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The Roots of Muslim Rage

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There can be no higher law in journalism than telling the truth and shaming the devil.

Walter Lippman

At no stage in modern Indian history have Muslims been put to such a stern test. Every action was viewed through a suspicious lens, and even good work was viewed negatively or was deftly airbrushed. The mainstream narrative continues to be orchestrated to pigeonhole the entire community into stereotypical templates of fanatical, undisciplined, conspiratorial, and unpatriotic Muslims.

Over a thousand years of rivalry and conflict, from the crusades to the Suez crisis and beyond, have created a widespread unease towards anything to do with Arabs or Muslims. The marvelous spread of this religion is a mystery that never ceases to stimulate the mind to new inquiry. How was it that in the short space of a century, the Arab tribes, before always at war among themselves, should have been united into an irresistible power and have conquered Syria, Persia, the whole of Northern Africa, and Spain? And with this religious outbreak, this great revival of Monotheism in Asia, there also came as remarkable a renaissance of learning, which made the Arabs the teachers of philosophy and art to Europe during a long period. Arab Spain was a focus of light while Christian Europe lay in mediæval darkness

History tells us that politics plays a vicious role when there is a clash between truth. Society has paid a heavy price for allowing politics to have its sway. We should grow wiser from the lessons of history. Let history not repeat itself. Let us not play with precious human lives.

The struggle exists because the West has mastered the problem of reconciling religion and freedom, while several Middle Eastern nations have not. The story of that mastery and that failure occupies several centuries of human history, in which one dominant culture, the world of Islam, was displaced by a new culture, that of the West.

Reconciling religion and freedom has been the most difficult political task most nations have faced. It is not hard to see why. People who believe that there is one set of moral rules superior to all others, laid down by God and sometimes enforced by the fear of eternal punishment, will understandably expect their nation to observe and impose these rules; to do otherwise would be to repudiate deeply held convictions, offend a divine being, and corrupt society

In furtherance of these views, Queen Mary executed 300 Protestants, England and France expelled Jews, Ferdinand and Isabella expelled from Spain both Moors and Jews, the Spanish Inquisition tortured and executed a few thousand alleged heretics, and books were destroyed. Scholars threatened for advancing theologically incorrect theories.

Islam was a vast empire stretching from western Africa into Indiaan empire that valued learning, prized scholars, maintained great libraries and preserved the works of many ancient writers. But within three centuries, this greatest civilization on the face of the earth was in retreat, and the West was rising to produce a civilization renowned for its commitment to personal liberty, scientific expertise, political democracy, and free markets.

Freedom of conscience has made the difference. In an old world where the knowledge came from libraries and scientific experiments were rare, space would not be so important. But in the new world, knowledge and all that it can produce come from the sharp challenge of competing ideas tested by standards of objective evidence. In Istanbul, Muslims printed no book until 1729, only occasionally after that. By contrast, the West became a world in which books were published three centuries earlier and where doubt and self-criticism were important. Of course, doubt and self-criticism can become, as William Bennett has observed, a self-destructive fetish, but short of that calamity, they are the source of human progress.

Islamist extremism is today the world’s most potent revolutionary political force. It has transmuted in recent decades but is a tenacious ideology and shows no sign of going away. The Islamist worldview has been transmuting in almost every sphere of life, and the quietists are getting eclipsed. As the French academic Olivier Roy has written, this; has been as much about the Islamisation of radicalism as it was about the radicalization of Islam.

In a climate where we are constantly warned about a ‘clash of civilizations’ and the West’s strategy of perpetual war with Muslim countries, there is a fundamental need to dehumanize the ‘enemy.’ The overemphasis on the Muslim man’s perceived misogyny overshadows the complete lack of scrutiny of the West’s oppression against Muslim women. The strategies being pursued by the so-called Western brigade of women’s emancipation are a part of the ideological war that is going on between neo-colonial elements in the West and Islamic societies. The aim is not to emancipate the women from presumed slavery but to reinforce Western imperialism and mobilize consent for the ongoing wars against Muslim countries. The West appears to have gone too far in its attempt to achieve gender neutrality. While it is politically correct to readdress inequality prevalent in traditional practices, a worldwide gender-neutral society is a dreadful idea fraught with severe consequences. Such an artificially attained sameness between boys and girls can be a dangerous experiment.

We have bared religion of its humanist content, compassion, piety, tolerance, and fairness and reduced it to a rigid set of social codes and practices considered the only valid credentials for attaining salvation. Fake religious leaders have adopted the responsibility of collective salvation, freeing humanity of its individual moral and spiritual accountability.

We need to understand Islam from its primary scriptures and not from secondary sources, which are unfortunately prone to misinterpretations or represent a school of thought. Religion has truly been denuded of its humanist content and reduced to a rigid set of social codes. Fake religious leaders have appropriated the responsibility for collective salvation, freeing individuals of moral and spiritual accountability. but those who their scriptures have rightly guided understand that such extraneous ideas can never be accepted as substitutes. The sanctity of the original noble ideas will continue.

The only lasting solution will be to liberate society from man-made religion and return to the pristine message of the scriptures. These scriptures had a simple, straightforward, and plain-speaking message for all humanity, which got distorted at the hands of the modern tools of so-called intellectual sophistry and sterile polemics. We need to sanitize not just our bodies and our environment but also our mind and intellect.

We have bared religion of its humanist content, compassion, piety, tolerance, and fairness and reduced it to a rigid set of social codes and practices considered the only valid credentials for attaining salvation. Fake religious leaders have adopted the responsibility of collective salvation, freeing humanity of its own individual moral and spiritual accountability. We need to think and act at our level and abandon this trend of seeking salvation in herds if we want to achieve our moral redemption. This is the distilled essence of all divine revelations.

History tells us that politics plays a vicious role when there is a clash between truth. Society has paid a heavy price for allowing politics to have its sway. We should grow wiser from the lessons of history. Let history not repeat itself. Let us not play with precious human lives.

The Divine books are the work of an infallible God, but human-mandated practices that have shrouded the original divine message are products of the minds of fallible human beings. This is the root cause of misunderstanding about religions and the wrong beliefs that abound in adherents, most illiterate or intellectually incapable of comprehending the scriptures.

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