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Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Question on Islam

Why "moderate" Muslims almost never admit that Muslim terrorists are doing acts of terror in placing their supreme faith in the Islam ?

I will explain this with a fallacy what is called the “No true Scotsman” fallacy, a fallacy of equivocation and question begging. Here it is, from Thinking about Thinking (1975), by Andrew Flew:

Imagine Hamish McDonald, a Scotsman, sitting down with his Glasgow Morning Herald and seeing an article about how the “Brighton Sex Maniac Strikes Again.” Hamish is shocked and declares that “No Scotsman would do such a thing.” The next day he sits down to read his Glasgow Morning Herald again and this time finds an article about an Aberdeen man whose brutal actions make the Brighton sex maniac seem almost gentlemanly. This fact shows that Hamish was wrong in his opinion but is he going to admit this? Not likely. This time he says, “No true Scotsman would do such a thing.”

When faced with a counterexample to a universal claim, rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the original universal claim, this fallacy modifies the subject of assertion to tautologically exclude the specific case. That is what done by liberal Muslims all over the world on the issue of Islamic terrorism.

In the debate about Islam, all the points are taken from Koran only as it is some sort of scientific journal updated to the latest version daily. No question has been raised on the authority and validity of the Koranic palms written in 600 AD. Instead of quoting Koran as a source of universal wisdom in a logical debate, Koran should be openly, freely and publicly subjected to the kind of historical and philological scholarship. Some interpret it to preach peace while others interpret it to preach hate and both the sections are convinced about their interpretations. There is such manipulation of language and such massive double standards, that goes beyond sound reasoning ground.

Few liberal Muslims often quote the Koranic verse: 'There shall be no compulsion in religion'. For a Muslim wishing to leave Islam this is simply not true. Even few victims became part of mainstream, fewer raise their concern. Most of them are done muted by institutional propaganda. Islam reveals itself as a closed system that precludes any critical thought about itself, as well as any fair and honest dealings with non-Muslims.

While all the dogmas of the religions have been suppressed by society's need to embrace materialistic needs and custom of their non Islamic neighbours, Islam has a great tendency to exclude even after hundred years of co existence in a diverse society. Islamic institution forces Muslims to go back in ghetto on the criterion of piousness and purity mentioned in Koran set as per dark ages. And there is no distinction between teachings of the Koran and the anachronistic 7th century Arabian tribal customs.

Observing a rise of radical Islam in diverse societies, Christopher Caldwell, a journalist reporting on Muslims in Europe concluded : "It was not just that young Muslims were assimilating too slowly into European culture as the generations passed, it was that they were dis-assimilating." What we are witnessing today is a shift from a Muslim to an Islamic identity. The religious self for individual Muslims is being shifted from the private to the public realm. Rather than encouraging their next generation to integrate in the society, Islamic institutes today seek to insulate them from secular values. Some of these young people become quickly radicalised, and seek clarity in the black-and-white world of religious extremism. Unfortunately, too many of them lack the education to realise that ultimately, no set of beliefs or values are inherently inferior or superior to another.

While Islamic fundamentalism is a reaction to political corruption in Islamic nations: modernizing movements failed to provide their citizens with the fruits of modernity and instead developed into authoritarian-style regimes. The only place for resistance and opposition has been the mosque. Nevertheless, the decision to oppose modernity in the form of the West is a sign of weakness.

I personally assume, Muslims as individuals capable of accepting cultural norm of others very easily and Islam as an institution going towards reform very slowly. Still question of dis-assimilation of Muslims from mainstream for separate identity remains. It will lead to coexistence of Muslims in a nervous society that suspects every devout Muslim of being a potential terrorist.


  1. "Islamic institution forces Muslims to go back in ghetto on the criterion of piousness and purity mentioned in Koran set as per dark ages."

    - Well this is not completely true. The Islamic institutions cannot force unless you have the Islamic law in place i.e. the Sharia.

    You know what the British did the best for the Indian subcontinent is to introduce the rule of law that India, Bangladesh and Pakistan inherited. Pakistan skittled away when they incorporated some Sharia elements in their constitution in 1978. And you can see the results in Pakistani society - which is on the verge of anarchy.

    The current civilization proceeded towards prosperity from the dark ages of religious killings/supremacy (think about inquisition) because the separation of church and state become reality. In many societies religion no longer have significant influence of state affairs and religion is becoming more a personal affair - some choose not to practice or just accept it as a part of culture and the compassion towards rule of law and humanity prevails.

    What we see today is that there is an insurgence of religious thoughts and ideas. Religion today is trump-card for many political parties who wants to address their agenda using religion.

    The virus is not only in Islam - we see the rise of Christian TV channels, revivalism of the empty churches across the Western world and in limited way the Hindu right-wing.

    The idea of reforming Islam or to say any religion is wrong, because then you establish the importance of religion. The best way tackle the problem (which is mostly stemming from societies implementing outdated and somewhat misinterpreted religious laws) is to confirm more separation of religion from administration and legal entities. The less the religious institutes have power and the more people are aware of their fundamental rights - we will see that no religious uprising will have effect on general people. But if Islam and Muslims are marginalized and victimized then the uprising will gain ground and make a mess.

  2. Rezwan, I was writing this article due to my observation on dissimilation of minority Muslim from society. In Islamic nation, laws are put up by the traditions and sharia. I completely agree with the separation of religion from administration and legal entities. I have more concern about their social exclusion self imposed to unite ; Check this Tehelka Coverstory ;

    When ever any reform movements come in Islam, theya re more West denouncing and self appreciating in the nature. People argue that Muslim hasn’t inherited a vacuum but has been tricked into looking to the west in the quest for its identity instead of searching for its own real historical cultural roots. Whatever we understand and enjoy in human products instantly becomes ours, wherever they might have their origin. This obsession of not to learn from any non – Muslim is deeply rooted in most of the Muslims. Every race, religion and country feels proud of achievement of his owns. Muslims are accepting others but to recognize merit and learn from non Islamic cultures will always help in the growth of Islam only.

    Far more views on Political Islam, I always rely on Nadeem F Paracha. Rezwan, please see this article as an example : <a href="</a>

    There is rise in Islamophobia in the Christian nation also. I agreee with you. But, I am more concern about Islam here. So will talk about that only.

  3. Broken Link of Dawn article: Understanding political Islam

    and one website that I used to read about progress in islamic worldDialogue with the Islamic world

    West has Latin and greek philosophers in their history on whose basis they formulated the society, philosophy and natural sciences. Christianity contribution in theological discussion is mostly negative only.

    Islamic Ulemmas don't talk about Sufism while its popular all over the non Islamic cultures. People have been converted to islam by the virtue of them, not on the verge of sword or greed of money. Nobody talk about atheist born Islam : Ibn al-Rawandi, Abu Bakr al-Razi, and the poet Al-Ma`arri. Speaking up on the basis of Koran will not popularize islam to non beleivers; No cultural roots have came without literature, art and painting. Iran has cultural depth while Saudi lacks them;

    Rezwan, cultures are dynamic in nature while preachers talk about dry and strict Islam for public. There is no growth without social forces coming together to overcome political circus of radical elements.



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