By Irfan Husain
January 17, 2009 Saturday Muharram 19, 1430
THIS year will see a large number of celebrations at campuses and scientific institutions around the world to mark the 200th year of the birth of Charles Darwin, and the 150th year of the publication of his seminal work.
Widely regarded as one of the three most influential thinkers of the 19th century, together with Freud and Marx, Darwin has had a stronger impact on our thinking than the other two giants of the era. Since its publication in 1859, his explanation of how life evolved on the planet has been subjected to rigorous criticism and analysis. Generations of scientists have tested it in the field and in the laboratory. And to date, it remains the only scientific explanation of how life on Earth has developed over the millennia.
Many religious people have viewed the Darwinian theory of evolution as an attack on their faith. Others have reconciled belief in a supernatural being controlling events in the universe with a scientific theory that pulls together a vast plethora of evidence. Whatever one’s position on the truth of Darwin’s revolutionary exposition, it would take a foolhardy person to dismiss it as a ‘half-baked theory’ as Imran Khan has done recently.
Titled Why the West craves materialism and why the East sticks to religion, the essay is dated Nov 8, 2008, and was sent to me via email by a reader. In this article, the politician and ex-cricketer describes his personal journey from the westernised, secular outlook of his youth to his present faith-based worldview.
In a sense, Imran Khan’s view of Darwin’s life work captures the essence of our backwardness. By rejecting a vast body of scientific research and analysis as ‘half-baked’, he exposes his own ignorance. He is, of course, entitled to his own opinion on any subject under the sun. But as he is a role model for many young Pakistanis, he has a duty to choose his words with greater care. He may refuse to accept the consensus behind Darwinian theory in the international scientific community, but to dismiss it out of hand risks influencing impressionable young minds into following him.
As it is, there is not a single world-class university or research institute in the Muslim world. The reason for this is not hard to find. By refusing to accept and internalise the rational method of empirical research and analysis, we discourage and suppress scientific and objective scholarship.
In Imran Khan’s mind, as in many others, reason is a western monopoly. So anyone using rational analysis as a tool is dismissed as ‘western’, a pejorative term deployed to undermine any argument. Unfortunately, this widespread trend has had profound significance over the centuries. By ceding scientific research and progress to the West, Muslims find themselves in their current predicament. By contrast, countries like China, Japan and Korea have made tremendous progress by accepting reason as the basis of their education and public discourse. So when Imran Khan says ‘the East sticks to religion’ in the title of his essay, he is effectively ignoring well over half the East.
I have long admired Imran Khan for his cricketing prowess, as well as for the fine work he has done in creating Pakistan’s first cancer hospital. So as a fan, it has saddened me to see him in the constant company of right-wingers like ex-ISI chief Hamid Gul and Qazi Hussain Ahmed, the leader of the Jamaat-i-Islami. On TV talk shows, where he is a frequent guest, he has been voicing the most extreme views. Let me hasten to say that I would defend his right to his opinions, but as a hero to millions of young Pakistanis, I would ask that these views be based on logic and facts.
Imran Khan has complained in his article that Pakistan’s secular elites do not study Islam, and hence they are seduced by ‘western’ thinking. I’m afraid this is based on the arrogant assumption that simply because people dress in a certain way, they are ignorant of their own culture, history and religion. According to him, Pakistan is polarised between this group who “react strongly to anyone trying to impose Islam on society”, and religious extremists. Personally speaking, I don’t want any belief or dogma imposed on society. As a secularist, I think everybody should be free to believe in any faith. And in the distinguished company of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, I feel that religion should have nothing to do with the business of the state.
So why is it that today, only Muslim nations seem to deny the validity of the scientific method? It is true that many evangelical Christians reject Darwinian theory as well, and push creationism as the explanation for the development of life on earth. Recently, this extreme position has been replaced by something called Intelligent Design. But among educated people, it would be difficult to find many who close their eyes to the insights contained in Darwin’s groundbreaking research, even though many of these ideas were developed by Wallace, a contemporary of Darwin’s.
In his important book Muslims and Science published nearly 20 years ago, Pervez Hoodbhoy made the point that the entire output of scientific papers written in the Muslim world every year did not equal those produced in Israel alone. This remains true two decades later. And the reason for this imbalance lies in the position reflected in Imran Khan’s views about Darwin.
If we do not encourage the young to think and reason for themselves, how can we expect them to discover anything new? The essence of scientific enquiry lies in curiosity about how the world works, how matter was formed, and how life came into being. Perhaps curiosity about the universe is what sets mankind apart from the animal kingdom.
But if, as Darwin was in the Galapagos Isles, we are struck with wonder when we see something for which we have no explanation, then we have taken a step towards discovering more about our universe, and ultimately, about ourselves. email@example.com
Why The West Craves Materialism & Why The East Sticks To Religion
By Imran Khan
My generation grew up at a time when colonial hang up was at its peak. Our older generation had been slaves and had a huge inferiority complex of the British. The school I went to was similar to all elite schools in Pakistan. Despite gaining independent, they were, and still are, producing replicas of public schoolboys rather than Pakistanis.
I read Shakespeare, which was fine, but no Allama Iqbal - the national poet of Pakistan. The class on Islamic studies was not taken seriously, and when I left school I was considered among the elite of the country because I could speak English and wore Western clothes.
Despite periodically shouting 'Pakistan Zindabad' in school functions, I considered my own culture backward and religion outdated. Among our group if any one talked about religion, prayed or kept a beard he was immediately branded a Mullah.
Because of the power of the Western media, our heroes were Western movie stars or pop stars. When I went to Oxford already burdened with this hang up, things didn't get any easier. At Oxford, not just Islam, but all religions were considered anachronism.
Science had replaced religion and if something couldn't be logically proved it did not exist. All supernatural stuff was confined to the movies. Philosophers like Darwin, who with his half-baked theory of evolution had supposedly disproved the creation of men and hence religion, were read and revered.
Moreover, European history reflected its awful experience with religion. The horrors committed by the Christian clergy during the Inquisition era had left a powerful impact on the Western mind.
To understand why the West is so keen on secularism, one should go to places like Cordoba in Spain and see the torture apparatus used during the Spanish Inquisition. Also the persecution of scientists as heretics by the clergy had convinced the Europeans that all religions are regressive.
However, the biggest factor that drove people like me away from religion was the selective Islam practiced by most of its preachers. In short, there was a huge difference between what they practiced and what they preached. Also, rather than explaining the philosophy behind the religion, there was an overemphasis on rituals.
I feel that humans are different to animals. While, the latter can be drilled, humans need to be intellectually convinced. That is why the Qur'an constantly appeals to reason. The worst, of course, was the exploitation of Islam for political gains by various individuals or groups.
Hence, it was a miracle I did not become an atheist. The only reason why I did not was the powerful religious influence my mother wielded on me since my childhood. It was not so much out of conviction but love for her that I stayed a Muslim.
However, my Islam was selective. I accepted only parts of the religion that suited me. Prayers were restricted to Eid days and occasionally on Fridays, when my father insisted on taking me to the mosque with him.
All in all I was smoothly moving to becoming a Pukka Brown Sahib. After all I had the right credentials in terms of school, university and, above all, acceptability in the English aristocracy, something that our brown sahibs would give their lives for. So what led me to do a 'lota' on the Brown Sahib culture and instead become a 'desi'?
Well it did not just happen overnight.
Firstly, the inferiority complex that my generation had inherited gradually went as I developed into a world-class athlete. Secondly, I was in the unique position of living between two cultures. I began to see the advantages and the disadvantages of both societies.
In Western societies, institutions were strong while they were collapsing in our country. However, there was an area where we were and still are superior, and that is our family life. I began to realize that this was the Western society's biggest loss. In trying to free itself from the oppression of the clergy, they had removed both God and religion from their lives.
While science, no matter how much it progresses, can answer a lot of questions - two questions it will never be able to answer: One, what is the purpose of our existence and two, what happens to us when we die?
It is this vacuum that I felt created the materialistic and the hedonistic culture. If this is the only life then one must make hay while the sun shines - and in order to do so one needs money. Such a culture is bound to cause psychological problems in a human being, as there was going to be an imbalance between the body and the soul.
Consequently, in the US, which has shown the greatest materialistic progress while giving its citizens numerous rights, almost 60 percent of the population consult psychiatrists. Yet, amazingly in modern psychology, there is no study of the human soul. Sweden and Switzerland, who provide the most welfare to their citizens, also have the highest suicide rates. Hence, man is not necessarily content with material well being and needs something more.
Since all morality has it roots in religion, once religion was removed, immorality has progressively grown since the 70s. Its direct impact has been on family life. In the UK, the divorce rate is 60 percent, while it is estimated that there are over 35 percent single mothers. The crime rate is rising in almost all Western societies, but the most disturbing fact is the alarming increase in racism. While science always tries to prove the inequality of man (recent survey showing the American Black to be genetically less intelligent than whites) it is only religion that preaches the equality of man.
Between 1991 and 1997, it was estimated that total immigration into Europe was around 520,000, and there were racially motivated attacks all over, especially in Britain, France and Germany. In Pakistan during the Afghan war, we had over four million refugees, and despite the people being so much poorer, there was no racial tension.
There was a sequence of events in the 80s that moved me toward God as the Qur'an says: "There are signs for people of understanding." One of them was cricket. As I was a student of the game, the more I understood the game, the more I began to realize that what I considered to be chance was, in fact, the will of Allah. A pattern which became clearer with time. But it was not until Salman Rushdie's "Satanic Verses" that my understanding of Islam began to develop.
People like me who were living in the Western world bore the brunt of anti-Islam prejudice that followed the Muslim reaction to the book. We were left with two choices: fight or flight. Since I felt strongly that the attacks on Islam were unfair, I decided to fight. It was then I realized that I was not equipped to do so as my knowledge of Islam was inadequate. Hence I started my research and for me a period of my greatest enlightenment. I read scholars like Ali Shariati, Muhammad Asad, Iqbal, Gai Eaton, plus of course, a study of Qur'an.
I will try to explain as concisely as is possible, what "discovering the truth" meant for me. When the believers are addressed in the Qur'an, it always says, "Those who believe and do good deeds." In other words, a Muslim has dual function, one toward God and the other toward fellow human beings.
The greatest impact of believing in God for me, meant that I lost all fear of human beings. The Qur'an liberates man from man when it says that life and death and respect and humiliation are God's jurisdiction, so we do not have to bow before other human beings.
Moreover, since this is a transitory world where we prepare for the eternal one, I broke out of the self-imposed prisons, such as growing old (such a curse in the Western world, as a result of which, plastic surgeons are having a field day), materialism, ego, what people say and so on. It is important to note that one does not eliminate earthly desires. But instead of being controlled by them, one controls them.
By following the second part of believing in Islam, I have become a better human being. Rather than being self-centered and living for the self, I feel that because the Almighty gave so much to me, in turn I must use that blessing to help the less privileged. This I did by following the fundamentals of Islam rather than becoming a Kalashnikov-wielding fanatic.
I have become a tolerant and a giving human being who feels compassion for the underprivileged. Instead of attributing success to myself, I know it is because of God's will, hence I learned humility instead of arrogance.
Also, instead of the snobbish Brown Sahib attitude toward our masses, I believe in egalitarianism and strongly feel against the injustice done to the weak in our society. According to the Qur'an, "Oppression is worse than killing." In fact only now do I understand the true meaning of Islam, if you submit to the will of Allah, you have inner peace.
Through my faith, I have discovered strength within me that I never knew existed and that has released my potential in life. I feel that in Pakistan we have selective Islam. Just believing in God and going through the rituals is not enough. One also has to be a good human being. I feel there are certain Western countries with far more Islamic traits than us in Pakistan, especially in the way they protect the rights of their citizens, or for that matter their justice system. In fact some of the finest individuals I know live there.
What I dislike about them is their double standards in the way they protect the rights of their citizens but consider citizens of other countries as being somehow inferior to them as human being, e.g. dumping toxic waste in the Third World, advertising cigarettes that are not allowed in the West and selling drugs that are banned in the West.
One of the problems facing Pakistan is the polarization of two reactionary groups. On the one side is the Westernized group that looks upon Islam through Western eyes and has inadequate knowledge about the subject. It reacts strongly to anyone trying to impose Islam in society and wants only a selective part of the religion. On the other extreme is the group that reacts to this Westernized elite and in trying to become a defender of the faith, takes up such intolerant and self-righteous attitudes that are repugnant to the spirit of Islam.
What needs to be done is to somehow start a dialogue between the two extreme. In order for this to happen, the group on whom the greatest proportion of our educational resources are spent in this country must study Islam properly.
Whether they become practicing Muslims or believe in God is entirely a personal choice. As the Qur'an tells us there is "no compulsion in religion." However, they must arm themselves with knowledge as a weapon to fight extremism. Just by turning up their noses at extremism the problem is not going to be solved.
The Qur'an calls Muslims "the middle nation", not of extremes. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was told to simply give the message and not worry whether people converted or not, therefore, there is no question in Islam of forcing your opinions on anyone else.
Moreover, we are told to respect other religions, their places of worship and their prophets. It should be noted that no Muslim missionaries or armies ever went to Malaysia or Indonesia. The people converted to Islam due to the high principles and impeccable character of the Muslim traders. At the moment, the worst advertisements for Islam are the countries with their selective Islam, especially where religion is used to deprive people of their rights. In fact, a society that obeys fundamentals of Islam has to be a liberal one.
If Pakistan's Westernized class starts to study Islam, not only will it be able to help society fight sectarianism and extremism, but it will also make them realize what a progressive religion Islam is. They will also be able to help the Western world by articulating Islamic concepts. Recently, Prince Charles accepted that the Western world can learn from Islam. But how can this happen if the group that is in the best position to project Islam gets its attitudes from the West and considers Islam backward? Islam is a universal religion and that is why our Prophet (peace be upon him) was called a Mercy for all mankind.
This article appeared in Arab News, leading English daily in Saudi Arabia.
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2009 08:58:07 -0500 [02/13/2009 07:28:07 PM IST]From: Mike Ghouse To: Sultan Shahin firstname.lastname@example.orgSubject: get together this eveningPart(s): Download All Attachments (in .zip file)
Invitation for an exchange on Evolution/Creation Where: 1636 Coyote Ridge, Carrollton, TX 75010Date: Friday, February 13, 2009 - Time: 7:30 to 9:00 PMRefreshment: Fruit, Cookies and veggies, coffee and soft drinks (you are welcome to bring any)Invited: You and a few religious leaders to share their perspective.RSVP: You must confirm your presence to <ConfirmAttendance@Gmail.com orjust call me at 214-325-1916 if you are attending.
--- Several Abrahamic Religious leaders 'assume' that evolution is in conflict with creationism. It frightens them about the unknown; which is human. They have an unquestionable need to believe that what they know is the final word of God; a different point of view is anathema to them. The non-Abrahamic faith followers need not gloat; a new idea is usually an abomination to someone or the other including some of them. Whether you are a believer in a God, or several or no God, you would still find a new idea bring insecurity, like some one has pulled the rug from under you and you are out of your comfort zone.
We need to give God a lot more credit than we have given him (her or it) now. Let's give him the benefit of doubt that his word (or wisdom) perhaps includes evolution and every one of us needs to push the refresh button of our thinking, and find meaning in it. Let's make Good look good. Religion is about what we believe.
Is it possible that Adam was the first man in the process of evolution who was able to communicate coherently, take care of himself and survive against the nature's oddities? He was able to survive the fires, storms, blizzards, floods and furies of nature. Did God feel pleased with this new species that finally perfected to become a permanent part of the universe unlike the others that faded into oblivion? Did God call him “Adam” because he was the first one to stand out on his own? God's word is all embracing and that is what he may have meant in the Bible, Torah and Qur'aan. I am sure the other scriptures carry similar wisdom; it is rather our shortcoming in understanding the spectrum of God’s word rather than the word itself. Let’s be open to learning.
An old Jewish folk tale makes the point. One day God said to Abraham, “If it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t be here,” to which Abraham replied, “True, but if I weren’t here there wouldn’t be anyone to think about you.” Mike Ghouse<www.Foundationforpluralism.com<www.WorldMuslimCongress.com
This message was sent from Mike Ghouse to email@example.com. It was sent from: Mike Ghouse, 2665 Villa Creek Drive, Suite 206, Dallas, TX 75234.
Note that Darwin's "theory of evolution" is just a theory and not a book of facts.
there are many such theories i just want to ask all those scinetific brains out there have you ever come across a book called "The facts of Evolution"??
For all those who are practically hanging on, to an obsolete theory...
I find it so hilariously stupid that people who do not know their ancestors some 3,4 hundred years ago, swear by their mothers, about the what they claim happened billions of years ago, they call it a theory and yet apply it in their practical existence more religiously than all the God fearing people of the world. Irony or curse not for me to decide….Pray for them to see the light, Yes !
Imran Khan is a scientific illiterate and lacks the mental rigour needed to debate on fundamental matters related to cosmology and the appearance of life forms on the earth plane. He uses ignorant scriptural teachings approach to debunk Darwinism or to question science on something as nebulous and speculative as the "afterlife" but what he forgets is that compelling arguments and proofs can be brought forward to demolish his naive views faith-based views.
Both creationism and Darwinism are theories are flawed though the latter makes far more sense than the creationist view of how an extra-cosmic God (Allah) who has no causal connection with anything yet somehow or the other managed to create the universe and its inhabitants out of nothing.
This is pure nonsense and a billion plus population of belivers (Muslims) naively accpet such ridiculous claims without sparing a thought as to how creation out of nothing is possible.
The creationist has to first answer two fundamental queries: 1) How did this extra-cosmic God (Allah) create energy/matter out of nothing? 2) After creating energy/matter out of nothing, how did the extra-cosmic God create life forms from matter? Give the detailed mechanisms.
Darwinism like other rational thought systems does not look upto to some extra-cosmic entity for inspiration but searches for the cause underlying an effect within the system of investigation itself. This approach makes sense and is provable.
Even where the existence of energy/matter is concerned (despite what the Quran or Bible may state that an extra-cosmic being having no causal connection with anything created energy/matter out of nothing) the believer will have to first prove how energy/matter came into existence from nothing before attempting to criticise Darwin's theory on blind faith-based grounds. Now, we have irrefutable proof that energy/matter is self-existent and cannot be created out of nothing but simply keeps changing form from subtle to gross in endless cosmic cycles in keeping with the principles of conservation and interconversion respectively.
So, the first theory to fall is the flawed Quranic teaching of how energy/matter was created by the extra-cosmic God out of nothing.
Materialists are on the right track where organic evolution is concerned but the only pardox that they cannot answer is how did insentient matter give rise to sentience.
By looking upon Consciousness (and its subtler manifestations such as mind and life) as a product of gross matter they err as Consciousness is immaterial and cannot be subjected to any kind of quantification or chemical analysis. So, we're now left with two singularities - 1) Consciousness and 2) Matter. The quest is to unify both into a singularity as unity underlies diversity.
Matter cannot be said to have manifested Consciousness in view of the fact that Consciousness cannot be measured or chemically analysed like other material effects, so the only other alternative is to consider matter an extension of Consciousness as did the Vedic Seers and celebrated scientists as Max Planck and others. J C Bose and the confirmation of the EPR in 1972 indicate that matter is charged with an intrinsic Consciousness. The latest work in Quantum Consciousness suggests that Consciousness is the basis of matter that constitutes the inherent "brain" in matter and this appraoch can explain the presence of Consciousness and its effects like life and intelligence that classical science cannot account for.
Once we understand that Consciousness is innate in matter, we quickly can see that evolution is nothing but an unfurlment of greater and still greater degrees of Consciousness in matter which account for the gradations of life forms and thinking beings everywhere. This is very rational and experience, logic and experiment seem to support this view. The evolution of Consciousness in matter, as preached by the Vedas and which is now attracting the attention of serious thinkers and scientists, holds the key to the appearance of life and life forms in matter.
The creationist junk was never relevant except in the hallucinatory minds of those who proposed it or those who blindly accept it without scrutiny.
As for the afterlife, it can only be considered as probable if we prove or rationally deduce that something permanent survives the death of the corporeal body. What is this principle that persists throughout and exits the body at death and thereafter has experiences non-physical dimensions?
Naive beliefs of the "soul" making it to some hallucinatory extra-cosmic heaven or hell raise several questions:
1) Of what materials and forces is the soul constituted of? How did arise? How does it connect with gross matter? How did it enter the body? When? How did it incorporate itself into the physical materials that went to form the zygote?
2) How does soul exit the body? From where? How does it travel to the extra-cosmic heaven or hell when it's known that the cosmos is a closed system? Of what materials and forces is heaven or hell constituted of? How do they connect with the physical universe?
3) Upon somehow or the other making it to this extra-cosmic heaven or hell how does the disembodied soul materialise mouth, digestive tract, reproductive parts etc so as to enjoy the fruits, and honey/wine/milk flowing in the rivers in heaven or have sex with the houris and ghilmans? How does it manage to sprout a body so as to be barbecued in the fires of hell or have boiling water poured down its naked body for all eternity?
4) Are heaven and hell physical or supra physical places? If heaven and hell are supra physical how come the Quran says that these places are constituted of gross physical elements like fruits, water, milk, honey, fire and wine? Is this possible? Does this scriptural hell contain combustible materials and oxygen to create fire?
Going by the descrption of heaven and hell, it appears that the Islamic heavens and hells are gross physical places and as such fall under the functioning of the physical laws. Either way such accounts are fictional and do not tally with reason or proof.
If one avers that heavens and hells are subtler states of Consciousness then it is more believable to accept the afterlife as Consciousness is the only immaterial factor in gross matter but foolish scriptural narratives of the dualistic and mythical kind of afterlife in gross physical and extra-cosmic places constituted of physical elements and sensual pleasures are pure fiction.
The faster Imran Khan and others of his deluded kind discard such infantile myths the better it will augur for individual sanity and world peace.
I am very happy that Jamshed basha has come of age and his vision is getting clearer by the day...wish he would see the wrong done to the family of the progeny of Holy prophet too, and recognises the true faces of the enemies of Islam, enemies of the Prophet pbuh and his progeny and thereby elevate and complete his faith.
IMRAN KHAN VS DARWANISMBy A.M. Jamsheed Basha, Chennai, India.I am really impressed with the article written by Imran Khan a former Cricketer turn politician. His views on religion and Darwinism are a laudable commentary on the state of mind of a Mussalman. He rejected Darwinism or theory of evolution and called it “half-baked theory”. For a Muslim, the core belief is “creation” and not “evolution”. The theory of Darwin cuts at the very root of the religion of Islam. No Muslim on earth who professes and practice the religion of Islam would ever support such a theory based on certain notions of evolution. Even Darwin has failed to prove many a point on his way to promote his theory of evolution such as why the species still exit even after transforming to another form through evolution. Here it is not a point to argue his theory but to say that it negates the religious beliefs of Islam. If one has to go by the theory of evolution, then the creation of the world by Allah and His first “Man and Woman” Adman and Hawwa would be proved false. Allah has created the world but let it allowed it evolve itself through nature's laws. It does not mean Allah had no hand in its future evolution and shape. I fully agree with Imran Khan, that religion is a private affairs as there is “no compulsion in religion”. The transformation of the westernised Khan to Islamic Khan was amazing and it did not come overnight to him. It was his quest for knowledge that drove him to seek proper guidance of Allah. He got it and so he has expressed it. He made an elaborate research and read the Holy Quran in its right spirit to seek knowledge rather than to find fault with it. What necessitated him to move closer to religion he has detailed it as he was the victim of racial discrimination in UK and other Western countries where he spent major part of his life. He was lucky to have not renounced the religion in which he was born. There was something in him like he said that his mother was the singular influence in his religious beliefs, that enlightened him. Islam teaches so many things in life from equality to peaceful co-existence which our Mullahs conveniently forgotten to practice. They have understood religion in part and practiced in part and naturally from that partial view, one cannot get an impartial view of the religion which is an universal religion of peace and brotherhood.Science is different from religion. While science takes to the new invention of life, religion gives a regulation to life. It is a way of life in itself. Scientific research and knowledge is needed to help people progress. It does not mean that the man with his tiny brain would go to the extent of proving the existence of God or His creation wrong. It is beyond the realm of imagination of an ordinary human being. Irfan Hussein made a scathing and sweeping remarks on Imran Khan, and went on to say that “In a sense, Imran Khan’s view of Darwin’s life work captures the essence of our backwardness”. He even called Imran Khan as having “half-baked” knowledge. If Irfan Hussein is a practising Muslim and wholly believed in the Holy Quran and the words of Allah as true, he would not have supported the theory of evolution, which runs contrary to the belief of creation by Allah. It was Irfan Hussein's “half-baked” knowledge rather than Imran Khan's that failed to understand the real essence of knowledge of the world and Allah's creation which contain in the text of Holy Quran.Imran Khan has complained in his article that Pakistan’s secular elites do not study Islam, and hence they were seduced by 'western' thinking. It is true and fine and why should Irfan Khan have any objection on it. Imran Khan made a clear distinction between the practice of 'selective Islam' and 'real Islam'. He saw the difference clearly as there was a yawning gap between what people preach and what they practice. This is what he called it a selective Islam which ofcourse drove him away from the religion for some time. He went on to denounce the theory of evolution and said that whatever may be the advancement of science, it failed to tell the world the existence of life and thereafter “While science, no matter how much it progresses, can answer a lot of questions - two questions it will never be able to answer: One, what is the purpose of our existence and two, what happens to us when we die?” he said. What impressed me most of his discovery of life of a Muslim. Imran says, “the greatest impact of believing in God for me, meant that I lost all fear of human beings. He went on to says that Muslim has a dual function to perform, one towards Allah (God) and another towards his fellow beings. Belief on Allah liberates man from man. The religion of Islam never teaches hatred but on the other hand it teaches us to live in perfect harmony with one another in an atmosphere of brotherhood. It also emphasise the need to respect other religious beliefs, practices and their places of worship. Therefore, to discover the truth and the universe as well, one need not go to Darwin particularly for Muslim as Quran is a perfect book of guidance for all human beings, if they have belief in it. To people, who called the most impressive article of Imran Khan as a piece of ignorance, I can only say that they are more ignorant than him. To me it is a perfect commentary on Islam, very impressive indeed.
Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2009 19:51:21 -0800 [09:21:21 AM IST]From: bakhtiar ishtiaqTo: Sultan Shahin Editor@NewAgeIslam.com
I totally agree with Omar Ali in that the muslims have bought into the christian right fallacy of creationism by another name-intelligent design; the extravagant notion that some 'being' controls the evolution and propagation of all life on earth. This fallacy will inevitably fail like the previous opposition of thechristian church to Galileo's sun centered theory. The Muslim societies already look 'stupid'for a whole host of reasons and this will be another 'feather' in the proverbial dunce cap. All this is ironic because some of the greatest scientific works and philosophical arguments based on and in favor of reason and the observational/experiment based scientific method were extended by Muslim scientists and philosophers-Aviros and Avicena, immediately spring to mind amongst a host of others.In attributing all morality to religion, Mr Khan has revealed yet more of his ignorance; from its evolution to its philosophical, anthropological, evolutionary perspectives to its derivation from unaided reason which is the circular argument that religion makes, it is none the less vastly more complex than the argument IK makes. In fact some of the greatest moralists in history were secular humanists i.e Kant, Holyoake and Nietzsche to name a few.Once again, making sweeping statements in politics is one but dabbling in rigorous scientific/academic desciplines is a whole different ball game, one best left to those who know their subject.
JANAB OMAR ALI
Closing ones eyes and ignoring the oblivious is the attitude of the Jahillia and not the way of the mentally alive and kicking…You emphasized in your post that because of Imran khan’s background as a politician or a cricketer he is not qualified to comment on a (obsolete) scientific theory is ridiculous. The Darwin bla bla in the end is nothing but just a theory in all practicality, though it has come out to be a feed for those, who have wavering faith in the existence of the Almighty and for those who were looking for something to denounce the existence of the Supreme Being. You may be obsessed by something theoretical does not mean that some one else who does not share your awe, has no right to state his views in public.
I wrote these comments to a senior PTI officer:
I do think Imran should not comment on subjects where he is clearly ignorant. There is a big difference between commenting on foreign policy and commenting on science. In foreign policy and politics, everyone is allowed in the game because there is no such thing as consensus knowledge or a commonly agreed framework. Depending on your beliefs, opinions, confusions, you may have very widely different views and there is no higher court to which you can appeal to settle this matter. In the end, its played out in life. You turn out to be wrong or right and you take your lumps as they come. Science is not like that, though if you really want to get into it, the difference is not totally black and white (there are shades of gray in science as well, and at the edges where new discoveries are being made, there is great disagreement too) but as time passes, consensus tends to develop around theories that are repeatedly shown to be correct by experiment and observation. In a strictly logical sense, nothing is ever proven without a shadow of doubt. There is always the possibility that tomorrow will bring new insights and new observations that will change our paradigm, but established theories (not newly rising ones) in science have a remarkable consistency and cross-cultural validity. What that means is that it is unsafe for politicians (used to a world where everyone has a different opinion and nobody is accepted as correct by everyone...there are endless factions and people switch opinions and loyalties) to oppose well established science on esthetic or religious grounds. It is really irrelevant to science if you dont like the idea of monkeys as your ancestors or if a holy book includes some sentences that (in their literal reading) seem to contradict a scientific theory. In this situation, the scientific theory will remain correct no matter what opinion you may have about it. The best thing is for politicians keep their opinions to politics or foreign policy and NOT risk appearing ignorant about science. Evolution is totally established scientific fact. I wont get into a long discussion about it because tons of material are available on the internet and in textbooks if you feel like reading about it. But my sincere advice is to stay away from the topic in public. Believe what you wish in your own mind. As long as you are not running science education in the country, it really wont do much harm or matter too much. I am not trying to be insulting. I really sincerely think that is the best policy for politicians and IK should not fall into this minefield..Look what happened to the church. They didnt like a sun centerd solar system because they thought it contradicted their common sense and their holy book. They shut galileo up and banned his books. But in time, they had to give in and also to appear foolish. But the real heart of the matter is this: THEY DID NOT HAVE TO DO THAT! Once they stopped treating the bible as a book of science, religion did not go away. Islam or christianity will not disappear if they dont stop Darwin. Islam will still be around and so will christianity. Allama iqbal is supposed to be this great Islamic thinker, yet he had no problem with evolution and even wrote in his book that Muslim scientists anticipated Darwin and thought of evolution BEFORE Darwin. This anti-evolution hysteria is a product of Christian evangelical propaganda and Muslims have bought into it, which is sad. In the end, biology will win, not some religious nuts. But they may set biology back in their own countries, while China and Japan and India and whatever will move on...
Reality of the Real Imran Khan is as under:
Calamity of Imran Khan and Pakistan Justice Party