|“To every one have We given a law and a way…. And if God had pleased, he would have made [all humankind] one people [people of one religion]. But He hath done otherwise, that He might try you in that which He hath severally given unto you: wherefore press forward in good works. Unto God shall ye return, and He will tell you that concerning which ye disagree” (5:48).
The Reality of Islam of a Unity in Diversity
“There was once a civilization that was the greatest in the world.
“It was able to create a continental super-state that stretched from ocean to ocean, and from northern climes to tropics and deserts. Within its dominion lived hundreds of millions of people, of different creeds and ethnic origins.
“One of its languages became the universal language of much of the world, the bridge between the peoples of a hundred lands. Its armies were made up of people of many nationalities, and its military protection allowed a degree of peace and prosperity that had never been known. The reach of this civilization’s commerce extended from Latin America to China, and everywhere in between.
“And this civilization was driven more than anything, by invention. Its architects designed buildings that defied gravity. Its mathematicians created the algebra and algorithms that would enable the building of computers, and the creation of encryption. Its doctors examined the human body, and found new cures for disease. Its astronomers looked into the heavens, named the stars, and paved the way for space travel and exploration.
“Its writers created thousands of stories. Stories of courage, romance and magic. Its poets wrote of love, when others before them were too steeped in fear to think of such things.
“When other nations were afraid of ideas, this civilization thrived on them, and kept them alive. When censors threatened to wipe out knowledge from past civilizations, this civilization kept the knowledge alive, and passed it on to others.
“While modern Western civilization shares many of these traits, the civilization I’m talking about was the Islamic world from the year 800 to 1600, which included the Ottoman Empire and the courts of Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo, and enlightened rulers like Suleiman the Magnificent.
“Although we are often unaware of our indebtedness to this other civilization, its gifts are very much a part of our heritage. The technology industry would not exist without the contributions of Arab mathematicians. Sufi poet-philosophers like Rumi challenged our notions of self and truth. Leaders like Suleiman contributed to our notions of tolerance and civic leadership.
“And perhaps we can learn a lesson from his example: It was leadership based on meritocracy, not inheritance. It was leadership that harnessed the full capabilities of a very diverse populationthat included Christianity, Islamic, and Jewish traditions.
“This kind of enlightened leadership leadership that nurtured culture, sustainability, diversity and courage led to 800 years of invention and prosperity.
“In dark and serious times like this, we must affirm our commitment to building societies and institutions that aspire to this kind of greatness. More than ever, we must focus on the importance of leadership bold acts of leadership and decidedly personal acts of leadership.”
-- An excerpt of a speech given by Carleton S. (Carly) Fiorina, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Hewlett-Packard Company
Fiorina holds a bachelor’s degree in medieval history and philosophy from Stanford University; a master’s degree in business administration from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland at College Park, Md.; and a master of science degree from MIT’s Sloan School.
September 26, 2001
"Technology, Business and Our Way of Life: What’s Next”
Last part of Mrs. Fiorina's speech.
Referenced link from: www.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=327953&group=webcast
WHAT HAS HAPPENED SINCE? PUT IT DOWN TO WESTERN IMPERIALISM AN IMPERIALSIM THAT IS BEGINNING TO SURFACE AND EXTERNALIZE AS THE DARK AND UNDESIRABLE NEW SS WORLD ORDER OF CONTROL, DECEIT, TYRANNY, FEAR, SECRECY, DESTRUCTION, DEGENERATION AND GREED VS. FREEDOM, TRANSPARENCY, LIBERTY, LOVE, CONSTRUCTION, EVOLUTION, SHARING AND ENLIGHTENMENT (AS HAD BEEN CAPTURED IN THE ABOVE ISLAMIC EMPIRE)
Let us put aside the remarkable debt we owe to the Middle East in that we, in the West, would never have had an enlightenment let alone a Renaissance if it were not for Arabs and Jews who had kept classical knowledge alive when the Church outlawed all non-Christian knowledge and burned down libraries to ensure this ban. In a way the Middle East is where we were in the middle ages. That said let us look toward recent history the past fifty years in which the West under the auspices of Britain and the U.S. have methodically waged a war against any secular nationalist alternatives ("Nasserism" we'll call it) and have and continue to fund and arm Islamic fundamentalists. So really the Middle East has not been left behind but has been beaten behind by colonial and neocolonial machinations.
T.E. Lawrence (i.e. "Lawrence of Arabia") died a bitter broken man with the knowledge that the nation he helped found was freed only to be re-enslaved. So, Sirius, let's dispense with the obfuscation about Islam being "left behind" and take a look at the facts:
a) Saudia Arabia, a brutal fundamentalist country kept in line by a pro-Western, pro-oil cartel mobster royal family still gets the lion’s share of our foreign aid (next to Israel of course).
b) There was no al Qaeda before there was the Mujahdeen - which was a CIA machination via our proxy nation Pakistan, another brutal fundamentalist military dictatorship we support with our foreign aid.
c) Hamas was created by Israel to quash the PLO. In turn we loyally back Israel.
and further [NewWorldPeace.com] :
d) the backing of Saddam Hussein and then his orchestrated removal by those currently running the war and genocide on the Middle East.
“This Looming War Isn’t About Warheads or Human Rights: It’s About Oil” by Robert Fisk
So now I ask you -- was Islam left behind by modernity, or did so-called modernity kick it back and continue to press its military boot squarely on its collective Islamic neck?
All facts point toward the latter, and no "left behind" mystifications will change the truth of Western imperialism.
By Daniel Shays on the Independent Newswire, in a comment to “Sirius” on the Islamic world being “left behind” by the modern age.