Why the West craves materialism & why the East sticks to religion
Posted by Malik
By Imran Khan (2002 ARTICLE)
… May 12, 2009...11:33 pm
“Science had replaced religion and if something couldn’t be
logically proved it did not exist. All supernatural stuff was confined to the
movies. Philosophers like
PITY THE GREAT CRICKETER SPENT MORE TIME ON THE GREEN RATHER
THAN READING BASIC TEXTS IN SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY. HIS IGNORANCE DISGRACES
“While science, no matter how much it progresses, can answer a lot of questions — two questions it will never be able to answer: One, what is the purpose of our existence and two, what happens to us when we die?”
HERE IS THE ANSWER – AS CLOSE TO TRUTH YOU WILL GET. (1) HUMANS AND THEIR SOCIETIES DETERMINE THE PURPOSE AND IT IS NOT FIXED. RELIGIONS ARE MAN-MADE (SOME WOMEN MAY HAVE GOT INTO THE ACT TOO) AND ARE ATTEMPTS OF HUMANS TO MAKE SENSE OF THEIR EXISTENCE AND PURPOSE.
EVOLUTION OF RELIGIOUS THOUGHT SHOWS THAT FOR STABLE, PEACEFUL SOCIETIES, HUMAN LAWS, RATHER THAN THOSE PUSHED AS UNCHANGING DIVINE DICTATES, AS INTERPRETED BY THE POWERFUL CLERGY, IS THE PREFERRED ROUTE.
WHAT HAPPENS TO US WHEN WE DIE? OUR BODIES ARE EATEN BY ORGANISMS AND MOLECULES ARE CHURNED OVER TO CREATE MORE LIFE OR NON-ORGANIC MATERIAL. THERE IS NOTHING LIKE A SPIRIT OR NON-MATERIAL THING THAT OUTLASTS BODILY DEATH. MEMORIES AND THE CREATIONS OF HUMANS LIVE ON, AS THEY DO WITH THE WORK OF SHAKESPEARE, DARWIN AND IQBAL.
“I have become a tolerant and a giving human being who feels compassion for the underprivileged. Instead of attributing success to myself, I know it is because of God’s will, hence I learned humility instead of arrogance.
Also, instead of the snobbish Brown Sahib attitude toward our masses, I believe in egalitarianism and strongly feel against the injustice done to the weak in our society.”
NO EGALITARIAN CAN LIVE THE LIFE OF LUXURY THAT IK
LIVES. SEE HIS AMAZING VILLA DESIGNED BY A BRITISH ARCHITECT AND LOCATED
ON MANY ACRES OVERLOOKING
“One of the problems facing
What needs to be done is to somehow start a dialogue between the two extreme. In order for this to happen, the group on whom the greatest proportion of our educational resources are spent in this country must study Islam properly.
Whether they become practicing Muslims or believe in God is entirely a personal choice. As the Qur’an tells us there is “no compulsion in religion.” However, they must arm themselves with knowledge as a weapon to fight extremism. Just by turning up their noses at extremism the problem is not going to be solved.”
UNFORTUNATELY FOR IK, THE PEOPLE WHOM HE THINKS ARE IGNORANT OF ISLAM, UNDERSTAND THE ESSENCE OF IT FAR BETTER THAN HE MAY. THE ESSENCE HAS BEEN CONVEYED ABOVE.
ISLAM LIKE OTHER RELIGIONS IS AN EVOLUTIONARY IDEA, WHICH HAS TO CHANGE AS NEW KNOWLEDGE APPEARS. THE CORE OF ALL RELIGIONS FOCUSES ON GOODNESS AND ETHICS – NO ONE RELIGION CAN CLAIM TO BE ABOVE OTHERS. IT IS NOW ENSHRINED IN DOCUMENTS SUCH AS THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS WHICH COVERS PRETTY MUCH COVERS WHAT IS NEEDED.
RELIGIONS ARE BASED ON TEXTS THAT NEED TO BE INTERPRETED AND TRANFORMED. THE WORDS OF MUHAMMAD (PBUH) AND OTHERS RELIGIOUS LEADERS AND GREAT THINKERS ARE INPIRATIONAL – THEY NEED TO BE VIEWED AND INTERPRETED CONTINOUSLY.
TO VIEW PAKISTAN AS AN ISLAMIC STATE THAT FOLLOWS A PARTICULAR INTERPRETATION OF ISLAM (SUNNI, WAHABI, SHIA OR SUFI) IS WRONG. THE MODERN NATION STATE CANNOT BE BASED ON A FIXED RELIGIOUS DOCTRINE, WHICH BY ITS NATURE IS NON-PLURALISTIC.
HUMAN SOCIETIES NEED TO BE RUN ON HUMAN LAWS, WHICH OBTAIN INSPIRATION FROM ALL FORMS OF KNOWLEDGE INCLUDING THE RELIGIOUS.
BY CALLING ISLAM UNIVERSAL IS FINE BUT ONLY IF ITS ENORMOUS RANGE INTERPRETATION
ARE REGARDED AS VALID – AND NONE OF THESE ARE USED TO IMPOSE A STATE SYSTEM ON
ANY COUNTRY, INCL PAKISTAN.
THERE IS NO REASON WHY
SINDH AND BALOCHISTAN WITHIN
IMRAN KHAN COULD DO WITH SOME GENTLE TUTORING IN WORLD RELIGIONS, SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY. HE MAY THEN BECOME A TRULY ENLIGHTENED HUMAN.
Filed under Islam, Islamism,
Tags: extremist, Imran Khan, Islam, logic,
May 13, 2009 at 12:32 am
Imran Khan’s article and the problems with his logic have been discussed over at the South Asian Idea. The link is below for those who are interested.
May 13, 2009 at 12:50 am
Ok, I am completely lost here. This article seems to have been written by someone seething with anger upon some non-issue. Picking up a seven year old article and then commenting on it is probably not the best form of civilized discourse.
Islam, like other religions, is an evolutionary idea. Well probably Imran Khan’s point of view has also evolved. Did the author have the graciousness to check with him before commenting on his ideas?
Poor taste, poor intellect, overall a pathetic article.
Just my 2 cents
May 13, 2009 at 1:03 am
It is all a matter of reading.
IK is more driven by a justifiable cynical view of US and is
therefore vehemently against the past and present policies that pushed
Malik, a pro-secularist, in this post has reinterpreted the events of the past to put forward a thesis that remains vague on specifics.
May 13, 2009 at 1:28 am
What are you talking about vis a vis feelings of the landed gentry and the Mullah?
The Mullah opposed Jinnah through out and the landed gentry came on only after 1946 elections….
I am sorry but you should reconsider your position…. on why
Jinnah “capitulated” to the sentiments…. you should read Ayesha Jalal’s “Sole
Spokesman”…. As for Azad… he was a non-entity … and was sidelined by Gandhi
when Azad tried to bring League and Congress together vis a vis the Cabinet
May 13, 2009 at 1:31 am
PS: Incidentally what makes Azad a great man is the book he
May 13, 2009 at 1:59 am
Imran Khan ko over do!!
May 13, 2009 at 2:08 am
In continuation to my earlier comments… the fundamental disconnect between Jinnah and Gandhi (and Azad and Madani) was that the latter got along on the basis of being equally religious … and because Azad and Madani represented the religious dogma which separated them from a cosmopolitan anglicized and secular barrister like Jinnah.
The roots of this dischord were found in the Khilafat movement… Achyuth Patwardhan, one of the Socialist stalwarts in the Congress, has given a remarkably candid and self critical analysis of the Congress Party vis-a-vis Khilafat:
‘It is, however, useful to recognise our share of this error of misdirection. To begin with, I am convinced that looking back upon the course of development of the freedom movement, THE ‘HIMALAYAN ERROR’ of Gandhiji’s leadership was the support he extended on behalf of the Congress and the Indian people to the Khilafat Movement at the end of the World War I. This has proved to be a disastrous error which has brought in its wake a series of harmful consequences. On merits, it was a thoroughly reactionary step. The Khilafat was totally unworthy of support of the Progressive Muslims. Kemel Pasha established this solid fact by abolition of the Khilafat. The abolition of the Khilafat was widely welcomed by enlightened Muslim opinion the world over and Kemel was an undoubted hero of all young Muslims straining against Imperialist domination. But apart from the fact that Khilafat was an unworthy reactionary cause, Mahatma Gandhi had to align himself with a sectarian revivalist Muslim Leadership of clerics and maulvis. He was thus unwittingly responsible for jettisoning sane, secular, modernist leadership among the Muslims of India and foisting upon the Indian Muslims a theocratic orthodoxy of the Maulvis. Maulana Mohammed Ali’s speeches read today appear strangely incoherent and out of tune with the spirit of secular political freedom. The Congress Movement which released the forces of religious liberalism and reform among the Hindus, and evoked a rational scientific outlook, placed the Muslims of India under the spell of orthodoxy and religious superstition by their support to the Khilafat leadership. Rationalist leaders like Jinnah were rebuffed by this attitude of Congress and Gandhi. This is the background of the psychological rift between Congress and the Muslim League’
May 13, 2009 at 2:26 am
The UPPER CASE BOLD is the textual equivalent of Zaid Hamid shouting, and just as annoying.
As long as IK does not go against the rule that ‘there is no compulsion [in the matter of, and, matters within] religion’. i’ve no problem with him.
my problem with him is about him defending those who want me dead and my country destroyed. a big problem.
THE MULLAH AND THE LANDED MUSLIM CLASSES
YLH has already mentioned this, but i’ll expand with some very basic questions that need to be answered:
Which landed Muslim classes? Of the
Which mullahs? The North Indian Deobandi Ulema? Jamaat e Islami? Or the barelvi mullah of the Punjabi village? Or that of the East Bengali countryside?
Which of the two types of Muslim that you mention were the communists coming to the aid of, as the allies of the Muslim League: the landed muslim classes? Or the mullah?
May 13, 2009 at 6:43 am
This write-up is not written by me, I just came across this write-up and I find it quite interesting and shared it here. So it just posted by me, not written by me. It is written by some group called “Secular Pakistan”. All the editing (caps on etc) is exactly like how I received it.
As far as my opinion is concerned, I found this write-up quite interesting and addressing the root of the problem instead of just criticizing the end product “extremism” in our society. The writer is questioning the logic and rationality of religion, he/she wants to educate people that living your life by using religion as your one and only guideline is probably not the best approach of living a life. Religion if we analyze it today is creating so many problems around us. I completely agree with the writer here when he says: “UNFORTUNATELY FOR IK, THE PEOPLE WHOM HE THINKS ARE IGNORANT OF ISLAM, UNDERSTAND THE ESSENCE OF IT FAR BETTER THAN HE MAY.”
I also think that these Taliban or any supporter of Taliban are in fact the people who are students of Islam, they are the one who read Quran and Hadith in detail with translation and Tafseer … What they are doing is because they want to act exactly as Allah and Prophet ordered them to. Now it’s very easy to keep on criticizing Taliban but completely ignoring the root of this problem, the reason why they are doing what they are doing. What is their incentive? Heaven n hell? What is heaven and hell? Tools of controlling the mankind? Making human being do something good not because it is good on its merit but because God ordered it? Religion gives people bad reasons to be good where good reasons are actually available. I mean me ask yourself which is more moral? Helping the poor, feeding the hungry, defending the weak out of a mere concern for their well being or doing so because you think the creator of the universe wants you to do it?
There are people who are criticizing Taliban for what they did with Sikhs in orakzai agency, where they asked for “Jaziya” from Sikh community … now nobody is criticizing this Law of Jaziya which is very proudly a part of true Islamic Shariah. Is this the way to deal with these problems? We need to educate people; we need to adopt ourselves with this changing world, the old laws needs to be upgraded, if someone likes to stick to the Stone Age rules and laws, he or she can’t do anything productive, nether for himself/herself or for anyone else. What this world needs is tolerance, to listen to someone and then move forward in a free democratic world.
We need to open our minds towards more logical and practical explanation of history of mankind, instead of saying that there is no explanation of life and death, well we have now, yes the concept of God and religion try to restrict us to seek truth, to research more and find the answers of unsolved mysteries, but still there were/are people like Darwin, who provided basis for looking at evolution of human beings with much more logic and practicality. If we keep on insisting that existing laws from olden ages are still good for us JUST because they are divine and some invisible God made them, it will only complicate things further, and if you look around, you will see how many problems these divine laws and rules are creating already. Concept of heaven and Hoories is making people hate this world and they only concentrate of next world which is just a manmade fantasy.
Lets not make religion the only guideline to live our lives, and lets reject these politicians who are using religion to gain political advantage from this emotional nation, instead of educating people.
May 13, 2009 at 7:20 am
Hi, I tried to comment on this earlier but it says my comment is awaiting moderation. Anyway, I just wanted to let people know that this topic has been discussed at the South Asian Idea. The post is called “The Confusions of Imran Khan” in case anyone is interested
May 13, 2009 at 10:35 am
I actually found the article thought provoking and relevant to the current context. Both Malik and BC make some good points.
In the current climate, an extremist may appear armed and dangerous because he carries a Kalashnikov but the liberal intellectual has a more powerful weapon at his command; that of an idea whose time has come.
That idea is that we all live in a multifaith, multiethnic and multicultural world where there is no alternative to accepting multiple points of view.
By listening to the extremist point of view and then responding to it using logic, reason and commonsense can be a very effective tool if used properly.
BC mentioned in another discussion on the PTH that there are two kinds of people in every society; the liberal open minded ones and those fanatics who are certain of their position. Any time a liberal engages a opposing individual in a discussion and introduces an element of doubt in his mind; no matter how small, he has won a small victory.
In fact I thing more such articles are called for.
Another good point that BC makes; if we all can agree that people like IK (or those he supposedly defends) are entitled to their personal viewpoint as long as they are their private views and they do not force that viewpoint on others at the point of a gun (or brute legislative majority) I think most people in this world can live with that.
May 13, 2009 at 11:27 am
this is specifically addressed to YLH who has been making his claims about mullah whenever he gets the chance
May 13, 2009 at 6:11 pm
The author of this article is an occidentalist.
Please report any
broken links to
Copyright © 1988-2012 irfi.org. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer