Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's speech during the opening session of the Organization of Islamic Conference made headlines because of several disparaging remarks made against Jews. Mohamad accused the Jews, among other things, of ruling the world "by proxy." Now, I spoke out against those anti-Jewish statements as disturbing and wrong, and I still believe that to be the case. Nevertheless, the media reports on the speech were limited to those few lines about Jews, and they neglected the rest of the speech, which cogently outlined why the Muslim world has stagnated and stumbled on the path of progress.
Mohamad recalled how the early Muslims "produced mathematicians, scientists, scholars, physicians, and astronomers" who excelled in their fields of knowledge "besides studying and practicing their own religion of Islam." The early Muslims accomplished these heroic intellectual feats because they obeyed the first injunction of the Quran: "Read in the name of thy Lord who created" (Quran 96:1).
Muslim intellectual decline began because "halfway through the building of the great Islamic civilization came new interpreters of Islam who taught that acquisition of knowledge by Muslims meant only the study of Islamic theology. The study of science, medicine, etc. was discouraged." Consequently, Mohamad continued, Muslims became more preoccupied with "minor issues such as whether tight trousers and peak caps were Islamic, whether printing machines should be allowed or electricity used to light mosques." This intellectual decline lead to the withering of Muslim civilization, with all of its attendant historical consequences.
His overall analysis was that the Muslims' deplorable state of affairs was due to their total abandonment of Islam's guiding principles for a superficial reading and interpretation of Islam's sources: "This is what comes from the superficial interpretation of the Quran, stressing not the substance of the Prophet's Sunnah and the Quran's injunctions but rather the form, the manner and the means used in the 1st Century of the Hijrah." Furthermore, the use of violence by some Muslims has achieved nothing and has only added to the misery of the Muslims today.
Reading the Western news accounts of the speech, one would easily think that the Prime Minister blamed all of the Muslims' problems on the Jews. This is clearly not the case. In fact, the Prime Minister said, "We also know that not all non-Muslims are against us." All this was either not mentioned or glossed over by the Associated Press. Unfortunately, this is not the first time the media has practiced selective reporting when it comes to Islam and Muslims.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) analyzed the news coverage of the millennium terror plots of 1999. The arrest of the Algerian man who allegedly tried to smuggle bomb-making materials into the United States was covered in 129 stories (113 print, 16 broadcast) on the day of, and the day following, the announcement of his arrest. Twenty-one newspapers ran it on Page One. CAIR also found that in the same month--December 1999--two suspected militia members were arrested and accused of plotting to blow up a California propane plant just outside Sacramento, California. If the plot was carried out, it could have killed as many as half the people within a five-mile radius. The news of the arrest, however, was covered in 51 stories (51 print, 0 broadcast) on the day of the arrest and the following day. Only one of the stories ran on Page One. Many papers ran it as a news brief.
It is unlikely that such selective reporting on things Islamic will cease any time soon. As can be seen by the widespread condemnation of Mohamad's speech, such selective reporting contributes to the image of Islam as a violent, hateful religion. Yet that is exactly why I was compelled to write this article. Indeed, having to constantly defend Islam against the same age-old and tired accusations get very tiring. But it is a job that must be done. My God has called, and it would be inhuman not to answer.
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).
Just follow the Q. Settle problems according the Q and Sunnah, not how your enemies want you to settle.
In response to comment 19004: Jesus (PBUH) never said "The holy spirit will be sent" what he said was that the SPIRIT OF TRUTH will come.The Christians interpret this to be the Holy Spirit ie the greek manuscript does not translate to "holy spirit" but to "Spirit of Truth".In his Epistle 1:4 John said "Test the Spirit because many false Prophets have gone out into the world", here John is using the words "Spirit" and "Prophet" synonymously ie Spirit of truth could also be referred to as Prophet of Truth.
This is a translation from the contemporary english version of the Bible, after Jesus supposed crucifixion Luke 24:38-39 "But Jesus said,"Why are you so frightened? Why do you doubt?
Look at my hands and my feet and see who I am! Touch me and find out for yourselves.Ghosts don't have flesh and bones as you see I have" Luke 41-43
"Jesus then asked them, "Do you have anything to eat?" they gave him a piece of baked fish.He took it and ate it as they watched"
Here is the question ,if he died on the cross what is he doing with flesh and bones and eating baked fish after his crucifixion? The Prophet of Truth (Muhammad peace be upon him) said Jesus did not die on the cross and the above verses of the Bible confirms this.
May Allah guide us to the truth where they differ. Ameen and Salaam.
I am a newcomer in Islam. This is my fourth
Ramadan. I think that today those fields
mentioned in the article are saturated with
scientists, etc. Back then I don't think there
were as many "people" attempting to better
society, in that, life was probably good and
less stressful. Today, however, we find
ourselves more concerned with trying to be
better muslims and keeping our families safe.
Could it be that all of the different sects has
influenced one and all?-like a distraction?
The world cannot be healed until there is a critical mass of peacemakers. But like "what is a Christ" the world has forgotten what a peacemaker is.
If you think about it, those that wish for an Islamic political, economic system should head the call of the seven P's. Proper prior planning prevents pitifully poor performance. To enact Islam as a political, economic system one must ground the study of the noncorporeal in the corporeal and the study of the corporeal in The Creator. For instance, I think I have finally worked out the mathematics that shows why "eye for an eye with forgiveness" is optimal and more interesting that a mix of "eye for an eye" with "eye for an eye with forgiveness" creates a trajectory in a society toward less crime and more justice. Although a good peer review would be nice.
By basing Islamic rules not only in the Quran but also in hard science the critics are silenced and the people gain the in depth understanding to take them further.
To be honest media is the most strongest power
this people have in their hands and they know how to utilize it they r the masters so psychology and muslims r not aware of it most of them .
Non-muslims have no fear of god that leave no boundries for them ,they r free to do anything.
salam alaikum .
I didn't find anything wrong with the speech given by Prime Minister M. Mohammad. However, I agree fully with the general comments of our Brother Hasaballah. A full version of Dr. Mahathir's speech was printed and I thought it was balanced and it reminded Muslims that we must use our intellect to solve our problems and work harder toward change through peaceful means.
I have the greatest respect for Prime Minister Mohammad. He has brought his country into the modernity through peaceful means in spite of opposition from Western financial quarters. Believe me this man is no fool and the West knows it. My only hope is that Prime Minister Abdullah will carry on his tradition of advancement and tolerance.
I believe one of the greatest challenges facing the Muslim world today is the correct image of Islam. We must also understand that Islam can never, ever be hijacked by anyone. However, Muslims can allow themselves to be deluded under the false notions that they have or following the teaching of Islam under their wicked impulses.
So there is a big struggle for the hearts and minds of humanity and we see that Satan is working hard to bring about his plan of misleading the people.
Dr. Mohammed comments about the "special" stauts of Jews is not something we should take lightly. We should ponder over his words and reflect on it's truthfulness in the spirit of tolerance and understanding. We should also pay close attention of what comes from the mouths of those who charge others with being anti-semetic, a term that still escapes me in terms of it's real meaning. We are praying for peace, understanding and Allah's forgiveness during this Ramadan. May Alah bless the believers to implement the challenges presented by Dr. Mahathir.
1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews.
We are up against a people who think.
With these they have now gained control of the most powerful countries and they, this tiny community, have become a world power. We cannot fight them through brawn alone.
Funny, I never knew that there is currently a war between the Jews and Muslims.
Hesham Hassaballa complains about selective reporting. But by neglecting the above statements in his article, he is guilty of the exact thing. It is one thing to condemn Israel's brutal treatment of the Palestinians. It is quite another to condemn an entire religion on the actions of a select few. The problem with Mahathir Mohamad's speech is that you can not stereotype a whole religious minority in acting one particular way. It is complete paranoia to say that every Jew is in cahoots together to get the Muslims or that the Jews are collectively responsible for the failure of certain foreign governments. That is like saying if I get mugged on the subway by a black man, is every African-American collectively responsible for that mugging? Of course not. If the Jews are oppressing the people of the Muslim faith, how come they are not oppressing say the Buddhists, Hindus, Christians or the Scientologist for that matter? And I sincerely doubt that at a conference of Buddhists or Christians, another world religion would be denigrated and attacked.
In America, like the rest of the world 1% of the populace hold 99% of the wealth. Sure, within that 1% there are some Jews. But 99% of them are in the 99% of the have nots. In every religion you have your extremist
How come when similar destruction is endured by Muslims in Palestine and Chechnya every day, No one is asking What wrong with Christianity and Judaism?
In terms of science& tech, remember the West was in dark for centuries and WHAT GOES AROUND, come around (there is a cyclic nature to everything)? So stop being STUPID.
I can find thousands of things wrong in SO CALLED "Civilized Society" or also in "MODERN MUSLIMS", who are proxies of enemies of Islam.
The author has done such a fabulous job by bringing us back to reality. I do agree that Muslims in general have been living in the dark ages for centuries now. It is time to reclaim our faith and show the perverted, the warped, and those who claim to be Muslims, that they cannot and will not manipulate us into hate and obscurantism anymore. We are cognizant of their schemes and humanity now is working to defeat them. Our source of faith is the Koran before anything else, and it is time for all of us, Muslims, to honor it by reading it and fully understanding it. I abhor the fact that millions of "Muslims" around the world do not carry out their spiritual responsibility toward Allah/God the way they must. It is time to set a good example to the world by seeking what Allah has advised us to do and that is to pursue all fields of knowledge and wisdom (science and literature) and not only the study of religion. God has created us to enjoy life as we were going to live forever and worship him as we were going to meet him tomorrow. It is time to shed the hide of ignorance, backwardness, and oppression in the Muslim world. There are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, and yet they have almost no impact on world affairs in terms of advancement and progress.
For the exception of Malaysia, no other Muslim nation-state has a place in nowadays scientific thrust. It is time to wake up and contribute to the well-being of all human-beings and cease being oppressive and un-Islamic. Islam is a faith which is inclusive. We should embrace the Jews and the Christians to share with them our faith and show them the truth about Islam, a faith of compassion, love, enlightenment, progress, and discipline.
May God bless us all; Ameen.
The reason for the current situation of the Muslims is simply this "La Illaha ill Allah" does not exsist in our hearts. We only pay lip service to it. The companions of the Prophet(PBUH) had thirteen years to aquire faith. There were no laws other than "La Illaha ill Allah" for thirteen years they had their hearts prepared to accept the injunctions that were to come and so when they were told to do something their response was "We hear and we obey". The laws of Islam came in small bitesized pieces. Later day Muslims have not had their hearts prepared to accept the words of Allah and our religous leaders seem to have forgotten that for a seed to grow the soil must first be prepared to receive the seed. Then too the best way to learn is through a good example. Where are our good examples now? Where are those Muslims who are kind to their neighbors, who forgive rather than hate? Why do Muslims control 2/3 of the worlds wealth and still make up 2/3 of the worlds refugees? Why are the Masjids only full during Ramadan? Why in America do Arabs refuse to stand next to African-Americans in the prayer line? Why are their no Islamic hospitals in a country with 8 million Muslims? Because "La Illaha ill Allah" is something we say not something we belive.
The problem brothers and sisters is that we do not have Islam in
Mahatir also confuses Zionism with Judaism and many of his comments constitute a generic slur on the "Jews".
Islam does not permit this. We ohght to be against those who are the enemies of Islam but not against non-Muslims. This balance must essentially be maintained both in words and practice. Wa'assalaam
Alhumdulillah brother Hassaballa wrote a nice piece here. I just want to raise one issue, it does not have to do with this article. The entire section that talks about the "jews ruling the world by proxy" has been taken off almost every website I searched that had the text on it's website. It has basically disappeared. I find that disturbing. The only places you will find that phrase spoken by Dr. Mahathir Mohamammad, will be in articles written that criticize the comment itself as being "anti-semetic"......
the only place on the net that I have found where this section (39) was not censored, is on the official OIC website. So if you're looking for it, go to www.oicsummit2003.com. I really find this unbelievable that everyone else removed this section. No wayy...jews don't rule hte world by proxy, this act of removing this section from thousands of websites posting the speech obviously displays this.....yeah exactly....Wassalaam!
Yes, Islam is for Rohmatan lil alamin... when current Muslims leave the teaching of true Islam.. Allah will replace with new Muslims whom Allah loves them very much.... and Mahathir is one of them... he is honest and brave and only fear Allah.
Wake up, We dont have a clergy, we have religious leaders who're falsely blamed for everything negative. You cite cultural traditions practiced in conflict with Islam, and again claim religious leaders are to blame for this. This is a blatant lie, most of the people who practice as such are neither religious and are more interested nationalistic themes. The vast majority of religous leaders have time and time again stood against such degeneration, only to have their warnings fall on deaf ears. And besides what have people like you done ? NOTHING.
The reality is that todays backward Muslims are the so called "modernists" who discourage and outlaw acquisition of theological knowledge, all the while serving faithfully at the altar of those who dont mean them any good. The last 100 years of Arab history is a testament to this.
As for Mahatir, while he was mostly right, he is no friend of Muslim religious leaders, who are his main opposition, and have criticized his excesses.
The author shouldnt worry about defending Mahatir, those who hate us and our faith will make up anything to justify their delusions. Instead simply cite the hypocrisy of their phony free press. Trust me, THAT never gets boring.
think there is much food for thought in Mahathir
Muhammad's speech and the howl of outrage from
some sources is frankly OTT (over the top). Jews
may have felt surprised by some of the suggestions
contained therein but outraged? Get real. The
Israeli government and many Jews have a lot to
Most of the Muslims show off their piety by arranging these gatherings called "Milad", where they sing superficial lyrics in praise of our prophet (pbuh), while Quran says," Say ye, "We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us , and to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob and the tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus and that given to all prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them: and we submit to Allah". Quran 2:136
Our faith in Allah is so weak that we have become accustomed to grave-hopping of saints long gone, in hope of getting Allah's ears, while in every rakat of every prayer we robotically repeat, " Thee alone we worship and to Thee alone we turn for help".
The author of the article is a physician, he may be surprised to know that under an "Islamic" government, he may be forced to prescribe camel's urine as first line of defence against disease.
If you think I am insane, here it is "Sahih" Bukhari for you.
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
A group of people from "Ukl(or "Uraina) tribe--but I think he said that they were from "Ukl" came to Medina and (they became ill, so) the Prophet ordered them to go to the herd of (Milch) she-camels and told them to go out and drink the camel's urine and milk(as a medicine). So they went and drank it, and when they became healthy, they killed the shepherd and drove away the camels. This news reached the Prophet early in the morning ...........".
I think you get the idea. Look it up, it is in Volume 8, Book 82, Number 797
Now, you tell me what hope there is for a nation that not only believes in this gibberish but considers it a heresy to question it.