In Defence Of Reason And Sanity
By The Sojourner
MARCH 26, 2011
An Islamic scholar from Mumbai. He pursued education in comparative religious studies, and is a renowned theologist, besides being an eminent representative of Muslims in India and abroad.
The private channel by the name of Peace TV is run by him, and by several independent accounts the man is an eloquent orator of international repute. I would like to argue that he is an evil propagandist.
A little bit of background about me is certainly in order here. I have for long harboured a fascination for Islam. The diverse realms of music, poetry, literature, languages, cuisine, and more subtle aspects, like a heightened form of mutual respect in inter personal dealings, form integral constituents of this rich heritage. I am intrigued by this culture, often to the point of mesmerization. This interest has led me time and again to online digital content that talks about Islam, where I have encountered, among others, Zakir Naik.
My most recent exposure to his ideological expositions was in the form of an interview of the man I found on YouTube. When questioned about the ethics of Islamic governments that prohibit the construction of non-Islamic places of worship, his rejoinder was lambent in its simplicity, and ridiculous to the point of causing amusement. He said the process of nationally adopting a religion was akin to recruiting a teacher in a school. In both cases the objective would be to make the perfect choice, in addition to protecting one’s subjects (either citizens, or students) from “imperfect” influences. Since Islam was, according to him, the perfect religion, its adoption was only natural; more importantly, to prevent the undesirable effect that “detrimental” (read : non-Islamic) influences would have on its citizens, it was morally obligatory to prevent the public practice of any other religion, just like it would be immoral to recruit an incompetent teacher. When asked about the basis of his assertion about Islam being decidedly the perfect religion, and the fact that followers of other religions would be making comparable assertions, Zakir Naik conveniently invalidated the question by making a reference to Qu’ran which he said categorically and conclusively justified his assertions. He also added that secular nations were essentially confused about religious and ideological convictions. It was this lack of sufficient confidence in their own faith that non-Islamic countries permitted the practice of all religions. That such a choice might have involved the issue of tolerance and encouragement of cultural diversity, as an extension of a human being’s inalienable democratic rights, clearly didn’t occur to the barbaric propagandist.
In some other videos, Naik is seen expounding the invalidity and irrationality of the theory of evolution, as opposed to the truth of creationism as “revealed” in the Qu’ran. The propensity of a man to accept historical literature as the basis of all knowledge, even when it goes against scientific evidence speaks volumes about his lack of intellectual stimulation. In such a case it would be foolish to look for reason in his arguments. However, the kind of following he commands is alarming. His speeches are attended by thousands anywhere in the world; his channel ‘Peace TV’ has greater viewership than any other Muslim channel in UK; In India, he is by far the most sought after Islamic speaker. Till recently the government of UK had imposed a ban on his entry into the country, which has been recently revoked, understandably to appease the Muslim population, by the current dispensation. Subsequently, he has been to Oxford to share with the Western world some of his primitive and outrageous trash. I recently saw a video where Mahesh Bhatt, an Indian movie director, vehemently defended Naik’s right to enter England, and followed it up with an invective aimed at the Western world, most of which was, not surprisingly, as devoid of reason and sanity as the speeches of his defended.
Zakir Naik is the only person I know of who has publicly refused to condemn Osama Bin Laden. His large following can be attributed to the naivety and extreme foolishness of the ordinary human being. The sections of the society responsible for tolerating, and in certain cases encouraging such behaviour, have played their part in darkening the cloud of religious fundamentalism that stands in the way of reason and enlightened discourse in public life. The fact that his arguments find favour with a vast majority of people in this age of reason is terribly unfortunate, and may well have disastrous consequences. For all one knows, by the time one realizes the magnitude of this faux pas, another 10 savages may well have set sail in a dinghy on a mission to ravage the civilized world. Denouncing Naik, then, would of course be too late.
Source: Seekingbrilliance. Blogsopot
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