Reason and Logic
In this milieu of irrationalism, which appears to be growing and spreading, Muslims have another challenge to face. After the universal traits of hypocrisy, dishonesty and duplicity, which have already affected them, how will they escape this new malady [of the loss of straight-thinking]? Unless combated, it promises huge repercussions, touching upon their religion, and survival as a distinct community, writes SYED IQBAL ZAHEER.
It is generally believed that ours is a world of reason and logic, and that people are rational, especially in cities, and to a large extent, in towns too, as education has taught people how to free themselves of emotions, false beliefs, superstitions, etc., and use their brains in all their affairs of life, related to the individual or community. Following this assumption, it is claimed, and further assumed, that we live in an advanced world, a well-informed world, dominated by good sense: resulting from fast-spreading information technology. The world has become, they say, a village where ideas are exchanged fast.
But upon close examination, the situation seems different from the above assumptions. Neither individuals seem to always think and act in the light of reason, nor do societies, nor yet nations. Throw a glance at the climate problem. Several decades ago, thinkers had warned that the mass-scale use of fossil fuel, and resources of the earth, forecast unhappy consequences, some of which could be serious. Bertrand Russell had called the ravenous use of resource an overdraft on Nature’s Bank for which coming generations will have to pay, and pay dearly. But, did the nations, governed by reason and logic, give the warning a moment’s thought? Within a few decades after the warning, millions of vehicles using fossil fuels were added, to the admiration of those who took the lead in the manufacture.
That was an example reflecting global attitude. Take the example of the scientifically, and presumably rationally, the most advanced nation: the USA. Its people and governments have been warned for decades that its high spending and wrong fiscal policies predict a crash. It happened several times. The last was in 2007. How did the nation react? They printed a trillion currency notes and distributed the cash among the hundred banks, and dozens of big businesses (e.g., motor industry) which had collapsed due to wrong financial policies. There could not have been any better way of worsening the economy. Write the experts:
“Americans say they put a high priority on strengthening the country and looking out for the next generation. Yet the federal government is on an irresponsible and unsustainable fiscal path, with spending programs growing more quickly than the economy can keep up with and tax revenues projected to chronically fall short of spending – even in relatively good economic times. This leads to an ever-growing debt burden.”(https://www.concordcoalition.org/)
At present the total American national debt stands at $22 trillion, of which, more than three trillion is external debt, of which more than a trillion is owned to China, America’s declared arch enemy. The same sources warn:
“This debt growth will damage the economy, undermine our standard of living, and leave our children and future generations worse off.”
A decade ago, the debt was almost half. At the moment, the only solution seems to be to declare war on assumed enemies (China, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan), which actually would be a war on the common people of USA.It is they who will bear the consequences. One may ask: What is the role of reason and logic, which you claim as your special national characteristic?
Consider another example: United States and its unflinching support of Israel. The latter is a proxy for American war against Islam and Muslims. This is now, perhaps, the first article in the un-written constitution of the USA.
What is the core issue? It is the claim that Palestinian territories were given to the Jews by God, through a promise made to Abraham. When was that? It was about 4000 years ago. Therefore, the land between Euphrates and Nile belongs to the Jews. Where is the promise made? It is made in a Jewish Holy Book called The Old Testament. Where is the original of this Book? It was lost thousands of years ago, nobody can say exactly when. Have the Jews been living in this area throughout history? No. They kept moving. The last time they moved out in good numbers was in the Christian era. By the mid of the twentieth century they had spread into Europe and America, with a tiny number living in the Holy land. Who has been living in this geographical area? It is Palestinians who have been living in that area since 4000 years, never migrating out enmasse, like the Jews who kept moving to more grassy areas of the globe.
The claim is, however, that the area belongs to the Jews. Therefore, they have been evicting and forcing out Palestinians into exile, with no right of return.
Now, who accepts this claim and argument as true and valid? Answer: the entire Western world, especially Christian population of Europe, North and South America. The Palestinians ask: “Where do we go?” Answer, “Anywhere you like, but not Palestine.” The USA has spent hundreds of billions to perpetrate this wrong, and has protected Israel from any punishment for any crime against the Palestinians.
You may say this sounds like a joke. Yes; but a cruel joke. Millions have lost their homes, property, businesses, and lands, and millions have lost their right to live in peace in their homeland. In 1967 alone, 70,000 Palestinians living in Jerusalem lost their homes. The trend continues. Hundreds of homes are demolished every year on one pretext or the other, until in certain areas no Palestinian homes are left to demolish.
It is not difficult to see that the claim to reason and logic is hollow. The policies of American administrations one after another, and that of Israel, does not meet with any standards of ratiocination. It is incredibly ludicrous, and unbelievably absurd. In fact, Norman Finkelstein, an American Jew, refers to the policy-makers of Israel as lunatics.
Some would say that this last example (of USA and Israel) is that of dishonesty, hypocrisy, tyranny and hatred. Our answer is that it is primarily the result of loss of straight-thinking. An example taken from a lower level might elucidate further. In a poll, American school children were asked about the murder of children in occupied Palestine. Is it justified? The answer by many was that it was justified because these children will grow into terrorists!
In this milieu of irrationalism, which appears to be growing and spreading, Muslims have another challenge to face. After the universal traits of hypocrisy, dishonesty and duplicity, which have already affected them, how will they escape this new malady? Unless combated, it promises huge repercussions, touching upon their religion, and survival as a distinct community.