By Mahboob A. Khawaja, Ph.D.
“It is highly probable that but for the Arabs modern European civilization would never have arisen at all; it is absolutely certain that but for them, it would not have assumed that character which has enabled it to transcend all previous phases of evolution. For although there is not a single aspect of European growth in which the decisive influence of Islamic culture is not traceable, nowhere is it so clear and momentous as in the genesis of that power which constitutes the paramount distinctive force of the modern world and the supreme source of its victory-natural science and the scientific spirit.” Robert Briffault (The Making of Humanity).
The Divine knowledge of Islam spirited the desert born simple Arabs to pursue Islam as a movement of life and to influence the world for the evolution of an Islamic civilization while the Europeans lived in barbarianism, Muslims were the most creative, progressive and successful people on earth. Numerous Christian authors describe the 8th – 16th century Muslims in Al-Andulus (Spain), as most tolerant, knowledgeable and pioneer of scientifically advanced civilization that facilitated European Renaissance and Industrial Revolution. One factor among the many, distinctively noted by reputable Christian authors are that when they describe the excellence of Muslim civilization and its achievements, it is referred to as “people of the Quranic Generation.” Today, most of the Arab leaders avoid using the concept of the “Quranic Generation” – Muslim Ummah, and prefer to call themselves – an “Arab Ummah” – negating the intellectual magnificence and glorious contributions of the Islamic civilization.
What went wrong with the Arab pioneers of the Islamic civilization across the European continent? Among many of the reasons, one may cite few important ones:
1. Change in Islamic Thinking: absence of a proactive vision for the humanity as chosen people for the good of humanity.
2. Conscious neglect of the universal mission of Islam and resulting discard of Islamic movement across the globe.
3. Non-conformance to the principles of Islamic movement for change, development and human success.
4. Systematic decadence in intellectual, moral and political leadership.
5. Dismantling of Islamic institutions for the development of One Ummah, and to avoid the role of reasoning and accountability.
6. Increasing adaptability to western thinking, behaviors, educational system and social norms that drained out the Islamic THINKING for unity, creativity and movement.
7. “Fitna” of the transitory prosperity – discovery of the oil and aftermath of the oil export revenues.
8. Incurable illusions of the neo-colonialist elite that oil revenues are forever their exclusive property.
9. Overwhelming materialism and consumerism: training of body desperately needed training of Faith (Eman) and a committed mind.
Leadership in Muslim societies is occupied by those who have no educational upbringing or interest in living Islam and lead nobody, mostly seen as being ignorant, corrupt, and subservient to the neo-colonialism and committed to secularism as a system of life.
The Western strategic elite justify wars against the Muslim world as dating back to the Crusades. They know through patronage that Muslims have no leader like Sultan Salah uddin Ayoubi to challenge the Christian Crusaders and defeat them. European imperialism viewed Islamic civilization as an unacceptable entity to their goal of global domination and feared Islamic movement as a force with considerable challenge. In scientific discoveries, technology development, educational advancement and political emancipation, European colonial masters drifted the Muslim masses to a subhuman level below the pets. A former Arab and presently Canadian educated journalist contends that Arabs love dog and entitles his recent article “Arabs and dog”. One wonders, is it an accumulated disgust or considered failure of the contemporary Arab leadership? Generation after generation, Muslims have been defeated and submerged into other entities or punished by the Western masters. So-called liberal democracy had no listing of Muslim as suitable creatures for progressive role-play in international community. Humanity in the West shrinked from intelligence to stupidity, whereas, Charles Darwin (Origin of the Species), was uplifted and honored, man (“Insaan”-human being) was degraded from all the entries of making a human civilization. Whereas, Islam focused on man (“insaan”) as the primary aim of comprehensive development.
Pioneers of scientifically progressive civilization, those Arabs and other Muslims became prisoners of foreign ideas – from freedom to human exploitation, all affixed on paper – phenomenon of exalted humanity – Al-Hamra palace to Taj Mahal, all transformed into digits and numbers to become an abstract reference in tourist guide, interpretive history full of material civilization, nothing else. The folly of deliberate aim of the pedagogy to conceal and distort the entire moral and spiritual progressive evolution of the mankind; left to be interpreted in questionable terminology. While arrogance and stupidity rules, true knowledge and divine wisdom live in denials.
Arabian deserts are no longer deserted from cocktail parties and rock & roll, and its natural inhabitant’s dream of living full life like the people do in London, Paris and New York. Continued oil revenues have polluted the traditional nomadic minds and behaviors. Would this trend of emerging naïve social thinking and behavior lost indefinitely? How to change the apparent failure and distorted impressions of the contemporary Muslim societies? Could the American scientific, business and technological cultural domination provide any framework for change, freedom and human progress?
Most western mythologist would prefer silence when their interests and hegemonic goals come into intellectual and political conflicts with the oil producing Arab world. Islam and its followers believe in change as a precept of the faith. Since “Islamic terrorism” phenomenon has emerged as a new data in American dictated global propaganda vocabulary and pre-conceived graphics of the Muslim images, little tangible and constrictive change can be imagined except resulting in clear failure of the Muslim leadership, from intellectual sphere to practically all value oriented domains. The political language of progress is distortion of reality, supremacy of American technology-based culture, capitalism and ultimate integration of Muslim countries into the fold of American – Zionist dominated economic block. The World Bank and IMF are the true rulers of the global politics. America controls all.
Arab leaders dream normalcy that Saddam Hussein is no longer around and was hanged on video. American first colonial occupation of Iraq pleases the Zionist strategists in short and long terms success: availability of cheap Arab oil, fresh water, access to lands, immediate trade links and political recognition, open body culture of the west, and diminishing role hpw of the Islamic values across the board. American and specially hired Brits – former PM and currently a candidate for war crimes against humanity, Tony Blair’s war protagonists do believe that it was a real war fought against Saddam Hussein (their former faithful client), and it ended up in American victory and success even though the WMD hoax was a staged drama nothing other than a planned deception and treachery to the collective conscience of humanity that demonstrated strong opposition against the American planned war.
The Western strategic planners have programmed the Arab elite to play a robotic role in real world human affairs. For decades, the Arabs leaders have been doing this to please the Masters. Arab leaders curtail political activism in the citizenry and forged national positions in-between when principles of Islamic justice, honor and valor warranted a bold stand. They love Anglo-Saxon beauty and salute the blond soul and body in totality. Western masters did not train the Arab armies to fight for any public cause. The mission of Arab armies is not the defense of Islam, they are solely meant to guard the palaces, lock up the intellectuals arguing for change and reformation of political governance, and open fire on the agitating masses. The Western materialistic development formula flourishes throughout the Arab oil-exporting culture whereas “Man” (“Insaan”) has been excluded in the planning and development scheme of priorities. The Arab masses painfully strive for intellectual and leadership sense of security and futuristic safety and human growth.
What is next in conflict making and conflicts keeping? Nobody can predict in an unpredictable and fearful American dominated militarism era. Secularist Arabs rulers love Machiavellian image than being conformists to Islamic values. They live in a self-perpetuated conflict situation only to support America, no matter what happens. American leaders have declared a war against Islam, but not against Muslims. American Intelligence Networks claim all Muslim leaders are friends whereas; they view Islam as an enemy. They believe that Islam belongs to history; only American culture is living force for prosperity. To humiliate the already victimized half living bodies of Palestinians, American neo-cons have offered a “roadmap” for peace in Palestine. It is a map that has no road, and a road that goes nowhere.
Arabs leaders have missed many opportunities to show courage and conviction in history and appear fearful to face the mirror, but subscribe to the bandmaster’s tune being played again to appease the American-Israeli interest lobby in Washington. What futuristic culture would the young Arab generations inherit from the contemporary authoritarian leadership? Nobody wants to care about it while the America run wars are raging across the Muslim world and important celebrities are too busy to THINK! The deprived Arab masses are kept happy with the illusion of fake petro-dollars prosperity and that business is as usual. No so, realistically if you see the real world, Arabs are operating from a position of extreme weakness, not of strength to influence the outcome of political conflicts and particularly the Palestine problem.
They NEED UNITY in their ranks and it does not seem to be forthcoming as nobody is aspiring to think of it. They desperately NEED educated and intelligent policy makers in global security, peace and conflict management, whereas, they have none and mostly rely on ignorant foreign opinions and experts. The influential Arab leaders are not listening to the VOICES of REASON and educated and innovative proactive visions of the intellectual Muslims. For sixty years, they have been a complete failure and not willing to change their thinking outlook. If the future is to be visualized as promising, the current Arabian leaders MUST listen and learn from the educated Muslims. But the Arab leaders continue to live in PALACES, not with PEOPLE.
The West exploits the oil producing Arab nations under varied perceptions and political images. They view Arabs as backward people entangled in tribalism and not upto the value indicators of their standard of modernity. The Arabs got the economic prosperity without working for it. The West knows well that Arabs are often emotional and disunited lacking intellectual foresights and persuasive political activism in global affairs. The contemporary Arab leaders operate from a position of weakness and not of strength in global political arena. Yes, Arabs lack proactive leadership but they are rich in human values, culture and civilization. What is needed is to straighten out the Western policy makers with moral and intellectual challenge, not to take the Arabs for granted as John Perkins (Confession of an Economic Hitman) describes ‘to milk the cows until sunset.’ If the contemporary Arab leaders wanted to change the direction of their outlook and were good listeners and learners to educated Muslims and intellectuals, they could articulate moral and political challenges to America and Israel, and the political games and outcomes will be different and favorable to the Arabs. American and Israeli politicians do respond to challenges. It is the leadership art to challenge that Arabs failed to perceive in creative politics.
Arabs leaders celebrate the American success in Iraq, Afghanistan and across the Middle East but prey at their own people under the disguise of terrorism to dispel any sign of public resentment against the American-British intransigence and aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan. So far an estimated 2.5 millions civilians have been killed in Iraq war and millions of habitats have been destroyed in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Even the Arab League and OIC could not dare to name America and Britain as the aggressors in Iraq and Afghanistan. They pretend to be moderate. Deception and treachery knows no bound. Recently, the American Middle East based senior military command organized a grand celebration of victory in one of the host oil exporting Arab nations. The American General invited the Ameer of the state to be the guest of honor and to bless the gathering. While enroute to the public stadium, the Ameer’s caravan ran over a blind desert nomad crossing the road in a hurry. Time conscious Ameer could not stop the official limousine to see the dead nomad as he was already getting late to attend the celebration. Amidst the drumbeats and song and dance, the American Commander of the Middle East Forces welcomed the Arab chief guest and applauded his visionary leadership role and contributions to support the American-British strategic goals in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. When the Ameer stood up to address the cheering crowd, his speech was entitled:
"Arab Leaders are Winning"