Rebirth of Reason

War for Men's Minds

Nation of Islam' and Denial of Its Killing Fields!
by Iqbal Latif

Suicide bombers have traumatized the conscience of our nation. Instead of outright condemnation of the civil society, it is intellectually fashionable to draw moral equivalence holding poor social conditions as catalyst of these acts; it is poor judgment and disregard of history. Heartless assassins removed an icon of democracy and pluralism in Pakistan, however, political expediency took over the better of national conscious, in a sorrowful display of politics over her dead body the nation imploded within. Her killers remain at large in the wilderness. Everyone else is blamed but the heartless 'extremists' who extinguish her life in prime. Their congratulatory messages are denied as fabricated, their blood lust is dismissed as response to global aggressions. The vendetta of bloodletting continues as the terrorists cherry pick their choicest victims. Imagine their delight, for killing Benazir Bhutto they remain scotfree plus have been able to create enough confusion to get the entire administration in a murky water. Conspiracy theory have finally matured to become part of national psyche.

Whenever wicked fundamentalists have taken over reins of affairs they have gone for the jugular. Extremists have a single point agenda whereby 'worldly decadence' needs to be abolished for blessings and rewards of the after world. None of devotion but their kind can gratify them, every strain of deviancy over times have its own brand of virtuous approach, these anarchists at one point have inflicted devastation on embryonic societies of Islam. They martyred three out of four righteous caliphs of Islam. For medieval ‘Assassins’ (hashishiouns) greatest warrior of Islam Salahudin Ayubi was an ‘infidel’ and did not have well enough of sacred credentials, they attacked to take his life several times. The man from 'oil rich 'Asir' or Bin Laden require no social benefits. It is about imposition of their brand of thinking on others, those who draw moral equivlance of these criminal acts are in state of denial. If 'Ayubi' was not good enough no one can ever be a good Muslim by the puritan standards of deviancy.

Let’s start calling spade the spade, whenever, tolerance has been overtaken by bigotry, blinkeredness and singularity; nations and empires have just withered away. At heart of hatred, viciousness and venomous intensity lies intolerance, bigotry and inability to ever find the enemy within. Fanaticism is an evil of a society that corrodes the elegance of any culture. It is most amazing that most of the Muslims like to refer to the ‘Golden age of Islam’ but refuse to appreciate its underpinnings! Tolerant rulers –who saw knowledge without ownership of any creed and expand knowledge to new frontiers. The lack of intellectual progress within the Muslim world suggests something is terribly wrong, their inability to point out their own weaknesses and look at history objectively instead of subjectively they have not been able to learn any lessons from their past.

Pluralism of Ideas and the prosperity of any land are intertwined. Freedom of minds and skill of intellect to ‘think the unthinkable’ is how humanity has progressed; when minds are incarcerated nothing endures. Renaissance within all three monolithic religions was built around norms of free mind; renaissance was about literature, architecture, arts and chiseling of marble to exquisite forms. David could only be created by the love of the free labor of Michelangelo an enslaved mind cannot be an artist or a creator. Enslaved man can be a revolutionary and many a enslave people have helped changed the world but their minds were free they accepted death instead of compromise with totalitarian or dogmatic despotism.

It’s appalling that with all of their oil wealth, two-thirds of the world’s poorest people live in Muslim countries? Why, in the last 20 years, have over million people died in conflicts involving intra Muslim wars? Why are democracy and the rule of law nonexistent in most Muslim states? Why most of the worst acts of terrorism do are carried out in the name of Islam? It is totally wrong to quote Baghdad and Cordoba as models of successful Islamic societies if the conditions of those model societies are today abhorred by the main body of Islam, the tolerance required just does not exist, taking history out of context is the biggest injustice that Muslims commit. A clerical state would not be ever able to address the complex problems of governance the world poses today, the separation of state from institutions of clergy is a must for any society to develop. Poverty as a part of the Islamic society is not by design but by efforts, over reliance of ‘will of Allah’ and lack of freedom leads to poverty of a nation, mental as well as physical. Loyalty to the institutions of nation beyond those demanded by the religion has torn the mind of Muslims. Muslim should be loyal to the state where he swears an allegiance and not to the creed he follows.

During the Golden Age there was particularly strong tradition of rationalists, the Mutazilites. They stressed a human being’s inherent free will countering the predestinarians, who taught that everything was foreordained. The Mutazilites carefully cultivated an ‘enlightened moderation’ and allowed for the growth of knowledge and in their active promulgation and acceptance of Science as a part of the religion doctrine they brought to the Islamic world her Golden Age.

This guidance was advanced by the renowned thinkers such as Avicenna, Al-Raazi, Al Ma’ari and Omar Khayyam; each of whom would later be remembered for the striking global contribution to the field of art, science and logic. The decline set in when the puritan Al-Ghazali began to undermine this rationalistic tradition and instead push for dogma over thought, obedience over free will and the primacy of doctrine. It was the beginning of the end as Al-Ghazali strove to put a stop to the tradition that had cultivated the greatest of the Islamic thinkers and instead stifle the unbridled creativity of the Islamic world.

Thus the civilization of Islam began to falter as ‘Destiny’ persevered over reason and logic-and Lenient ecclesiastical and priestly control once again tightened over the free Muslim people. With the will of Allah sufficing to explain everything risk no longer matter and Muslim commerce began to dramatically suffer. The banking and finance capitals that could have emerged in the coastal cities and regions of Alexandria, the Yemen and Sumatra, as rivals to Europe were stemmed in their infancy. Any belief that employs “guardians of truth’’ on shaping of landscape of intellect will implode. It is said that ‘Crutches of faith are introduced when reason sink exhausted.’ It is an paradox that when curtain of dogma was descending within the Islamic lands killing free thinking it was slowly and steadily rising in Italy and northern Europe.

A dark age within any civilization is characterized with dogmatic extremism that denies civil liberties, including freedom of religion and justice or the right to a fair trial. Golden age on the other hand is about the freedom of expression and availability of justice for the downtrodden. A society is judged not by its standards of the richest but by the way the under privileged and the poorest live. A minor renaissance within the regions under the influence of Islam can be traced but the conditions that help ‘seeds of reason’ to take roots that are essential for freethinking were just not allowed to be nurtured.

The world cannot remain hostage to medievalists, this modern fight has to be seen in its intellectual, historical and geographical context, the Islamic world today is trying to reignite its lost renaissance, this is the age of Islamic renaissance, people who are meant to cure our ills are out in the open to slaughter and maim thousands, apparently educated are mentally demented, this the age that was for 500 years escaped the region and hence helped establish a void of reason and rational. Respect of life is the first sign of an educated mind, the most important creation of providence being subject to dynamite is a work of an evil Lucifer, lets not mix it, any mind that plots to maim and kill has not evolved, it has remained stuck in medieval hatreds of the past.
Iqbal Latif writes for the Global Politician about Islam and related issues.
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