15 January, 2018


Muslim and Rationalist? Hindu and Rationalist? Isn’t the Rationalist an Atheist? Who are you? Who would you want to be? An Irrational person? How do you take your decisions: what to eat, who to purchase it from, who to work for, whom to consult for your health, where to serve, how to invest, where and what to learn or educate, what to produce and how to price your produce, whom to befriend and how much…. I dare say you act mostly rationally in resolving all these issues. Every person who strives to abide by reason - not presumption, prejudice, bias, superstition, blind belief – is a rationalist. And if he professes values that culturally Muslims have been known to exhibit, he may be called a Muslim Rationalist. Or a Rationalist Muslim, if you will. We often forget that Averroes – actually, Ibn-ur-Rushd – is widely regarded by Europeans as one of the founders of Rationalism. More than ever before Muslim need to vigorously invoke and practice reason in everyday life, in institution building, in social regulation, public policy and in their politics. So do Hindus. But Hindus have many other platforms for them. Hence a special focus is required for Muslims seeking reason. Not against anybody. SPRAT – Society for Promoting Rationality – is devoted to promoting reason in all walks of life using scientific tools of reasoning. I took the plunge into social work in the wake of 2002 carnage, firmly regarding it as a manifestation of grave irrationality. SPRAT has touched several million lives – of all religious persuasions – in nearly 16 years of its existence. Now it is embarking upon major initiatives in this direction. It recognizes the gravity of the situation. Don’t you? I am a rationalist. I am a Muslim, too. Culturally, you may say. And I work to defend and foster this identity, in harmony with universal human rights and established principles of equity and fair play. Broadly in conformity with the constitution of India. My book KHITAB-E-NAU [Scribd.com and YouTube->sprat02] argues a case with credible data. Why not join hands? Why not unite against unreason, bigotry, ignorance? For empowerment, an existence of dignity, harmony? To begin with, I invite Muslims resident at or near Ahmedabad, to get in touch with me, publicly or privately, with their ideas on this subject, and on networking with others committed to rationality in all spheres of our lives. 079-26623655/66/77 mhj{at}sprat{dot}in

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