Forum On What is Wrong with Islam Now - Part 1

Jan 28, 2018 - Featured, Featured on irfront.org, Forum
Date: Sunday, 28th January 2018
Time: 2PM – 530PM
Venue: Spices, Concorde Hotel, KL

Discussants:
Prof Jeffrey Kenney, DePauw University, Indiana, US
Dr Amran Muhammad, Islamic & Strategic Studies Institute (ISSI)
Prof Syed Farid Alatas, National University of Singapore

Moderator:
Dato’ Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa

Islam once used to be champion of civilization and science. Something went wrong. First, the decline of the Islamic scientific heritage and rise of anti-rationalist Ash’arite school. It’s champion Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (late 11th early 12th century) was probably the most influential scholar who started the ball rolling backward. Islam has never recovered since.

But things get worse in the 21st Century with the revisionist school of thought. This school which is championed by the literalist Salafists marketed the idea that the perfect way of life is to be found back in time. Meaning that if you wish to prosper, instead of progressing, try to live the way they lived in 7th century Arabia. This nostalgic romantic view of how perfect the world was some thousand and a half year ago seemed to be the predominant theme. As a result, instead of progressing, Muslims are encouraged to try and regress to those “glory days”. Romanticising the Caliphate is one of its manifestations.

This school of thought is backed by petrodollars, and these people are the kings of mass marketing. Whether we go to the east or the west, these people fund mosques, madrasas, Islamic centers, preachers, TV networks, written materials with billions of dollars to ensure that they get to make their interpretation the default understanding of what Islam is. And somehow or rather, this school of thinking runs deep in today’s radical Islam.

But could this be the main reason for the chaos we are witnessing in the Muslim world today? This forum will try to discuss and debate this issue and what had possibly caused this tragedy.