morning. (ok. ok. it was sheer stupidity!) the rest of them i was confident that i knew. there was no guessin’.

take the test here.

here’s my results. DON’T LOOK if u wanna take the test. SPOILERS! (click on images for LARGER views.)

update: a commenter over @the audacious’ site says, “It doesn’t bother me that women are more interested in trivial and silly topics like celebrity gossip. What does bother me is that those same women are accorded the same rights and responsibilities as everyone else.”

i have to agree. especially when it comes to voting. there ought to be some sort of civics test required before one is allowed to vote. that would weed out those who don’t take an interest in political issues as well as illiterate and lower iq folks.

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steve sailer asks about egypt: “A big question would be what changes in government would be necessary to allow civil society to flourish. And what are the odds it would flourish?”

well, if the cousin-marriage conundrum thesis is correct, then 1) making the country more democratic prolly won’t work and 2) pretty low.

egyptians are, like many middle easterners, inbred – i.e. they married their first and second cousins at a rate of 38.9% in 2000 (click on chart for a LARGER version; source):

thus are they clannish as is evidenced by the number of political parties|organizations in egypt: 24+! that’s a lot of conflicting interests.

urbanites are less inbred than the rural folk, and those in the cairo|delta area (lower egypt) are less inbred than those in upper egypt:

Lower Egypt – Urban = 25.4%
Urban Governorates = 28.7%
Lower Egypt – Rural = 36.7%
Upper Egypt – Urban = 37.7%
Frontier Governorates = 46.3%
Upper Egypt – Rural = 55.2%
Total = 38.9%

added to the inbreeding that causes clannishness, there are also different peoples in egypt.

there are the egyptians in lower egypt and then there are the sa’idi in upper egypt — they’re egyptians, too, but they tend to be copts rather than muslims, afaict. then there are some nubians in upper egypt. they’re muslims. there are bedouins and arabs, also muslim, hanging around in different areas. greeks, italians, armenians mostly in lower, urban egypt. all christians. (and, note, that none of these — except for some arabs — are arabs. egyptians are not arabs.)

between all the inbreeding and all the different ethnic groups i doubt if much of a civil society can be built in egypt. not without some serious changes in reproductive patterns anyway.

i mean, apart from their dislike of mubarak, what can these people…

…possibly have in common with these people…?

my new, fave egyptian sub-group, btw, has got to be the magyarab. magyarab as in “magyar”:

“According to legend, Christian Hungarians who had only recently been brought under the control of the Ottoman Empire formed a part of the Ottoman army that was fighting in southern Egypt. Evidently, a portion or the entirety of the fighting unit remained there and intermarried with the local Nubian women.

“According to local Magyarabs, their ancestor was Ibrahim el-Magyar, a general who came from Buda (present-day Budapest) in 1517, he married with a local Nubian woman, they had a son called Ali, Ali had five sons: Selabi, Mustafa, Djelaleddin, Musa and Iksa. Ali’s five sons were the ancestor of all Magyarabs. Magyarabs are the members of the World Federation of Hungarians (Magyarok Világszövetsége) since 1992 and still consider themselves as Hungarians.

“They were not discovered by Europeans until 1935, when László Almásy, himself a Magyar, and his co-worker, the German engineer and explorer Hansjoachim von der Esch, happened upon their tribe in the Nubian region. Representatives of the tribes had attempted to make contact with Hungarian officials, but were unable to do so because of the outbreak of World War II.

“These people now have a Middle Eastern appearance due to the intermarriage with the local Nubian population and no longer speak the Hungarian language. Around 1934, however, Esch, who spent several weeks with the population of the Magyarab island at Wadi Halfa, put together a list of non-Arabic words used only on that island and which, according to him, were recognized by Almasy as similar to Hungarian words. His notes show that all Magyarab in Wadi Halfa were convinced that their ancestors came from ‘Nemsa’ (the Arabic word for Austria), which might refer to any region of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was told by the chief of the Magarab island village that the their ancestors arrived in Egypt/Sudan as a group of ‘Austrian’ soldiers led by a man called Shenghal Sendjer, which Esch assumes to be originally General Sendjer or Senger.”

heh! who knew?!

update: see also What Regime Change Will Not Change In Egypt from parapundit.

update 02/21: see also cousin marriage conundrum addendum

update 03/04: the egypt demographic and health surveys for 2000 and 2008 show that the consanguinity rate for egyptians has dropped from 37.8% in 2000 to 29.7% in 2008. probably good news for the egyptians!

update 05/23/12: see also family type in egypt and mating patterns in egypt and corporations and collectivities

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