How do we put it right?” This question should be directed to the Muslim “Ulamas,” “Imams,” “Muftis,“ for two overriding reasons. First, it is they who largely bear the brunt of terrorism and occupation, and secondly, because their terror ideologues have virtually succeeded in creating a brutally fanatic and atavistic “Radical Islamic Theology” that threatens the safety and well-being of the entire Muslim community of the world, endangers the life of all the minorities in the Muslim lands, puts to risk Christian/ non-Muslim women in the Muslim lands for being treated as sexual slaves or forcibly converted and married off to terrorist spouses. All such acts of naked aggression absolutely violates the Qur’anic commandments.
Strange as it may seem, “American Muslim Leaders,” as well as Islamic scholars around the world continue to appear on the international media to talk about the so-called “Radical Islamic Ideology,” to practically no avail so far. One way or the other they try to link it with political events, but never want to discuss about the rippled effect of the teachings of the three Islamic scholars, Sayyid Qutb, Abul A’la Maududi, and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who were totally responsible for the creation of the deadly ideology of “Political Islam” of this era. Without a doubt, “Political Correctness,” is a mental disease of those who assume the leadership role. Hence, when it comes to the insulting remarks against religion of Islam and Qur’an, the leader has to stand tall and honestly confess to what has gone wrong with “The Minds of the Muslim Terrorists.” The truth of the matter is, the “Muslim Intelligentsia,” both in the Islamic countries and in the Western countries must do, is to come to terms with the ultimate reality as accurately pointed out by Norman Cousins, an American political journalist as follows:
“Living in this new world does not mean we ignore the existence of threatening
ideologies. It simply means we have to fashion new ways to compete with these
Ranting and raving about “Islam is the religion of Peace,” will not suffice. The first and foremost task of American Muslim leaders must be to use their own “Moral Compass,” to enlighten their fellow humans hailing from different faiths and not act as “Speech Police,” to silence those who give their constructive criticism about the irrational and murderous behaviors of the followers of Islam. Muslim leaders who are living in the Western world should encourage their own fellow “Moderate Muslims,” to speak up in order to collective set the record straight about the teachings of Qur’an. The biggest tragedy that struck the Islamic world has been the irresponsible behavior of sane and educated Muslims not to get involved in courageously debating about competing ideologies. What is more saddening is that most of the educated Muslims living in the Western countries shy away from defending their own Qur’an from those who vehemently criticize it.
Islamic preachers like Dr. Zakir Naik from India are greatly responsible to brainwashing millions of ordinary Muslims not only in India and Pakistan, but also in the Middle East with supremacist, exclusivist and even triumphalist notions about Islam and a separate global identity and culture of the Muslims – a culture that draws its inspiration from the past achievements of Islam and thus remains retrogressive, rather than progressive. This detracts from the universal message of the Qur’an that is inclusive and progressive: it commands the Muslims to get to know people of other faiths and collaborate with them in all good and lawful pursuits. In the global society of this era, this exclusivist ideology is alienating the Muslims from the mainstream societies in practically all non-Muslim countries and increasingly marginalizing them in all developmental fields.
Regrettably, the so-called “Stealth Jihadists,” and the closet followers of Sayyid Qutb and Abul A’la Maududi are right in the midst of the western society, more so from the older generation who migrated to the western countries with entrenched political orientations. Though, these individuals are smaller in number in the western countries, and much larger in number in the Islamic countries, but they do try to maintain their rigid and inflexible thinking in order to satisfy their usual “Islamic Supremacist” ego.
Truthfully speaking, the most disappointing lot are the “Rich & Upper Middle-Class,” and also, the highly “Intellectual Elite Class” of Muslims have forgotten the crux of the Qur’anic message out of their “Indifference” attitude towards their own religion. They simply shrug off when reminded about their civic and moral responsibilities and stay “Aloof,” by conveniently forgetting one of the most important Qur’anic verses:
“Let there be a group among you who call others to good, and enjoin what is
right, and forbid what is wrong: those who do this shall be successful.”
Surah: Al-Imran (The Family of ‘Imran) – Chapter: 3 – Verse: 104
There is no doubt that it is these group of Muslims who are greatly responsible for allowing the evil to creep into their communities and/or societies. They have remained concentrated only on accumulating wealth, and are consumed by the glitter and glamour of life: busy attending parties, buying the most expensive things, most flashy cars, owning properties, and having good time and are a least bit bothered about helping to raise the awareness of following God’s commandments which is spelled out in black and white in the Qur’an. Such Muslims have proven beyond a shadow of doubt that they are extremely selfish and utterly hesitant to defend the name of Islam. Their ignorant attitude towards demonization of Islam by its terror outfits has always been, “Why bother?” It is safe to assume that such “Selfish Mindset” is triggered mainly because of the teachings obtained from their neighborhood “Mullahs,” who taught them, “To Each His Own & Hell With The Rest.” No wonder that other countries have to get involved in the Islamic countries to punish the “Merciless Terrorists & Ruthless Barbarians.”
“Moral Decadence,” is so widespread that many educated and wealthy Muslims priority have become addicted on how fast to make quick money and how to land in the “Heaven,” by making numerous rounds to Mecca and Medina to pray for their own “Self-Salvation.” People of the world should stop asking, “Where is the Muslim world’s, Dr. Albert Schweitzer, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Vaclav Havel, Bill Gates, and what not?” An immoral state of affairs is reigning throughout the Islamic countries. No one is bothered to look into the mirror and do some introspection of their own shortcomings. “Blame America,” for anything that goes wrong will be the final answer which most of them will gleefully pass on to one another. Yet another Qur’anic verse from Surah: Al-Rad (Thunder) which the “Muslim Intelligentsia,” “Elite Class,” and “Rich and Upper-Middle Class” deliberately do not take into account is as follows:
“God does not change the condition of a people’s lot, unless they change what
is in their hearts.”
Surah: Al-Ra’d (Thunder) – Chapter: 13 – Verse: 11
For long, the Muslim “Ulamas,” “Imams,” “Muftis” have successfully managed to freeze the minds of ordinary Muslims by telling them to “Ignore Intelligence.” They have been largely successful in discouraging countless millions of Muslims not to use their own reading skills and never encouraged them to learn the meaning of Qur’anic verses. The usual scare tactic of telling the ordinary Muslims that they cannot understand Qur’an without learning in-depth about the “Islamic Secondary Sources” has resulted in what one can call a herd of “Thoughtless Devotees” with no clue about the actual commandments of God.
Unfortunately, the present day preachers who far surpass the traditional preachers in their knowledge of the Qur’an and comparative religions, have not been able to imbue their audience with creative thinking and so the Muslim mind remains locked within religious four walls and practically all Muslim discourses and icons are Islamic. This alienates them from the others in the global society of this era where Muslims and non-Muslims live side by side, share common offices, work places and social, cultural, political and public domains.Talking about “Pluralism” is indeed good. It represents the essence of the Qur’anic message on international relations and can enable the Muslims to integrate with the others in this globalized world, and its advocates are doing a commendable job. But any narrative on pluralism will ring hollow in the ears of the Western audience who are growing increasingly suspicious about the character and divinity of Islam. Instead, the focus should be on the universal message of Qur’an – its emphasis on good deeds, Taqwa (moral uprightness), justice, equity, fair-play, protection of women, the poor and minority, good inter-faith relations and other universal virtues. These fundamental principles and commandments of the Qur’an that constitute its essence must be openly debated with those who are known to be an avowed “Muslim Bashers.”