Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fashola said

Babatunde Raji Fashola is a lawyer and is respected as the competent Governor of Lagos State. He has both moral education and advanced "western" education. At a Ramadan lecture last month, he spoke of the need for peace:

“Africa, and indeed Nigeria, is one of the pre-eminent investment exiles and oasis to pitch. But, if we do not address those very nagging issues of insecurity, those issues of ethnic and religious divide, investment will not come here”, the Governor said and urged all Muslims in the country to pray for peace and security in the country at this period of Ramadan.
He added, “It is in our hands now and in this very special month, one of the prayers I would urge us to engage in is to pray that those who are angered and who resort to violence would sheath their swords. When we have peace, when we have security, this economy will prosper beyond our imagination”.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Al-Azhar protest AGAINST terrorism

Al-Azhar University in Cairo Egypt is the chief centre of Arabic literature and Islamic learning in the world.
وقفة «الأزهر» ضد الإرهاب
Here is a photo of Azhar University students during a demonstration against terrorism, Azhar University, Cairo.
"Azhar University staged a protest condemning the Alexandria church bombings which took lives of more than 20 and left scores injured.
Protest was led by Grand Imam of Azhar, Ahmed al-Tayyeb, Abdullah al-Husseiny, University President. Number of faculty members and students took part."
News photo and description from , a leading Egyptian news site, in January 2011.

Modern Society needs MORE than just Islamic knowledge

In ‘Beyond Belief’, as in ‘Among the Believers’, Naipaul frames the predicament of his converted Muslims as one of cultural self-rejection, a disregard for their pre-Islamic past in favour of what one Walcott poem calls “borrowed ancestors”.

His considered view is that faith in Islam is no substitute for the serious mental effort required to build a humane, well-oiled modern society. Political Islam is seen as offering no realistic, empirical solutions to the problems of a developing nation, nothing save, as in the Ayatollah’s Iran, “rage, anarchy”.

Clifford Geertz, writing on Indonesia in 2000, pointed out that the Islamic parties there did not have “much of a program beyond moralism and xenophobia”.
Naipaul’s use of the medical term neurosis conveys a lot about his view of Islamic faith.

Visiting an Indonesia pesantren (village boarding school) in ‘Among the Believers’, Naipaul is scathing about the learning method: “ was Islamisation; it was stupefaction, greater than any that could have come with a Western- style curriculum”.

Adding to the dim view he takes is the perceived hypocrisy of Muslims loathing the West while clutching Harvard and Oxford degrees and seeking aircraft technology...

All the above is excerpted from a fabulous review of V.S. Naipaul's travel writing from Islamic lands, written in by Missang Oyongha (August 14, 2011). Please read the original review here.

I think the Nobel Laureate Naipaul's comments makes the same point that Wafa Sultan has tried to make, that: to rely on Islamic belief alone, thereby rejecting other forms of inquiry and knowledge is unlikely to be a winning strategy in the end.