Need of a Dialogue - Dr Muhammad Farooq Khan

Need of a Dialogue

It has been concluded through the discussion made so far that in spite of the distinctive qualities of Islamic society as compared to other societies in terms of values, aims of life, and practice, it acknowledges the existence of other societies and interacts with them in a useful way. It does not believe in any sort of aggression if other societies keep respecting its entity.

It is also an established fact now that Islam lays as much stress upon all peaceful and human values as any sane and conscientious philosophy does. These values include democracy, freedom of opinion and peaceful co-existence etc. However, Islam has a different approach about certain matters. For example, Islam emphasizes the unit of family a lot and does not allow a sexual relationship outside marriage including homosexuality. Islam teaches respect and care in the relationship between man and woman to avoid any sexual perversion. Obviously, most of the civilizations of today have a sharp contrast from Islamic civilization in this respect.

It has become an issue of great significance today whether Western and Islamic civilizations can co-exist. Though there are basic differences between the two civilizations in terms of values and aims of life, there is a wall of alienation between them based on a mere misunderstanding on certain matters. Realizing the facts can create an atmosphere of peaceful co-existence.

At the moment there are three kinds of attitudes about the West among the Muslims. One is the attitude of extremism. The faction with this attitude considers the West as a blend of evils and believes that the whole West is against Islam and thus both the sides have eternal enmity between them. People with this mentality are in minority in the Muslim world but they have strong foundations. This mentality is generally known as fundamentalism.

Second is the attitude of inferiority complex. This faction is fully impressed by the West and its values. This mentality is present in the affluent class of the Muslim world. But this group is overall strange to the majority of the Muslim world as it is against their collective conscience.

Third is the attitude of moderation. This group believes that the wall of misunderstanding between Islam and the West can be put down despite the basic difference between both and there is a possibility of mutual co-existence. This group is in majority among the Muslims.

On the other side, the West also has three kinds of attitudes about the Muslims and the Muslim world. First is the attitude of hostility. This group believes all the Muslims to be hostile to the West and wants to crush them completely, as to them; it is the only way for their survival. They want to promote a leadership among the Muslims that believes in Western values. They never spare the Muslims and launch a campaign of negative propaganda against them.

Second group, though not hostile to the Muslims, considers them backward and against democracy, progress, and novelty in thinking. The political sphere of the West is occupied by this kind of mentality, so their priorities and strategy about the Muslims keep changing. They want to keep the Muslim governments under their subjugation so that they might not be a threat to the West.

Third faction has a sympathetic attitude towards the Muslims and believes that the Muslims have been misunderstood and misreported by the Western media. This group reminds the West of the contrasts within itself, and dislikes its discriminatory treatment with the Muslim world. It has an optimism that the Muslims would respond positively if the West offers friendship in the real sense.

It is, therefore, evident that the mutually based good relations depend on the emergence of moderate, considerate and human friendly groups in both sides. This is difficult but not impossible, it is difficult because most of actions done by the Western governments cause reaction in the Muslim world. In the same way the Muslim extremists generate repulsion among the Westerners, so in such an emotional situation the persons with moderate and sane thinking are labeled, as agents of the opposite group. Reasonable people from both sides should realize their responsibilities. The moderate group among the Muslims should present their interpretation of Islam with a forceful argument so that the majority of the Muslims accept it and work with moderation while analyzing any of the Western action on political grounds.

On the other side the Westerners should develop a harmony with the true and moderate interpretation of Islam and try to learn more about the message of Islam. They should devise such political policies so as to inculcate an environment of understanding in the Muslim world and not an atmosphere of reaction against the West.

All this would only be possible when there is a flow of dialogue between Islam and the Western brain on levels of serenity, knowledge, ideology, and rational thinking. This would end many misunderstandings and both sides would tolerate each other, understand each other and come closer to each other. This is in fact the real message of the new millennium.


Courtesy: The family of Dr. Muhammad Farooq Khan


Author : Dr Muhammad Farooq Khan
Uploaded on : May 13, 2016
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