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Feed the brain well

Reader comment on item: [Finding Moderate Muslims:] Do you believe in modernity?

Submitted by Reem (United Kingdom), Oct 31, 2004 at 21:17

I have just read some of the comments written here and am happy to see that some people have an insight into reality. As a Muslim I am constantly frustrated at westerners' views that we are a backward people. How can backward truly be defined? And in contrast, how can advancement truly be defined?

In fact if one were to read into western history alongside with islamic history, I think that it is safe say that both have degenerated. Society several hundred and even thousand years ago was far more superior to current society in every aspect. We find now in this so called 'modern' society that the family unit which previously was the backbone of everything has been broken down to the extent that it is not unheard of that famiies (and that is immediate families, i.e. parents and children) sometimes only meet once a year.

Why is it that Westerners (and i say that in the broadest sense), assume that their way is the right way?? I will not deny that they have many achievements that may render them to be proud. But at the same time looking around the Muslim world that is always talked of so badly, I find myself finding many positives also. No doubt there are negatives, but then there are negatives in the western world also.

Another issue is that westerners tend to forget that the Muslim world is a completely other culture. We live in a world now where everyone is connected via modern technology. This however should broaden awareness of other cutures and histories rather than breed hatred between cultures because of their differences. Westeners need to realise that their cultural traditions and the way they run their lives is not neccesarily superior to the way others (in particular in the muslim world) do. And this realisation should result in a world where everyone accepts each other's faults and good points. I think rather than going on about who is right and which culture is superior, we should create opportunities for the giving and taking of ideas in an educational sense.

Finally with respect to whether a Muslim is an extremist or not, many people seem to forget that Islam is a written religion. It has stayed in its pure form for centuries. If by "extremist" westerners refer to a Muslim following his pure religion, then yes, all muslims in fact should be extremists! In contrast, if by "extremist" they mean a Muslim who has in fact distorted the Islamic teachings and has shown an ill representation of islam, I would prefer that the term deviant Muslim be used.

And on a last note Islam teaches us that we are only what we say and what we think. And I think this is a saying that has a deep philosophical meaning that can be talked about for pages and pages, however in a sentence, if we feed our brains with rubbish it is only inevitable that the same comes out of our mouths, so we should all strive to feed the brain well and hope that our tongues will be thankful.

peace.
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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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