Analysis

Crises in Muslim World

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Aligarh: Delivering the keynote address at a national seminar on “Perspective on the Crises in the Contemporary Muslim World”, Ambassador Ishrat Aziz said here on 3 April that the ‘Muslim World’ is facing unprecedented challenges, the like of which it has never faced before. He said that these challenges have got aggravated further after 9/11. Aziz said that these crises are mainly the product of bad governance, economic backwardness and lack of creative intellectual activity. The so-called ‘Arab Spring’ is the outcome of the absence of these elements in most of the Asian societies and political systems. In all Muslim countries, there is a serious lack of intellectual freedom while without freedom, intellect cannot flourish and people cannot be creative and productive.

Former Indian Ambassador to UAE and Saudi Arabia, Ishrat Aziz pointed out that there are only nine Muslim Nobel laureates and out of those five - Sadat, Arafat, Shireen Ebadi, Mohammad Al-Bardei and Mohammad Yunus - have been given Nobel prize for peace. The other recipients are Abdus Salam for Physics, Ahmad Zewail for Chemistry, Naguib Mahfooz and Orhan Pamuk for literature. On the other hand, Jews with a population of only 0.2% of the world, have won 20% of the total of about 800 Nobel prizes awarded since the inception of the award. In all, 170 Nobel laureates have been Jews.

Mr. Aziz, highlighting the role of Indian Muslims in the Muslim world, stated that the Indian Muslims can give intellectual inputs and in due course extend more effective help to the Muslim world in resolving its problems. He said that more than 10% of the Muslim population of the world lives in India. In the entire Subcontinent, the total Muslim population is about 450 millions, which is more than twice the population of Indonesia and one and a half times of population of the 22 Arab world countries.

Mr. Aziz suggested a high level discussion on the issues and problems faced by the Muslim world and the best approach for this would be initiating a comprehensive multi-disciplinary discussion in which experts from every field of knowledge and men from every walk of life participate and attempt solutions.

Aziz was speaking at a two-day national seminar organized by the Institute of Islamic Studies, AMU. More than 35 papers on different issues were presented during the seminar.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 April 2012 on page no. 11

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