The weapon of ideology to fight terrorism

Published: July 4, 2011

Fighting against terrorism is an ideological war and it can only be fought through another counter ideology.

Why lambast Pakistan?

Why criticise the Pakistan army and religious fanatics?

Why can’t you offer some solutions to fix the grave security situation responsible for our economic turmoil?

We sacrificed our citizens, sports, tourism, hotel industries and foreign direct investment etcetera so why highlight Pakistan’s problems rather than offering solutions?

Above stated are questions I have faced over the past few years, during my conversation with Pakistanis across the world. In this blog, I have tried to analyse these questions and also tried to highlight solutions to terrorism (‘public enemy number two’ after inflation).

Just as a doctor needs to make a proper diagnosis before starting any treatment, we need to understand the source of the problem first. In Pakistan, there has never been a proper diagnosis, and wrong policies have been implemented to counter this terrorism.

How can we fight this issue when the majority in the country believes that terrorism in Pakistan is jointly supported by India, America and Israel? When most Pakistanis consider Osama bin Laden’s death as a bad thing; when the majority regards India as a bigger threat than Taliban and al Qaeda; when the media is dominated by conspiracy theories of Hamid Gul, Zaid Hamid and Imran Khan.

So, is terrorism a Jewish conspiracy or is it the deeds of Muslims who are influenced by a radical fundamentalist ideology that justifies taking innocent civilians in the name of religion?

It’s high time for Pakistanis to take their pick as their decision will drive the solution to their problems.

Now, I am not going to refute the claims of Zaid Hamid & Co, since they are well documented already. Instead, I will try to provide a solution to the menace of terrorism that I believe is indeed influenced by a radical ideology and is not a conspiracy of India, America, KFC or McDonalds.

War of ideologies not bombs

It is important to understand that terrorism is an ideological indoctrination which is why military/counter terror operations, drone attacks, reconnaissance missions and other combat operations are only short term solutions.

It is essential to get familiar with the ground realities of this war with an enemy that believes in a violent ideology. We are not fighting people who are influenced by nationalism and where peace will be achieved once the territorial issues are resolved neither are we fighting against a bunch of robbers or thugs. We are fighting against those who wish to establish their caliphate and puritanical Shariah across the globe by means of violent measures.

Terrorists have an advantage in the form of sympathies and ideological support from ulema – hijackers of Islam. These ulema, whether in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or Iran, provide terrorists the moral support, lending justification to their promotion of hatred and intolerance.

Take the example of Malik Mumtaz Qadri, a terrorist who killed Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer. The majority of Pakistani ulema refused to condemn Qadri’s actions and many have even praised him for his heinous crime. The most powerful Pakistani clerics, the likes of which are Mufti Taqi Usmani and Maulana Tariq Jameel, have refused to issue fatwas condemning suicide bombing because according to their viewpoint that would have discouraged the brutal campaigns of their fellow Muslims in Afghanistan, Kashmir and Palestine.

The late Israr Ahmed, the darling of Pakistani talk shows and print media, once proposed his theory that it is imperative upon Muslims to establish Khilafat across the planet and once they are successful then they must give the following three options to non-Muslims under their rule:

1. To accept Islam.
2. If not that, then live as second class citizens where only Muslims have the prerogative to administer the state of affairs and where proselytisation of all other religions except Islam is banned.
3. If neither of the two above options are accepted, then non-Muslims must face the Muslim army in a battlefield and let blood determine the outcome.

This proposition is widely supported by all major ulema and Islamic scholars in Pakistan who have mass followings and who are blindly followed by the majority.

Consider this example below: During my debate with a Pakistani on the issue of Jews, he concluded that Jews are responsible for the current dilapidated condition of Pakistan.

When I asked him for proof, he quoted a verse from Quran to justify his view (Qur’an; 5:51). This is the same verse that I was given by a majority of Muslims I spoke with as their justification of hatred against Jews.  This and other similar verses are being used by terrorists and their sympathisers (Islamic scholars) to promote intolerance in our society.

The question is how to refute this claim that is explicitly taken from the Quran?

If the same verse is proposed by a fanatic or conspiracy theorist to intellectuals such as Pervez Hoodboy, Fasi Zaka, Nadeem Paracha, Ayesha Siddiqa etcetera, then most likely they would counter it through reason and logic in the light of global human rights standards. But, this approach is not good enough when it comes to debating with people who are heavily influenced by religion, like most Pakistanis, and who have religious justifications for their intolerant actions.

Counter ideology, through the Holy Quran

The correct approach to deal with these religious minded people is to counter their views with a counter ideology. Counter ideology means to refute the claims of extremists through the same text (Holy Quran) that they rely on for their own radical ideology.

In relation to the above verse quoted by the majority of Pakistanis for their hatred against Jews, a comprehensive rebuttal is available from Dr Khalid Zaheer.  Dr Khalid refutes the claim of extremists by presenting other verses from the Quran and by explaining the proper context of the verses proposed by radical popular clerics of Pakistan.

He successfully manages to debunk the theories of Pakistani clerics and conspiracy theorists in his detailed analysis of the verses of Quran in relation to Jews.

But the unfortunate reality is that Dr Khalid is not a popular scholar of Islam in Pakistan unlike Israr Ahmed, and other scholars.

Dr Khalid’s works have never been properly marketed unlike that of the radical preachers who manage to garner funds from the public and who have availability of state funds and support, thereby enabling them to use efficient marketing channels. The radical preachers often have state and army support since they provide the ideology that becomes the motivation for militants which the state has reportedly used as strategic assets in the past.

So the issue is not the lack of counter ideology but instead the very limited access that people have to this ideology.

The important question is:

Why is the United States (US) not fighting this war ideologically and instead relying on combat operations alone?

Americans spend $750 billion on their defense budget every year. Recently it was estimated that the cost of buying and operating 2,443 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters is $1.3 trillion. Even one per cent of that amount spent on counter ideology would be beneficial. During operation Cyclone, the Americans funded the radical ideological Jihad and University of Nebraska played a crucial role in printing Jihadi literature. They must now fund this counter ideology in order to fight the global menace of terrorism, especially in Pakistan.

Just like we have Dr Khalid’s rebuttal against the so called religious justification for hatred against certain non-Muslims, we also have comprehensive rebuttals of Jihadi ideology that the majority of ulema support. These rebuttals also use Quran and Hadith that the extremists use to foster their propaganda.

For example here is a fantastic essay of Javed Ahmed Ghamidi, a Muslim scholar who had to flee Pakistan after the state refused to provide him protection as he was threatened by state supported ulema and militants.

Ghamidi’s comprehensive work is capable of debunking countless books and articles that have been written by extremist preachers over the past few decades. Although I personally do not subscribe to any religion but this rebuttal was an eye opener for me for my positive sentiments towards Islam. The works of Ghamidi are not only confined to terrorism, but they cover all aspects of Islam that need to be looked at and that should be made available to all Muslims.

In conclusion, I reiterate the fact that fighting against terrorism is an ideological war and it can only be fought through another counter ideology. Military and counter terror operations are justified as long as they maintain minimum casualty rate and they manage to successfully target those elements that are already radicalised and have refused to lay down arms. However, this is a short term solution, as I said earlier because these operations are not going to stop the new breeding of terrorists and more and more terrorists will continue to produce, unless their ideology is not going to be rebuked and castigated.

This refutation of their ideology cannot be done solely by just through countering them with reason and logic but instead the same Holy Quran and Hadith should be used to discredit their propaganda.

This long term approach should be adopted by governments who are serious in countering the threat of Islamic terrorism. It will take decades to resolve this matter as it involves total ideological transformation. It is absurd to assume that terrorism issue will resolve in 90 days once the US leaves Afghanistan, a theory proposed quite frequently by Imran Khan.

anas.abbas

Anas Abbas

A UK based financial analyst, researcher and blogger with interests in counter-terrorism, history and philosophy

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Javed Cheema

    A great blog mr anas abbbas

    plz keep writing more frequently.Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/#!/needroos Nadir El-Edroos

    We have become idelogically lazy. Beleiving the whole worls is out to get us, playing the victim and that we are perpetually in a battle with no end, serves the interests of our nations elite.Recommend

  • Salman

    Keep dreaming, dude… Secular ideology is in complete contradiction with Islam, so muslims as a nation will never accept it. Keep trying, but we’ve seen capitalism fail, and it is time for Islam!Recommend

  • Aftab Rahman

    This is your best piece on ET so far and i agree with you 100%. Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/britpak Mohammed Abbasi

    Excellent piece, indeed countering ideology with correct information from where the assorted uneducated rabble of mullahs we worship as scholars – The Holy Quran – is the best way to tackle these extremists, but this must come from us the people and we must not be looking to governments or scholars themselves to take the lead we must do this ourselvesRecommend

  • Moderate

    Wow… A Perfect article. Recommend

  • Sana Nishat

    Excellent post mr annas. I used to watch ghamidi a lot during his live shows on dunya news channel when he was in pakistan. his teachings are comprehensive and logical to stop the radicalization in our intolerent society.

    thanks for wirting this important post

    well done!Recommend

  • Moderate

    @Salman:
    Same as muslim ideology is in complete contradiction with Humanity.Recommend

  • Ishtiaq Ahmed

    Dear Anas Abbas Sahib,
    Congratulations upon starting your own blog. I wish you all the success against all the odds stacked against you. This is the tragedy but also the challenge of our times.
    Best regards,
    Ishtiaq AhmedRecommend

  • Aishah

    It isn’t a war of ideology. Its a war of Power. They want power .. they want to destabilize Pakistan. No one, no matter, what ideology he has, can justify killing of innocent civilians. No ideology defends this. Recommend

  • PeaceLover

    Hi Anas,

    Excellent article and a thought provoking one at that. You have identified the real issue and the menace of extremist religious ideology needs to be wiped out. All people irrespective of their faith have equal rights and we should not let these fundamental elements to snatch that right from people.

    The most important goal of any religion is to make a person rise above his weaknesses/bad qualities and be a morally strong person. If that is achieved by the people who practice religion, then we all not have any fundamental/extremist people in the world. All human life in this world is precious and should be respected.

    Pakistan needs to come out of the shambles of the fundamentalist ideology and move on with modern times. Pakistan needs to provide better education/infrastructure/health services/justice to its people but not foment the terror of fundamentalist ideology. Hope, people of Pakistan realise this and someday in future, we can see a better and bright Pakistan, where children are educated, old/disables/sick are taken care of with proper health services, poor are not perished but instead are fed, people are employed and so on. May God, make this happen and let Pakistan and whole world live in peace and harmony.

    Thanks again for such a wonderful article, need more enlightened persons such as yourself to counter the deadly menace of extremist ideology.

    Wishing you good luck for all your such endeavours. Recommend

  • Abdul Gilani

    I am surprised at this hogwash against ulema. Those who speak the secular tone are automatically credited and those who dont, are dubbed extremists and kicked out of the boundaries of humanity!

    The blogger is quick to mention Javed Ghamidi, would he tell what the “aalim’s” statement are on other matters like interest! The funny thing is that the man has created his own “defence ka Islam” and only seculars support him!Recommend

  • faraz

    It’s really pathetic that mullahs who support jihadi organizations conveniently ignore the principles of jihad, for example, a leading principle is that jihad can only be announced by the state. Private Jihadi groups have no place in Islam.

    @Salman
    Comparing terrorism with capitalism? Intellectual bankruptcy is the main problem with Muslims across the worldRecommend

  • Abdul Gilani

    @PeaceLover:
    I am surprised at this hogwash against ulema. Those who speak the secular tone are automatically credited and those who dont, are dubbed extremists and kicked out of the boundaries of humanity!

    The blogger is quick to mention Javed Ghamidi, would he tell what the “aalim’s” statement are on other matters like interest! The funny thing is that the man has created his own “defence ka Islam” and only seculars support him!

    By enlightened I hope you do mean a person whose a boozer! Who has little or no knowledge of Islam!Recommend

  • Abdul Rahman

    A great post Mr Abbas. I fully agree with you that secular religious education of alims who support secular views will be counter productive towards fighting with extremists.

    thanks for writing this.Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/#!/needroos Nadir El-Edroos

    Why would “they” want to destablize Pakistan? Recommend

  • Salman

    ” Why is the United States (US) not fighting this war ideologically and instead relying on combat operations alone? ”

    If the Secular ideology had what it takes to counter the divine Ideology of Islam, wouldn’t you think that the torch bearers of the former would’ve fought the battle of ideologies? Do you not think that the prestigious think tanks in the west should’ve come up with a similar strategy? I would trend to think that they’ve tried it for quite some time and failed. That is the reason why their stooges all over the muslim world, arrest and toucher the political workers (and I DON’T mean militants) raising voice for the Islamic ideology. They all talk about fighting idea with idea, but actually respond with torture and murder when you present an idea that does not suit them. Why can’t one exercise freedom of expression against democracy? Democracy is NOT up for debate, is it?

    So, forget it, dude… It’s a long lost battle among muslim masses!Recommend

  • Anas Abbas

    @Salman:

    Have you read the works of Ghamidi?

    if not then i would recommend you to pla refer to them.

    i do not subscribe to any religion but i think the better way to fight terror which is islamic in nature must be through counter ideology. if we use secularism here then the religious bigots who we are targeting will feel insecure towards their revered religion because secualrism is a misunderstood concept for them. Moderate islam should be used to gradually divert them away from the popular extremist islam.

    the basic concept of secularism is seperation of religion from the state and ghamidi’s work justifies this so i dont understand whats the problem here. Recommend

  • UmEr

    A real example of bad vision, what else is left with you and likes of you except speaking against Zaid Hamid or Hamid Gul? Seriously, is anything left? Always one repeated story, get over it and find another topic for yourself so that some other people can also appreciate your “work”.Recommend

  • Abdul Rehman Gilani

    @Anas Abbas:

    Kindly explain, if secularism is “separation of religion from the state” then that is complete contradiction to Islam.

    seculars are mulhids, who have no belief, and justify their own heretical ideology, and using the weak support of azaad-khyaal mullahs like ghamidi, they try to gain support.

    They are Inshallah doomed to fail.Recommend

  • Anas Abbas

    @Abdul Rehman Gilani:

    That islam you are proposing is one version where you justify supporting bigotry. My blog is just advocating to support another version of Islam that says the same thing as secularism. Your understanding of the word secularism is ridiculous and your mind is full of propaganda from your great uleamas. Recommend

  • Anas Abbas

    @Abdul Rehman Gilani:

    now plz dont declare a fatwaa on us that we are doomed to fail. The states that are not secular are already failed or collapsed in the past. History says it all my friend. Recommend

  • Genius

    In the last 500 years until today, we have seen all kinds of Nazism, Fascism, Supremacism and its ugly tool i.e. terrorism coming out of Europe.
    Why is there no violence and bloodshed in Vietnam today as it is in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan today? The European terrorists are not there anymore.Recommend

  • pk_paris

    Great article to make you think. But it will only be effective if it is published in urdu papers.Recommend

  • The Leper

    Only people who have not really studied Islam deeply, can say that you can fight such an ideology through the Quran. No you cannot, because these same people get their inspiration from the several Quranic verses.

    Freedom from dogma – is the only way to fight terrorism. More education = Less dogma, therefore education is key. Recommend

  • Samir

    @ Genius – silly comment. How very naive and Imran Khan of you. The “Europeans” are not the problem.

    @ Author – fantastic article. I hope you can help start a couner-ideology to save Pakistan from the depths of darkness.Recommend

  • Malay

    @Author

    Superb!!!
    That’s all I can say.Recommend

  • http://dinopak.wordpress.com Hasan

    Very well written my friend. I sure hope you can document this into Urdu and print somewhere so that it may reach other Pakistanis as well.

    I have been trying to tell this for a long time now. Thank you so very much, and keep up the good workRecommend

  • raies ahmad

    @Anas Abbas:
    In my opinion”Javed Ghamidi believes in a democratic setup”.A setup where the view of the majority is accepted and respected.Naturally,a system would emerge that people believe in.If people are pracitising muslims,an Islamic state would emerge.we should leave this debate of Islam and Secularism,the majority opinion should be respected,it would either result in a secular state or an Islamic state.Recommend

  • rehmat

    @raies ahmad:
    In India majority are practising Hindus, yet the state is secular – in other words there are no laws that discriminate against Muslims is India. Similarly majority n US are Christians. Still it is a secular country where Muslims can freely practice Islam.

    When you say that if majority is Muslim the country should be Islamic, you are basically proposing that Muslims citizens in Muslim majority countries should be second class citizens. Do you realize that by such a practice you are strengthening the hands of the few right-wing Islamophobes who can point to Muslim countries and say ” See Christians/Hindus do not have any rights there, why should we give equal rights to Muslims in our society?” If you truly believe in Muslim ummah, I hope you realize how harmful your thoughts arefor those Muslms that live in non-Muslim majority countries.Recommend

  • http://dinopak.wordpress.com Hasan

    People who do not research about religion, come here, read the bashing of the (so called) scholars and get enraged.

    They talk about ‘Shariah law’ I have written a detailed account on the implementation of it in current circumstances. Please follow The Shariah law: Relationship between Religion and Politics.

    Then they talk about secularism and how it is ‘unislamic’. Like Pakistan is a Islamic state! As of today 72 (known) sects dwell in the country, how is that Islamic? The constitution of Pakistan says, ‘rights of every sect are protected’, while Qura’an has clearly told us not to break into sectors. How is that Islamic?Recommend

  • Maya

    @Anas Abbas Now that was an excellent read, and such a refreshing change from the usual inane blogs one sees usually on ET. You are so right.. the terrorist threat cannot be contained by weapons and assault alone, but needs to be refuted right on the mullah’s ground.. the Holy Book which is pushed into our faces 24/7. If you don’t agree with their brand of extremism, you are branded a kafir and ostracised.
    I, for one, will be disseminating your rational and wonderful analysis to all my rabid “friends” and neighbours.
    Looking forward to more articles from you. Recommend

  • Dr. Ali Ahmed

    “….in the perception we live in, killing the creation for the love of Creator, to seek the blessings of the Creator, the same who created all the creations that we all have pledged within us, to destroy!…”Recommend

  • Abdul Rehman Gilani

    @Anas Abbas:

    One,

    So your saying secularism isnt “separation of religion from the state”? Then what is it?Since your declaring me brainwashed from “propaganda!”

    Two,

    Kindly give to me solid proof where Islam advocates secularism! Dont give me lame excuses of referring to Ghamdi’s work.

    Three,

    Iqbal rightly wrote,

    Apni Millat Ka Qiyas Aqwame Maghreb Se Na Kar
    Khaas Hai Tarkeeb Mein Qaum e Rasool Hashmi (saw)
    In Ki Jamiyat Ka hai Mulk o Nisbat Per Inhisaar
    Quwat e Mazhab Se Mustahkam hai Jamiyat Teri

    You should not equate your Community (Millat) with Western Nations
    The Nation of the Prophet is Unique in its Composition.
    Their Unity (Western Nations and other Non-Muslims) depends on Country and Race
    (But) your unity derives stability from the power of Religion

    Your “secularism” is a failing concept, Islam was,is and will always be the solution.Recommend

  • Abdul Rehman Gilani

    @Hasan,

    Kindly differentiate from the sects of Islam and the Catholics and Protestants of Christianity.

    All these sects of Islam are united by their common belief in :

    Oneness of Allah
    Prophethood and its finality on the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W)
    Angels
    Holy Books
    Judgement Day
    Taqdeer

    The Above are commonly called 6 Articles of Faith, besides this, they also share a common practice in:

    Kalmaa
    Salaat(Prayer)
    Fasting
    Zakaat
    Hajj

    (Commonly called the Pillars of Islam, Arkaan-e-Islam)
    Rest assured, all the sects of Islam are united in this common belief, whats different you say?

    Its the difference in interpretation of the Hadith and verses of the Noble Quran which are not entirely clear. Recommend

  • Mahindar

    we don’t need another ideology we need some common scene! Recommend

  • malik

    Muslims tell non-muslims “My religion is better than yours!”

    Among muslims, they say, “My understanding of Quran is better than yours !”

    Self taught maulvis say, you have not read Quran and Hadeeths like I have done, and you guys are so morally bankrupt for NOT reading up these things like I have done.

    In this atmosphere, it is naive to think that you can change the mindset of people who are so hopelessly brainwashed and indoctrinated.

    Solution is not fighting ideology with another ideology: these are afraid only of danda.

    People who constantly talk about conspiracy theories are undermining the stability of the nation and they should be identified and charged with treason Round them up and put in concentration camps in Balochistan. Make them do some manual labor.

    Any religious sermon or invocation to Islam outside the mosque should be made a crime. Round them up and put in concentration camps too. It is harsh and very similar to practices of Red communists, but, what the heck, desperate times need desperate measures.

    Do this, and in 5 years, the country will be back on roads!Recommend

  • raies ahmad

    @rehmat:
    Islam in itself does not discriminate against non-muslims.There will be no laws that discriminate against non-muslims.If non-muslim majority countries really believe in secularism they will not discriminate against muslims irrespective of the status of non-muslims in muslim majority countries..We as Muslims are expected to implement Sharia as the law of the land.What a shame it would be that we did not even try to implement Sharia through democracy.Recommend

  • Aninda Chowdhury

    Excellent article …however I believe, if Pakistan decides to be secular then their very reason for separating from India would be held invalid. Also, Israel is a Jewish democratic state and undoubtedly one of the developed nations in the world with high per capita income. So, an Islamic state altogether won’t be harmful if Pakistanis follow Israel.

    However, considering the fact that the majority of the Pakistanis are not that much rational or intelligent as compared to the Israelis (this conclusion is from your article only), I think Pakistan can adopt the secularism of Turkey, if not India. Recommend

  • Abdul Rehman Gilani

    @Aninda Chowdhury:

    We don’t need secularism, we need proper implementation of Islam in all sphere’s of life, from government to private.Recommend

  • Aninda Chowdhury

    @ Abdul Rehman Gilani – you mean to say that for the past 60 yrs, Islam was not properly implemented in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan unlike the other 56 Islamic states ??Recommend

  • Abhi

    Nice blog! good points to ponder. but I agree with The Leper here.

    Ideology to fight Ideology is not going to help. The author’s assuption is that people who are supporting terrorists are doing this becuase they think it is written in Quran. I don’t think so. The people who are asking death for Asia bibi are not asking it because this king of punshment is written in Quaran, they are asking for it to satisfy their ego. If it is not written in Quran they will invent it. If people were really seriously following Quaran they wouldn’t be speaking lies and cheating where ever they can.

    So my point is people behave in such a way where they think it is for their benefit. So if they know there are so many things to acheive and they can live happily with others, this kind of bigotry will reduce.Recommend

  • Dodo

    Religion is truly an insult to human intellect. Religion by far, is the main culprit in resisting scientific and technological advances all throughout history. That’s all I have to say on this.Recommend

  • Aninda Chowdhury

    @ Dodo – I don’t know much about other religions, but as far as Hinduism is concerned, it very much supports science and technology. I once read a book by a Hindu spiritual leader where he has explained the nexus between science and spiritualism and how both are required for our economic and human development. Ayurveda is a classic example of how early sages have supported science. Today many cosmetics and medicines are based on Ayurvedic ingredients. The Gayatri mantra is a power which a person can get while reciting it. It has been proved by science that while you chant the mantra it affects your organs thereby making you healthy and mentally stable. Yoga is another example which I need not say much. The essence of any religion is humanity that is why you will see that whenever there was anarchy, a prophet or avatar was born to restore humanity. They have never stopped us from scientific research or technological advancement.

    Thanks and regards. Recommend

  • Dodo

    @Aninda Chowdhury:
    Yes so much science in Hinduism especialy in Mahabharata. Flying monkeys, talking elephants, form changing Ram etc. etc. The bottom line is every religion has something in it that it’s adherents call a miracle of sorts.
    Ayurveda does not say anything about science, it has more to do with the ancients making do with herbs which they found around them. The ones that worked well were adopted the ones that didn’t , did not. Yoga: again people have been exercising all throughout history, it does not require a rocket scientist to figure out the holding positions and controlling breath can enhance your life. Its only observation. People have been singing hymns for centuries and the truth is it just feels good to sing, again every other religion has something or the other like that. Unless you give specific evidence from Hindu scriptures (not from the culture of that time or how the people did something, but in actual hindu scripture), whatever you claim could have been achieved by simple observations and the process of elimination. Nothing Divine!Recommend

  • Aninda Chowdhury

    @ Dodo – Mahabharata is an epic based on mythology. You should see what the epic is trying to convey rather than the stories. It basically says that truth and good prevails over evil. Moroever, Mahabharata is recommended to be studied to understand politics and war tactics in a better way. Mahabharata is not a religious scripture per se, although it has mentioning of God.

    Hinduism and for that matter any other religion never stop an individual from scientific research and experiment. Yoga has so many postures. Did any of the scriptures have asked not to experiment with those postures ? Infact, the Bhagvat Gita stresses upon yoga for human development. Lord Krishna said, “it is through yoga that you can attain me – the supreme of all.” Also, if you ask any yoga guru he will say that yoga becomes effective only when your mind/soul meets the body. Just by breathing it is not going to help you completely.

    Hence, in no way Hinduism ask you to deter from science nor does it ask you to undermine your intellect. Recommend

  • Aninda Chowdhury

    @ Dodo – plz refer to 4.21 min in this video …you will get to know how the organs get affected while chanting the mantra !!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DmaZoUC-JsRecommend

  • Dodo

    @Aninda Chowdhury:
    Does Hinduism explain evolution, gravitation, quantum mechanics, astrophysics, molecular biology et al? Of course it doesnt, if it never stopped anyone from scientific research then why didn’t we see any major scientific discovery coming out of india in the past (not talking about modern times here). I may be wrong or ignorant so please enlighten me. And not by sending me videos from modern times with people talking about how such and such is beneficial. As i said before that is puerly observational and not emperical.
    By the way, I wouldn’t want to hijack this blog in my debate with you so I think it will be better if you email me your findings. Email is gullible.nomore[at]gmail.comRecommend

  • Aninda Chowdhury

    @ dodo – are you aware of the fact that it was aryabhatta who taught mathematics to the world ?… shusrusha who taught surgery to the world ? … brahmagupta invented zero, although its implications were later on developed by the arabians ….

    what i am saying is that hinduism never stopped us from scientific research … infact the bhagwad gita repeatedly stresses upon knowledge enhancement !! Recommend

  • Dodo

    @Aninda Chowdhury:
    Sure, but what happened then? Why are there only 5 nobel prize winners in the field of science from India? Why aren’t there more? Who stopped India from producing more nobel prize winners out of a population of more than a billion? Do you know a big majority of nobel prize winners (in the field of science) are not religious, even though they may be claimed by one religion or the other? Why aren’t there practicing Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Christians among the majority of Nobel Prize winners? Think about that?

    There were numerous ‘muslim’ scientists during medieval times such as al-Khwarizmi, al-Battani, Avicenna, al-Zahrawi, ibn al-Haytham to name a few. These were some very smart men who just happen to be MUSLIMS. Religion didn’t have anything to do with their research and achievement. There are some passages in the hadeeth that say “Go to China if you have to seek knowledge.” But usually when that “knowledge” is contradictory to the religious beliefs then it is blocked, banned, looked down upon etc. etc. Recommend

  • Aamir Amin

    @Anas Abbas:
    dear Abu Anas, This is a very thought provoking article. However i would like to correct you in one of your comments above where, while replying to Mr. Salman, you mentioned that “the basic concept of secularism is seperation of religion from the state and ghamidi’s work justifies this so i dont understand whats the problem here.” I do not agree with the premise that Ghamidi sb supports seperation of Religion from the state. I guess you need to check back.

    In response to one of the question,

    “VIBES: Are secular ideals – the state doesn’t adopt anyone’s religion as a source of laws – compatible with Islam’s view of how a government can be run?

    Javed Ghamidi: The importance of secularism for the West emerged as a reaction from the theocratic environment imposed by the Christian church. Since Muslims do not have the theocratic environment, there was never a need to rebel against deen or religion in that manner. Secondly, Islam is pure democracy. The majority’s say in society has more significance. Thus if a people want religious laws, they are welcome to do so through a legislative process. ”

    the whole interview is present on
    http://www.studying-islam.org/articletext.aspx?id=985

    @abdur Rehman Gilani…Dear i suppose you have not read Javed ahmad Ghamidi directly !

    thanksRecommend

  • Aninda Chowdhury

    @ Dodo – why are you mixing islam with hinduism ? no hindu religious scripture has ever stopped anybody from making scientific progress … plz dont forget that india was under the garb of religious fanaticism for centuries !! swami vivekananda repeatedly stressed on knowledge enhancement to eradicate religious bigotry…if you go to ramakrishna mission you will find many hindu monks who are either doctors, engineers or bio-technologists !! hinduism reflects scientific spiritualism …hope that clarifies …Recommend

  • Daniel Montes

    The US problem with terrorism is related to its dependence on oil. The solution is to become self sufficient energy wise away from oil. We are too close to the solution. The sun is the
    solution. No, not solar. The actual process of the sun is the
    solution. If fission plasma energy plants can be developed then the US can be fully electric and no more oil. The US can stay out of the affairs of all nations regarding their oil and resources. Terrorism against the US should decrease because the US will not be needing outside resources to fulfill its energy needs. The rest of the world can keep there oil till it runs out. Just my take on the entire mess.Recommend