Monday, 15 June 2015

When did Muslims close the door to reasoning? Scholars ask

It is interesting that the scholars in the headline are Muslim scholars speaking in Malaysia.
(If the question about Muslims closing the door to reasoning had been asked by a non-Muslim s/he would no doubt be labelled an "Islamophobe").
This question has been covered in much more detail in Robert Reilly's book "The Closing of the Muslim Mind", which is on my bookshelf.
In short, it all happened around the 11th century, when the Mutazilites, open-minded rationalists, were defeated in intellectual battle.  Since then, the Muslim Mind has been closed; closed that is, to reason and debate, and we see that every day around the world, the most extreme position being ISIS.
According to the panellists, the Muslim world had flourished with scholars and ground-breaking scientists when the Mutazilites from a school that espouses reason and rational thought were influential, but has now resorted to suppressing dissent instead.
“In Islamic societies, compared to other societies, especially in the Western worlds, the variety, diversity of views is absolutely suppressed,” said Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi, an emeritus professor of law at Universiti Teknologi Mara.
“So there’s only one view of Islam, the predominant view that comes out not only in foreign media but our own media. And I think that’s the big difference between Islam and other religions.”
Read the rest here.