This is a great article from al-Watan Voice, in which the author makes a passionate plea for a turn to secularism in the Islamic world. He concludes that a moderate Muslim and an extremist Muslim are not really very different from each other, as a moderate can transform into an extremist or terrorist “in a single night” of studying the Qur’an or attending studies at the mosque. He also challenges his readers to think of any good inventions or scientific discoveries to come from the Muslim world in the past few hundred years. He’s right on with almost all of this, but of course bringing this up in the West will result in you being branded an Islamophobe or put on trial for hate speech. Link to original Arabic.
“Yes” to Secularism
by Dr. Majid al-Balushi
al-Watan Voice, 25 February 2010
…the extremist Muslims [say] “I require you to comply with my demand, which is that you believe in my God, or pay me money (the jizyah), or I cut off your head.” They resort to Qur’anic verses such as “the verse of the sword,” which is the twenty-ninth verse from Surat “al-Tauba” (the 9th sura): “Kill those who believe not in Allah nor the last day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and his messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of truth, from among the peole of the book, until they pay the jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”
This is also called the verse of the “jizyah” by some commentators. It is also the verse which abrogates all the verses which call for peace and understanding with others i.e. non-Muslims. In their view, it is a requirement to apply the command of Allah, which is what our brother, Sheikh Osama bin Laden, may Allah lengthen his life, is trying to do. Also not only the Taliban and al-Qa’ida and other groups, but this is indeed the hope of every Muslim faithful to his religion, whether he be a moderate or an extremist Muslim.
The truth is that the difference between the moderate Muslim and the extremist Muslim is quantitative and not qualitative. In other words, a moderate Muslim can change into an extremist Muslim or terrorist in a single night, provided he delve deeper into Qur’anic verses, especially the verse of the sword, and the prophetic ahadith (sayings) calling for fighting and jihad in the path of “establishing the word of truth.” Or by attending the “principles of fiqh” or “studies of fiqh” which are held in mosques normally after the evening prayers. It is here that attendees are brainwashed with a list of Qur’anic verses and prophetic ahadith and books of Islamic jurisprudence, and more, related to what is halal and haram, to apostasy and jihad… and the torment of the grave and the horrors of the hell-fire…and the Houris (wide-eyed women of paradise that will be given to the believers). A good example of what we speak of is one of our grandchildren and his father. For this grandchild, whom I loved dearly, was a moderate Muslim. However he was also a devout Muslim, believing in Allah and praying the five daily prayers, and fasting during the month of Ramadan. He didn’t enter into politics or the state at all initially, but then he joined the group “principles of fiqh” and drank in their extremist religious ideas. He grew a beard and shortened his clothes, and he got to where he didn’t think about anything except what was halal and what was haram, and gaining Allah’s pleasure by struggling (jihad) in his path. Not only that, but he traveled to Afghanistan to join the mujahideen of the Taliban to establish the word of truth and the Islamic caliphate which will take over the world. But his father, much to his dismay, greatly disapproved of this and lamented the loss of his young son, especially when this son was transported from Afghanistan to Guantanamo Bay. However, when this father joined the principles of fiqh which we mentioned previously, and when the brainwashing operations were performed on him, his opinions and his thoughts changed, for he began to be proud of his son whom Allah had guided well, causing him to walk in the straight path, and struggle (jihad) in the path of Allah. How much then did this father hope that his other son would walk in the same path. And that is not all, for he himself changed from a handsome man with a trimmed beard of comely appearance into a great sheikh with a long beard, unkempt hair, and a short robe and pants. (I ask that he please not be angered by my words, for he knows how much love and respect I have for him.) There are many other examples, but I don’t have the space to mention them all in this short article.
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…the Islamists claim that Islam fosters science, and forcibly call attention to Qur’anic verses that mention science. They resort to these Qur’anic verses and prophetic ahadith which repeat in them the word “science” and its derivatives, as if this “science” is the science of chemistry or physics or engineering, etc. The “science” which these Qur’anic verses and prophetic ahadith support is the science of the knowledge of Allah and his power and nothing else. For thus is the saying of the Prophet: “Who knows a knowledge of something other than Allah, or desired a knowledge of something other than Allah, let him take his place in hell,” and also the saying, “The scientists are the heirs of the prophets.” So where is the science of chemistry and physics and astronomy and engineering and others? Where is the worldly knowledge, purely connected to this world on which we live? What do we want to say? We want to say: Be secularists, or concern yourselves with your material world on which you live for the short span of between 70 to 80 years on average, barring any accident or emergency cases, and make religion — whatever religion — a matter between a person and his Lord, between the person and what he believes in, for this is good for you and for all mankind.
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(Author goes on to praise Western secularism and many of the scientists and inventors that it produced…)
And many of those scientists were devout and religious, but they did not make their religion their principal concern, as we do in our Arab-Islamic nations, and they did not attempt to intervene in the religious affairs of others. The question that arises is this: “Why is there not found in our religion any scientist or inventor which has benefited mankind with his inventions and discoveries, except a few of the theories of ancient scientists which remained preserved in books?” Do we consider the story of ‘Abbas bin Firnas’ attempt to fly in the air with wings made of birds’ feathers a true story and a great scientific experiment, or the sand hourglass which the Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid offered to Charlegmane, the King of France at the time, a great invention? You may say that Muslim-Arab scientists were the ones who founded the sciences of algebra and astronomy, and blood circulation, and that may be true, but where are the products of their inventions and scientific discoveries? Why did the Arab and non-Arab Muslims not continue in their development and progress for mankind? Why must we import and consume what is made and produced by secular nations, when we have sat on the source of the largest energy reserves in the world, namely oil, for hundreds of years? Why must we use these secular nations to perform the exploration of the oil in our own lands, and refining it, and using it in our cars which are manufactured in their own secular nations?
This is not all, for why do we find that everything around us is invented and manufactured in secular nations? Take as an example the machinery for printing the Qur’an and its pages, and its ink in various colors, does this not come from the inventions and manufacturing of secular nations? And also the loudspeakers which we use to announce and read the Qur’an, weren’t these invented and manufactured in secular nations? …