The Islamic Civilization and the Western Attitude
By: Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assil, Egypt
The Islamic civilization is characterized by forbearance, coexistence and avoidance of fanaticism, isolation and dissention. These are the reasons why the Muslim as well as the non-Muslim finds shade under its tree and enjoys its fruits. In addition, the Islamic civilization is considered the fruitage of the Muslims’ free thought void of illusions, superstitions, and falsehoods as well as their interestedness in seeking knowledge in all its various forms. Indeed, Islam represents the Muslim’s persistent motive towards penetrating the unknown and practicing abstract sciences with the aim of realizing their amazing findings.
Undoubtedly, the fields of research and deduction are the methods of scientific discovery. This can be perceived in Allah’s Words:
﴾And He has subjected to you whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth, altogether from Him. Surely in that are signs for a people who meditate.﴿
[Al-Jathiyah (Kneeling): 13]
And He says:
﴾Are the ones who know equal to the ones who do not know? Surely only the ones endowed with intellects would remind themselves. ﴿ [Az-Zumar (The Hordes): 9]
Allah, Exalted be He, also says:
﴾The ones among them who investigate would indeed know it.﴿ [An-Nisa’ (Women): 83]
Moreover. He says:
﴾"Lord! Increase me in knowledge."﴿ [Ta Ha: 114]
Furthermore, Allah says:
﴾Surely only men of knowledge are the ones of His bondmen who are apprehensive of Allah.﴿
[Fatir (The Originator): 28]
There are so many other verses exhorting towards seeking and searching for knowledge.
It is historically stated that the Christian Westerners came to know the Muslim civilization and culture as a result of their mingling with the Muslims during the Crusades. That kind of mingling helped them to reach the Renaissance Age in Europe. However, the prevalent belief in the West denies the positive effects of the Muslims civilization and culture on the advancement of the West. They do so out of nothing but arrogance and ingratitude. Though some of them acknowledge the civilizations of other nations, especially the Islamic one, yet they spread the idea that the Western civilization is the most superior one. Huntington, one of the Western writers, expects that all civilization shall perish except that of the West. On the other side, Jamal Al-Ghitany, the famous Egyptian writer, predicts, in his book entitled “Horizons of Memory,” that the Western civilization is proceeding towards its end, and this goes back to its isolation, fanaticism and disregard for the other deep-rooted civilizations existing in the world.
Speaking about the attitude of the Christian West towards Islam and its civilization, Prof.Muhammad Imarah says, “Imperialism (i.e., represented in the West) withdrew away from our countries many years ago. We do not see a single soldier walking on our lands, nor a gun aimed at us, nor a flag over our heads, but, unfortunately, we see among ourselves some individuals who wish to keep the West’s imperialistic ideas in the heads of our children, its principles in our parties and its curricula in our schools. This is the actual imperialism that is more severe than the occupation of homes.”
In the book “Muhammad, the Founder of Islam,” George Bush, the father, says, “He might be of a great culture among the nomadic tribes, but he would not be more than an ordinary man if he was to live in the civilized European atmosphere. All the history of Muhammad shows that fanaticism, ambition and fame were the motives driving him.” As a way of disapproving of such a baseless accusation, Dr. Abdel-Rahman Abdullah Al-Sheikh, the translator of Bush’s book, says, “When we introduce this book, we are thus introducing one of the most significant sources of the American hatred towards Islam and Arabs. We have been grieved to read its aggressive groundless criticism against our noble Prophet as well as our Arab nation. By doing so, we are revealing one of the most important sources of the contradicting thought as well as the extremism in the Western thought, especially the American one. Some of those unjust individuals understand our religion and history according to what are written in the likes of that book; they call us now to forget all about our heritage. They should – only if they are fair – reconsider this religion from an objective perspective to see what it involves of forbearance and sublimity regarding all the humane values.”
Not long ago, president George Bush, the son, expressed his admiration of a book entitled “The Case for Democracy,” and said, “That book of Natan Sharanaky reflects a part of my philosophy and summarizes my ideas that I have been doing my best to implement since the 11th of September attacks.” The writers, men of thought, politicians, and journalists in the Arab and Islamic countries, especially Egypt, hurried to read that book so that it might represent the intentions and plans of Bush’s administration over the four coming years.
Everyone who has the chance to read the book feels choked to see the content of the book which is full of grudge and hatred against the Arab and Islamic nations which the author calls “Communities of Fear.” These nations, according to the book, are represented in all the Arab countries in addition to Iran and Pakistan. The author in his book considers all the Arab and Islamic countries as enemies to the Unites States and the Western world. He says, “Practicing pressure on such countries through demanding them to protect human rights shall be the basic entry through which they can be weakened and thus destroyed.” Indeed, the author bears a malicious grudge against the Arab Republic of Egypt, in particular, to the degree that he spreads doubts about the reality of the existing peace between Egypt and Israel. In this regard, he says, “Despite the elapse of twenty-five years on signing the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, the possibility of going into war is still there.” He also launched a torrent of accusations against the Egyptian government for adopting an anti-Semitism attitude in the Egyptian society. He also accused Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran with the same accusations.
In another position of the book, Sharanaky says, “The democratic countries (including Israel, of course) have the right to possess nuclear weapons. But the non-democratic countries cannot be trusted with possessing such weapons.” Despite the idea that Sharanaky tries to put on the mask of the defender of human rights, he states in his book that the motive behind his ideas and principles is his Zionistic belonging and belief in the historical right for the Jewish nation regarding the land of Israel.
No doubt that the two books of George Bush (the father) and Natan Sharanaky have come to eliminate any doubt with regard to the White House’s policy over the four coming years.