Wednesday, October 28, 2009

We have a lot to learn

Buat yang bisa bahasa Inggris. Saya dapat email ini dari teman. Isinya sangat provokatif, dengan sengaja. Tetapi saya tidak bisa menyatakan bahwa penulis "salah" dalam analisanya. Banyak yang benar, dan sering saya bahas juga dengan teman2 tentang kenapa orang Muslim tidak bisa memajukan bangsanya seperti yang sudah dilakukan oleh orang kafir.
Semoga bermanfaat.
Wassalam,
Gene

We have a lot to learn

By Dr Faisal Al Qasim, Special to Gulf News
05 September 2009
There is no doubting the fact that Arabs and Muslims are sadly the most regressive people in the world, according to the Human Development Reports supervised by renowned Muslim and Arab scholars, and released by the UN and other similar reports. In other words, the term 'Muslim' has been linked, in the minds of the people of the world, with violence, terrorism, anarchy, chaos, disturbances, famine, poverty and backwardness. There are of course certain exceptions to this rule, but not many.
 
Even Pakistan, a nuclear power, is at risk of becoming a failed state, due to poverty, corruption, internal fighting and political mismanagement. And when it comes to Turkey, seen as an exception in the Muslim world, the secularists there consider themselves closer to the West than to the Muslim world. They also ascribe the progress achieved by their country in many fields to a secular approach, rather than the influence of Islam. I have heard top Turkish scholars, thinkers and politicians say that they prefer to be at the rearguard of the Western world than at the vanguard of the Muslim world.
 
It goes without saying that some Arab countries exist in a less developed state politically, let alone scientifically or technologically.
 
Why are those who are supposed to be 'the best of all peoples', as revealed in the Quran, lagging behind? Why are the supposedly infidel people of the world making great progress in various fields, while the 'faithful' are lagging behind everybody else?
 
Ironically enough, a huge percentage of the Chinese people, whose number is approaching 1.5 billion, are atheists. But these non-believers have achieved the highest development rate the world over - it reached 13 per cent at one stage. Add to this the fact that these atheists have 'invaded' almost every house in the world with their products. A high-ranking Chinese official once bragged that, "It is China and not the United States of America that is invading the world". He challenged the Americans to get their products into a quarter of the houses entered by Chinese products. The official also bragged that the Chinese have 'invaded' the US itself. "Aren't the American flags fluttering over the White House made in China?" he asked.
 
Experts predict that, in the near future, half of the products that will be sold in the world will be made by the Chinese. Even the Ramadan lambs that are slaughtered by Muslims in Cairo and other Muslim and Arab countries are raised in China. The prayer mats used by faithful Muslims the world over are made by Chinese non-believers, who only believe in doing their jobs in a very sincere and faithful manner. It goes without saying that all the little presents, such as rosaries and Islamic handicrafts, that the pilgrims take home with them after the pilgrimage season are made in China.

It is true that a Muslim country such as Malaysia has made great progress technologically, but some argue that were it not for the Chinese minority in that country, the Malaysians would not have been able to achieve what they have.
 
And if we consider the second-most progressive country in the world, India, we find that the majority of the people there revere cows. But that has not prevented them from competing with America in the computer industry, to the extent that the famous American writer Thomas Friedman fears that Silicon Valley will one day relocate to India.
 
In other words, the most progressive people in the world are non-believers by Islamic standards whereas we, Muslims, ironically waste most of our time classifying the peoples of the world into believers and non-believers, and fighting among ourselves over who is more 'faithful'.
 
I wish we spent more time learning from the non-believers, who produce most of the products we buy. If we had, we would probably be less regressive.
 
This is by no means a call for atheism - God forbid - but a suggestion that we better ourselves, as our great religion instructs us to do. The great Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) called upon us to seek knowledge - even in China.

*******

About the author:

Dr Faisal Al Qasim is a Syrian journalist based in Doha.
Al Itijah Al Mu'akes or "The Opposite Direction" is a talk show that hosts well known personalities from the Arab World. Topics presented on the show are chosen by the host Dr. Faisal Al Qasim and they are often of the taboo or controversial nature. Guests usually represent two different and opposite directions and their views contradict which makes the debate a bit hot and on edge.
Dr. Faisal Al Qasim is a PhD holder in English Literature. He holds the Syrian and British nationalities. Before he became one of the most popular and controversial hosts in Al Jazeera TV, he worked for the BBC and MBC channels. He is also a journalist and writer with a weekly column in Al Sharq newspaper in Qatar. He is also the author of many books in politics and literature.
Al Itijah Al Mu'akes is a live talk show that deals with political, taboo and controversial topics in the Arab World by hosting well known personalities that debate and interact with the audience live on Al Jazeera Channel. Dr. Faisal moderates the debate in the best way possible by leading the discussion and asking logical questions that most of the viewers share and seek answers for. The show is also open for viewers to participate via calls, faxes and emails. This show is one of the most popular in the Arab World because it tackles issues no one else does.

2 comments:

  1. [email dari teman]
    Ass. Wr Wb

    Setuju Oom Gene! we have a lot to learn ...

    Saya punya teman yg mualaf. Sebelumnya dia sering berpikir kenapa hukum Islam begitu "keras". Setelah dia pergi haji, dia lihat dengan mata kepala sendiri betapa bangsa Arab benar2 bangsa yang "sulit". Tanpa bermaksud diskriminasi terhadap ras tertentu, saya sependapat dengan teman saya itu. Mungkin itu sebabnya Islam diturunkan di Arab sebagai 'benchmark' kalau di Arab aja bisa diterima mestinya di belahan dunia yang lain lebih mudah.

    Ironisnya, beberapa kalangan dalam Islam (dan ini yg membentuk citra) bahwa Islam = Arab. Kalau tidak ke arab2an berarti bukan Islam. Ini yang saya sangat tidak setuju karena seharusnya dibalik, Islam diturunkan untuk menertibkan slah satunya bangsa Arab. Jadi saya lihat banyak kemunduran yang terjadi karena salah kaprah ini. Taliban misalnya yang melarang perempuan bersekolah dan bersosialisasi padahal itu karena penafsiran keislaman yang mereka pakai adalah penafsiran yang cocok dengan suku2 atau kabilah di pedalaman Afghanistan dan Pakistan.

    Dengan pemahaman seperti itu, sulit untuk memahami bahwa Islam adalah Rahmatan Lil 'Alamin karena Rahmatan Lil 'Alamin adalah output sementara proses yang dilihat orang di luar Islam sama sekali tidak mencerminkan itu, dan citra itu terbentuk dari proses selama ratusan tahun. Akhirnya, saya rasa apa yg disampaikan Dr. Faisal memang benar adanya dan sebaiknya kita tidak bersikap defensif seakan-akan setiap kritik adalah serangan terhadap Islam dan secara membabi buta menangkis dengan doktrin sebelum mendengarkan kritik itu secara proporsional.

    Wass,
    Rully

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  2. Assalamualaikum warohmatullahiwabarokatuh

    Menarik sekali membaca tulisan Dr Faisal Al Qasim, meskipun apa yang dia ucapkan benar adanya tapi menurutku tidak seluruhnya harus diamini.


    bahwa yang ditekankan dalam tulisan tersebut kalau ngga salah adalah etos kerja.

    Memang sekarang produk china sudah membanjiri banyak negara, khususnya Indonesia, coba cek ke Tanah Abang, Mangga Dua, pakaian yang dijual engkoh dan encim adalah produk china.

    Dan satu hal yang tentu masih melekat diingatan kita, banyak negara pemakai produk china, terutama mainan anak-anak, complain bahwa produk tersebut banyak mengandung zat-zat yang berbahaya bagi anak-anak. Dan satu lagi, heboh telor palsu yang dibuat oleh orang-orang china. ya ya ya mereka memang produktif sekalipun mereka atheis, dan dengan ke atheisannyalah mereka bisa melakukan apa saja tanpa memperhitungkan produknya merugikan orang lain atau tidak.

    Sekali lagi etos kerja dan kemajuan kemampuan penduduk negara.


    Mengenai negara Turki yang memilih untuk menjadi negara sekuler dari pada negara Islam, ini tentu bukan berarti Islam itu buruk sehingga mereka memilih sekuler dan memilih menjadi anggota masyarakat Eropa, walaupun sejatinya wilayah Turki itu lebih dari 50% adalah asia ( tepatnya asia mana aku ga tau pasti) itu karena mereka merasa hidup menjadi orang Islam itu akan banyak mengekang kehidupan mereka. Tapi lihatlah, saat ini, saat partai Islam menang, mereka dihalang-halangi, dan akhirnya musibah-demi musibah di Turki tiada henti, dari gempa bumi, banjir, tebing runtuh, kecelakaan kereta api. Banding kan saat negara Turki murni sebagai negara Islam, bagaimana jayanya negara itu.

    Satu hal lagi yang harus dicermati adalah " The great Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) called upon us to seek knowledge - even in China." coba di cek lagi, apakah hadist ini shahih?

    Dan mengenai India, benar, kalau teknologi dinegara itu sangat maju, hal ini karena masyarakatnya yang menguasai bahasa Inggris dengan baik. Tapi coba dicek ulang, bagaimana tingginya tingkat kemiskinan di sana dibandingkan dengan di Indonesia.

    Sekali lagi mengenai etos kerja.

    Aku menulis ini bukan sebagai pembelaan, tapi negara Islam tidak seburuk itu, kalaupun di Pakistan sekarang kacau balau ya itu akibat mereka lengket dengan USA, dan banyaknya partai politik yang ada disana.

    Mungkin yang harus kita gali adalah semangat kita untuk bekerja dan beribadah semaksimal mungkin sesuai dengan kemampuan yang ada.

    Afwan, kalau tulisanku banyak salahnya mohon diluruskan dan hanya kepada Allahlah aku memohon ampun.

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