Muslims & Contemporary Challenges – Part 2

This is article is the continuation and the last part of Muslims & Contemporary Challenges.

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

After reviewing the intellectual and cultural challenges in the previous part, I will dissect a new set of challenges that Muslims are facing in contemporary era. As argued in the previous part the challenges are connected to each other, where intellectual struggles would ultimately lead to social challenges, which would definitely result in other continuous types of challenges and struggles. It is obvious that lack of intellectual and social comprehension would result in economic inferiority, which is due to the fact that means of advancement and reforms are not available. In addition, ignorance and the inability to overcome the mentioned struggles, are the perfect pavements for establishing an authoritarian system. Therefore, the primary struggle that would present itself would be the political struggle, which Muslims have been facing for centuries. However, political struggle with Carry all types of challenges and hardships but the main struggle and challenge would be economic struggle, which is linked to the corrupt nature of any authoritarian regime.

Political challenges:

As discussed in previous articles, no one can deny that lack of freedom has been a big part of Muslim characteristic. However, this type of hardship is emerged and formed through a wide range of factors and variables, which are rooted directly in the intellectual and social foundation of Muslim societies or any other society that is being governed by an authoritarian regime. Political leaders become dictators when they don’t face the consequences of their actions on policies, how over evaluating and supervising the conducts and policies of the governing institution, requires thorough and precise knowledge of the necessities needed by a society. In addition, the ability to differentiate between right and wrong policy is major part of the solution, which will prevent the emergence of an authoritarian system that will use the ignorance of the citizens to control and contain them, and ultimately use their wealth and capabilities for its own benefits.

Unfortunately, the Muslim world has been governed by Regimes that invest in the ignorance of their citizens, and put in enormous efforts to ensure the ignorance is kept and contained. Therefore, it is the responsibility of Muslims to seek knowledge, intellect and immune themselves against any type of misuse and corruption. Muslims are able to present hundreds of reasons and factors for their current conditions and circumstances, but these statements would hold no ground when acknowledging that whomever was or still is responsible for their hardships, is actually using their lack of knowledge about their own conditions, to control them and rule them without giving anything back and without being held responsible for his/her misconducts.

However, intellect and knowledge should not be limited to academic institutions. It is obvious due to the corrupt nature of authoritarian regimes seeking education might not be an option for a large portion of the population. Therefore, a Muslim or any other human must acquire knowledge and intellect by any means necessary. Intellectual development and advancement is accomplished through hard work and continuous efforts, nonetheless, academic institutions organize and prepare and guide each individual to seek knowledge and education. Each human being must be able to advance and develop his intellectual capabilities, which will result in a logical and rational arguments against any oppressive and coercive system.

It has been argued through numerous pulls and studies that Muslims and Arabs in general، are in the bottom of the list when it comes to reading and updating their general information. Assuming this information only applies to 50% of the population in the Muslim world it is still very endangering and worrying.


Economic Challenges:

When it comes to economic hardships, an observer might argue that Muslim countries are not in need of economic aide. They have the largest natural resources reserves and economic superiority on many levels, which makes them better than most parts of this planet. This statement would be precise if the wealth of Muslim nations was capitalized and invested in the societies for building infrastructures, and providing for the basic necessities of the people. The political struggles of the Muslim nations is accompanied by its own sets of economic laws and rules, which are unique. Favouritism, corruption, bribery and many other wrong policies have pushed people to seek alternatives. We tend to see majority of the population active in the agricultural fields, are leaving their regions and heading for the cities, which is effecting an important part of a country’s source of income. In other sectors, Muslims countries have the highest numbers of Public Sector employees, which are putting heavy burden on the states. Majority of these Public sector employees have paid top dollars for gaining those positions, which means they would do anything necessary to regain the money they have paid and accumulate wealth and unfortunately, these cases mean more harassment to citizens and widespread of bribery and corruption. In addition, the states are using such positions as a mean of gaining loyal subjects and implementing favoritism, which would ultimately divide the population into categories.

The list of economic challenges of Muslims are very long, and overcoming these challenges doesn’t need a revolution, since the recent revolutions in some Muslim counties have proven to be useless and catastrophic as a matter fact. Therefore, the Muslims need a major movement which will include Intellectual, social, political and economic reform, or in other word they need something more like a renaissance. Muslims must realize that achieving such a change is possible and it is only a matter of will, major sacrifices and choosing the right leadership to lead this renaissance.

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