The foundation of Islamic civilization was a set of Qur'anic ideals which include family values, good governance, social justice, and human rights.Too bad it hasn't worked that way for many centuries, these "principles" acting instead as the stumbling block to progress that has mired Islamic nations in poverty and backwardness such that their citizens have felt the need to flee to the far more advanced infidel West. But I guess what Elmo is saying is that if they--if we--can return to the "true" Islam, the "real" Islam, the "ideal" can come to pass once again.
And, much as in the modern sense, human rights in the Qur'anic conception included: freedom of religion; law and order; the equality of all citizens before the law; international relations based on mutual respect and fair trade; a strong defense system; encouragement of and access to scholarship in every field; respect for knowledge; a pluralism embracing religious and ethnic differences.
And, importantly, the maintenance of a strong welfare state, providing to the utmost extent possible; free education; free health care; free old age pensions; and social assistance to the poor, the needy, the disabled and the unemployed.
This comprehensive package of Qur'anic ideals was included in the Divine Message received and taught by the Prophet Muhammad (570 - 632 AD) in a world fraught with uncivilized behavior among people and nations.
In fact, such brutal and callous behavior was the norm during the dark pre-Islamic ages: wars, death, destruction and aggressive empire-building were widespread, while the powerless and marginalized "others" were enslaved physically, economically, mentally, and spiritually.
The Qur'anic principles taught by the Prophet were not aimed at building a vast empire, either politically or culturally, but rather to build an ideal commonwealth for the benefit of all humanity - a family of nations and states working together to foster advances in the sciences, arts, literature, medicine, music, philosophy, religion, and spirituality.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Past, present and future, it's Islamic, natch: