I am a Christian living with Muslims in Africa, and they are quite nice people. I would expect that they should give their children special coaching, so as not to be ignorant concerning the beliefs, events, and programmes of “The Infidels,” but this is not the case.

I gave the landlady’s grandsons a computer of their own, hoping to see them make something of it. But in the past couple of years, all they can do is Hunt & Peck typing (erm, like ME!), play Unreal Tournament- poorly- and watch the abysmally intellectually void local videos. I have lent them some of my western videos, hoping they might learn something, or take an interest. The eldest boys are maybe 16 and 13 respectively, and there are about three girls, the oldest about 15, and others under 10. A couple of the younger kids 8 and 9 seem relatively bright. However, education in our country is severely dumbed down. The former military dictators did not want students who knew how to make arms and ammunition. (A asked a University-trained medical doctor a pharmacist, and an old, experienced, semi-illiterate HUNTER-used muskets and shotguns- whether they knew the composition of gunpowder: THEY DID NOT. Not a clue!)

Last week, I caught out the elder grandchild in a simple error of comprehension, that, upon investigation, escalated into a quagmire of ignorance: he, a senior secondary school student, did not know that the prefix “kilo-” denoted “thousand.” I probed further, and found that he did not know any of the other S.I. unit prefixes “mega,” “centi-” “milli,” and so on. Nor could he tell me the difference between a centimeter, a metre, and a kilometre, nor define units of length or weight. I turned to the other kids, and found that they did not know, either! Aghast, I asked their fathers how this was possible. They replied to the effect, that, “That’s just the way it is. That is how they are taught in school.” That was last week.

I was considering the problem of dubbing the new Star Trek movie into local vernacular, when a horrible suspicion hit me. I buttonholed the elder boy: “Which is bigger,” I asked him, “”The Earth, the Moon, or the Sun?” He thought about it- this mighty strange question! “The Earth,” he said seriously. I asked his cousin, “The MOON,” he answered knowingly.

Something has been at the back of my mind for years about Islam.
Bothering me. According to an Islamic booklet I read- claiming that Neil Armstrong had converted to Islam, because he heard the *Muezzin* Call to Prayer when he was on the Moon, and thought it was just some malfunction of the comm device, then on Earth, he heard the same yodelling sound when he was walking in Cairo, so, when he learned what it was, he immediately became Muslim.

The booklet said that Saudi Arabia was the only other nation to deny the Moon landing was a fact, back in 1969. It sounded silly. But now, I am not so sure. What do they THINK the Americans claim to have done?

I asked the younger boy how far away he thought the Moon was- and he thought hard for a minute, and said that he could not even guess.
Dear *INTERN,* What *SECULAR PENGUINIST* says implies, BUT DOES NOT SAY, that after Islam, the Arabs were no longer brilliant. However, The Babylonian and Egyptian empires were the beginning of serious learning long before Christ. You might remember the stories of Jospeh, prime minister of Egypt- that Middle-Eastern country with the funny stone monuments modern technology cannot duplicate, Daniel, the most prominent of the wise men of Nebuchadnezzar, who obviuosly had serious brainpower to throw around.

The most famous doctor of all time would be HIPPOCRATES. The second, GALEN. The third would be AVICENNA, who was able to stand on the shoulders of those terrible quacks, but was much more brilliant than is widely known.

Given the enlightenment of Islamic culture, I would expect that Muslims ensure that their youth would reflect at least a fraction of it.

Dear *OBEDIENT & SUBMISSIVE MUSLIM.* These are not poor kids- I pay their parents RENT. They own a minibus and a school.
Their fathers are intelligent people. But they leave the education of their children, like everyone else, up to schoolteachers. (They own a kindergarten). This does not make sense. I asked the older boy, what he thinks it means, when he passes a roadsign, and it says, “Ile-Ife: 30km” or somesuch. (He has been seeing these things all his life.) he was dumbfounded.

Most of the beggars in our cities and towns are Muslim cripples. Recently, rich men in the capital were accused, by the government (I think it was the president or someone close), of importing beggars to the capital to beg by the roadside- FOR A CUT.

Muslim businessment are the richest in the country (foreign ties across the Northern border, which is controlled by Islamic-dominated states). They could eliminate poverty, or at least illiteracy and ignorance in a heartbeat, if they chose. The main interest seems to be to indoctrinate with Islamic religious concepts, and not transfer significant knowledge at all.

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