Is Globalization a threat to identity of Muslims?


By Farman Nawaz (The Frontier Post)

In the past the Muslim religious pundits of sub continent declared a religious decree against the educational system of the Britain and termed it an infidel educational system. Later on Quaid – e – Azam was welcomed as savior of the Muslims of subcontinent instead of the fact that he was educated in England and was a liberal and secular Muslim. The great poet Allama Muhammad Iqbal opposed the Western democracy and said that in the western type democracy only heads are counted but not the wisdom is weighed, but Pakistan came into being utilizing the same western democratic process in 1945-46 elections.
Though we don’t believe however we see a lot of controversies in the political, religious and social life of our Muslims all over the world. Polio drops are considered a threat to the health of Muslims but Osama was located by Polio workers because he was in favor of giving polio drops and vaccination to his children. When loud speaker was invented then Muslims opposed it. But now every mosque is considered incomplete without loud speaker. When Radio and TV came to the market then Muslims opposed it but now even people like Taliban like to come on TV screens. America is considered an enemy of Muslims but every Muslim wish to migrate to America. Jihad is waged against the USA but millions of Muslims are martyred by the terrorist organizations. Neither Capitalism is acceptable to Muslims nor the Communism.
So why should be globalization as an exceptional case? Why shouldn’t Muslims consider globalization a challenge to their identity? So far the online available material that I have studied on globalization and Muslims, is concentrated on the notion of a possible threat of globalization to Muslim culture but no one ever tried to answer the question that are Muslims own cultures similar.
Veil is considered must in Pakhtoon culture but in Muslim Punjab in Pakistan there is a limited concept of veil. However even in Pakhtoon areas women are not using veil. The same is the case of Pathans and Persian speaking people of Afghanistan.Muslim Women are driving cars in Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Turkey and many other Islamic countries but in Saudi Arabia women are prohibited by law to drive a car. Taliban consider western democracy as infidelity but AllamaTahir-ul-Qadri, Mollana Fazal ur Rehman, Jamet-e-Islami and Deobandi scholars do not oppose it. Pakistani religious leaders oppose secularism while even Jamat –e- Islami of India favours secularism. If secularism is a threat to Muslim identity then why the same secularism is not a threat to the Identity of Turkish Muslims?
Every writer tried to portray globalization a threat to Muslim identity but no one tried to define what Muslim identity is. No one tried to define how Muslims living in the western world see their identity. Is globalization only a threat to the identity of Muslims living in the third world? Every writer repeated the same sentence that Islam is a complete code of life while globalization will vanish the very existence of Islamic culture. However no one tried to specify what aspects of Islamic culture will be targeted by globalization. Which school of Islamic thought will be the most affected?
Is globalization a threat to Islamic legal system? Is globalization prohibits the use of principles of Justice? And How many Muslim countries are following the Islamic Legal system? If most of the Muslim countries do not have Islamic legal system then how globalization is a threat to their legal systems? Are we protecting Islamic legal system or our tribal legal systems? Is globalization a threat to Islamic economic system? How many Muslim countries are applying Islamic economic systems in their banking sectors? Is globalization against the system of Zakat?What is Islamic political system? How many countries are using political system of Islam? How globalization is a threat to Muslim political system? Is democracy against Islam?
A culture is affected by the political, economic and legal system of that society. If the researchers are not able to define the political, economic and legal systems of Islam then how can they portray globalization as a possible threat to Muslim culture and identity? The question “HOW” globalization is a challenge to legal, political and economic aspects of Islam and consequently to the culture and identity of Muslims, is still unanswered. The existing research is based on the concept of globalization as challenge to identity of Muslims but I think that identity of any nation does not depend on the religious rituals. Identity of a nation depends on the political, economic and legal systems of that nation. And in fact globalization affects the said systems. Now the question arises that how much work is done on the aspect that how globalization affects the legal, economic and political systems of Muslims.

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