This article is an introduction to my new book entitled Muslim Mechanics. Muslim Mechanics is not about Muslim mechanics, you know, people that work on motorbikes and automobiles. "Mechanics," as in Quantum Mechanics, represents a branch of physical science that studies how force, matter, and motion affect physical objects in the universe. Classical Mechanics explores the impact that simple machines like the wheel and axle, levers, the inclined plane, screws, and pulleys, have and their outcomes applied. Taking the same tact, Muslim Mechanics is the study of how Islamic policies, activities, and functions affect populations and organizations. Going even further, Muslim Mechanics looks at the functional and technical aspects of actions and determines their impact on an organizational and institutional level. On some levels, it's an anecdotal reference guide to Islam
Islam is the world's second-largest Religion, with 1.8 billion adherents. In a world of 8 billion people, Muslims make up a 22 percent market share. In the "halal economy," which measures the private consumption of Muslim individuals, the market share is only 10 percent. Muslims are making up for lost time, and you can bet this part of the economy will double in the next decade. No idea what the "halal economy" is? You better read this book to find out how these people think and believe, affecting what they buy and consume.
The Pew Research Center estimates the Muslim population in the United States to be about 3.5 million, roughly one percent. The Council of Islamic American Relations (CAIR) estimates about two percent of our population is Muslim. In Europe, Pew Research estimates France at almost nine percent, Sweden at eight, Austria at seven, Germany and the U.K. at six, Italy at five, and Spain at three percent of the national population. I quote all these numbers to stress that the Islamic population in the U.S. and Europe is growing, and I would suggest it is essential to know as much about this Religion as possible.
America is the great melting pot where all races and ethnic groups are assimilated. Muslims have not been easy to incorporate. Britain, Sweden, and France have neighborhoods sometimes called "no-go zones" because it's dangerous to go unescorted into a Muslim community. Muslims have their own rules and abide by their values which few people understand. If there were a rulebook, Muslim Mechanics would be it.
Looking behind the curtain, you will see the intricacies of Islamic laws, doctrine, and philosophy interacting like a Swiss watch. Interviews of captured Islamic State and al-Qaeda jihadists revealed that even they did not know how comprehensive Islamic (Sharia) law is. Muslim Mechanics is the first book to analyze Islamic beliefs' functions and technicalities and explain how they work to a Western audience. For example, Islamic finance is not socialist but undermines our capitalist free market and free speech society. Another first is the Product Life Cycle and the Product Growth – Market Share matrix. Both business techniques indicate where the worldwide religions are heading and what strategies they can employ. Islam is not only a religion; Muslims will tell you point-blank; it is a "way of life." By exploring the cumulative behavior of Muslims, the book will address that way of life and how it assails the fundamental beliefs we hold dear in this country.
For the most part, Muslims are rational actors. They will perform as expected if you know their values and understand their rules. I had the opportunity to teach MBA business and marketing courses in Vietnam from 2007 until 2019. Vietnam is a communist country in that they have a single political party. However, Vietnam has a market economy with an international presence. Some of my students wanted to know how to conduct business with Muslims. There are countries with lots of Muslims around Vietnam. Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and India have significant Muslim populations. Even Turkey in the E.U. is a trading partner. Vietnam is essential to the "halal economy" because they know what kinds of products Muslims want.
My investigations into Islam were along the lines of how that Religion works. What do business people need to know to do business with Muslims? Muslims are hard workers. Henry Ford imported thousands of workers from Yemen in the 1920s to build his car factories and, later, his cars. Even today, the heaviest concentration of Muslims in the U.S. is in the Dearborn, Michigan, area.
Muslims have many positives, but their Religion has negatives that you need to be aware of. They believe in a free market with restrictions. Their Prophet Muhammad and many of his Companions were traders. They believed in free trade, but there were many qualifiers and conditions on how they conducted their business and spent their profits. Their belief in democracy is weak, but they will work within the process to obtain their objectives. Just as we believe that some rights are inalienable, given by God, they believe that every behavior is subject to Sharia law which comes from God. This dissonance between their beliefs and ours can present problems if we cannot develop workarounds to meet everyone's objectives.
Thomas Jefferson studied the Qur'an because he thought it was the source of law for the Ottoman Empire, like our U.S. Constitution is for the U.S. Less than ten percent of the Qur'an content has to do with law, but two-thirds of the Qur'an is about dealing with the non-believer. After reading this book, you will understand what Sharia law is. Your knowledge about Islam will increase precipitously, and you will understand the Muslim behavior seen in the news media.
In Vietnam, most of my students knew how Islam worked. Vietnam is an international trading hub with its people exposed daily to Buddhists, Hindus, Daoism, Muslims, Catholics, and Folk religions. In the U.S., exposure to different worldly religions is limited. I found it necessary to include several chapters about how Islam links to our Bible, how Muhammad became a Prophet, how Sharia works, and what the core Islamic beliefs are. In the U.S., our civil rights history is represented by a chapter on American Islam, a form of Islam no other country has.
Only after I discussed the precepts of Islam could I discuss how to do business with a Muslim and how to understand where they are coming from. I have included chapters on Sharia law and finance, Islamic democracy, Islam compared to Christianity in terms of growth, Muslim and Jewish enmity, who the players are, and where Islam is headed.
In my blog, MuslimMechanics.com, I address specific issues, such as why Muslims don't like pet dogs but do like pet cats. Another topic I expand upon is marketing to Muslims. I cover marketing in the book Muslim Mechanics, but I go into greater detail in the blog.
This book explores Judaism and Christianity's influence on Islam, and rituals and behaviors are explained from a Western perspective. Biblical prophecies about the coming of the Prophet Muhammad and Islamic beliefs on abortion, honor killings, homosexuality, pedophilia, and the Armenian massacre are explored. One additional feature that few books address is American Islam. There is a big difference between the Nation of Islam in the United States and the Islamic Religion practiced by traditional Muslims. Many Islamic principles on law and governance were formulated during the Prophet Muhammad's lifetime and the period after, so early Islamic history is researched. There are many facets to Islam that even knowledgeable Christians are unaware of.
Most westerners believe that Islam is dangerous. I prefer to say that Islam is different. Much like high-voltage electricity, Muslims can be successful partners in the community if treated with knowledge and respect. Muslim Mechanics outlines Islam in an accessible and memorable fashion and identifies potential outcomes that Islam must adopt if the religion wants to adapt to the modern world.
Muslim Mechanics by Charles H. Brewton is available from https://www.o-books.com and from wherever books are sold.
BOOK LINK: https://www.johnhuntpublishing.com/o-books/our-books/muslim-mechanics
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