Question Set for Ch 6 of Hot, Flat and Crowded: Filler ‘er up with Dictators. P 111-126
1. What is the significance of the madrasah in Peshawar?
2. The information about the increase in oil export earnings in OPEC countries should not be new for you. However, note that the price of exported oil increased by more than 400% since 1998.
3. The tragedy of September 11, 2001 illuminated that “our oil addiction” is changing the “international system” in what four “fundamental” ways?
4. What is “Desert Islam”? How did the take over of Mecca’s Grand Mosque influence its spread? How has it spread during the past 30 years?
5. Note Friedman’s claim that “the most important geopolitical trend” of the Energy-Climate Era is the shift in power in the Islamic world from moderate urban versions of the faith to the “Salafi Saudi/desert centered Islam”. Some of this shift was made possible by our oil purchases from Saudi Arabia.
6. How do Middle East’s population characteristics make the conservative version of Islam especially popular?
7. With respect to democracy, societal tolerance and popular culture, what has been the trend during the past 60 years? Why?
8. Note how schizophrenic Saudi Arabia is. Their rulers are the “friends” of the US. Yet they share and support a version of Islam held by Al-Qaeda’s, an enemy of the US.
9. Greg Mortenson’s book “Three Cups of Tea” was CSU-Chico’s Book in Common a few years ago. Some of you may have read it. His account of his poorly funded school building organization’s activities in Pakistan demonstrates how overwhelming Wahhabi/Salafi/Saudi Islam’s reach is. It’s also interesting to note the split between urban/Mediterranean/moderate Islam and its rivalry with rural/desert/fundamentalist Islam.
10. What is the “good and bad news” from Saudi Arabia?
11. How has Saudi oil wealth hampered US activities in Iraq and Afghanistan?
12. How was the war in Lebanon in 2006 evidence that Saudi Arabia is not the only OPEC country whose oil wealth funds terrorism?