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Enlightened Scholars - Abandon Your Ivory Towers to Communicate with Commoners

By Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam

02 August 2017

Scholars of all disciplines generally tend to adopt a particular kind of language; more literate, and specialized than the common person’s language, the lingua franca. This, to certain extent is necessary when addressing the audience specialized in the particular discipline and expertise of the speaker, lecturer, writer etc.  But when it is required to impart universal message, as for example in a moral and ethical context, the message delivered should be in a language that is commonly used.

The professional-trained priests are masters of this art of delivery. They lace their language with passion, gesticulations, and emotions and to enhance the effect, accompanied with operatic, theatrics and regalia to mesmerize the audience. It is this environment that has an impact on the lay person and in particular the young ones. The preacher then has complete control over their minds and in so doing is able to enlist them to comply with his agenda. A tool used most effectively for so called ‘radicalization’.

In the context of young Muslims this term ‘radicalization’ is used specifically for people, who coming from diverse and often dysfunctional backgrounds are thus mesmerized and then accept the onerous responsibility thrust on them to violently change the norms, values and paradigms of the society they live in and so are called “terrorists”.

Where Does The Fault Lie?

Many times it was reported in United Kingdom by journalists who recorded secretly the Jihadi sermons from the pulpits delivered in mosques. They were quiet different to the statements made by the same priests when addressing the media outside the mosque and recorded on camera. There it was always announced as to how peaceful and loving is Islam they preach.

It is not known though if the authorities took any notice of those findings.

The recent case in point of the 22 year old Libyan/British man, Salman Abedi, in May this year who detonated a homemade lethal bomb in a concert venue in Manchester Arena, killing scores of young concert goers and injuring many more is noteworthy! 

It was reported that Abedi was well known to the authorities, as his Libyan community had warned the police number of times about his activities and association with suspect elements, operating from a particular mosque in Manchester. Yet he was able to carry out this heinous act of murder and inflict misery on the innocent. The ISIS claimed it as its “Revenge” against the British, that is, the British innocent young people! A lot therefore, hinges on that word ‘revenge’.

But one believes that there is no dearth of Libyan ‘enlightened scholars’ in the city of Manchester or for that matter in the United Kingdom as a whole. It is safe to assume that reams of scholarly papers were then written in academia and numerous lectures given in ivory towers analysing the event, condemning the bombing and extolling the message of peaceful Islam.

Did that message of peaceful Islam trickle down to the young fertile minds? The answer is NO.

The religious preachers in mosques however so successfully and with theatrics had used to recruit the likes of Abedi to carry out foul agendas, at the expense of the innocent unarmed young people, Muslims and non-Muslims alike!

Very recent news items from Indonesia endorse this opinion:

“The ABC can reveal 41 mosques across 16 Indonesian provinces have been implicated in research conducted on behalf of the Indonesian Government.

“Dozens of mosques across Indonesia are under surveillance for supporting the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, spreading its ideology and recruiting fighters to go to Syria… …Of those, 16 mosques in seven provinces have been officially confirmed as supporting the IS group by a team of researchers who have, and continue to, secretly infiltrate the places of worship”.

Such mosques are said to be common around the world.

On the contrary Muslim ‘scholars’, particularly the enlightened ones are distant, disconnected and remote from the so called ‘street mob’, the Muslim youth. The scholars use a specialized language which for one, is not understood by the young and secondly even if they were to hear it spoken, the venues are elitist and the young are not lured.

All in all it is the ivory tower syndrome that is at fault with Muslim scholars, however well-meaning their messages are supposed to be. They are delivered to the converted, for intellectual discourse and in academic high culture and have no practical influence on the radicalized young of today. Their radicalization then continues unhindered by those occupying the pulpits using religion, spirituality, theatrics and street language.

The able bodied, well-meaning scholars with resources are therefore duty bound to don T-shirts and jeans to join the crowd and adopt similar theatrics but of different kind, to inform the young congregation as to what their professed peaceful Islam really is. This strategy would be in keeping with the famous quote, very practical and effective: “If you can’t beat them join them”. The means always justifies the end.

The enlightened attitude under the banner of ‘freedom’ at home in general of the countries of the West, is taken full advantage of by the religious brigade to recruit the ignorant young soldiers for political agendas. But when and if any government there declares “enough is enough” and takes some mild action, a cry of anguish goes up in the name of the same freedom that their own countries; from where they or their forefathers had migrated had never provided them with. It is a dilemma, particularly for enlightened Muslims scholars of today.

Will It Ever Be Resolved?

The answer may be “yes”, but it is in the hands of the able bodied scholars with stamina to stage a “revolution”; however a different kind, peaceful and sophisticated one, to eliminate the ignorant religious elitism of the priests’ class and take over the pulpits of the mosques, the operating platforms; which are mostly under the command of their high command in Arabia, or in this case the religious Vatican in Mecca, from where most of the clergy draws its curriculum and allegedly also the required resources.

It is suggested to the scholars that sing song accompanied with string and percussion instruments to pass their message effectively will not go astray, as these are allowed in religion. After all the Rusul Daood Alaihis Salaam wrote and sang psalms accompanied by harp and Sulaiman Alaihis Salaam propagated song called Song of Solomon! Perhaps those apostles knew better that the language of music touches the heart and soul of mankind. The modern scholars should emulate these stances to lure the young ones.

A regular contributor to New Age Islam, Rashid Samnakay is a (Retd.) Engineer


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