Saturday, 26 April 2008

The Islamic Renaissance - Really?

Any society that would give up a little liberty,
to gain a little security,
will deserve neither and lose both.

-Benjamin Franklin


The following was my response to the article "The Islamic Renaissance" posted on Malaysia Today.
Before I go on, I must say that the article was pretty much "balanced" and was a good read.
In giving my response to the article, please bear in mind that I do not question the validity of Islamic ideas here.
What I question is nothing more than the rhetoric of politicians who claim to be Muslims, and seek legitimacy by using Islam for their own political agendas.

The way I look at it, all religions teach ethics, which necessarily has political dimensions - but this cannot be used as a reason for politicization of religion.
The argument that "Islam is comprehensive, whereas other religions aren't" doesn't make much sense (at least, as far as I'm concerned!).
Many "Islamist" Muslim politicians and faithful stand firm on the opinion that Islamic governments, is the only way forward for them without really understanding what "Modern Statecraft" and Economics is all about - all these, while carrying plenty of Arab "cultural excess-baggage".

They tout it for the simple reason that it grants them "divine legitimacy", with a docile citizenry "cowering in submission to divine providence", while taking pride in their perceived superiority "others" who are forced to accept "handicaps" in one way or other.

"Liberty & Democracy" are often only there for show, while the reality is quite different in these dictatorships.
The rabid rhetoric of most "Muslim Leaders" against the "west" is nothing but, a manifestation of inferiority complex, anger, despair and envy over the prosperity of these nations.

Of course, there are many non-Muslim nations too, that possess and practise these very same characteristics/ "virtues". They however, have other names for it - like "Asian Values", "Guided Democracy", "Confucianism", "Communism", etc., etc., etc.
The difference here is, they do not use "religion" or trumpet the word of "God" to justify their actions - at least, not anymore ....... or not so much as seen among the Muslim populace.
However, just as much as the idea of the Islamic State is promoted, there are fundamentalist elements of many known religions (Christian, Hindu, Buddhist) that advocate theocracy - each as per their own definition, serving their own selfish interests.
As such, the opinions mentioned here, is very much applicable to chauvinistic bigots who herald the coming/rise/renaissance of virtuous theocracies of their own definitions.
So, here is what I wrote in reply:-

I really don't understand this obsession with being part of the "Islamic world", when those leaders who claim to be Muslims practise the most decadent and repressive forms of government.

These guys are the most likely to go to war today with the flimsiest excuse, are almost unable to negotiate diplomatic solutions to political problems, and are prone to emotional and egoistic outbursts, that cater to simpletons at the mercy of the clerics' (who can't think, but are excellent at reciting verses) dictates!
Their "thinkers" are more often than not, pseudo-intellectual simpletons who are spin doctors for their dictators, who enact laws at their whim and fancy (with religious justifications, of course).

Most Muslim leaders of the world are driven by their lust for glory, power and wealth - hence their lamentations and envy of the "western/ Jewish/ Christian" economies.
Modernity, Financial strenth and political might doesn't come from the money churned out from the ground - it comes from freedom, good philosophy, good governance and ethics, with respect for mankind.
These concepts are totally lost on most chest-thumping, Quran-brandishing, Gun-toting pseudo-intellectual leaders of the "Islamic World" (including Mahadey, who is idolized as a great thinker by many Muslims), where dictatorships thrive under the guise of "virtuous Islamic laws".
Freedom and Democracy are concepts that aren't quite welcome in most Muslim dominated nations - they claim to have this strange self-righteous "need" for control over the "stupid commoners", who apparently "need a psychological leash" on them.

What we see, is a large group of people who are psychologically "enslaved" by the Arab cultural domination that has used Islam as their battle-cry, in their attempt to "colonise the minds of the free world - and to establish a "Virtuous Caliphate" (whatever that means).
They covet the same wealth and power that the "western world", by using the liberties granted to them in the "west", to subvert the very culture that gives them sustainance, with "arab" tribal laws (which they claim, are superior - it beats me where they get that idea from).

Many Muslims appear to have the simplistic misconception of Islam, that to be Muslim, one has to be "Arabised" and cannot be "westernised" - thus the "anti-western" (whatever that means) bigotry.
They thrive on their rhetoric of casting the "Kufr" (especially Jews) in bad light, in one way or other, while practising the very same (or worse) sins under the veil of religiosity.
This NEEDS to be done, so as to make themselves look good, as their virtues aren't much to talk about.
Just as any man in denial, this fact is however always refuted as "fitna" of some sort.

This phenomenon is no different from "Racism" - and those who practise it suffer from nothing less than a deep seated inferiority complex.
An Islamic Renaissance?
I don't think so .... sounds more like confusion in a modern world to me.