http://www.islamicvoice.com/november.2001/dialogue.htm#isl" name=isl>Islam's Downward Spiral
The Tatarian attack changed the course of all creative progress in Muslim states. Possession and safe keeping instead of creativity and evolution became their psyche. The downfall continued till the early 20th century. The most revered religious scholars of the darkest Muslim era (19th and early 20th century) ruled that the women were forbidden education. While they still talked of the golden era with pride, they declared the universities were the abattoirs of humanity. They ordered to shut all eyes from whatever wisdom came from the West. They classified knowledge into the worldly knowledge (rejectable) and the knowledge pertaining to Hereafter (attainable). The Prophet’s classification of knowledge was Ilm-e-Nafey (the knowledge that benefits) and Ilm-e-Ghair Nafey (the knowledge that does not benefit the humanity). Whatever knowledge was there in the languages other than Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Urdu was taboo. The list is very long. All this happened in the name of Islam through the most revered scholars of Islam.
The Muslims have started learning. It is a transitional phase. The out of context Islam and Qur’an, by those alone who had no scientific knowledge of the universe and their self proclaimed exclusive right to interpret has given rise to many contradictions. The colonization, suppression and discrimination of the have-nots by those yielding power have driven some Muslims youths of a resurgent community in the third world to take to terrorism in the name of Jihad. Islam is a very powerful tool and a powerful tool when used by those who do not understand it well is very dangerous. Those aggrieved now are themselves to be blamed. They have inspired them to use Islam against their adversaries for their own political motives and now they cannot do anything. They cannot wipe Islam out. If it could be wiped out it would have vanished in the last centuries. The only proper course is not to use misguided religious elements by any power to gain political mileage against anyone. They should instead help Muslims educate and gain wisdom which was once their hallmark.
The dilemma of a majority of sane Muslims is two-fold. Their attitude towards the interpretations of the clergy of the recent past and their attitude towards the aggrieved champions of democracy and freedom who have scant respect for the freedom and democracy of others. We are rightly indebted to the clergy who have safeguarded Islamic texts and tenets through the centuries to pass on to us unadulterated but misinterpreted, some unadulterated texts in the socio-political compulsions of the past. We shall always revere them but a rational sense has to be prevailed to correct their mistakes.
Secondly we have to convince the advance democratic nations to respect and strengthen the democratically elected governments of the developing world by not supporting, inciting and aiding the unpopular kings, autocrats, dictators and separatist movements for their immediate gains.