Muslims Must Undergo Internal Changes
(Or Else They Will Be Replaced)
Letter to The Editor, The Sun,
March 13, 2006
I agree with Kevin Tan that Muslims must make internal changes to catch up with the modern world ("Muslims must be fearless to change," the Sun, March 10, 2006).
It is highly ironic that Prophet Muhammad’s great revolutionary teachings that fired up an Arab Renaissance in 7th to 13th centuries and introduced science and the scientific method to the world to replace a mystery and superstition-filled world that Muslims today represent a reactionary force.
About three to five hundred years after the Prophet’s death, a new version of the teachings, based on the so-called Prophetic Traditions or Hadith and the dominant role of the newly-emergent clerical class to interpret and act as the custodians of the religion, arose to stifle the fresh breath, dynamism and creativity of the simple monotheistic teachings of the Religion of Truth, as Islam is some times referred to in the Quran.
How did this happen? It may take us a while explaining this, but it happens to all new humanistic teachings that have ever arisen to reform human societies. The evil forces get to work as soon as a Moses, a Jesus and a Muhammad is set on a course of reform.
That is what history teaches us, and it is not all due to the deterministic belief in the historical pendulum. Man makes history, and history essentially continues on an upward course, not a linear, but a non-linear integralist, upward course, as the late Prof. P. A. Sorokin explained. Man, the Noble Man, otherwise God personified, is therefore bound to triumph.
Kevin Tan’s implicit belief that modernization and modernity are what Muslims need is not quite right either. The militant Western stand on “democracy” and “secularism” and “progress,” militant because the West brooks no opposition from anywhere, is a denial of what it preaches. The West has its own subjective reason. Its fall is written all over its face.
Between the liberal-democratic mythology that the West propagates and its Marxist-communist opposite, is there no middle path? Those who speak and rule in God’s name, both in the West and East, have already made their debut and have miserably failed. Militant secularism and militant religiosity have both failed Man. Man has to find a middle path, the straight path of the Quran, to find his way towards the spirit's happy home.