(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM is a misnomer. It is an excuse of some countries to camouflage their own inhumanity.
It is propaganda of the West to save the face of its civilisation-a civilisation that has lost its morality somewhere in the darkness of materialism. Indeed, there is an Islamic renaissance - a movement against the exploitative legacy of colonialism and the double standards of the West.
Since the collapse of Soviet Empire and the end of Cold War, the prophets of doom are in desperate search of a new enemy. Samuel Huntington was one such person. After the demise of communism, he devised a theory of the "clash of civilisations". In this theory, he hypothesizes that the cause of future conflict will be civilisational or cultural differences and there will be conflict between the West and the rest. He further argues that most probably the future conflict would emerge out of the faultlines of Islamic and Western civilisations.
In the wake of this hypothesis, Western media has launched a full-fledged campaign to malign the image of Islam. It often equates Islam with ignorance, intolerance, fanaticism, anti-science and anti-education. According to their doctored version, Islam promotes holy war against all those who are non-Muslims, Islam is against human rights and democracy.
However, the reality is quite the contrary. Almost all the Muslim countries either remained under colonial rule or remained backward in the race to modernise only due to the ignorance of their rulers. Today, these socially and economically crippled societies are striving to improve their lot. However, in their desire to reform their societies by doing away with colonial legacy and the mediaeval heritage, they face the opposition of vested interest groups who control the levers of power. There are other cases also. In these cases, Muslims are neither fighting against innocent people nor waging war against the West. They are simply fighting for their freedom, which is their inherent right under modern law. It is West's religious bias that it has turned its back on the just causes of these people.
Another important fact, which needs to be understood is that concept of fundamentalism, as the West depicts, is alien to Islam. In Islam, there is no such thing that justifies ignorance, killing, religious intolerance. Islam seeks the well being of the people. However, it empowers the people to resist against tyranny, persecution and exploitation. Following verses of the Holy Quran negates the West's version of Islam. The Holy Quran says:
"Those who do not observe and understand are worse than cattle". (7:179).
"There is no compulsion in religion". (Al-Baqra)
"With you is your religion and with me is mine". (Kafroon: 7)
"Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you. But transgress not, Lo!
Allah loveth not transgressors". (Al-Baqra: 29)
"Take not life which Allah has made sacred save in course of Justice".
Many other such verses of the Holy Quran fully establish the tolerant, progressive and humanitarian disposition of Islam, which is, indeed, a religion of peace.
In fact, the concept of fundamentalism is of Western origin. It stands to reason that in ancient and mediaeval age, the Catholic Church played detestable role in European society. No one was allowed to think freely. The authority of church was absolute and unquestionable. It controlled all the aspects of life in Europe at that time.
It was because of the anti-science attitude of the church that the West came to believe that religion and science were antithetical. Truth to medieval Western societies was nothing more than what the church decreed. This led them to ignorance, stagnancy and retrogression.It was only after the renaissance and reformation movements of the 16th century in Europe that the role of church stood reformed and redefined. Since then, the religion had been declared as the private matter of every individual.
The world of ours can never be emancipated from bloodshed, terrorism and violence unless we realistically view one another's woes and worries and evenhandedly deal with one another's matters. The need of the hour is to make this century a century of true human civilisation by building bridges of cooperation and developing respect for the genuine demands and the just causes of all. No "ism", nor any notion of "I", "You", and "They", but in fact strong sense of "We-ness" is the answer to the problems of mankind today.