U.S. President Donald Trump signed a series of agreements amounting to $380 billion in his Saudi Arabia visit. He did not refer to any of the Islamophobic speeches we frequently heard during his election campaign.
The U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Gulf countries are in a very strong alliance. On the other hand, there is the Russia, Iran and Syria bond.
Trump and the Saudis chided Iran; in return, Iran blamed Trump of “arming terrorists.” It was apparent that with “terrorists” they meant Wahhabi Saudis.
Upon this, Saudis said the Iranian revolution was the source of terror; before that there were no terror organizations such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
How should we view this picture? How about shouting: “Down with imperialism; down with Zionism,” or something? Or maybe we should say: “Hey Muslims wake up; they are exploiting you.”
I suggest that, apart from these slogans, we should see these facts: Muslims constitute one fourth of the world population and – except for oil – they only are contributing to 5.6 percent of the world’s production.
Muslims’ share in world technology exportation is only 4 in a thousand. Their share in world oil exports is 36 percent. Roughly, they spend one third of their oil revenues for armament. Against whom? Well, against each other.
The Nobel science prizes have been given for 114 years. Only three Muslim scientists have won the award, one of them being Professor Aziz Sancar. The number of Jews who have won Nobel prizes is more than 100. I took this data from Özcan Kadıoğlu’s article on Daily Dünya on May 24.
How about law, democracy and justice? Like communicating vessels, whatever the level of security of law and freedom are in any country, the level of science, technology and welfare is about the same.
In Fareed Zakaria’s words, the “oil feudality” is another issue; oil is the financial source of oppressions.
Should we not, with such a grave picture, cry out, “Hey Muslims, wake up?”
We could, but what good will it be? Upon such a call, Iran will have a different interpretation, while Saudi Arabia will have another.
Sincere and morally-justified Muslims will understand it differently, and ISIL will understand it differently.
This is why I am saying that political mobilization calls are no good for Muslims; on the contrary they waste human energy.
The salvation of Muslims depends on them adopting scientific mentality, as well as working on genuinely approving the rule of law and raising youth with the appreciation of questioning and research.
Iranian Seyyed Hossein Nasr is one of the most respected Muslim thinkers of our time; he is also a science historian. Before the revolution, he was the rector of Tehran University. During the revolution he went to the U.K., then to the U.S. He never came back.
If he had returned to his country, who knows what would have happened to him? He is lecturing at George Washington University; he is writing articles and books.
Security of law and freedom are like fresh air for science and studies.
In his book “Science and Civilization in Islam,” Nasr wrote on the formation of peak Islamic civilizations in history. “Islam has taken over all the intellectual heritage of major civilizations except for the Far East,” he wrote. He also wrote how Muslims absorbed ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia and ancient Greek civilizations.
Today’s political Islamists only refer to Islamic history as “civilization heritage;” as a matter of fact, with epic and heroic discourses lacking the richness of content.
This stance paves the way for generations that have been distant to scientific and philosophical content of civilization; which makes them unable to produce science and technology, who are also blind to the significance of law.
Just like taking over the civilization heritage of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, like the ancient Greek civilization, today we need to take not only the devices of the Western civilization but actually its scientific and philosophic essence.
We should encourage young people to do this.