world values survey

been spending a lot of time on wikipedia lately.
found this article about a survey that measures countries by their cultural values. take a look.

one comment though is that china, japan, taiwan are ranked very secular-relational, which means “These societies place less emphasis on religion, traditional family values and authority. Divorce, abortion, euthanasia and suicide are seen as relatively acceptable.” it makes sense with this statement “while in China only three percent considered religion very important” found later in the article but it’s weird when you look at the graph below and see that USA is identified as being a lot more traditional. i’m quite puzzled. whilst religion may be less common in China, i think divorce, abortion, suicide is more accepted in USA. and without a doubt, east asian countries place more emphasis on traditional family values and deference to authorities (obedient asian kids and crazy asian mothers, anyone?)

at least the east asian countries are grouped together. the list of key people of the organization also seems quite euro-centric-ignorant, further proven by the concentration of european countries in the top right corner, countries identified as secular-relational and self-expression, which i would think to be the indicators of a more developed and liberal society.

graph from wiki

File:Inglehart Values Map.svg

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misunderstandings of islams.

i’ve found myself with a lot of spare time recently so i’ve been reading a lot of articles, watching a lot of videos. and with tons of sleep, i feel like a sponge soaking up everything i’m putting my eyes on.

http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/inside_islam_what_a_billion_muslims_really_think
a documentary on the findings of Gallop poll on the general opinions of muslims on everything. here are some things to think about:

  • 57% of the islams portrayed in american media are radical militants
  • 57% of americans admit that they know very little or nothing at all about islam
  • the muslims are the only people left that America can criticize and blame and get away with. they are the scapegoats of our generation.
  • Canada, despite being very similar culturally to the states, has a much lower disapproval rating 3%, compared to 63%  of America because of the different foreign policies. (Mind you that Kuwaitis is the country which America saved during the Gulf War)
  • America set up those dictators in the Arab world twenty, thirty years ago in the first place and funded, trained them because the dictators kept the oil going and put a lid on the people
  • 9/11 is only a small motivation for the Iraq War. The real reason is decades of anti-Arab thinking.
  • What islams really think: they don’t promote violence, they think 9/11 is unjustified, they are more concerned about their security because most of the victims of violence are muslims themselves
  • Jihad is actually full of positive connotations. perseverance, struggle for change.
  • Experts, polls, politicians shouldn’t be our primary source of the voice of Islams. It should be islams themselves that we should be talking to and understand.
  • Is it that hard to believe that Islams also share the same desire for freedom, prosperity, happiness, and for the human spirit to reach its full potential.

It’s also personally frustrating that I’m always only reading and learning. What is the point if I never put it to good use? I need to do something.