Recently, the President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, dismissed President Trump as just a “tradesman” who lacked the qualifications to handle political and international affairs. At face value, the criticism might sound similar to that of an opposition party alleging that Trump lacks political experience. Coming from an Islamic leader, however, it reflects a much deeper meaning: on how differently the Islamic culture views the work ethic and the means of acquiring wealth.
Although there are many Muslims who work tirelessly and are immensely successful, Islamic culture in general has little respect for manual labor and even for business owners. People who engage in legitimate “trade” for a living are often viewed with scorn or as “having” to labor for a living.
Historically, Islamic society has given the highest respect and wealth not to the innovators or hardest workers; rather, is usually been bestowed on the ruling class, their families and associates. After the ruling class, the highest respect and wealth is given to the jihadist class, or military leadership class.
According to the Koran and the example of Muhammad, the spoils of war (acquired wealth through jihad) is to be given to the jihadists. Jihadists need to be kept busy against the outside world at all times to expand or maintain the power of Islam. Otherwise, the jihadist or military class might turn against the leadership and Islamic system itself. Congress recently pulled more than $300 million a year from the Palestinian Authority that the US was paying in a “pay to slay” arrangement that incentivized murder — a “jobs program”.