Whatever happened to the Islamic empire? When Muslims were at the forefront of science, politics, law, medicine, philosophy, and the arts?
"The decline of the Islamic civilization is a great historical wound to Muslims. For a whole millennium their civilization had dominated most parts of the world. During that time, Islamic civilization was the entity that - due to its high degree of development - was the most expansive throughout the world."
Farabi, Ibn Sina, Ibn Rushd, Ghazali - what happened? And what happened to Muslims today to make them think that music, art, thinking for yourself, and debate are haram? All of these things have made Islamic civilization great. Muslims back then did not think every single thing was wrong, or that God does not love beauty. What is wrong with jazz? What is wrong with Rembrandt? Why are these unIslamic?!
"In those earlier times, a visitor from Mars might have supposed that the human world was on the verge of becoming Muslim. He would have based this judgement partly on the strategic and political advantages of the Muslims, but partly on the vitality of their general culture."
Vitality? It's hard for me to even imagine that now! Some of the world's greatest rationalists were Muslims - today we are told by many ulama NOT to think and NOT to question - if something is so it is because God wanted it to be so.
Some of the world's best poets were Muslims. Today we are told poetry, painting, even MUSIC, is haram. Why? Where are these arguments coming from? And why have Muslims for hundreds of years enjoyed these beautiful things? Were they all wrong and are they all in hell now?
Some of the world's best scientists and doctors were Muslim. Today we have Muslim doctors saying a male doctor cannot treat a female patient. Seriously, where has professionalism and common sense gone?
To me it is just so sad that this is what Islamic "civilization" has come to: following the ulama blindly and accepting anything without thinking. There is no debate. There is no freedom of expression. And there is definitely no freedom of religion. Even the majority of Muslims in the West blindly follow each other out of social and peer pressure.
There was a time when moderate Islam was the norm. When we had reason and belief, rationality and spirituality. Today we have orthodoxy and conservatism, and if you are a Muslim and you don't agree, then you have to be prepared to constantly defend yourself.
Quotes from Bassam Tibi, "Islam's Predicament with Modernity"