Why Critical Scrutiny of Islam is an Utmost Necessity!
By Syed Kamran Mirza
Islam, the last shackle of freedom for mankind is under tremendous scrutiny throughout the world. Muslims in general react violently when they find Muslims or non-Muslims critiquing Islam. Most Muslims blame the critic for singling out Islam and they claim Islam is the most tolerant and peaceful religion. Some of them immediately utter the one and only Quranic tolerant verse in their memory: No compulsion in religion…..(2:256). Others try to rationalize Islam by saying: “every religion is equally culprit or bad, so let’s not talk or criticize any religion”. Unfortunately, I never can agree with this notion. To me all may be bad but some are worst than the other. All diseases are bad, but some are more dangerous/lethal than the other. Likewise, all religion may be bad, but according to me Islam is the worst as per the negative affect to the individual level or society in general. Another most important point to consider is most religions except Islam have become outdated or dysfunctional today, i.e. their lethal effects are mostly absent or in dying condition. All other religions except Islam only have the old scars and nothing else. Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism etc. have lost their sharpness or effectiveness to the society or state, although they may still exist at the personal level. All most all Christian/Hidu/Jews etc. dominated countries are democratic and most of all they all have secular Government. Therefore, their vices are not effective today to the society. We can say that mostly they have reformed and replaced by secular Government. Truly, they are the thing of the past today. We can not and should not blame the past happenings due to Christianity or Hinduism. We can not cite an example of “Sati-dah” (widow burning) which was stop by law century ago. We can not compare crusader’s activities which was gone several century ago. But this is not the case with Islam. Islam is rather rejuvenated at the modern day period. Muslims are going backward all over the world. Today, Islam/Muslims has become a dangerous burden for modern civilize society of every country or Govt. throughout the world. In every Muslim countries—fundamentalist Muslims are at constant war to capture state power. Because Islam strongly disbelieve separation of state and mosque. Not even one Muslim country has secular Government. All most a dozen Muslim countries have strict Islamic Government ruled by Shariat of 1400 year old. Rest of the all Muslim countries have it’s government directly influenced by some degree of Shariat. Religion Islam has become the most negative factor for the advancement of every Muslim country in the world. Just look at the political and social condition of Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia and other Muslim dominated country of the world. Even where Muslims are minority (such as Philippine) they are fighting relentlessly to capture political arena of the country.
Islam is the only religion on earth which claims:
Islam is the religion of peace, it is the only God given religion, purely given/came from God, Allah’s Mona-nitta Dharma (selected religion), every words of Qur’an are God’s word, Quran is full of all knowledge that mankind ever needs, Quran is full of Scientific knowledge, Quran has answers to all the human problems, Quran is the way of life for all mankind, Qur’an is the best code of life for all mankind etc. etc. Orthodox Muslims fanatics even go one step further by claiming: After the arrival of Qur’an from God, all other previously evolved religions have been declared by God –Null & void. That is, entire human beings of this planet should embrace Islam. And there are wide beliefs among the orthodox as well as illiterate Muslims that, someday all the inhabitants of this planet will convert to Islam. All those fanatics, (such as Osama-Bin-Laden) engaged in Jihad/Holy wars are devoted their entire energy to achieve this cherished objective and they are in a hurry to build the final success which will bring them paradise as a reward from Allah for their good job.
Historical effects of religion:
Religion makes a person closed minded and lazy. Religious person usually develops very narrow vision and devoid of free thinking. Religion is anti-technology, anti-science, anti-women and sometimes can be dangerously anti-human. Recent Taliban Government’s hilarious and cruel activities are good example what a religion can do to a nation. Women rights are greatly hindered primarily because of religion. In brief, religion is one of the important cause of a nation’s backwardness in every spheres of life. Past history of Europe and western world as a whole is the bright example to judge this truth. Starting from 4th century till 13th century, entire Europe was ruled by a strict religious decree/code of Christianity by Holy Roman Empires and later by various Kings as representatives of God on earth. Entire Europe was submerged/plunged in religious dogma, intolerance, devoid of humanity, (reminiscent of dark days of Europe can be seen in present day Iran, Afghanistan etc) and was backward, undeveloped, desperately poor until the great revolution of Renaissance took place in the 13th to 16th century? Technological revolution was not possible ,as long as, religious orthodoxy remained full fledged. Because quite obviously, religion is always anti-technology and anti-science. Europe under the theological autocrats believed that, religion (Bible) already answered all human questions & inquisitiveness and nothing more to know for them. Theologians believed that, people’s chief responsibility was to pray to God and study theology, the study of God.
In Bangladesh the social phenomenon are no better than pre-Renaissance Europe.The dark shadow of religious fanaticism is a major drawback to our society today. Religion can not make man pure and honest, although very purpose of religion was to make man pure and honest. The more religious a nation, the more corrupt is the country. People of Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Sudan, and most Arab nations are devout Muslims, but all those countries are heavily corrupt/anti-human. On the other hand, all western secular and democratic countries are less corrupt and more humanitarian. Japan, China, Singapore are less or non-religious countries, and these are most honest countries of the world. Perhaps, religiosity makes man too proud of their piousness or religious person thinks that, their prayers will clear/erase their sins or at the end pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj) will clear all sins. “Beshi kare Namaj porille Allah Sha’ab mapp kare divey”(If you pray devoutly, Allah will forgive you for all sinns).
My fervent request to those who differ with me, please tell me which world religion or religions have the following:
(a) A strict dress-code for women (Hijab/Burkha), also for men, (b) strict code for food; (c) strong hatred for all other religions and segregated attitude for all; (d) women are oppressed/suppressed by puritanical sharias; (e) using left hand and petting dogs are prohibited by hadiths; (f) all kinds of amusements: music, songs, dance, TV, Radio, cinemas and games/sports are strictly prohibited; (g) In the whole world could you show me one or two countries ruling as Christian/Jewish/Hindu/Budha’s state (like shariaat of Islam in such as Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia etc.) where religious persecution and communal and sectarian fights are rampant? (h) Can you mention any religion (except Islam) has the various Jihadi organizations throughout the world, such as Hamas, Hizbullah, Horkut-ul-Jihad, Jihad-e-Ferdous etc. etc. who are fighting and killing people in the name of religion? (i) could you name one such world famous Terrorist like Osam-Bin-Laden in any other world religion? (J) Could you name any religion (except Islam) which strongly advocates to kill the people of other belief? (k) Could you give me one country where people are fighting ‘tooth and nail’ to topple their own democratic Government to establish a religious state (except Islam)? (L) could you name one country (except Muslim) where thieves, criminals, political prisoners etc. are punished by: lashing by whip (101), stoning to death, chopping heads or hands? (m) In Pakistan tens of thousands of peoples are jailed by BLASPHEMY law of the land, among them many thousands are awarded death penalty by the court. Pakistan is at the verge of falling at the hands of Talibans. My question is: could anybody assure me that when Pakistan will be ruled by Shariaat those poor convicted peoples will not be executed by stoning? (n) In the whole modern world—do we have any other religion which implements today BLASPHEMY LAWS? (o) If I declare Jesus “a son of Roman Soldier” or even “a son of bitch” shall I be under the threat of death penalty? (p) Could I do the same with Prophet Muhammad? (Q) West including America have immigrants from all kinds of religious background. Could you name any other group/groups other than Muslim having the similar problem in the process of blending with the inhabitants of host countries?
I can go on and on, and still Islamic vices will not be ended so soon. Now everything I cited should be considered current and not a past history. We are not discussing about the old scars of a disease, rather we are discussing about the acute fever of the disease. Islam’s fever is a very severe and acute, and increasing with speed. I have studied most religions thoroughly and entirely—I am yet to find another world religion having so many scriptural instructions of hate and subjugation towards other religions. Not because people hates Islam that’s why they are accusing Islam today. Because Islamic fever is effecting everybody including us those expatriates. While in the rest of the world God is gradually loosing lucrative business of the past among the Public arena, in the Muslim world God is still standing strong in the minds of general illiterate public and doing very lucrative business.
How it effects Third world countries:
In the Third world countries, religion has become a tremendous burden or manacle for most Nations. Common people are tremendously exploited in the name of religion. As a case study, let us examine how Bangladeshis are being exploited by the effect of religion. Almost 80% of Bangladeshis are strong believers and occupied by religious devoutness almost like opium addiction. Religious fanaticism is one of the most important cause of total backwardness of our nation. Here, people’s minds are mostly occupied by religious illusions (hell and heaven’s huries etc.), becomes highly superstitious, and people develop narrow/limited visions. No free thinking and no innovation/imaginations, no creativeness, hence no new discovery.
In the name of religion, most Bangladeshis are being exploited. Pirs, Mauolana and Mullahs are totally unproductive and they are simply parasites of the Nation and they live on other people’s blood. They are pure “Dharma Beboshaii” (Religious traders) and they vigorously & relentlessly exploit common religiously addicted peoples. Here, educated peoples exploit common illiterate people in the name of religion. Politicians exploit public in the name of religion. Man exploits woman in the name of religion
In Bangladesh, people spent much of their valuable time in the unproductive field like religion. Religious activities absorbs at least 30-40% of their man-hours, which could be utilized in developing works. Common people spend their considerable time, energy and wealth for religious activities.
What is my purpose?
I am not anti-religion, nor I am an atheist. But my belief in supernatural power is not the same as conventional religions. I do not believe that, somebody who does not accept Qur’an or Bible as the God’s word is necessarily an atheist. Because, I only question the proof/authenticity of god’s word, not questioning the very existence of God. Although, very reasonably I do not believe in any personal God—who rewards for good deeds and punish for bad deeds.
However, I do not believe in destroying/abolishing any religion, nor anybody can expect/claim that any religion will be destroyed/abolished from the face of the earth. General people or week-minded people will always need religion. Because, to such people, religion gives security as they believe that a divine power watches over them from above and gives protection. In fact, no major religion has been abolished from the face of the earth, but most religions except Islam have been unveiled & made less enthusiastic to the general mass. And this was possible by letting translated religious scriptures readily available to the public, by continuous analyses/criticisms by numerous intellectuals/philosophers like Charles Darwin, Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russels etc. and by eventual Secularism. It took several centuries to subdue rigorous fanatic forces of Christianity or Hinduism. Final nail was fixed by Secular Democracy. Islam needs the same treatment very badly, if those Third World Muslim countries want to prosper at all. But, unfortunately the prospect of Muslims to achieve same success like Christianity and Hinduism looks very slim for following reasons: (a) Qur’an remained non-translated and total mystery to the common Muslims almost for Thirteen hundred years. (b) Unlike Christian or Hindu intellectuals, most Muslim intellectuals remained blind-folded (more fanatic than common muslims) and still preaches divinity to the common Muslims, who never read Quran in their mother tongue. (c) Very recently, these insincere, wishful intellectuals discovered science (with the help of two western hypocrites in exchange of millions of dollars) in Qur’an just to rejuvenate fanaticism to common Muslims.
There is nothing wrong in believing in some form of religion, as long as, it remains purely personal. But I am against an “organized religion” like the Islam today. Islam is the only religion still organized unlike Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism. I am a proponent of secularism just like western world, where every religion do exists in a personal basis. People will perform religions in their personal level. No state sponsors of any religion should exist. Politics on the basis of religion should be prohibited, and no public money should be allocated/spend for the cause of any religion. Religion should remain as a private/personal matter. In order to achieve a true secularism, we should teach common people (not those educated gaan-pappi) that, everything in Quran and hadiths are not necessarily God’s words. Only this education and understanding will help establish secularism in the country like Bangladesh.