Wednesday, September 22, 2004

By Hatem Abunimeh.

I was shaking my head in utter disbelief when I read the report in the above link about the level of poverty going down in Jordan between 1997 and 2002 allegedly from 21.3% to 14.2%.Who in the right frame of mind would want to measure the poverty level based on the cost of 2314 caloric intake per person per day?!.How many person amongst us limit his/her caloric consumption to 2314 calories per day?It is either the researchers have suddenly lost their minds,or they are trying to fool the people in any way shape or form,or they want to please the government by basing a study on the assertions of the lowest possible caloric intake per person per day.There is no way on earth an average person be that an infant,a young man or woman,or an elderly person can go on day in and day out throughout their life consuming 2314 calories per day.The 2314 calories per day represent the lowest possible caloric intake a person need to sustain a viable living status.In addition,the 2314 calories must be of a balanced nutrition containing the necessary vitamin ingredients that the body needs for its survival.For example:When an obese person goes on a diet,more often than not the doctor recommends to the obese person to follow a nutritious diet based on 2314 calories per day provided that the obese person receives his daily nutrition from a licensed dietitian and not select the food on his own.Just imagine how many dietitians will Jordan need in order for those dietitians to prepare 15 million meals a day provided that a person needs 3 healthy meals a day[Jordan's population estimate stands at 5 million]??If each dietitian for example is able to attend to the needs of 10 citizens,then the entire Kingdom would need 500,000 dietitians to serve and supervise each and everyone in Jordan.In essence,it wouldn't be a bad idea since new half a million new jobs will be created as a result of putting all of the Jordanian citizens on 2314 calories intake per day.People are not stupid,they know from looking and knowing one another that the level of poverty has not gone down,if anything it has gone up,and more new people were added to the poverty line.What has changed is the method with which our researchers measure and evaluate who is poor and who is not poor based on the daily consumption of caloric 2314 intake.This is in my opinion the worst study that has come out for as long back as I can remember.The researchers should have known from the get go that the average person consumes any where from 10 to 20 thousand calories per day,and some people push it to 4 or 5 or even 10,000 calories per day.So if we, for instance, switch the caloric intake from 2314 as it appeared in the article, to say 5000 calories or 10000 calories,what would happen to all of these statistically scientific result?I tell you what would happen,it will be thrown out of the window and would become null and void.I conclude by saying that the level of poverty in Jordan by impression as well as in reality has not gone down as the research indicates.I'm willing to challenge the assumption of suggesting 2314 intake per person per day before any nutritional expert in the field diet.Put it simply,it doesn't work.The results are totally and completely flawed and manipulated
Who will carry the torch!

I agree with the Star's writer of the article: What Definition; that for all intents and purposes and when everything is said and done the burden of proof falls on our own shoulders the Muslims of the world to carry the torch that will confront the so called extremist Muslims. Moderate or conventional Muslims must demonstrate in every way shape and form that they are against the atrocities that are being committed in their name. It is an ideological confrontation,the conventional Muslims teach one thing while the extremist teach another. Bigotry, intolerance, and prejudices are not supposed to be salient traits embedded in Islam, yet, clerics in mosques time and again continue to preach intolerance and bigotry against the other monotheistic faiths. Will we wrap our arms around our waist and continue listening to their preaching of the message of intolerance while we remain silent , or will we stand up and face them head on and tell them that whatever they are preaching is being done not in our name? The problem of extremism is reaching disproportionate magnitude, silence is not going to be the best available approach. Conventional Muslims need to take a firm stand against those who are using their religion to promote their extremist agenda. The need for such an action has never been more urgent than now. The longer we wait the more the extremist will take advantage of our religion, conventional Muslims must put a stop to extremist Muslims now.
Hatem Abunimeh