The world's tallest skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, has closed only a month after it opened.
But even when it was open, the building was largely empty of tenants. Why was the tower built? Not for tenants and not for tourists.
Large skyscrapers and towers are often called "phallic symbols" because the underlying reasons for their construction are tied not to necessity or economics, but to salve psychological wounds and uplift sagging psyches.
Muslims have been busy lately spending oil revenue not on improving the lives of Muslims but instead erecting giant skyscrapers and mosques that look down on the smaller towers and churches of the Christian West. Not just in the United Arab Emirates, but increasingly in countries such as the UK and US.
Islamic culture has been outshone and surpassed by the West over the past millennium. Arab morale has taken a beating all these years and the oil reserves beneath their land, which need only to be brought to the surface, provide the means to enlift those ragged spirits. Giant edifices are a visual way to give the appearance of competing and besting the West at their own game. No matter that the large structures are a sham.
Hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world supported Osama bin Laden after 9/11. Finally they had won a battle against the dominant Crusaders!
And now an Islamic country builds the biggest skyscraper and, shazzam! Psychic rejuvenation for an entire culture. The submerged worry, of course, is that Muslims know they've already lost and it's all over.
But if oil fuels the worldwide Islamic ego, what happens when the wells run dry? Arab nations want to diversity their economies so they aren't so dependent on oil, but that goal remains to be attained. Can Islam sustain its place without oil? And if it can't, will Islam dry up as well? Will it shrink back to its former role before the West filled its coffers?
The Muslim skyscraper is empty and no one knows when it will open.