29 May 2012
Pervez Hoodbhoy concludes: "scientific progress in Muslim countries requires greater personal and intellectual freedom. Without this there can be no thinking, ideas, innovations, discoveries, or progress. The real challenge is not better equipment or faster internet connectivity. Instead, to move ahead in science, Muslims need freedom from dogmatic beliefs and a culture that questions rather than obeys" in his scholarly article: "Islam’s Arrested Development - The question: Can Islam be reconciled with science?" quoted by Mr Ghulam Faruki elsewhere on this page.
No, Islam cannot be reconciled with science unless MUSLIMS LEARN TO QUESTION EVERY TENET, EVERY BELIEF DISPASSIONATELY - AND ARE RESPECTED FOR DOING SO.
If Adam and Eve were descended on earth intact, [preceding all other creatures], straight from the heavens, about five to eight thousand years ago, I am afraid the Scientific Eve of the Genographic project [of National Geography - courtesy IBM, and Dr Spencer] has to be wrong. I beg to say I in all honesty I find this explanation a lot more convincing than the other explanation of arrival of the homo-sapien-sapiens.
Will science arrive amongst the common Muslims or will we continue to stifle many a child-Einstein will decide whether we will hold our heads high in the comity of communities or play second fiddle, as at present.
"This is a corollary to the post appearing below. The question relates to the eternal debate about human birth. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT ADAM-EVE ARRIVED ON THE EARTH INTACT ABOUT LESS THAN 10,000 YEARS AGO, AS ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY SEEM TO SUGGEST, [Creation] OR EVOLVED OVER FOUR BILLION YEARS AS SCIENCE SUGGESTS [Evolution]? Choose the option that confirms your belief and understanding. "
Taking the point of Mr Anis Faruki further may I add that the exchanges above have been very educative. But lately the central point is getting lost, viz, that tolerance, flexibility, acceptance of pluralism, even of dissent, are something that are expected by the contemporary civilization.
Unfortunately in various degrees various religions, and therefore, also various sects, tended to deny this flexibility and acceptance.
At a deeper level, it would appear that ideologies, per se, operate in exclusion. And religions are ideologies, too.
I invite both friends, Sam Kadri and Ikram Ahmed to continue to enrich TAHZEEB with their illuminating posts. I am sure that over time as we get to know each other, it will be apparent that we each mean nothing but goodness to the other and that together we are striving for that elusive peace and reconciliation that remain the biggest challenge for our times
I personally wish to think so, too, but what is benumbing is that almost every Muslim population has got it wrong. How is it, then, that almost 93% Muslim countries cannot qualify as full democracies?
Respected assessors like FHI [Freedom House Index] and RWB [Reporters Without Borders] present very dismal data about freedoms and liberties in Muslim countries. The high score for corruption in Muslim countries, likewise, seeks explanation.
My perpetual search is for this answer: If Islam promotes freedoms, inquiry, and peace why is it that the most Muslims got it wrong most of the time
My dilemma, Janab Ghulam Faruki, is that most Muslim scholars do not take the Quranic story as allegorical / symbolical. Indeed, there is clear opposition to the teaching of evolution in our midst, too. If we had the liberty to take some parts of Quran as allegorical much of the trouble would evaporate, I agree