ENEMIES of Islamic extremism or the religion’s enemies in general claim that religions, despite their important role, were not aimed at establishing civilizations or states but came as messages for ensuring good for humanity.
According to the late philosopher Ahmed Al-Baghdadi, to whose viewpoint we agree, there is nothing called Islamic civilization, Christian civilization, Jewish civilization, Buddhist civilization or Hindu civilization. There are civilizations connected to Muslim countries, Christian countries, and so on.
Civilizations had nothing to do with religions, as religions did not bring equations. They did not include instructions for establishing and paving roads, crop fields, dams and bridges. Religions did not reveal ways to invent machines or develop defense capabilities. Religions brought forward social and moral values along with many issues that provoke disputes when the principles are accepted by some people but rejected by others. It is not like scientific facts, for instance, you do not find anyone arguing about the multiplication table or ways to construct bridges.
On the other hand, those who oppose this viewpoint claim that Europe was falling into the depths of backwardness when Baghdad, the capital of the Islamic empire, was on the top of civilization and advancement. They also argue that Europe still owes a huge favor to Muslim scientists such as Abu Bakr Al-Razi — who is described as the link between old and modern medicine, the well-known optics expert Ibn Al-Haitham, the Arab scientist Abi Bakr Al-Kandari, the greatest scientist in his age Ibn Sina, the “Father of Modern Philosophy” Ibn Roshd among many others.
However, all those brilliant scientists faced accusations of atheism. Many of them were exposed to torture, displacement and even murder.
Due to his opinion that the world has no beginning, Ibn Al-Haitham was accused of atheism. He also claimed that the mind precedes the holy texts. He was eventually accused of being mad and was forced to stay in his house in Cairo until he died alone and disappointed.
Al-Razi also violated some of the axioms when he insisted that the brain is the only source that leads man to recognize God. He was accused of atheism and paid huge price for his opinions.
As a result of such negative stances taken against those Muslim scientists, you can hardly see any of their names on schools, hospitals or universities. If any of their names were found, it was before the recent “uprising”. If extremists had the authority, they would have changed few of the present names.
Hence, we have reached the height of contradictions in the situations between the boasting of the Islamic civilization and allegations against scientists about following atheism.
It is said that you cannot have your cake and eat it too. Either we must apologize to those scientists, show them respect and consider them as good Muslims in order for them to become a part of the Islamic history, or continue considering them as atheists but then we do not have the right to attribute them to Islam and Muslims.
By Ahmed Al-Sarraf