What have the Muslims done to Islam?
Cont’d from page 1
Compared with Christendom, its rival for more than a millennium,
the world of Islam had become poor, weak, and ignorant…
The author continued with a question “Who did this to Muslims?”
This is a frequently raised question in the discussion of the sad
situation facing the people in the Islamic world, and people come
up with several different answers. Some Muslims blame others for
their misfortunes, which is usually the easiest way out. Some others
blame the religion of Islam itself. But the author makes the following
If Islam is an obstacle to freedom, to science,
to economic develop-ment, how is it that Muslim society in the past
was a pioneer in all three—and this when Muslims were much
closer in time to the sources and inspiration of their faith than
they are now? Some have posed the question in a different form—not
"What has Islam done to the Muslims?" but "What have
the Muslims done to Islam?"—and have answered by laying
the blame on specific teachers and doctrines and groups.
For those known nowadays as Islamists or fundamentalists, the
failures and shortcomings of modern Islamic lands afflict those
lands because they adopted alien notions and practices. They fell
away from authentic Islam and thus lost their former greatness.
Those known as modernists or re-formers take the opposite view,
seeing the cause of this loss not in the abandonment but in the
retention of old ways, and especially in the inflexibility and
ubiquity of the Islamic clergy, who, they say, are responsible for
the persistence of beliefs and practices that might have been creative
and progressive a thousand years ago but are
neither today. The modernists'
usual tactic is not to denounce religion as such, still less Islam
in particular, but to level their criticism against fanaticism.
It is to fanaticism—and more particularly to fanatical religious
authorities—that they attribute the stifling of the once great
Islamic scientific movement and, more generally, of the freedom
of thought and expression.
It’s the corrupt Muslim religious leaders who have turned
the true religion of Islam into something virtually against what
Prophet Mohammad preached 1400 years ago.
To better understand what the Muslims have done to Islam, let
us list some of the things that “Muslims” practice
against the teachings of God and His messenger, prescribed in the
Quran (Please see the table on page 3).
Therefore, the author’s following assessment of the situation
in the “Muslim” world is indeed valid. Unfortunately,
it is the Muslims themselves who should realize what’s happening
to their great religion and should wake up from their illusions
and false pretense.
During the past few weeks the worldwide exposure given to the
views and actions of Osama bin Laden and his hosts, the Taliban,
has provided a new and vivid insight into the eclipse of what was
once the greatest, most advanced, and most open civilization in
To a Western observer, schooled in the theory and practice of
Western freedom, it is precisely the lack of freedom—freedom
of the mind from constraint and indoctrination, to question and
inquire and speak; freedom of the economy from corrupt and pervasive
mismanagement; freedom of women from male oppression; freedom of
citizens from tyranny—that underlies so many of the troubles
of the Muslim world…