It is so ironic that Muslims today seems to forget that the first word that came from Allah through the archangel Gabriel was “ Iqra’ or read” and from the numbers of books authored or published within the Arab and Muslim world, “read” is the last thing Muslims do, with more bullets than books. Rich homes have more arts than libraries and books.
As things stands today, Muslims and Islam must chose between books and bullets. The events of the last couple of weeks, the suicide bombing on the day of the Eid, the Hajj, the awarding of the Nobel Prize for science, medicine, economics, and the awarding of the Sakharov Prize to Malala Yousafzai, prompted me to raise these issues. The answer is urgent and I am sure is available in the hearts and minds of hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world, the answer is books not bullets.
As I compare the Hajj where All Muslims stands equal, rich and poor, sick and healthy, Blacks, Asians, Arabs, Berber, Kurds, Europeans, Latin Americans, all stand equal before and in the hands of Allah seeking forgiveness and new life of peace within and with others, I can see why the Hajj is indeed where Islam and Muslims are at their best.
Then I look at the deliberate bombing and killing that took place on the day of the Eid Al-Adha then I can see the worst’s in Islam and Muslims. On the day of the Eid, bomb was placed in the microphone in the mosque where the governor of the Logar Province in Afghanistan was giving his Eid greetings killing him and others. How can any one kill and pray at the same time?
In Kirkuk 12 killers and murderers claiming to be Muslims killed people as worshipers left the mosque after Eid prayer scarified like lambs. What more disgusting crime than that?
In Syria both government forces and rebels continued to fight with Assad sending his jets, tanks and booby trapped cars with the rebels not far behind in setting off booby trapped cars killing scores of people on the day of the Eid. How much worst than this can things get? Now in Syria every ignorant failed misfit with a beard thinks of himself as “Emir” or a “Caliphate” of Jihad seeking “bay’ha ” or allegiance from local communities.
With the way things going within Islam and among Muslims, one must not forget nor ignore the role the generous funding of the “madrasa” in Pakistan and Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan is playing today where the purpose of these “madrasa” was not to produce scholars, scientists, doctors, lawyers and teachers but to produce and graduate human time bombs, killers and murdered and instill an Islamic ideology and thinking that is nothing short of the “plague” and “scrooge” that is devastating and destroying Islam and Muslims from within, taking Islam and Muslims back to the days of “ignorance” in Arabia before the arrival of the Prophet Mohamed ( PBUH).
Those graduating from these “madrasa” became fighters within the ranks of the Mujahideen and soon after the Soviet withdrew from Afghanistan, became the core of what is known as “Taliban” or “students” who went on to kill more than 160, 000 during their reign of terror in Afghanistan from September 96 to December 2001. The Taliban’s went on a course of burning and destroying vast areas of fertile land, destroying whatever little housing that stood in the countryside. The Taliban’s did not build a single school, or clinic or a bakery, or community center, paved a road or set up a transportation system so that the people can get around with much ease.
While destroying life they went on to promote and enriched their lives from the opium trade, which is the main source of funding for all of the terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Women were relegated as chattel for the pleasure and service of men who spent their time fighting and killing not tilling the fields or providing their families or sending their kids to schools. Women became non grata in society short of burying them in infancy as was the days of “ignorance”
That is why shooting Malala was a priority by the Taliban’s, to frightened tens of thousands of young girls from seeking education, knowledge and become contributing members of society as mothers, teachers, nurses, doctors and engineers. Thanks Allah that the book in the hands of Mala was more powerful that the gun and bullets in the hands of Pakistani Taliban’s.
At one time in history scholars and scientists from around the world traveled to the centers of learning in the Muslim world, to Baghdad, Damascus, Samarkand, Constantinople and Muslim Spain, Kairawan in Tunisia and al-Qarawiyyin in Fez, the first university in the world established by a woman (Fatima Fihriyya). That is no more, now Muslims seeking knowledge are traveling to the West seeking freedom to learn and research to empower the mind with knowledge. It should not be a surprise that for the last few years and many years before that hardly any Muslim scholar or scientist or researchers won the Noble prize. Even in annual awards given by a number of foundations in the Middle East, very few Muslims scientists won awards in medicine, chemistry, physics, economics and scientific research with only two Muslims winning the Noble prize in the sciences Andus Salam in Physics 1979 and Ahmed Zewail in Chemistry 1999.
Islam and Muslims these days are living the days of “ignorance” where religious scholars more obsessed with sex and virtues than with poverty, malnutrition, hunger, dictatorship, corruption, mass murder, suicide bombing, ignorance and lack of scholarship.
In Egypt an Al-Azhar scholar (Dr. Izzat Atiya) came up with a “fatwa” to sanction men and women working in the same office. The decree or “edit” calls on women to breast-feed their male colleagues as a way around segregation of the sexes at work. The act of adult breastfeeding make women and men “symbolically” related and preclude any sexual relations.
In Morocco, another cleric (Zamzamai) was no less innovative suggesting single women use “carrots and cucumbers” as a way for sexual stimulation than seeking sex outside of marriage. In Saudi Arabia another religious scholar came up with a scientific “fatwa” that car driving causes infertility in women.
With that kind of “scholarship” no wonder Islam and Muslims are living the days of “ignorance” one more time. We should not wonder any more why with more than 1.2 billion Muslims, only two won the Noble prize in the sciences?
Sami, a Palestinian-American and a US Army Veteran (66-68), recipient of the “soldier of the month award and leadership award from the 6th Army NCO Academy, is an international legal and business consultant with over 40 years of international experience, in construction, hospitality services, conservation, and defense, in the Middle East, Europe, and North Africa. Sami is a holder of BA, MPA in Public and Environmental Affairs, Jurist Doctor from Indiana University. While at IU he was elected class president, student government president and chairman of the Indiana Students Association,
Active in peace movement as a co-author of the pre-amble for the One State for All of its people and voluntary service program SalamNation. A frequent contributor on national and international affairs. He resides in the United States.