Globalization in an Islamic view Via Dr. @saadalbarrak

I know I have been gone for a long while now. Lets say I was just soo busy with life. Anyways, I sadly don’t happen to be reading a lot like I used to before but I am reading the authobiography of Saad Al Barrak which is full of excitement and make you have a different view about many aspects in life. One of the many extraordinary topics that I loved and would just like to share with you is globalizations in the view of Saad Al Barrak, which I strongly agree on. The topic is as designated below, enjoy:) :-

There is a long, complex history between the Arabs and the West. Over the past half-century, the bias of the US towards the Israelis has lost them massive credibility. Before this, the US had a positive image in our area, and at the time of Suez in 1956 America was far more progressive than Britain and France – indeed, it was Presidnet Eisenhower who liberated Sinai. The wars of 1967 and 1973 were turning points, but the climax was the bloody 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, when America endorsed Israel beyond any conceivable limit as its planes destroyed apartment blocks and its tanks rolled into Beirut. We can hardly blame the Arab masses for distrusting the intentions of America.

 

A Vicious Cycle ensued. non-democratic regimes and groups in Arab world adopted slogans of revolution and freedom, like the Baath party or the Nasserite nationalist movement, and more recently extreme Islamists like al-Qaeda. These people had no interest whatsoever in democratization, and realized the best way to resist individual freedom and democracy was to label them as Western inventions, which made them evil because the West was evil. Control of the media and ideology by many regimes in the Arab world has reinforced this labelling and stereotyping that anything Western is colonial, including democracy. For these regimes, this neatly distracted attention from their own failings, and some regimes even promoted extreme Islamists who said that, under the slogan of the rule of God, the rule of people was unacceptable. Despite the secular origins of the Baath party, by the 1990s Saddam was portraying himself as a man of religion and even constructed a false family tree to show his descent from the Prophet Mohammed. In 1994 he launched a ‘faith campaign’ that included the ‘Saddam University of Islamic Studies’, Qur’an classes in schools, the banning of alcohol in public places and the building in Baghdad of what was planned to be the biggest mosque in the world.

 

Some politicians and scholars have argued that we must fight whatever is foreign in order to protect the Arab identity or Islam or both. If you go to the seminal source of Islam, this is totally unacceptable – Islam is the religion most open to knowledge, science and human experience, and in its classical period Islam accumulated and kept alive many of the works of the ancient Greeks that would otherwise have been lost, making Baghdad under the Abbasid dynasty, when it was at its strongest, from 750 CE until 940, one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. As the Prophet Mohammed, may peace be upon Him, said ‘Wisdom is the target of the believer, wherever he finds it, he is the most entitled among people to it.’

 

Nations which have been defeated, which feel they are victims, erect psychological and ideological barriers for protection. Traditional civilization in the Arab-Muslim world was quite unlike this, but through out the twentieth century this has changed, and there are still regimes, people and political or religious factions trying to resist globalization or ‘Westernization’ under the pretext of preserving the Arab identity.

 

Some people have seen me as a Westernizer, and I have even been portrayed as a capitalist in the crudest American sense of the word, one who cares only about expanding his own wealth and nothing about society. But people have come to see a new example, with Zain, in its devout commitment to corporate social responsibility and the distribution of wealth through becoming the first company in the region to offer a generous program me of stock options to staff. Stock options are an American invention, and so there is an indication here that American-style capitalism is misunderstood by many people. No other country in the history of mankind has given people such an opportunity to become wealthy, starting from nothing. From that angle, the American ideology and system – ‘the American model’ – has been the most benevolent in terms of empowering people to pursue their dreams. By the American model’ I mean the complete model as manifested throughout the 250 years of its existence, and as designed by the great American founding fathers like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. The problem with ideals and principles lies always in their application. Man is inherently deficient; he has some evil in him, and it is our collective responsibility to make sure this evil does not lead us astray. There are examples, throughout history, of the execution of the American model in ways that violate the principles of the founding fathers: the modern bias towards Israel is contradictory to true American values.

 

Could the election of Barack Hussein Obama in 2008 have happened anywhere else in the world? A black man with a ‘strange’ name of Muslim origin, a poor person from the ‘other’ end of society, running for the position of the most powerful man in the world, in a great country that has traditionally been controlled by white, Anglo-Saxon Protestants and the ‘industrial mafia’ of big corporations? His victory was a huge vote of confidence in the American system, one that appeared to restore faith in an electoral process that was beginning to look flawed. This is the real ‘American drea’. To give an example the late Steve Jobs was raised by foster parents, didn’t finish high school and didn’t go to college. He began building Apple computers in a garage and became one of the wealthiest people in the world. Indeed, many who worked with him became affluent. These things do not happen everywhere.

 

People are often paranoid, sceptic a, fearful and jealous of the powerful and wealthy, who they believe should live in a positively perceived way. The US has focused upon itself as a big economy, a vast country with fifty states that thrives on self-sufficiency and isolationism, and so it has neglected its responsibility as a world leader. Unfortunately, America has too often shown itself as arrogant, highlighting many deficiencies in US leadership, and this is something Barack Obama recognized. He set out to restore the image of America as envisaged by the founding fathers. Under the presidency of George W. Bush, when he submitted to the influence of right-wing extremists known as ‘neo-cons’, the image was badly tarnished.

Source: A Passion For Adventure – Autobiography of Saad Al Barrak

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