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Muslims Need Serious Self-Criticism

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Galym Zhussipbek     Permalink
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If anyone, including Muslims, follows the news, s/he would probably say "something wrong is happening with Muslims". The violence, specifically perpetrated in the name of Islam by either the states or groups or individuals against "others" is ramping up; various Muslim communities have become engulfed in inter-and intra-community fighting.[tag]

From flickr.com/photos/93416311@N00/6928840425/: Suffa Tul Islam Central Mosque, Horton Park Avenue, Bradford
Suffa Tul Islam Central Mosque, Horton Park Avenue, Bradford
(image by Tim Green aka atoach)
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Anyone having some knowledge of Islam cannot help but be puzzled: Why do a number of Muslims let themselves be led by raw emotions, failing to subdue them by reason and compassion? Why do many Muslims entrap themselves in a kind of psychological prison of hatred, revenge-seeking, not behaving like Prophet Muhammad?! Why do we Muslims in these days assign ourselves a task to be like Angel "Guardians of Hell"? Why are Muslims so jealous about the infinite mercy of God?! Paradise is not their monopoly, but God's, who is the most of the most Compassionate.

Why do many Muslims focus on certain "situational" and "contextual" provisions but not on "universal and fundamentals" that speak of the basic values common to all humanity like peace, mercy, compassion, sacredness of life, security and justice? Why do many Muslims tend to interpret religious texts, not in the light of these universal principles, but dwelling on purely normative, specific details, predisposed to interpret Islam according to their narrow ethnic, clannish or sexist inclinations?! Was not Islam, like any other Godly religion, sent as a good tiding to revive, to make happy, but not to kill, frighten and make people feel depressed? Even the name Islam is a derivative of the root "peace" and Prophet Muhammad called "A Mercy to All Worlds". Did not the most heterogeneous societies in history appear in Muslim lands when Muslims were most powerful? Were not Delhi, Bukhara, Saray, Damascus, Baghdad, Istanbul, Granada the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, long before London, New York, Paris?

Would contemporary Muslims allow a group of believers of another religion to perform their religious duties in a mosque?" Probably not. But Prophet Muhammad not only invited a Christian delegation to worship in a mosque but also allowed them to stay there for several days.

Can today's Muslims, like Prophet Muhammad and his companions, not focus on the insults, humiliations, offenses committed against them, even the killings of their families, friends, compatriots, neighbors, but at least sincerely pray, so that the perpetrators of such crimes can find a true path and salvation?! It is an axiom of the Islamic creed that the Prophet Muhammad not only did not focus on atrocities committed against him and his loved ones but did his best so that all bitter enemies could find a true path. Why do many Muslims radiate a kind of racism, chauvinism, whereas this is totally beyond Islam as it is a defamation of God to create a particular group of people? Why are corruption, nepotism and injustice so widespread in Muslim-majority countries that in the Global Islamicity Index not a single Muslim country is in the top twenty-five? Was it not it the Islamic civilization that laid the foundations of modern sciences and technology, jurisprudence and 'good/accountable governance', fair market economy and social-welfare? Why are many Muslims so eager to establish supposedly Islamic regimes that in reality haven't even reached the level above "sectarian", in an ideology- sect-, clan-based, mind-set often limited to "sectarian" approval? Does the Quran order the establishment of a so-called Islamic state or political regime?

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However, it must be courageously admitted that manycalamities befell us -- Muslims are only the symptoms of a serious disease that has struck our inner world, in other words the root cause of all problems is in ourselves, in the lack of genuine spirituality, good faith and morality. The situation is exacerbated by the tendency to search for the reasons of the current gloomy situation not where it is necessary but by invoking vague "conspiracy theories".

All in all, contemporary Muslims urgently need serious self-interrogation. The meaning of the message of Islam is surely bigger than such problems as occupied lands, abducted governments and resources or hurt honor and dignity. It is high time for all Muslims, and particularly their leaders, to communicate non-contentious, human rights-centered, universal interpretations of Islam. Why not denounce transforming Islam into a political ideology or and ideology of resistance, and instead encourage Muslims to play responsible role in the life of their countries and serve the people regardless of who they are? Indeed, Islam is the religion the people with a sound heart, emotions and intellect, a high sense of responsibility, unbounded love and mercy, as was said by the Prophet Muhammad "a community of mercy". Was not it Islam that elevated yesterday's barbarians to the great teachers of humanity?!

First published by the Independent Op-Ed, August 22, 2014,

http://www.independentoped.com/2014/08/22/muslims-need-serious-self-criticism/

(Article changed on June 28, 2015 at 10:17)

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Independent scholar based in Almaty (Kazakhstan), a faculty member at Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Suleyman Demirel University in Almaty and a non-residential research fellow at the Rethink Institute, Washington, DC. (more...)
 

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