Concept of fundamentalism is alien to Islam

Concept of fundamentalism is alien to Islam
In Islam, there is no such thing which justifies ignorance, murder and religious intolerance. Islam seeks the well being of all mankind.

Islam seeks the well-being of all mankind and encourages people to resist against tyranny, persecution and exploitation.

By Khwaja Mohammed Zubair

Published: Sun 12 Jul 2015, 8:58 PM

Last updated: Mon 13 Jul 2015, 10:30 AM

Islamic fundamentalism is a misnomer. It is an excuse of the West and some other countries to camouflage their own inhumanity. It is a propaganda of the West to save the face of its civilisation - a civilisation that has lost its morality somewhere in the darkness of materialism.
Indeed, there is an Islamic renaissance, which is a movement against the exploitative legacy of colonialism and the double standards of the West.
Since the collapse of the Soviet empire and the end of cold war, the prophets of doom are in desperate search of a new enemy.
Among such souls is Samuel Huntington, who after the demise of communism, has devised a theory of the "clash of civilizations".
In this theory, he endeavours to prove that the conflict in the future would be civilisational, neither economic nor political. It would be conflict between the West and the rest. He further argues that most probably the future conflict would emerge out of the faultlines of Islamic and western civilisations. In the wake of this hypothesis, western media has launched a full-fledged campaign to malign the image of Islam. It is equating Islam with ignorance, intolerance, fanaticism, anti-science and anti-education. According to their doctored version, Islam promotes holy war against all those who are non-Muslims, Islam is against human rights, democracy and all the good under the sun.
However, the reality is quite contrary this belief; there is no fundamentalism but an Islamic renaissance. Almost all the Muslim countries either remained under colonial rule or remained backward in the race of modernism only due to the ignorance of their rulers. Today, these socially and economically crippled societies are trying their best to improve their lot.
However, in their desire to reform their societies by doing away with colonial legacy and the mediaeval heritage, they face the opposition of groups with vested interest that control the levers of power.
Then there are other cases also where Muslims are neither fighting against innocent people nor waging war against the West. They are simply fighting for their freedom, which is their basic right under any modern law. It is the religious bias of the West that it has turned its back on the just causes of these people.
Another important fact which needs to be understood is that concept of fundamentalism, as the West depicts, is alien to Islam. In Islam, there is no such thing which justifies ignorance, murder and religious intolerance. Islam seeks the well being of all mankind.
However, it empowers people to resist against tyranny, persecution and exploitation. Following verses of the Holy Quran negates the West's version of Islam.
"Those who do not observe and understand are worse than cattle." (Quran 7:179)
"There is no compulsion in religion." (Surah Al-Baqra)
"With you is your religion and with me is mine." (Surah Al Kafiroon)
"Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you. But transgress not, Lo! Allah loveth not transgressors." (Surah Al-Baqra, Verse 29)
These and many other verses of the Holy Quran fully establish the tolerant, progressive and humanitarian posture of Islam, which is, indeed, a religion of peace.
As against Islam, the concept of fundamentalism is a concept of the of West. It stands to reason that in ancient and mediaeval age, the Catholic Church played a detestable role in the West, most particularly in the European society. No one was allowed to think freely.
The authority of church was absolute and unquestionable and controlled all the aspects of life in Europe at that time. It was because of the anti-science attitude of the church that the West came to believe that religion and science were antithesis.
Truth to mediaeval western societies was nothing more than what the church decreed.
This led them to ignorance, stagnancy and retrogression. It was only after the renaissance and reformation movements of sixteenth century in Europe that the role of church stood reformed and redefined. Since then, the religion has been declared as the private matter of every individual. It is, perhaps, this reason why many dispassionate scholars of modern age such as Robert Briefault in his book, "Making of Humanity", William Draper in "History of Intellectualism in Europe", M.N. Roy in his "The Modern World", and T.W. Arnold in "Preaching of Islam", fully acknowledge the role which Islam played in European renaissance.
As fundamentalism has its roots in the western civilisation, so is modern terrorism. The need of the hour is to make this century a century of true human civilisation by building bridges of cooperation and developing respect for the genuine demands and the just causes of all.
No "ism" nor any cult or notion of "I", "You", and "They" but strong sense of "We-ness" is the answer to the problems of mankind today. (Excerpted from the writings of Javed S. Jiskani)
(The writer is a former staffer of Khaleej Times)

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