July 2002: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

Page 2

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 valid points:

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 human history.

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…