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Loan-A-Thon Dates:
January 1+2 (New Years)
April 1+2 (April Fools)
July 1+2 (near Muhammad Yunus' birthday and many national sovereignty celebrations)
October 31+November 1 (Halloween)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

We are 50% of the way to our year-end goal of $50,000

We are currently the group with the most members and we have now raised $25,000 in loans in less than a month. We are doing great work for the world. I only wish that there were more available loans so we could explode our team in size.

Right now I'm listening to Creating a World Without Poverty by Muhammed Yunus which I downloaded from He is the Noble Peace Prize winner in 2006. He started the whole low-cost micro finance industry, decades ago, by setting up Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. I found it interesting that in order to receive a loan from the bank you had to agree to a set of ethical values (approx 15 of them) and join a borrowing team. One of those values is to put your children in school. Since Islam does not promote educating the young in anything but the Koran, Yunus has cleverly realized that to get people out of the grips of poverty that people need to work together and educating children is a central goal.

Update: The ethical values I was referring to in the post from Yunus' book are called "The Sixteen Decisions".

Decision #7 is: We shall educate our children and ensure that they can earn to pay for their education.


Kaylea said...

I'm curious on what you base your comment about Islam -- it's not my experience that this is true.

Tropical Pete said...

I've read the Koran cover to cover and there is nothing in there (although I cannot remember it verbatim) about educating people about the world or about facts, etc. The focus is on teaching people about God and the Koran which is essentially about how people should behave and none of those promoted behaviors is scientific discovery.

In some of the Islamic world like Egypt, Iraq (Mesopotamia) and Iran education was part of the culture and civilization before Islam took over. Islam itself does not specifically promote educating people on facts so in parts of the world where they hold closely to the values of the Koran (Afghanistan, Bangladesh) the importance of educating the youth gets dropped as a priority.

In Afghanistan where they have a fundamentalist version of Islam they teach the boys about the Koran and don't even bother to teach the girls anything. Of course, this has changed slightly with Western intervention.

The ethical statements I was referring to in the post from Yunus's book are called "The Sixteen Decisions".

Decision #7 is: We shall educate our children and ensure that they can earn to pay for their education.

Clearly the underlying Islamic portions of the culture were not stressing the importance of education.

Also, during the first few hundred years of the Islamic empire the old culture of education and studying and referencing Greek philosophy resulted in a lot of scientific discoveries but when an Islamic jurist, about 1000 years ago, made a religious ruling that it was blasphemy to reference the atheist Greek philosophers people became afraid to pursue the sciences and there was no material in the Koran to challenge that Islamic ruling which is why the Islamic world is behind the West nowadays.

Thanks for the comment.


Unknown said...

I had never considered how a given nation that is very orthodox or conservative in how close they follow the Koran (ie Afganistan) and how poor their education is.

When I run in my mind how closely any country holds to the Koran and how well they educate themselves...the corelation is nearly perfect.

You may argue that Saudi Arabia has a fairly high litteracy rate etc.. I would point out that you must count the fact that 50% have nearly no chance at education (women) right of the top.

Another point that enlightened me (and I thank you for) was the jurist ruling that sepperated the islamic world from science and research 1000 years ago.

I read alot about the Ottoman Empire and early Persia. I could never before understand why they went from discovering nearly everything important for centuries (nearly eclipsing Chineese and European innovation) then suddenly fell silent. From the Hanging Gardens to modern day Baghdad.

For me this is the true poison of reigion. A great people were stifled and robbed of there intellectual inheritance by one man who had "visions"

All the big 3 Monotheisms' did the same thing to their people in one way or another.