What's wrong with the Arab world?

Category: Middle East, World Affairs Topics: Arab World Views: 3065
3065

An almost countless number of pundits, commentators, and "experts" have rattled off a number of reasons for the decrepit situation of the Arab world. Many, such as Elan Journo of the California-based Ayn Rand Institute, lay the blame solely on the shoulders of Islam: "The plight of the Middle East is not an accident. It is born of and reinforced by certain ideas: the precepts of Islam, which subordinate reason to faith and the individual to the collective."

In particular, Mr. Journo decries the definition of Islam as the main problem: "In Islam piety demands the total surrender of one's life to Allah - and to those claiming to be His representatives on earth. In practice a Muslim has no right to his own life." Examples he cites of this horrible "dictatorship of the Divine" include property rights being "anathema" to Islam, and that the Zakat, or alms tax that Muslims are required to pay, purifies the Muslim "from the supposedly base activity of earning a living."

These claims are fallacious, based on stereotype, myth and half-truth. Islam denotes submission of one's will to that of God alone. Nowhere does Islam claim that Muslims must also submit to those who claim to be God's representatives on earth. A Muslim believes that, since God is the Creator, Sustainer, and Giver of Life, it is only right that his will be trumped to God's. It is a similar concept to that embodied by the phrase "Thy will be done," found in the Lord's Prayer. 

First of all, property rights are not anathema to Islam. Islam upholds the individual's right to own property. Earning a living, in fact, is considered to be an act of worship of God. In addition, Islam was first in human history to guarantee property rights to both men and women. The submission to God that Islam calls for, however, dictates how a Muslim earns that living. For instance, since theft is forbidden in Islam, a Muslim must not earn his living by stealing other people's property or cheating his or her customers.

Secondly, the Zakat is due from Muslims with a certain minimum amount of unused wealth accumulated from the past year. It amounts to 2.5% of that wealth and must be given to the poor. The Biblical parallel is the concept of tithing. Payment of Zakat ensures that the poor--who are exempt from this tax--are adequately cared for and purifies the Muslim from greed and miserliness, not the "base activity of earning a living." The Zakat is yet another example of the submission Islam demands. If a Muslim earns an infinite amount of wealth, Islam would not raise any objection. That wealthy Muslim, however, must own up to his responsibility to provide for the less fortunate through his or her payment of the Zakat.

Thirdly, Mr. Journo goes on to claim that: "a Muslim must surrender [his mind] in order to demonstrate his faith in his religion's key tenets," and that the pitiful state of the Arab world is due to "the Muslims' rejection of...reason." This is fallacious as well. Journo must not have read the numerous verses in the Quran, Islam's holy scripture, commanding its reader to think, ponder, and use his or her intellect. Journo must also have overlooked the vigorous, centuries-old debate among Muslim philosophers, such as those of the Mu'tazilite and Ash'arite schools, over reason and its relationship to faith. Obviously, there are instances where faith does trump reason: most notably, with the belief in the existence of God. Nevertheless, to claim that Islam demands human beings be little more than robots with no mind of their own is sheer fantasy.

Lastly, Journo faults Islam for subordinating the "individual to the collective." Does not democracy, or any other system of governance for that matter, do the same thing? For example, if we disagree with a Federal law currently on the books, we are still obliged to obey that law. Isn't this also subordinating the individual to the collective?

This does not at all imply that there is nothing wrong with the Arab world. The United Nations Development Program issued a report which exhaustively detailed a number of problems in the Arab world today: 65 million of the 280 million people in the Arab world are illiterate; 10 million children do not attend school; the unemployment rate is the highest in the world; Arab women are an oppressed majority. These problems hinder the progress of the Arab world and must be corrected. Nevertheless, the reason for the backwardness of the Arab world does not stem from Islam. This claim is an old and tired one and does nothing but fan the flames of hatred and intolerance against Islam and Muslims at a time when more understanding between the West and Islam is desperately needed.

Hesham A. Hassaballa is a Chicago physician and columnist for the Independent Writers Syndicate. He is author of "Why I Love the Ten Commandments," published in the Book Taking Back Islam: American Muslims Reclaim Their Faith (Rodale).


  Category: Middle East, World Affairs
  Topics: Arab World
Views: 3065

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Older Comments:
COSMOPOLITAN FROM GULF - EUROPE said:
Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

I wont comment that on the article but will give my personal view of the Arab world. Im coming from Europe and Im a Muslim, thank God. For the past 4-5 yrs I have been living in the Gulf. What I noticed from dealing with the Arabs is that they are really nice ppl. Thank God, I never experienced anything bad from their side. However, what I dont like about them is that they feel inferior about the USA and Europe. It seems that they undermine everything related to Arabs but praise things coming from the West. Of course, I am for taking positive things, but it seems that the Arabs are adopting the negative ones and unfortunately very fast. Somehoe they lost self-confidence. THey pay attention to trivial things instead of directing energy toward more important matters. It is inevitable to say that if they followed the Qur'an, this would not have happened. Nevertheless, I cannot understand how they could let Americans to rule them, especially when we know that the Arabs,esp. the Gulf region do not depend on them financially, i.e. they do not have to dance as those play. The main problem lies in a fact that the Arabs are not unitied and are disorganized. They dont support each other and thats why they are vulnerable and submissive to the West.
2003-07-15

ZAFAR IQBAL FROM AUSTRALIA said:
What I find missing in Dr Hesham's otherwise excellent response is mentioning of the profound adverse impact of colonialism on the present state of affairs in Arabia. It is only some 50 years that many Arab countries (with large populations) have had a greater degree of freedom to manage their own affairs. That is too short a time to be 'judged' as a failure by those whose 'development indicators' improved only in this last century, some 350 years after what is called the period of Renaissance and beginning of industrialisation.





2003-05-15

MIKE HALE FROM USA said:
65 million are illiterate? Muslim women are oppressed? 10 million Arab children do not attend school? The unemployment rate is the highest in the world in Arab countries? Muslim's and Islam are inseparable. You can't have one without the other. The statistics the author quotes are a great example of why the problems in the Middle East are due to Islam and the vast majority of radical Clerics.
2003-05-13

ALAIN JEAN-MAIRET FROM CH said:
http://www.meib.org/articles/0302_me.htm

Explaining the Arab Democracy Deficit (Part I)
Do underlying social, political, and economic conditions preclude a democratic breakthrough in the Arab World?
by Gary C. Gambill, editor of the Middle East Intelligence Bulletin
2003-05-10

MOHAMMAD S. KHAN FROM USA said:
A very good rebuttal. Unfortunately we the muslims are responsible of defaming our glorious and peacefull religion ISLAM. May ALLAH give us hidayat and keep all muslims on the right track, aameen.
2003-05-09

THOMAS RESSLER FROM U.S.A. said:
I found this article helpful, to a limited degree. It refutes the argument that Islam is the cause of the "decrepit situation of the Arab world." However, it doesn't really answer the underlying question: what IS the cause? I'd like to see some essays examining this crucial question.

Thank you.

Peace.
2003-05-09

LUCKY FROM NIGERIA said:
The islamic teachings, doctrines, and believes are all contrary to both the Holy Bible, and the koran generally.The actions of the muslim world towards issues and related issues are...
2003-05-09

IBRAHIM MUHAMMAD FROM USA said:

People like Journo have misunderstood the religion and keep insisting they know better.

God save us from such rigidity in beliefs
2003-05-09

DENNIS MEURER FROM USA said:
No country which relies primarily on one industry, especially government controlled industry, as the Arab countries do on oil, can have true prosperity. As the Arab countries continue their efforts to diversify there economies and more entrepreneurs develop priviate industries, they will realize greater prosperity. Islam is not holding them back. Their poor economic systems and policies are the problem.
2003-05-08

CHRISTAL MURRAY-ELLS FROM USA said:
It should be noted that "we are like teeth in a comb" as Mulsims and should not be dvidng amongst ourselves. All Muslims worship Allah (SWT), make salat , and read the same Holy Qur'an; so we should stop thinking of each other as being different becasue we come from different countries; we accept Islam as being the only universal religion and we;as Muslims , continue to follow the examples of Prophet Muhammad(PBUH).
2003-05-06

SHAH ZALIE FROM U.S.A. said:
Understanding the problems of the Arab world and understanding Islam is a something that will always be a problem in the West. First, most Americans do not want to understand Islam because they are afraid of being wrong in their worshipping of Jesus. Islam makes them question their faith and beliefs that they were raised on. As I am an American and a revert to Islam, I state this as known facts from my own experiences. It is much easier for Americans to combine Arab traditions with Islam because it makes them feel safe and secure in their beliefs. There are political changes that need to be made in the Arab world to make it better, but allowing westerners to make these changes would be a very big mistake. The West is corrupt and immoral, and Islam would surely be poisoned because they do not respect it. Changes in the Arab world must be made from within the Arab world with outside help from the West.
2003-05-06

BEV HILLIS FROM USA said:
Thank you for this article. Now I'd like to read
another that helps explain the problems and what
could be done about them. Must Arab muslims
continue with the status q
2003-05-06

EBBE GUSTAFSSON FROM SWEDEN said:
Many people are illiterate. Bad dictatorial leaders are corrupted and surrounded by corrupted advisers. The result is a poor country and poor people. It is easy for the corrupted leaders to cheat and deceive illiterate people
2003-05-06

AZMI FROM UK said:
Such comments from Journo, a so-called expert, only illustrates the ignorance of the west about Islam. Their so-called experts on Islam fail to differentiate between Islam and its people. It was part of colonialism that the Muslims must be separated from Islamic teachings so that Islam can be tainted by their deviant (adsorbed from the west) ways of life.
2003-05-06

NEHAL SAGHEER FROM INDIA said:
wrong in arab world is disacceptance of islamic law arab are now adays very lazy &lusterious so they have under pressor of america(the most unwanted country on the earth) because american think tank and administrator has very greedy.
i am nothing express my opinion well because iam
not know english better.
nehal
2003-05-06

NASEER ABDUL-BARI FROM USA said:
I agreed with almost all of the article. But, like
M. Alothmani commented - the belief in the
existence of God, in my opinoin, is forever
reinforced by reason and reflection of the
creation of the universe. If it were not for
reason, I - and many others would not have
become Muslims. By using the intellect, al-
jebr ;), and reflection - Allah & His attributes
become more obvious. But for everything
else, I pretty much agreed. Jazaikallahair
2003-05-05

RAVENOUS HOPE FROM CANADA said:
The writer does not address the question he puts to the reader on the outset. Unless of course, our problems are the comments of yet another naysayer of Islam. This time it is a man whose loyalties are to an institution founded by Ayn Rand, a woman who believed that selfishness and egoism were the purpose of life. Why the opinions of such a man are of any consequence to the problem of our own decline is never discussed. If we are to begin addressing all the naysayers one by one, it'll never end and we'll never get down to actually solving our problems.

The article's title, "What's wrong with the Arab World?" is not addressed until the end of the article. And statistics and vague, subjective statements like,'Arab women are an oppressed majority' does not suffice to prove the point. The standard call for more understanding between the West and the Arab world does NOT give us a viable alternative to what we are doing now, since on the intellectual level, the two civilizations have been becoming reacquainted with each other for some time now. And the arab world is no better off than they were before.

Allah has told us that there will always be enemies of Islam. This is nothing new and if we are going to concern ourselves with their opinion of us, it will rob us of some serious self-reflection into our own personal crises. Crises like our weakness in faith, the forsaking of our roots, bad leadership, control of our resources, dated education and health systems, poor economy, and our propensity to blame the 'zionists and americans' for everything.
2003-05-05

YUSUF FROM AUSTRALIA said:
I generally agree-however proof of God's existence lies in His creations - how else could a complex system of nature have otherwise existed. Harun Yahya's website at www.hyahya.org has some excellent info regarding this.
2003-05-05

AHMED FROM USA said:
Reply to Samir:

You seemed to give credit to Islam and the Qur'an and then you turned around and critisize the Sharia (Allah's Law) by saying:

>>>>

You must be a completely confused Muslim. First of all what does a law that deals with raping some one has anything to do with whats going on in the Arab world?? How will it benefit them by changing it? For your information there are hundred times more cases of rape and murder in the US than probably the whole earth put together.
Another thing when Allah decreed those laws, are you implying that he did not know what will come in the future? That way we need to change His laws?? So what happens then if every generation of Muslims come along and decide to change the Sharia, would it still be called Sharia and Qur'an?? I doubt it.
No one has a right to change the laws of Allah.
The problem in the Muslim world today is most Muslims are ignorant of the Qur'an and the Sunnah and thats why many are complaining and wanting to see Allah's laws changed. The truth is if most Muslims will follow the Qur'an and the Sunnah, most of these criminal codes laws in the Qur'an would never have to be applied. People will have fear of Allah that their moral standard will be high that they wouldn't be drinking, fornicating, raping, stealing, etc etc.
So rather than complaining about the Sharia laws, lets go back to the Qur'an and the Sunnah.

2003-05-05

RAJAWALI FROM TEGANU said:
What the "astonishment" over the British bombers really shows is the ease with which they operated. They had the motivation, they had the contacts, they had the reassurance that God was on their side. But, above all, they had the passports.
2003-05-05

YAZID FROM USA said:
Salaam-

Good article!

Would be nice if the author addressed "the dictatorship of the Divine."

This is the "rightly guided scholars" who are not often so "rightly-guided" but instead are puppets of the ruling clan of the land they preach in.

These HUMAN BEINGS have achieved GOD-LIKE status with the community of Muslims that attend prayers in Masjids they lead.

The scary thing is that most muslims DO NOT question the words that come out of these people's mouths but instead take the stance that "if the Imam says so...then we must do it and if it's wrong..then I have an excuse on the day of Judgment"

This mentality have created the business of Fatwa's...where people like Bin Laden have a pulpit to preach their madness in the name of Islam instead of in the name of POLITICS.

Muslims need to address and realize this reality if we wish to behave like the Ummah of Muhammad (saw) since it's OK to seek knowledge of others but it's wrong to do things blindly simply because a toupe wearing, beard having so called sheik said so.

The answer to Muslim problems are in Muslim hands.

Salaam
2003-05-05

ABDUL FROM USA said:
Dear Mr. Mairet,

First let me ask you have you ever read the Quran? Have you ever read any books about the beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW)? Or have you read any books in general about Islam?

The reason I ask you these questions is because you sound like a person who is judging a religon based on what you have heard from the news media.

My advice to you is to one day (InshAllah - if GOD wills) is to open up the Quran and read with an open mind about Islam.

Lets start with the first sura (chapter):
Surat-ul Faithah (the opening)

1. In the name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

2. All Praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds

3. The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

4. Master of the Day of Judgement

5. You alone do we worship and You alone do we seek for help

6. Guide us along the straight way -

7. The way of those whom You have favoured and not of those who earn Your anger nor of those who go astray.

The point I hope you get from this short post is that religion is religion. Never judge a religion based on the people who follow it. Instead look at the religion for what it is. If your looking for a perfect Muslim then pick up a book on Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and after reading it throughly then judge the religion. GOD willing, after reading about the Prophet and his life you will become a Muslim.

Allah (GOD) is the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. The point the brother is trying to make in the article is that a true Muslim Nation relies on Allah and Allah alone. Driven by the only true pleasure of pleasing Him. All wealth, power, decisions belong to Allah and Allah alone. Yes every Muslim reserves the right to make money to support his family and in doing so he is praising Allah by providing for his/her family.

Not so my message is lost, my advice to you is to learn before you judge.

As-salamu-alakum (Peace be unto you)
2003-05-05

M. ALOTHMANI FROM USA said:
I would certainly echo the sentiments of the author, but I
am truly puzzled by his statement that the belief in the
existence of God is an exercise in faith as opposed to
reason. In all my experience with Islamic theology, I
cannot recall ever hearing something like this. Perhaps
the author meant something else, but I would argue that
believing in the EXISTENCE of God is definitely a
matter of reason (although faith does follow when a
Muslim is told in the Qur'an--which he/she believes
based on reason--about some of the attributes of God
which are acceptable to our mind, but not necessarily
derived from reason).
As for Jean-Mairet, it seems that he is happy founding
his own religion that is based upon skepticism. But for
Muslims, religion is not looked upon as a man-made
institution that is subject to our whims, but that it is a
divine institution that calls for out unwavering devotion.
2003-05-05

SFATIMA FROM INDIA said:
i THINK THE AOUTHOR SHOULD GIVE A MORE LABORATE EXPLANATION ABOUT MR. JOURNOS. IDEAS ABOUT ISALM AND ARAB WORLD. ,
2003-05-05

S FATIMA FROM INDIA said:
THIS ARTICLE JUST SHOWS mR. JOURNO DOES NOT HAVE ADEQUATE KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE RELIGION HE PROBABLY READ QOUTES BY SOME KUFFAR FROM HERE AND THERE AND MAKES HIS OWN JUDGEMENT , ALITTLE KNOWLEDGE IS ALWASY DANGEROUS HE. SHOULD LOOK AT WHO THE MOST INDISIPLINED PEOLE IN THE WORLD ARE TODAY WHICH COUNTRY HAS THE HIGHEST CRIME RATE IN THE WORLD ,WHICH COUNTRY IS HIGHEST IN DRUGS AND ALCOHOL VULGARITY , EXTARMARITAL AFFAIRS. NUDITY, BEFORE POINTING FINGERS AT OTHERS . THEY WANT TO MAKE THE WHOLE WROLD AS CORRUPT FROM INSIDE AND OUTSIDE JUST LIKE THEY ARE . THEY ARE NOT HARMING MUSLIMS BUT HARMING THEMSELVES AND iNSHALLAH ALLAH'S PUNISHMENT WILL COME ON THE REAL TYRANTS VERY SOON . THERE HAVE BEEN NATIONS AND CONTNENTS WHICH AHVE BEEN DESTROYED .BY ALLAH AND HISTORY IS WITNESS TO THAT GO BACK AND READ THE REASON FOR THEIR DESTRUCTION BY NATURAL DISASTERS,NOTHING IS PPERMANNENT IN THE WORLD. THEY IN FACT ARE WAGING A WAR AGAINST ALLAH . NOT ANY BODY ELSE. AND THEY WILL SEE THE BAD RESULTS VERY SOON INSHALLAH. IF THEY DO NOT CHANGE THEIR WAYS.
2003-05-05

GBAIEB ACHMAT FROM NEW ZEALAND said:
good response Hesham..but you know of course that all these people that write these article against Islam know that they are talking the untruth but they will not stop at this.they will never stop doing this.quran:chapter 2 verse 120
2003-05-04

MAX FROM UK said:
Targetting Islam is an old method of conquering the natives and cutting off their connection to their faith by equating it with backwardness, intolerance etc. They've been at it since the Crusades.
Now they launch wars to install yet another friendly dictator in Iraq and lay the blame on the masses. The problem lies with the West and its culture of hatred, intolerance and colonial conquest. Take a look at their colonies and proxys to see how they administer "democracy." Islam is ofcourse going to the targetted by these parasites since it is the only ideology on the earth which instills spiritual, moral and cultural resistance to the invaders. The failure of the Arabs reflect the failure of their conquerers...that of petty nationalism, fascist secularism and ethnic stryfe....it is when the Arabs return to Islam that they will once again acheive greatness.
2003-05-04

KAMRAN SIDDIQUI FROM CANADA said:
I think this article places the emphasis on taking an approach which is niether pro islam or anti islam. Middle East has problems and some of them have been pointed out in this article. Illiteracy for instance is not a problem which is solved overnight. Same can be said about poverty as well. In absense of sincere efforts and foreign aid, there is little to hope for this part of the world. Injection of foreign aid does work and best example is Israel, which is a recepient of 4-6 Billion Dollars per year from the U.S, not to mention guaranteed loans for development and defence. If the Western nations are sincere in the peace initiatives, they should put their money where their mouth is. So far, middle east has only seen the greedy side of West. The policies of west have effectively contributed towards generating more hate and envy towards western nations. Should we blame them for hating us when we rob them of their natural resources like Oil to ensure the high quality of life we enjoy here.
2003-05-04

ABDIFATAH FROM ENEGLAND said:
they are liars and the hider men from the rue path and God will punish those liars and disbleivers. they think they know all the solution , the technology, the math geagraphy and scienecv and many more came from islamic scholers. so u should thankfull you arrogant, bride and envy person. who only steoryotypes and can only lay blames on others. may allah giude. beacuse there will be a day call resurection wrere you will not have a chance to return to this life and you will be sorry for what u sdaid about islam. muslim nation will soon unite and conguer you wait and see the only backword that u are saying is the one the werstern world is in forgeting about their craeator. so be carefull and make respite as soon as possible. a time will come when the jews will hide behind a tree or a rock and it will say there is a jew behind me o muslim kill him. osman bin laden is the great man who woke up true beleievers, and may allah destroy giude those muslims who sympethesise with disbeleievers. oh muslims wake up and uprise agians the eveilness of goerge bush and tony blair.'' who say we are peioece makers when they are bloodsheders. alllahu akbar, islam will prevail as soon as tomorow or of a blink of an eye. al-keeda and mugahiduuns are the true beleievers of allah and they will spreed to every land like the way an ant collony is organised. inshaall we will terminate and extinc eveil from the whole world. asllamu aliakum warhmatulaah, the arbas are not arabs they are muslims so do not deveide us. oh muslims don't you see the way they are deviding us those sionist and free maisons. the prophet mushammed salaahu alahi wasalam, said we are like one body when one part hurts the rest of the body aches is well. we are muslim unity, a brother from somalia, is a brother from jordan, the same for malaysia, america. we are under one wagon muslims. oh you muslism do not phantasis with disbeliever and mix with the other wise they will send u to hell fire. iam 17 years old my aim isjihad
2003-05-04

SOFIA FROM USA said:
As-Salaam Elekum!

I believe that when one's enemies get desperate and realize that they are losing out at all levels--moral, spiritual, intellectual, physical--they begin to use each and every good point/ asset of their opponent and then attempt to destroy them by misrepresenting them, misquoting them, etc., etc.

If one were to analyze everything negative written about Islam and Muslims (both at the present time and in past centuries) by non-Muslims, particularly by hostile westerners, one will find this particular strategy. Its purpose? To demean and destroy Islam and Muslims everywhere. They are not being honest or rational because they are reacting out of fear more than anything else!
2003-05-04

ABDIRIZAK MOHAMED FROM CANADA said:
factly speaking, the author articulated well that Islam has nothing to do with the problems in the Arab world.He is right and quite to the contrary Islam is the right way of life for all humanity if it is followed accordingly. The Arab populace are not the blame it is the Arab leader who are responsible the backwardness and crises you see in Arab world and unless they go back the Book and the Sunnah their condition will not change.
Salaamu Calykum
2003-05-04

RAMIN N. FROM USA said:
I am confused as to where the author is going with the article. I thought that the question 'What's wrong with the Arab world?" would be answered. And it was not? Anyone have any feedback on this particular subject? Please e-mail me.
2003-05-04

SAMIR FROM CANADA said:
Islam was and is a blessing for the Arabs. The inherent concept of justice and wisdom within Islamic culture propelled a backward and barbarian people to a vibrant and civilized society. What went wrong? The Arabs went back to their old ways of greed, racism and illiteracy.

Two major events have resulted in the current state of weakness of the Arabs: 1) lack of legal innovation and 2) pure greed. Around the 10th century A.D., the declaration of legal finality of Islamic law resulted in the complete end of Islamic thought and quest for knowledge. For instance, four (4), I repeat, 4 witnesses are required to convict a man of rape. This is the most obtuse law out there and has no justification whatsoever. Yet, we are not allowed to change it because Islamic law is viewed akin to the Quran. A fallacy that is still prevalent to this day.

The sheer greed of the Arabs resulted in the overthrow and destruction of the last Muslim empire, the Ottomans. After this destruction, the Arabs have focused on taking the 'white man' to a god like status while efficiently stealing and killing each other.

How can the Arabs solve their problems? 1) Return to Islam and learn to adapt laws to modern life; and 2) over throw your greedy and racist leaders and intellectuals.
2003-05-04

FIRDAUS FROM UNITED KINGDOM said:
I see no point in this article. It is almost defending what we Muslims believe in. As the author mentioned it in several places, it is an old and tired claim made by those who hate Islam.

The decrepit (whatever that means) situation of the Arab world is painted by the west as a means of belittling Islam. A muslim lives the way he is shown by the Seal of the Prophet (SAW), through the Final Revelation from the One and Only God.

In my opinion, the root problem of the Arab world stems from failure to follow the ways shown by the Holy Prophet (SAW).

Wassalam.
2003-05-04

ABDULGHANI HASSAN FROM KENYA said:
The Arabs are to be blamed ,Becouse they believe in Arab notionalism more than ,ISLAM,And they have been killing Islamic scholars who preach to put them on the right islamic path,anybody who believe in ALLAH AND IS TRUE MUSLIM knows THAT ,THE ARABS leaders should ask themselves for the sake of whom do they rule ?,whatever they do do they do according TO Quran ?I believe ISLAM is not be blamed for what is not Islamc.
2003-05-04

THEJELLYMILL FROM USA said:
Alain Jean-Mairet,

Islam is a beautiful religion like you said but being of a certain religion does not force anyone into a cult. How can you say that prayers do not bring you closer to God? What does? Doing good deeds? Paying charity? Fasting maybe? The truth is all of them do and they are incomplete without prayer. Performing five prayers a day (or more) like good Muslims do is very helpful in our relationship with God/Allah. True, it becomes quite hectic if you've got a busy schedule but you will be rewarded in the hereafter for atleast trying because you had the Niyyat(intention).
I really liked this article, it's an A+. =-)

Allah Hafiz,

Sr N
2003-05-04

ABDULLAH FROM UK said:
What went wrong with the Arab world has nothing to do with Islam. We cannot generalize about the Arab World either, since the causes of failure are unique to each country and region. For example, the problems of the Palestinians and Lebanese can be traced to Israel. The problems of other states can be traced to colonialism and other factors.

In fact, if you compare the Arab states to the former colonial states in sub-Saharan Africa (especially those with different ethnic groups with strong tribal loyalties), the Arab states have done quite well. Look at the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where millions (that's right millions) have died in a civil war in the last 5 years. The problem with top-down imposed artificial states [including the imperialist Khilafah entities that have many enthusiasts] is that they destroy the underlying loyalties that hold people together, and try to impose a structure and government on society that has not evolved to the culture of the people. That leads to corruption and nepotism, as the people have no loyalty to the artificial entity. The only way to stop this is to actively restructure the entire society, or to dismember the states and turn them into more workable entities.
2003-05-04

ABDIJABAR IBRAHIM FROM AUSTRALIA said:
This article is wonderful in showing that the problems in the muslims nations is not from islam but rather it is from lack of islam .
2003-05-04

LO FROM USA said:
That was a good article. I would add that the problems in the arab world is that they DO NOT
follow islam in the correct manner.As it says
do or work for this world as if you will live forever, and work for the end as if you will die tomorrow!!(ex. plant and leave behind goods,don't worry that you will ot live to see it, others will benefit from it, and do good deeds and worship and fear GOD as if you will die tomorrow!!
2003-05-04

D R NASEEM AHMED CHAUDHRY FROM UK said:
The delima the muslim ummah is in today is neither the fault of Islam nor Quran. The greed and abondonment of the Quran and the sunnah by the Muslim rulers has lead us to where we are today. Muslim rulers, through nepotism and greed plundered the national wealth, of course with the help of their western allies and advisors. Instead of spending the wealth on nation building and national projects, they built palaces and personal businesses. They asked their western advisors to advise, build and provide armanents to their national armed forces so that they could fight their enemies including western attackers. How nieve could they be? Their enemies already know their territory and tricks. If only they had heeded to surah Almaida ayah 51, they would not be in the situation they are in today.
Saddam was west`s blue eyed boy.Where is he today ? His palaces are in ruins. His palaces did not offer him any protection. Treachery and disloyalty,which the Quran strongly detests, is the name of the game called liberation and democracy. Why west refused to accept democracy in Algeria? Simply because Muslims are in majority? Why will not west accept true democracy in Iraq? Simply because Shias are in majority? Democracy stinks.
To add to the confusion, western writers who have no concept of Islamic philosophy, and are almost certainly biased about Islam, start writing about Islam.
Naseem
2003-05-04

AHMED FROM USA said:
Reply for Alain Jean-Mairet:

You are making a lot of noise. What proof do you have for all the noise you are making. Or are you one of those prophets?? I see!
2003-05-04

SUSANNE DESIC FROM GERMANY said:
Assalamu aleikum!
I am actually for this article, because it correctly defends Islam against the obvious, false accusations, BUT I would have liked to read the REAL reasons for the state of the Arab world on the other hand. The defense of Islam would have been even stronger.
2003-05-04

ESTHER FROM USA said:
I don't know what is wrong with the Middle East. But I see intolerance and hate from that part of the world. It also seems like the people need a dictator in order to be force to do the right thing. The Taliban for example made people live good lives, and Saddam kept people from stealing.
2003-05-04

ALAIN JEAN-MAIRET FROM SWITZERLAND said:
The problem is not that Islam is a bad religion, which makes its believers rigid-minded and irresponsible, and thus prevents progress. The problem is just the religion in itself. Strong believers in any walk of life are bad fellows. Sometimes, they look good nevertheless, because they (their religion's branch) put a strong accent on doing well, for various reasons, mostly for dominating their little world in some more intelligent manner (often a women's choice). But most of the time, they just stay humans, with all shortcomings that this state implies, and only use the force of the religion(s) to second their most instinctive impulses.

The true faith is the path that leads to god, and it can be but lonely. As long as you genuinely try to follow Muhammad, or any other truly inspired man of faith, and wait for the angel to whisper in your ears, you are doing well. But the very day you'll be sure that you have heard him, that you have the truth at your fingertips, that you've figured it out completely, as say all religions, then you'll be an enemy of god. Then you'll start to rely on cults, on minute details as to what "correct" religion should be, as to what people ought to do to be in accordance with the "truth". Then your mind will rigidify and your soul will burn. You might be powerful then, but you will have lost the path.

Islam is beautiful. Islam is magnificent. Islam is a unique source of wisdom and intelligence. But don't you believe in it. You'd belong to Iblis, then, not to god. Islam's message, if you read it well, is to listen to the angel's voice, to retreat and hope to receive the inspiration in times of need, and sure not to follow some second-hand learning. God's word is not enclosed in books; his path is not made of this kind of discipline you can learn by obstinate repetition of prayers. God is the lighting, not the thunder.
2003-05-03