Leaving Islam




For the last fifty years, Arab Muslims have made no notable inventions or discoveries in science, medicine, and technology or in humanities.  Islamic fundamentalists oppress women, and place restrictions in art, literature, philosophy and discussion on transcendental spiritual topics other than Islamic dogma.  No Islamic nation has taken the path of secularism, rationalism, democracy, pluralism and human rights. From Morocco to Malaysia , Muslims follow dogmatism, Islamic fundamentalism and religious intolerance. 

Dilemmas and Directions 

It is doubtful whether fundamentalist Muslims can last much longer without identifying with the changing values of pluralism, democracy, secularism, tolerance, co-existence and freedom. Muslims must accept the fact of change and difference. They have to escape from the closed dogmatic, imperialistic ideology and tolerate, and accept and genuinely respect those who differ from them. Their vision of the world and other religions is fragmented, distorted and their approach to problems is misguided. Because of their narrow reductionism and mechanistic framework of the world, they mistrust the non-Islamic world and rational, open, and democratic concepts and ideas. The closed paradigm of fundamentalist Islam and the will to interpret matters on the rigid, narrow-minded, bigoted and dogmatic Islamic term is the main reason for the present crisis, violence and terrorism that we experience. 

A solution for the Islamic crisis can be found. The solution must begin with the identification of the problem. What we need is a fundamental change in Islamic thought, perception and values. The gravity and intensity of the crisis created by Muslims warrants refocus of their dualistic, rigid framework. For Muslims, problems are interpreted as conflict between infidels and faithful. Islamic fundamentalists declare that there is no solution for the Middle East problem except through Jihad. According to Koran, Jihad is a war against the non-believers.  Sura (1:4) says, “those who disbelieve and hinder (men) from the path of Allah, their deeds will Allah render astray…. Therefore, when you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks, at length, when you have thoroughly subdued them, build a barrier against them, thereafter   (is the time for) either generosity or ransom, until war lays down its burden”. Thus Islam views the world as though it were divided in two opposing camps…Darus Salam (Muslims) and Darul Harb (Infidels). Again Sura (8:39) says “and fight until there remains no more infidels or until they remain submissive only to Allah”. Many liberals misconceive the reasons for Islamic rage, violence, unrest, brutality, beheading, arrogance and terrorism. What Iranian Mullahs, Iraq Jihadis, Al-Queda, Hamas, Muslim mob burning flags of democratic nations and Muslims kidnapping journalists are certainly displaying a patterns rooted in the Islamic dogmatism. The violence, intolerance, non-compromising attitude, and thinking errors are an integral and inseparable part of the total Koranic message. The violence, terrorism, and hostility will be continued ruthlessly and relentlessly against non-believers until final victory is assured. The strict adherence to the closed thinking, rigid paradigm and the dualistic Islamic concept of believers and non-believers has disastrous consequences. The crisis and terrorism we witness in the Middle East, Afghanistan , Pakistan , Iran , Iraq and other Islamic countries is due to interpretation of reality, distorted conceptualization and mechanistic problem solving model practiced by Muslims. 

Looking Toward the Future  

In the changing context of modern technology and pluralism, Muslims cannot survive in a closed system. They have to interpret, analyze, examine and accept the social, political, cultural, scientific and technological developments taking place around the world. Islamic society should undergo a planned change and learn to coexist with non-believers and accept rational and free _expression of ideas. 

Islamic scholars, thinkers, political leaders and media persons have an immense opportunity, responsibility and obligation to generate new knowledge, ideas and strategies based upon a rigorous and disciplined assessment of the present crisis. Islam needs a reformation and Muslims must embrace change, democracy, pluralism, coexistence, religious tolerance and freedom of _expression. Creative and systemic problem solving strategies would reduce the possibility of future crisis and conflict with the civilized world. Introduction of integral humanism, secularism, and creative thinking can be an instrument for reform and reformation in the Islamic world. This would encourage Muslims to free themselves from the trap of absolutism, and the rigid reductionism. The institutionalization of such broad, eclectic knowledge is a prerequisite for world peace and harmony. To face the future, Muslims must show the discipline-indispensable to the task of building a new order.  








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