Islam : Backward and proud of it!

Burqa-clad: Defiant about Submission.After several weeks (is it months?) of hiatus, I am back at the old stand. Life and circumstances had gotten ahead of me and I was simply washed away in its wake. In the meantime, I did receive a few comments to my previous outpourings. I appreciate your time and patience. So… without further ado, let me pick up threads where I left them.

In the last post I agreed to make a 4-part post about why I focus on Islam although there are several other religions that are worthy of the same criticism. The last post was dedicated to the fact that Islam is a 21st century bomb with a 7th century trigger. In this post, I will dwell on a separate theme that makes is particularly toxic.

Backward and opposed to modernity.

Religious texts are, by their very nature, old, outdated and outmoded. But modernity keeps such parochial content safely sequestered. Modernity has introduced and established principles such as secularism which relegate religion to its rightful place (i.e. private spiritual pursuit). Of course, all religions would love to command a greater sphere of influence but they are, generally speaking, confined to their corner in modern societies.

But NOT Islam! No sir!!

Where Islam operates, it is not only supreme in the religious sphere, it also demands dominion over society, politics, commerce, justice – indeed the whole spectrum of human experience. Look at the leading Islamic theocracies (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran) to see examples of what an Islamic society looks like. These are NOT poor and impoverished countries. They command extraordinary wealth and yet their societies are almost completely bereft of the spirit of modernity. This happens because Islam is not just behind times – it is opposed to being up with times.

Consider the issue of Sharia law: While it is true that ultra-islamists are the most rabid proponents of Sharia,  it is equally true that the wider muslim populace considers it positive because it is purported to be divinely inspired. A significant percentage of Islamic countries already have some version of Sharia law in operation. Can you name the countries where the populace is striving to overthrow/repeal Sharia? Didn’t think so. Now, can you think of countries where ultra-islamists are pushing for a greater imposition of Sharia? Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Iraq come to mind (along with Great Britain). This tells us that Islam’s retrograde outlook is viewed as a badge of honor. In other words, Backward and Proud of it!

Opposed to modernity

It would be one thing to be backward because one was left behind in the great race toward development. But is quite another to oppose modernity even when it has arrived at the main-gates. The Islamic world is still dominated by Kings, Sultans and Emirs. Clearly, modernity has revealed better (though not perfect) governmental structures than hereditary monarchy. Most muslim-majority countries have not even  adopted a 20th century governmental system – much less a 21st century one. In contrast,  the king of Bhutan (a predominantly buddhist nation) has recently transformed his country from a monarchy to a democracy – without any popular unrest to force his hand. The Nepalese have overthrown a despotic monarchy and installed a young republic. Can you name a comparable devolution of power in an Islamic state? Me neither. This tells you that cult of the “tribal chieftan” is alive, well and thriving in the Islamic world.

One could be misled by the glitter and razzmatazz of some Islamic societies and mistake their affluence for progress. (if not “westernization”). Barring some exceptions, this would be a folly. While Islamic societies have been quick to acquire amenities and conveniences of a western life (Cars, TVs, Malls, cell-phones…) they are far from having adopted the underlying secular temperament that has fueled progress which ultimately yielded the  amenities and conveniences.

Take the example of Saudi Arabia: One can come across fleets of the most opulent cars and limousines cruising the highways. But one does not have to try very hard before one notices that women are forbidden to drive in the Islamic Kingdom. (Until recently, they could not even sit in the front-passenger seat.) They are sequestered in black-robes and relegated to a lifetime of second-class citizenship (as the Koran prescribes). It is against this backdrop that the opulence of Saudi society seems pathetically vacuous. Check out this scarf-dude explaining how permitting women to drive leads to widespread sexual permissiveness and therefore societal decay.

As the leading Islamic voice and as the custodian of the holiest Islamic shrines, Saudi Arabia could be leading the way for the Islamic world. With the purse, power and prestige that Saudi Arabia commands, they could be a tremendous force for modernization and upliftment of Muslims around the world. But they stubbornly and sanctimoniously adhere to a primitive mindset. It is not as though they don’t know the way forward. Its just that they oppose modernity and prefer obscurantism. And they derive the impetus for this directly from the Koran. Barring slight differences, you will see the same obscurantist outlook pervade across most of the Muslim world.

One would have to regrettably conclude that although the Islamic world is capable of rising from its squalor, it prefers to languish in it because of the belief that salvation lies in being true to a 7th century doctrine. In doing so it rejects every meaningful thing that modernity offers.


33 Responses

  1. I dont think Islam is backward in any sense..It gives you right to do everything but within limits which are just beneficial for you in the long run…It has given women the dignity and integrity a females should deserve!

    • Prison cells also give you the right to do everything but within limits. And many of these limits are for the benefit of the whole society.
      As regards dignity to the woman …… then let the woman choose how much dignity she wants rather than force her to accept your version of dignity.
      You are deluding yourself. Islam gives NOTHING. But it demands EVERYTHING from the individual. Islam itself means submission – in other words surrender.

      • Islam is in a state where Christianity was in Dark Ages.. ISLAM is now interpreted in a way by clerics who have their own agenda which is highly TOXIC and REGRESSIVE. Women in Muslim world is in a sorry state..

      • Arnab,

        I agree with you that the Islamic World is still in its Dark Ages and if history repeats itself then we are looking at a HUGE amount of bloodshed until reform sets in.

        However, it is a folly to think that Islam is being “interpreted” (or “mis-interpreted) in some kind of sinister manner by cleric with dubious agendas. The fact of the matter is that if you were to examine the cruelty of these clerics, they would indeed find justification for it in the Koran / Hadith. Jihad, Martyrdom, Kafir-hating, Jew-Hating are not “invented” by some vile mullahs. They are indeed concepts that are explicitly enshrined in multiple places in the Koran. So the fundamentalist are indeed the “true followers” who go by the explicit writings of the Koran. In other words, they don’t have any “interpretations” of a wicked nature.

        By contrast the “moderates” are the ones with a “benign” interpretation. They are the ones that “choose” to overlook the hurtful and hateful aspects and only look at (and possibly follow) the benevolent aspects. Therefore, it is the moderates who “re-interpret” Islam as some kind of kind and gentle religion. While I might sympathize with their attempts at being kindhearted, I do not think that they are being “true” to the religion they profess to practice.

        In short, to be a “True” Muslim, you would have to be a murderous, xenophobic, genocidal, misogynistic villain. This the demand of the Koran. Look it up.

        Of course, the Koran also states nice things about kindness and charity. But those graces are only reserved for other “practicing muslims”. Everyone else is a Kafir towards whom the Koran demands undiluted hatred and contempt.

        If you see the problems of Global Islam Terrorism, you will notice that the primary battle-lines are drawn between the Islamic militants and the rest of the world solely on the grounds of being a Kafir. This is the case whether it is Israel or India or Chechnya or UK or USA. And this concept of Kafir-hood is enshrined in the Koran.

      • Sure all that you mentioned (Jew-hating, cruelty, etc.) is an intergral part of the Koran. But some parts in it are indeed ambiguous, like covering up a woman like an object. It says a woman should dress modestly. So does Christianity. Being an Indian, I’m aware that Muslims generally are indeed aggressive, non-accommodating and are highly demanding. This can be a direct manifestation of Koran. But religion collectively is a product of society that dwells on gross violations of personal freedom and choices. Be it a cruel mullah in Pakistan issuing fatwas against hapless women or the pastor in Florida burning Koran. These type of activities beget only more hatred and that is definitely not the kind of thing our much-disturbed world needs. Also, don’t interpret my views as merely naive. I’m completely aware of some texts in Koran and their sinister implications and Im definitely not fond of a ‘true muslim’s’ ways. I was so happy to see Belgium banning burqas and is content to learn that France is also in the process to do so. This type of sensible decisions should echo everywhere round the globe. Without any reform, Islam is definitely a big problem that we can’t choose to ignore especially in countries like the US, India, EU… Also to tackle this grave menace, the most powerful country, the US, should do more than just mere lip service. It should be very strict with countries from where terrorism as a state policy originates. Like Pakistan. It should face dire consequences for its misdeeds and mischiefs and not simply get a tag of an ‘ally’ in the war on terror. It clearly is not.

    • Of course it does. It brainwashes you, makes you as a second class citizen and you indoctrinated as a woman appreciate it. Talk about gullible. Slaves used to be told appreciate what your master gives you such as restrictions on your freedom and be thankful. You who subscribe to faith are nothing else but slaves to a medieval mindset that commands to hate and hope that the non believer is nothing but cannon fodder fuel for the hellfire. Intact Muslims delight in that fact since they relish that they may not have much development in their countries and that they steal and borrow technology from the Kufr, in the hereafter Akhira they will be the saved ones and will glory and delight in the wanton punishment of hellfire that will greet non believers. and look at your pathetic societys, Muslims wanting to emigrate to the West in masse and poison the Enlightened thinking of those people with their putrid ideology snuffing out any form tolerance little establishing in their primitive brains that it was this tolerance that brought them here in the first place.

    • You mean it has subjugated your mind to a slave status; that it has recommended you cease to think and exist apart from a reproductive machine which as Muslims are overrunning this world with their high population rates of growth. Tell me Ruqayya, what has Islam given anything of worth to the world over and above what it replaced?

  2. Good to have you back blogging and nice post. Yes, you make a very good point. Being backward is one thing and being proud of it is entirely another, which makes it worse and adamant to change.

    Hope to read more from you in coming days.

  3. how can saudi arabia spend money on democracy and mordernization of islamic world when it thinks that money is better spend on spreading islam around the world by opening madrasas. Most of the mosques in the west have saudi trained maulvis and are funded by saudi arabia..even India’s deobandi school of islam gets funding from saudi arabia..

    and I don’t think it’s going to change unless theocracy is changed to democracy ..although frankly democracy and islam are opposed to each other..:-(

  4. I have been reading Ayaan Hirsi Ali, she has nailed it for me.

    • Yes for Nomad and Infidel . Consider also Hitchens’ “God is not Great: Why Religion Poisons Everything”.

      Islam is the worst. Their misguided adherents demand tolerance but they do not reciprocate. When they set off a bomb somewhere, not a word of condemnation from any of their mullahs and imams. So backward. So stupid. So indifferent.

      • I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments. Its the most violent religion in its current form out there. However it seems the main battle is not with even with Islam itself; rather with those white lefties who wish to silence any criticism of Islam itself under the guise of Multiculturalism and tolerance which they extend to these people but seldom have any respect for anyone else’s critique of this repressive confining religion.

  5. To Ruqayya- How can there be dignity for a woman when she is looked upon as a sex toy and therefore must be covered so that the the man does not get “ideas’.It is this practice that haunts us even today.
    To Mind droppings-excellent debate and arguments,especially the Humour in them makes it enjoyable to read the posts.Thanks for writting them .

  6. The whole business with organized religion is a sham of the first water to keep rich and powerful men in place. Some religions are still at a more backward stage, that is all… Europe has been fighting for well over 200 years to overthrow Christian feudalism and is currently losing the battle to the secular edition of the same. Huge multinational corporations have replaced the old feudal overlords: They decide what will happen to our kids, they have — in labor terms — a kind of jus prima noctis on the best and the brightest…

  7. A O A.
    Hello In charge,
    I visited your website and deeply impressed by your work and teachings. I found that you are doing a great work for the people in the meantime. I am a professional translator as you know that the Urdu is the language of different countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan,etc. i want that your work
    Should be appreciated in these countries. I want to do work with your ministry OR organization as a Urdu Translator’s. Hopes that you will consider me for this great option.
    Yours Sincerely,
    Zainab Naseem

  8. dont kill dont steal dont sin these are limits or im wrong? people lets just stick to the famus word that we always repeat “United We Stand” right?

  9. First of all, Islam is not backwards. Hypothetically speaking, if Islam was backwards, then may I ask, why are you so affected by it all of a sudden? You chose not to follow the religion, that’s your free choice and will. If you’re so concerned with injustice in the world, then why not worry about other things like paedophiles, which scare innocent children, and harm them if given the opportunity. That’s what keeps me worrying. I’m glad that the government is making people carry out CRB checks. It’s gone on for too long, and the children are unable to change their world, but we adults can help protect them.

    • Hi Iom,

      Islam *IS* backward for all the reasons that I listed. Now you may wonder why does it matter to me if I’m irreligious. Wonder no more.

      This article is segment in the 4-part series about Why I focus on Islam. This will tell you why Islam’s wickedness matters to me.

      Why do you bring in child-rape and child-abuse as though they were distinct evils and un-connected to religion? All over the world child-rape and molestation is condemned but the only place it gets “protection” and “sanction” is within religion.

      Take the catholic church for instance. They *knew* about pedophile priests – but chose to ignore the risks they posed by transferring them around from one diocese to another. This is *CRIMINAL* and yet the Catholic church did NOTHING on its own. It is public outcry that caused some “soul-searching”.

      Take the case of Female Genital Mutilation. In any other context, such barbarism would be deplored and condemned. The only protection / justification it claims is that it is a cultural practice that is consistent with Islamic views on “puritanical life”.

      Take the case of “Jihadi indoctrination” of children. If any army were to subject children to such violent and suicidal propaganda, they would be severely censured. But put a religious robe around such propaganda and very soon it seems “reasonable”.

      So… coming back to my point: religion is culpable on these fronts and criticizing it is not just our right but also our duty too. Just because I don’t believe in religious views does not mean that I cannot see the villainy that they spew. This villainy, in current times, is most apparent in the “Religion of Peace” !!

    • yes and why don’t muslims concern themselves more with pedophiles? Many Muslim countries legitimise it in their legal systems and call it marriage. Of course if you are a perfect muslim you will want to emulate your beloved prophet and marry a 6 year old.

    • Your an idiot Iom. Any idea what we are talking about here? If your that bothered about Paedophilia then by the way Prophet Muhammed was 50 when he married his wife Aisha at age of 6 and consummated it at the age of 9. Still feel we shouldn’t be concerned by this faith considering the moral example that this man set? Try reading and understanding a subject before making remarks.

  10. God’s curse on the Christians

  11. Why do you think that Jesus the Son of God

  12. No No No No No, not the best of the best creation of Allah Muhammad

  13. Ayaan Hirsi Ali has “nailed it” for me too. So much has been made clear to me – frighteningly so. Further, our western societies are perpetuating the backwardness and confining rules of behaviour of Islam. Under the guise of multiculturalism, people continue to suffer – no less than in the countries of their origins but without our own free borders. Female genital excisions are performed on kitchen tables in modern Canadian cities. Women are covered head to foot in order that men not take responsibility for their own sexual behaviour – in modern Canadian cities. Men beat their wives and children for perceived misbehaviour – in modern Canadian cities. Women and girls are murdered to preserve family honour – in modern Canadian cities. Only try to imagine how things such as this are multiplied worldwide in so called Islamic countries. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a true hero, along with those others who would speak out in an attempt to bring about change and improve the lives of millions, and to inform those of us who would be unwitting protectors of the perpretators of violence and control.

  14. […] two hundred years (or more) of western science and technology advances.  See here, here and here.  Why ”reach out” with our most scientifically advanced agency?  Finally, the notion […]

  15. Islam is backward. It affects me because my brother was torn to shreds when one of your suicide bombers set himself off. He was just working, did not mind your religion, and did not mind you. We are agnostics, mind you. Yet you tolerate bombers, genital mutilation, rape of women, condemn the pig which anyway did not choose to be in this world and has nothing about you. Before you comment and expose your backwardness, please think and reason.

  16. Wahhabiyat is not a part of is a dummy religion.

  17. I most recently watched a film about a Pakistani Muslim who cut out his wife’s eyes, cut off her ears and her nose. She was supposedly giving directions to a man on the street which is viewed as “haram”. These people are sick backward camel piss drinking fucks the world does not need. Mohammed was a moronic little boy fucking price of shit. All goat fuckers need to die, modernity is not part of thief lives. Send them to their made up moon god

  18. Please do not live in the past every time desires results to its present attitudes. In the past Muslims were leading the world but now this is not possible. Whole scenario is changes since 17th centuries as the whole inventions, scientific development and technology have been delivered by Europe and a considerable quantity of muslim population have no contribution to present day from electricity, radio, tv, refrigerator, plane, transport, electronic and so on, we cannot give a single pamper to our generation, not a single car cleaning wiper, ball point that what is the controversies in the past you were the best now you are the worst being beaten by European boots.

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