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Why Do Bangladeshi Muslims Lag Behind?

Posted by on Feb 21st, 2010 and filed under Ummah. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

MASUD, a PhD student

IT is an interesting question from every corner of the world, why are the Muslims in bad shape? The explanations given in this article may be helpful to spring up the understanding of the educated Muslims. Three main drawbacks of Muslim world are identified, that are, the education, the quality of Muslim states and the political Islam. Based on these drawbacks, the situation of Bangladesh is evaluated. Finally, a guideline is given for the Bangladeshi people to lead the country forward.

Education: Proper education is the backbone of a Nation. The first fives verses of Quran were revealed on education. In Islam, both men and women are exhorted to seek knowledge. In the Quran there is no discrimination between human being except the literate and illiterate people. Unfortunately, the education standard of Muslim countries is frustrating! According to ranking of university web, Saudi is the only country that takes the rank of 30 out 45 countries of the world [1]. There is no university of Muslim world within top100 universities of the world. The top ranking university of the whole Muslim world is the King Saud University but its place is 199 in the world ranking.  Even in Asian universities, universities of Muslim countries do not have any place within 10. King Saud University and King Fahd University take the position of 18th and 38th respectively. Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) and Dhaka University have, respectively, the position of 3044 and 6388 in the world ranking. There are 17,716 universities in the world; contrary OIC countries have only 1460 universities [2]. The percentage of universities in the Muslim world is only 8.24 %, where as the Muslim population is 24.31 % of the world population [3]. We can imagine the status of education in the Muslim world!

To evaluate the education of Muslim world, we can divide the educational system into three categories based on spiritual, technological and political. Quran is the only one religious book in the world which has not been distorted at all. Muslims must have deep knowledge of Islam, but the Quranic knowledge of Muslim is very poor. Most of the Muslims do not have proper knowledge of Quran and Hadith. Very few Muslims in the present world can speak in the language of Quran!  The contribution of Muslims to the present research work of the world is not remarkable as we have seen from the data given above. It will be difficult to find out a Muslim professor from all over the Muslim world in political science who is publishing papers regularly in the international journals. There is not a single Muslim politician who has an important role in the present world politics! The entire Muslim world comprised one-forth of humanity but had less than 1% of its scientists who generated less than 5 % of its science and made barely 0.1 % of the world’s original research discoveries each year. Ultimately the present Muslims are working neither for this world nor for the next world!

Quality of the Muslim States: In the western world the leaders are the chosen peoples and their characters are better than the general people. In most cases Muslim leaders are not chosen by the people and they do not care about their citizens. In the developed countries, the leaders are very kind to their citizens but very aggressive to their enemy states. Contrary Muslim leaders are very loyal to their enemy states and very antagonistic with their citizens. Leaders of developed countries have a great plan to best utilize their manpower and peoples have the right to freedom of expression.  Muslims are suppressed in their own countries and they are seeking other Non-Muslim countries for better and safe lives. According to global peach index 2007 [4], Muslim world is far away to drive the peach. The young generation of Muslim world is in the direction of dark future! A French research foundation [5] in 2008 has conducted a survey and published in the study “Young People Facing the Future”. In that study, satisfaction scores about various aspects of young people’s lives of various countries are investigated where India ranks the top. Not a single Muslim country is in that list! Over all most of the Muslim countries are in wrong directions and no powerful Muslim leader is coming forward to bring the Muslim states in the right the direction!

Political Islam: After Muhammad (s.a.w.) died, a series of Caliphs governed the Islamic State: Abu Bakr Siddique (r.a.), Umar (r.a.), Uthman (r.a.) and Ali (r.a.). These first Caliphs are popularly known as the “Rashidun” or “rightly-guided” Caliphs (630-660). After the Rashidun, a series of Caliphates were established. Each caliphate developed its own unique laws based on the sharia. The gains of the Ummayad Empire were consolidated upon when the Abbasid dynasty rose to power in 750. From 750 Ummayad ruled Spain from Cordoba and this dynasty was ended by Hisham III (1027–1031). On the other hand, Abbasid dynasty ruled over the Muslim world initially from Baghdad and finally from Cairo; this dynasty was ended by Al-Mutawakkil III (1508–1517). In the 15th and 16th centuries three major Muslim empires were created: the Ottoman Empire in much of the Middle East, the Balkans and Northern Africa; the Safavid Empire in Greater Iran; and the Mughul Empire in South Asia [6]. When Muslims was in power, they had huge contributions in the science and technology though Muslim contributions are not recognized by the western world. Recently, President Obama has given the recognition of Muslim contributions to knowledge in his Cairo speech. In the middle of 18th century British defeated the Mughal Empire in South Asia and at the beginning of 19th century British set up her colonies in the African countries and they took over the control of Muslim world [7]. At the beginning of 20th century, British Empire failed to control the Muslim world but they distorted the whole Muslim world. Before leaving the Muslim world British introduced the nationalism among Muslims and the Muslim countries were divided unevenly into pieces. For example, Kurdish people were divided into four pieces, Kashmir into two pieces, Kuwait and Iraq into two pieces, etc.

After the massacre of Muslim States by the British Empire, at the middle of 20th century, three Muslim leaders started to reform the Muslims to establish the Islamic rules: Sayed Kutub from Egypt, Imam Khomeini from Iran and Saied Abul Ala Maududi from Indian subcontinent. But the western world started to crack down the Muslims upraise. Khomeini became successful though western world still is trying to massacre the Islamic revolution of Iran. The Brotherhood (movement of Saied Kutub in Egypt) was dismantled by the western world.  The annihilation of Brotherhood created a spiritual tsunami that shocked the whole Arab world. The member of Brotherhood spreaded all over the world and they became much arrogant to establish Islam. Due to their action, huge number of Non-Muslims started to embrace Islam. To control the conversion of Non-Muslims to Islam, 9/11 was created by the intelligence of powerful states.  As a result Muslims became cornered in the western world and now a day huge number of Muslims are completing their PhD degrees as an alternative of qualified jobs. Any way, there is a reaction of every action. The policymakers should calculate the balance; if the balance is zero, then why so suppressions?

Very recently India, UK and America by the help of present Bangladesh government have started to crack down the Jamat-E_Islami in Bangladesh. Jamat is working in Pakistan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. This organization has more than 2 million supporters out side the Indian subcontinent (Europe, America, Middle East and Africa) and this figure will be triple to pentuple within next 10 years. Banning this movement is equivalent to declare the third world war!  Are we ready for that?

Situation in Bangladesh: Bangladesh is the second largest Muslim country in terms of population but the quality of education is so poor that the top one university takes the rank of 3044 in the world ranking. The educational institutions are full of politically motivated violence which is the cause of session-jam in the public universities. Somehow there was a balance in Bangladeshi politics from 1991 to 2006 but the imbalanced environment has been created by the last Army ruled care taker government. Politically imbalanced and internally conflicted nation can never prosper. That is why at beginning of taking over the power of USA Obama declared:

“For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers”.

A great leader should treat all the citizens in a same fashion, internal conflict must be diminished. Now the politics of Bangladesh are not only in the parliament or street but also in the family level. Political conflict will destroy our family bonding as well, which is very dangerous! On the other hand, Bangladesh is a country of 88.30 % Muslims who are to be ruled by the law of Islam, because this is a smart way to control the Muslims. Rejection of political Islam was the agenda of Non-Muslims. Political Islam reserved the Muslim world at the ruling state; western world came in power replacing the political Islam. Educated Muslims should always keep this in their thinking.

Conclusions: Bangladeshi people must try to keep the educational institution free from violence and every citizen should have the equal rights to study in the public schools and universities. Politicians must bring the balance in politics that is the precondition of prosperity. Not a single citizen should be suppressed; all the citizens should be best utilized for the sake of development of Bangladesh.

References

[1]        Ranking the world Universities: http://www.webometrics.info/index.html

[2]        Ranking the universities of OIC countries: http://www.sesrtcic.org/files/article/232.pdf

[3]        Percentage of Muslim Population: http://www.islamicpopulation.com/world_general.html

[4]        Global peach index: http://www.photius.com/rankings/global_peace_index_2007.html

[5]        Future of Young People: http://www.photius.com/rankings/young_people_facing_the_future_2008.html

[6]        Muslim Rulers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dynasties_of_Muslim_Rulers

[7]        British Empire: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Empire

(Masud can be reached at masud.berbari@gmail.com)

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