In the Middle East, planning discussions are regularly punctuated by Inshallah—
“if Allah wills it.” The status of a person’s health, wealth, and safety are believed to be inevitable. Interviewees reported, “We don’t plan ahead,” “We only act when a catastrophe happens,” and “If it’s going to come,
then it will come.”
The question of HBD and the Arab might interest Western policy-makers for two reasons: Nation-building and Immigration. Whether we're imposing our political systems on them ('neo-colonialism') or inviting them en masse into our countries ('reverse colonialism?'), the deciders behind these things would do well to have a notion who they're dealing with.
The immigration question is especially salient. Western Europe has invited millions of Muslims (Arabs and others) into her bosom, with a variety of results...
'Australia: Muslim's defense of relationship with eight-year-old girl as culturally acceptable rejected'
...And so forth.
Portuguese and Italians and Swiss and French have been wandering into each others' lands for centuries. Flying in millions of folks from a foreign civilization (cf. Huntington), however, is something new. Who are these people, and what are their chances of assimilating? ['Arab' = 'Muslim Arab' for purposes of this post only.]
Observers may wonder at the apparent gulf between today's Greeks and the titans of two thousand years ago, but it seems to pale in comparison with that of the Arabs. Lauded for embracing science while Europe slept, their present-day allergy to it has become a planetary curiosity:
OIC [Organisation of the Islamic Conference] countries have 8.5 scientists, engineers, and technicians per 1000 population, compared with 139.3 for OECD countries.
Forty-six Muslim countries contributed 1.17% of the world's science literature [in 1997], whereas 1.66% came from India alone and 1.48% from Spain alone. Twenty Arab countries contributed 0.55%, compared with 0.89% by Israel alone. The US NSF records that of the 28 lowest producers of scientific articles in 2003, half belong to the OIC.