Opinion

Islam and the Trap of Bigotry

Islam and the Trap of Bigotry

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque located in Abu Dhabi, UAE
Photo Credit: Julian John

In recent times, the topics ‘modern Islam’ and ‘Islam and modernism’ have been frequently discussed in the Islamic world. When people examine them more closely, it becomes very apparent that Islam, both historically and in the future, presents us with an understanding of the most modern way of life and the perfect social model for all people. However, at this point it is useful to clarify what the expression ‘modern Islam’ really means, which is often misunderstood or distorted by some people.

First of all, ‘modern Islam’ is not the adaptation of Islam to the mentality, lifestyle nor to the understanding of morality and accepted social values of the period. Neither does it mean diverting morals from the essence of the religion of Islam.

Modern Islam is not the wannabe interpretation of Islam through superstitious philosophies such as socialism, communism, materialism, or Darwinism by people with inferiority complex who cannot properly comprehend the greatness of Islam. Also, ‘modern Islam’ is not at all an effort to integrate various degenerate cultural concepts and twisted moral values, such as homosexuality, into Islam by labeling these perversions as modern.

Modern Islam defines the fact that the Islam based only on the Qur’an, free from superstition and bigotry, teaches a concept of modernity that is far beyond the perception and comprehension of what most people or societies understand. Modern Islam is the perfect system that will emerge when people live in the sincerest after having understood the Qur’an in the most correct way. It is the true application of democracy and freedom.

Modern Islam is the Islam our Prophet (pbuh) and his companions lived by. The period in which these blessed people lived was a period where liberty, freedom of thought, democracy, justice and human rights were practiced perfectly. It was a time when happiness, comfort, honesty and sincerity prevailed, and Islam in its true sense was the most comfortable, easy and enjoyable way to live. If the Messenger of God had lived in this period, there is no doubt that he would be the most modern man of our time, the most beautiful example of modern religiosity.

Being the most modern is not a material concept. Modernity means being the most decent, the most imitated, the most loved and liked person in every respect such as morality, reason, culture, understanding, consciousness, attention, depth, status, attitude, manners, behavior, personality, fashion, art and the sense of love.

It is obvious that the understanding of religion, mode of thought and lifestyle prevailing in the overwhelming part of the Islamic world today, is unfortunately not at all related to the model described above. In fact, when Islam is mentioned, a system that is entirely against modernity, quality, aesthetics, art, science and freedom comes to mind in the Western world.

The only reason for this negative perception is because the majority of the Muslims are not following the Islam mentioned in the Quran but rather a religion of “bigotry”, filled with superstitions and dated practices far removed from the Qur’an, yet practiced in the name of Islam. The beliefs, rules, customs and traditions of the tribal culture of the past periods define the social, cultural and moral basis of this fanatic system. This superstitious system, which can also be referred to as the “religion of the ancestors” and severely condemned in many verses of the Qur’an, is unfortunately recognized as the “religion of Islam” among the majority of Muslims, and also in the Western world today.

Women are the greatest victims of tribal cultures, and have been subjects to the strongest sanctions, oppression, prohibitions and the hardships stemming from this bigotry. The fact that women are considered as second-class human beings, subjects to domestic and external violence, excluded from the social life, considered as the property of her husband or family, forced into marriage as a commodity, deprived of many humanitarian rights and freedoms like education and travel and rendered victims of honor or lapidation killings are all products of a twisted mindset that is inherited from male-dominated tribal order, all of which go against the Qur’an, and are inhumane, brutal practices.

Honor killings, which are committed every 90 minutes in the Islamic world, are considered to be a just act and are not subjected to legal sanctions. In some countries where honor killings are the most prevalent and considered virtually legal, more than 1000 honor killings are covered up and left unpunished every year.

While a bigoted understanding of Islam considers making women similar to men by leaving them neglected and unhealthy as acceptable, the Messenger of God has strongly banned women becoming similar to men and men becoming similar to women, and has always advised women to be well-groomed. At that time, Muslim women dyed their hair and used make-up, from materials such as henna and hail.

The only reason that some Muslims today are so removed from the possibilities and beauties that a contemporary civilization presents is because of the fact that they abandoned the Qur’an and fell into the grip of bigotry. Living according to an artificial representation of Islam, these people turned their backs on modernity, freedom, prosperity, quality, science, art and aesthetics, painting, music, sculpture, and furthermore became subject to all kinds of exploitations, suffering, poverty, and disaster

The greatest underlying reason for the Western world and the global powers to consider Islam as a threat to their own culture and civilization is because of the bigoted system that goes against the Qur’an. The reason for the emergence of concepts like ‘Islamophobia’ is due to the fear and horror of radicalism, primitiveness and violence, which again are a product of the bigoted system.

Returning to the true essence of Islam, that is, to a pure and true religion based solely on the Qur’an, will be the key not only for the salvation, peace, happiness and security of the Islamic world, but also for the whole world. This is only possible through education. To accomplish this, it is important that the education based on the essence of Qur’an is strengthened. Good sensible Muslims must also put their efforts into scientific works educating people. This is the only way to end the bigotry, anger and the brutality that arises from radicalism.

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