International Conference on Intellectual Crisis of Muslims inaugurated
ALIGARH: Dr. Muhammad Al-Ghazali, Judge, Supreme Court of Pakistan (Shariah Appellate Bench) said that the Muslims cannot regain their lost status in the world so long as they remain hostage to the terms of engagement with humanity defined by others. This state of mind has pushed the Muslims into a barren, thankless cycle of mutual phobia, hostility and skepticism towards the rest of humanity.
Dr. Al-Ghazali was delivering the keynote address at a two day International Conference on the â€œIntellectual Crisis of the Muslim Ummah: Revisiting the Past Patterns of Thoughtâ€ organized by Centre for Promotion of Educational and Cultural Advancement of Muslims of India (CEPECAMI), Aligarh Muslim University.
Dr. Al-Ghazali said that the present intellectual crisis and confusion is a consequence of the moral failure of those who have been placed at the position of leadership in the Muslim community. He said that the post colonial leaders of the Muslim world have not recognized Ummah as their reference point. They do profess faith in Islam but do not define their role from the perspective of the Ummah.
Dr. Ghazali said that the most grievous shortcoming of the Muslim Ummah was the acute inferiority complex which â€œis a result of complex historical reasonsâ€. He ascertained that this situation called for a critical understanding of the current modes of thought and behavior and developing a common lexicon for communicating with humanity at large. He urged the Muslim intellectuals, spiritual and political leaders to â€œmake a sincere come back to the Quran, recognize its irreplaceable central place in our life and redefine their mission and role in the light of its luminous and vivifying messageâ€.
In his presidential address, the Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, Lt. Gen. Zameer Uddin Shah said that every crisis is an opportunity. For the last two decades, Islamic countries have been rocked by war, internecine squabbles and social and potential unrest.
Gen. Shah said that the weakening of Islam has created an ideological vacuum. Most of the 20th century was wasted in simply maintaining the bipolar imbalance. Today one percent of the world population has taken control of 99% of the world resources, leaving the rest of the humanity to poverty. This is a very unjust situation, he added.
Gen. Shah said that the 21st century began with American declaration of war on terror, was it a camouflage to control energy reservoirs in the Muslim world. The entire Middle East and North Africa are up in flames, primarily because Islam has become a divided house today.
AMU Vice Chancellor pointed out that â€œwe must not allow the gap of knowledge with the West to widen any more. The answer is quest for knowledge, or education, especially of women. We cannot leave 50% of our population, unproductive.
Gen. Shah said that AMU is a symbol of inclusiveness. He hoped that the conference would â€œgive a true university experience, an open forum where people of all shades come together and deliberate the most pressing and sensitive issues of our timeâ€.
Earlier, welcoming the guests, Director of the CEPECAMI, Prof. Rashid Shaaz said that it was for the first time in the history of AMU that Muslim scholars and intellectual from all over the world have gathered to discuss and deliberate the century long modern history of Muslim intellectualism. He said that the conference is aimed at highlighting issues and problems that have created an intellectual crisis in Muslims, as a result of which Muslims have become an enemy to their own interests.
Sheikh Dr. Kamal el-Helbawy, former International Spokesperson of the Muslim Brotherhood, London, Dr. Mike Ghouse, World Muslim Congress, USA, Maulana Kalbe Sadiq, noted Shia scholar, Swami Lakshmishankaracharya, Founder Chairman, Hindu Muslim Jan Ekta Manch, Prof. Israr Ahmad, International Islamic University of Malaysia, Mr. M. Ashraf Haidari, Deputy Chief de Mission, Embassy of Afghanistan and Brigadier S. Ahmad Ali, Pro-Vice Chancellor, AMU also expressed their views.
Mr. Mohd. Qasim, a student of Bridge Course presented a Charter of Islamic Unity.