The response and reaction from the other side is no different. Westerners’ loathing of Muslims end with the term as ‘terrorists’…that Muslims are born to kill and Islam inspires them to that end, that they are beasts who subjugate women and follow up age-old traditions with no willingness to changes.
Their abomination toward Muslims provokes them to label Islam as ‘phobia’ and instigates them to mindless violence to settle scores with the enemy. Is that cheap reasoning legitimate?
The war of rhetoric continues. And there is no hope that the sense of hatred will subside in near future.
The relation between the two divergent worlds further worsens by the involvement of the west, headed by America, in Iraq and Afghanistan where a large number of Muslims have been killed, and the mayhem continues. Not to deny, Westerners, mostly Americans, have also suffered both in men and in means to restore peace, and the struggle to heal the wound goes on across party lines.
The media from both sides have widened the rift in the prospect of engagement and both camps live in perpetual hatred and anger.
How long it continues…it is impossible to predict.
But none of us has tried to see how both cultures matter to each other, how the west matters to large part of the Muslim world, how the contribution of others is felt in the cozy and comfy drawing room of the Muslim world; how the inventions of Europeans provide high-quality machines to Muslims to rely upon for meeting various needs in life…be it mobile, car or computer.
The list is endless, and that shapes the way people think and live. How the varieties of edible products such as chocolates, juice, milk, corns and many more products contribute to their survival of living and energize the soul that is devoted to God. Can anyone deny it? Can any Muslim refuse to acknowledge that? Absolutely not!
The westerners’ contributions to our age are great and immense. Muslims or for that matter, Arabs cannot ignore them.
Muslims like many millions love their products and use them without having a sense of hatred for the producers or manufacturers, i.e. who they are and what their religious beliefs hold them for.
A product is a product and it carries its own value without associating its identity with any colour of discrimination in the name of caste, creed and religion.
If the hate in Muslims, as many would believe and argue, had been inborn toward their westerner counterparts, there could have been absolute rejection of what they have produced and manufactured. There could have been no ‘Americool’ brand of air-conditioners in the mosques where Muslims pray. Many more examples might follow on the same line of argument.
Similarly, Muslims’ contributions, particularly at a time, when Europe was wandering in the darkness for a light, are enormous and massive too. Islam, both as a religion and a way of life, “made a unique culture that has directly and indirectly influenced societies on every continent” as Howard R. Turner puts it. “It was the best social and political order the time could offer……..It was the broadest, freshest and cleanest political idea”. (HG Wells: Outline of History).
Apart from moral teaching to the world, Arabs’ dissemination of knowledge such as Medical Science, Chemistry, Astronomy, Geography and Navigation, The Decimal System, Gunpowder, Textiles and many more provided promising ground for future innovation and discovery.
The world that we see now progressing at a pace faster than one could imagine is not the result of overnight growth and expansion but has a root to the past, and thus we find a common ground for both opposite camps, Muslims and Westerners, pursuing the course to a shared goal.
If Islam had been retrogressive, how could the westerners have received knowledge from it? How could they have been seeking from Muslims for what they did not have at one point of time in history?
Sadly the present conflict between the two, Muslims and Westerners, negates for what they have been long trying to be. Certainly the current suspicion between the two does not hold much for what they were anticipated to be and what they were supposed to be. That is the greatest defeat of humanity…the greatest tragedy I would say. It is disheartening to see that half of the population of the world lives in doubt and distrust.
People from both sides are not as far away and antithetical to each other’s concern as it has been projected in recent time.
Muslims are not ‘terrorists’ and westerners are not ‘inimical figures’…both are human beings and both are born to accountability and responsibility toward their duties assigned in their existence as MAN.
It is time both parties follow a path of mutuality and commonality. What diplomacy has failed to achieve, let our collective effort of innovations and discoveries be the joining forces to inspire us to live in peace.