About Asad Zaman

BS Math MIT (1974), Ph.D. Econ Stanford (1978)] has taught at leading universities like Columbia, U. Penn., Johns Hopkins and Cal. Tech. Currently he is Vice Chancellor of Pakistan Institute of Development Economics. His textbook Statistical Foundations of Econometric Techniques (Academic Press, NY, 1996) is widely used in advanced graduate courses. His research on Islamic economics is widely cited, and has been highly influential in shaping the field. His publications in top ranked journals like Annals of Statistics, Journal of Econometrics, Econometric Theory, Journal of Labor Economics, etc. have more than a thousand citations as per Google Scholar.

Colonial Atrocities

The central myth created by centuries of colonial rule is the idea that the West – the colonizer — is advanced and developed, while the East, the colonized, is primitive and backwards. Belief in this myth is created by propagating a large number of lies, which are asserted as being truths, and come to be widely believed. An easy to understand example of this phenomena — how lies become known and accepted as truths — is the recent American invasion of Iraq. This was justified on the grounds that the Americans were doing this to bring democracy to the Iraqi people, to liberate them from an evil dicatator, and to protect the world from the threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction in the hands of a madman. These lies were spread skillfully using a heavily funded propaganda campaign to convince the public of their truth, in order to create public approval for the attack. The reality was that the US wished to gain control of the vast reserves of Iraqi oil. The reality of what happened in Iraq after the US Invasion has no match to the propaganda. The people, who were living in one of the most advanced, developed and modern economies of East, were bombed back to the stone ages. A country wide carpet bombing campaign was carried out, which destroyed schools, hospitals, factories, power plants, and all infrastructure of the country. One million civilians were killed, millions were made homeless and jobless, and the entire population of 40 million was subjected to an un-imaginably terrible calamity, as a functional country was completely destroyed. What Hitler did to the Jews, which is among the most well-known great crimes of the twentieth century, has been topped by what the Americans have done to Iraq in the twenty first century. However, while Hitler’s name is mud, nobody considers Bush and Blair as mass murderers who brazenly lied to their own citizens, and the world at large, to attack and kill, without any justification, one million innocent civilians, and ruin the lives of the remaining 40 million.

Because of the success of propaganda at hiding realities, people like Hassan Nisar keep singing praises of the wonders of the Western civilization, and of their great character and conduct, of their humanity and compassion, and all the great qualities. At the same time, if a handful of Muslims commit barbaric acts of terrorism, this is painted as the greatest problem the World faces, and something for which all Muslims are responsible.  It is the DISPARITY between the reality (of killing millions for control of oil) and the image (of doing service to Iraqi people and to mankind) that is the subject of this essay.

The name of White Man’s Burden, based on a Rudyard Kipling poem, is given to this myth, which continues to be widely believed, both by White Men and by Brown and Black Men all over the world. According to this myth, White Men developed an advanced civilization, fantastic scientific and techological achievement, democratic governance, humanity, compassion and enlightenment. Then they looked around and saw that while they had all these great things and stood at the apex of civilization, the rest of humanity was far behind them, trapped in depths of ignorance and darkness.  They felt that they had a responsibility to share the benefits of their advanced civilization with the rest of world, so they abandoned the comfort and luxury of their homes and spread throughout the world with the mission of civilizing the rest of the planet. Their conquest of the globe was not motivated by selfish reasons, but was for the sake of a greater cause and a noble mission to bring enlightenment to the entire planet.

The myth of the White Man’s burden — also known as the myth of benign colonization — is exactly like the cover story of the Iraqi invasion. Very high and noble purposes are asserted for a very savage and barbaric act. Europeans conquered the globe not for the benefit of the natives, but in order to loot and pillage the treasures from all over the world. They became rich by looting the world, and the rest of us became poor due to the destruction of our societies and the extraction of all wealth, which was shipped to the colonizers. The causes of the “development” (which just means being rich) of the West and the causes of “backwardness” (which just means being poor) of the East are just opposite sides of the same coin — If I rob you, I will become rich and you will become poor (for historical evidence and details, see L S Stavrianos: Global Rift, The Third World Comes of Age).  In order to counteract this myth, the false image of colonization being done for the benefit of the natives, to educate and civilize them, it is necessary to expose the realities of the amazingly savage and barbaric acts of cruelty, massacres, genocide done in the process.

Four Heroes of Western Colonization:

Deeply racist Cecil Rhodes (1902) declared that: “We are the finest race in the world and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. Just fancy those parts that are at present inhabited by the most despicable specimens of human beings; what an alteration there would be if they were brought under Anglo-Saxon influence … ” According to the imperialist narrative, Rhodes took up the “White Man’s burden,” suffering exile, and struggling and sacrificing to bring the benefits of civilization to the savages of Africa. The fortune that he acquired, which funds the Rhodes scholarship, was only an incidental side-effect. Numerous statues, plaques, buildings bearing his name, honor the remarkable achievements of one of the national heroes of England.

An altogether different narrative is available from former Rhodesians, who re-named their country as soon as they could do so. The Pan Africanist Congress in January 2002 argued that “the problems which were being blamed on [President Robert] Mugabe were created by British colonialism, whose agent Cecil Rhodes used armed force to acquire land for settlers”. Rhodes “preferred land to niggers” and acquired a fortune using immoral and unscrupulous methods. He used this fortune to fund a private invasion of East Africa. He bought newspapers in order to shape and control public opinion. He brokered secret deals, issued bribes and used gangs of mercenaries to butcher his opponents, seizing close to a million square miles of territory from “despicable specimens”, i.e. the native inhabitants.

Leopold II King of the Belgians (see King Leopold’s Ghost for detailed history), privately controlled and owned the Congo Free State from 1885 to 1908. In 1908, the area was annexed by Belgium as a colony known as the Belgian Congo. Leopold used his personal control to strip the county of vast amounts of wealth, largely in the form of ivory and rubber. These labor-intensive industries were serviced by slave labor, and the local peoples were forced to work through various means, including torture, imprisonment, maiming and terror. Families were imprisoned, to force people to work, and their hands were chopped off if they failed to meet their quota. Some 10 million Congolese were killed — again, more than Hitler —  On top of all this, it was advertised as being a Christian charity in order to teach lazy Congolese work ethics!

Winston Churchill: Leaders of the British Empire were responsible for nearly 30 million deaths in India, far worse than Hitler and Stalin. What is important here is how they continue to be honored and revered. Although the truth is slowly coming out about the realities of the British Empire, it is strongly resisted by both Browns and Whites who have been brainwashed into believing in the GREATNESS of the Western Civilization.   Winston Churchill was a  ruthless exponent of Empire.  Many of his most brutal deeds are documented in Professor Caroline Elkins’s book, ‘Britain’s Gulag: The Brutal End of Empire’.  The tactics condoned by Churchill, the Colonial Secretary, to crush aspirations for independence and freedom included the most vile methods of torture such as electric shock treatment and burning with cigarettes. Churchill saw local Kikuyu as ‘brutish children’ . That racism marked too his dealings in India and the Middle East where he regarded the Palestinians as ‘barbaric hordes’.

Just to show that this is not something that onlyh used to happen in the past, Gina Haspell, widely known as The Torture Queen, has just been chosen to head the CIA, and has been praised by Trump, who also believes in torture.

Five Worst Atrocities of the British Empire

 

Below I reproduce an Article by Independent: Five Worst Atrocities of the British Empire

 

At its height in 1922, the British empire governed a fifth of the world’s population and a quarter of the world’s total land area.

Although the proponents of Empire say it brought various economic developments to parts of the world it controlled, critics point to massacres, famines and the use of concentration camps by the British Empire.

1. Boer concentration camps

Armed Afrikaners on the veldt near Ladysmith during the second Boer War, circa 1900

During the Second Boer War (1899-1902), the British rounded up around a sixth of the Boer population – mainly women and children – and detained them in camps, which were overcrowded and prone to outbreaks of disease, with scant food rations.

Of the 107,000 people interned in the camps, 27,927 Boers died, along with an unknown number of black Africans.

2. Amritsar massacre

A young visitor looks at a painting depicting the Amritsar Massare at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar

When peaceful protesters defied a government order and demonstrated against British colonial rule in Amritsar, India, on 13 April 1919, they were blocked inside the walled Jallianwala Gardens and fired upon by Gurkha soldiers.

The soldiers, under the orders of Brigadier Reginald Dyer, kept firing until they ran out of ammunition, killing between 379 and 1,000 protesters and injuring another 1,100 within 10 minutes.

Brigadier Dyer was later lauded a hero by the British public, who raised £26,000 for him as a thank you.

3. Partitioning of India

British lawyer and law lord Cyril Radcliffe, 1st Viscount Radcliffe (1899 – 1977) at the Colonial Office, London, July 1956

In 1947, Cyril Radcliffe was tasked with drawing the border between India and the newly created state of Pakistan over the course of a single lunch. After Cyril Radcliffe split the subcontinent along religious lines, uprooting over 10 million people, Hindus in Pakistan and Muslims in India were forced to escape their homes as the situation quickly descended into violence.Some estimates suggest up to one million people lost their lives in sectarian killings.

Wolpert: Shameful Flight, The Last Yearsof the British Empire in India – places the blame for the catastrophe largely on Mountbatten, the flamboyant cousin of the king, who rushed the process of nationhood along at an absurd pace. The viceroy’s worst blunder was the impetuous drawing of new border lines through the middle of Punjab and Bengal. Virtually everyone involved advised Mountbatten that to partition those provinces was a calamitous mistake that would unleash uncontrollable violence. Indeed, as Wolpert shows, civil unrest among Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs escalated as Independence Day approached, and when the new boundary lines were announced, arson, murder, and mayhem erupted. Partition uprooted over ten million people, 500,000 to a million of whom died in the ensuing inferno.

4. Mau Mau Uprising

Mau Mau suspects at one of the prison camps in 1953

Thousands of elderly Kenyans, who claim British colonial forces mistreated, raped and tortured them during the Mau Mau Uprising (1951-1960), have launched a £200m damages claim against the UK Government.

Members of the Kikuyu tribe were detained in camps, since described as “Britain’s gulags” or concentration camps, where they allege they were systematically tortured and suffered serious sexual assault.

Estimates of the deaths vary widely: historian David Anderson estimates there were 20,000, whereas Caroline Elkins believes up to 100,000 could have died.

5. Famines in India

Starving children in India, 1945

Between 12 and 29 million Indians died of starvation while it was under the control of the British Empire, as millions of tons of wheat were exported to Britain as famine raged in India. (this number is far higher than the Jews killed by Hitler)

In 1943, up to four million Bengalis starved to death when Winston Churchill diverted food to British soldiers and countries such as Greece while a deadly famine swept through Bengal.

Talking about the Bengal famine in 1943, Churchill said: “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion. The famine was their own fault for breeding like rabbits.”

An interesting article shows how the papers detailing these dirty secrets were destroyed as the British empire ended, to prevent anyone from learning about them:

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Build Character to Build Nations

Published in The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2011. For more related materials, see  LINK

The torture and burning of Bruno and other scientists, and the forced recantation of Galileo’s heliocentric theory, created a conflict between the Church and science in Europe. This resulted in bitterness which persists to this day. Some years ago, a petition by a Jesuit college for affiliation was rejected by the California Institute of Technology because a faculty member proclaimed “remember Galileo!”. Some scientists go out of their way to discredit religion. For instance, they argue that religion was invented to explain natural phenomenon like rain, lightning, etc. Now that science provides better explanations, religion is no longer needed

Religion was not defeated by science in Europe because it could not compete in explaining natural phenomenon. Rather, this was a consequence of the moral bankruptcy of the upper echelon of the Catholic Church. The crisis caused by the openly flaunted moral corruption of a sequence of popes (which involved living extremely luxuriously, legitimising bastard progeny, selling pardons for sins to raise money for supporting lavish lifestyles, etc.) has been termed “the most momentous event in the history of Europe” in The March of Folly by Barbara Tuchman. She has documented how this directly led to the rise of the Protestants, who attempted to preserve their faith while breaking from the corrupt Catholic Church. The Protestants split into several different Christian sects and factions, which fought among themselves as well as with the Catholics. The intolerance of these sects for each other, and battles, carnage, oppression and injustice, all carried out in the name of Christianity, convinced Europeans that religion could not serve as a basis for ordering a society. Even religious leaders realised that social harmony required principles which could be agreed to by all members of the society, without invoking controversial and conflicting religious principles.

Religion was relegated to a peripheral status in Europe because it manifestly failed its primary mission of spiritual, social and moral development of human beings. Harvard professor Julie Reuben in her book The Making of the Modern University: Intellectual Transformation and the Marginalization of Morality has recorded efforts by universities in the US to put character development on a scientific basis in the early part of the twentieth century. For a variety of reasons detailed in the book, these efforts did not succeed, and were ultimately abandoned. The rise of individualism has weakened families so much that more than a third of all the children in the UK and US are born out of wedlock and raised in broken homes. The powerful media — fiction, movies, internet, etc. — has also abandoned morality. In an earlier generation, villains would always come to a bad end. Today, morally reprehensible characters like paid assassins, prostitutes, thieves and conmen are portrayed as heroes. Lack of moral guidance from families, teachers, and the media has led to a frightening situation. Children brought up in single mother homes are: Five times more likely to commit suicide, nine times more likely to drop out of high school, 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances, 14 times more likely to commit rape, 20 times more likely to end up in prison and 32 times more likely to run away from home.

All over the world, the characters of leading personalities in politics and elsewhere are often such that even their wives cannot trust them. This is a sad reflection of the vacuum in moral excellence created by the breakdown of the main institutions — family, school and the social milieu — meant to develop character. The spectacular rise of Islam 14 centuries ago can be directly attributed to the excellence in character developed by teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). These teachings led a group of uneducated and uncivilised nomads to the reins of world leadership and global dominance for a thousand years. It is the loss of character among Muslims today which is responsible for our current pathetic plight. The ancient formulae for development of character appear to have been lost. The world awaits those who rediscover them; as Iqbal has said: Learn once again the lessons of truth, justice and courage, You will be granted the leadership of the world.

 

 

Divide and Rule

[shortlink: bit.do/azdar] Islam does not teach hatred and violence. One of the greatest acts of Prophet Mohammad SAW was the forgiveness of sworn enemies, who had caused extreme damage to so many Muslims, at the conquest of Mecca. After all, he was sent as a Mercy to all Mankind. His heart was so full of sorrow for non-Muslims that he was consoled by Allah T’aala in the Quran, not to kill himself with sorrow. His job, and that of his followers, was to save the entire mankind from ignorance and darkness, and bring to them the light of Islam. He taught us that excellence in conduct involves doing Ahsan — kindness — in return for Evil. The Quran also confirms this message and says that if you practice this virtue, of doing good in return for evil, you will find that your worst enemies become your friends. But it is not to win friends that we are required to have the highest standards of conduct, and to be fair and just, even to our worst enemies. This excellence in conduct is a requirement for the special task that this Best of Nations has been given, which is to carry the Word of God to the entire mankind — as bearers of the Final Message of God, we must be models of excellence, because the very high task that has been assigned to us.

The question is: Why have models of hatred, intolerance, killing enemies of religion, become popular, even among pious Muslims, when Islamic teaching do not contain this material? This question has a long and complicated answer. Very briefly, the Quran tells us to stay united, otherwise our strength will be broken, and we will not receive any help from Allah if we are divided amongst ourselves. Exactly this weapon, creating divisions in Islam, was used against us to conquer the Muslims. After the decline of the Islamic Civilization, the models of excellence in conduct taught and demonstrated by our Prophet SAW gradually went out of the lives of the people — as prophesied, Islam came as a stranger, and will become a stranger. The living reality of Islam went out of our lives, and was replaced by just the forms and formality — body without spirit. Iqbal puts it like this: Reh Gaee Rasm-e-Azan, Rooh-e-Bilali na Rahee. The ritual of Azaan remained with us, but the fiery spirit of Bilal RA, who had called towards the worship of Allah from the bottom of his heart — this spirit of passion and love, was lost. Once this decline occurred, it became possible for the colonizers to exploit our weaknesses, and use the ancient Divide-and-Rule strategies against us.

Lawrence was sent to Arabia to incite the Arabs to revolt against the Turks of the Ottoman Empire on basis of nationality, with promise of British military support. After World War I, maps of the Middle East were drawn to ensure that these newly created artificial nations would keep fighting each other, so as ensure British military support would be required, and would enable the British to maintain control of the vast oil reserves in that region — see David Fromkin: A Peace to End All Peace — for details of this sordid history. In British India, hatred between Muslims and Hindu’s was created as part of deliberate policy to keep the nation divided, and make it easy to exploit and rule. Also, within Muslims sects were created and taught hate each other — Barelvis, Deobandis, Wahhabis, with only minor differences in doctrines, are taught to treat each other as Wajib-ul-Qatal heretics. In their efforts to counter-act the influence of Syed Ahmed Shaheed who led a jihad against their rule, the British spread hatred of Wahhabis and labeled him as one — this hatred persists to this day.  Similarly, the sects in Hindu religion were traditionally flexible, and people could migrate, serve, and change. However, they were cast in stone and made permanent markers of divisions and hatred by the British. Because of this, some historians have written that the rigid and inflexible caste system is actually a creation of British colonial rule.

This same history continues to this day. For instance, the RAND corporation, which is the research wing of the US Army, has published: Cheryl Benard (2004) Civil Democratic Islam: Partners, This book analyzed all of the diverse strands of Islam from around the world, and looks at those which are favorable to Western interests, as well as those which are opposed to it. It proposes policies to support and encourage versions of Islam which are pro-Western and suppress and counteract those which are hostile to the West. The creation of propaganda, changing materials being used in schools to foster desirable ideologies, is a very common tactic.  The creation of extremist versions of Islam was very suitable to the CIA for fighting wars all over the Middle East. After analyzing secret cables, Julian Assange (fighting for his life and liberty against the wrath of the USA for revealing these secrets) came to the conclusion that the CIA was responsible for the creation of ISIS and the Taliban.  Mr Assange said a decision by the CIA to plough billions of dollars into arming the Mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan to tackle the Soviet Union, had led to the creation of terror group al-Qaeda. This, in turn, he said led to the 9/11 terror strikes, the invasion of Afghanhistan and Iraq by the US, and the creation of ISIS.

Today, the Pentagon, and the military-industrial complex currently in control of USA needs continuous wars so as to profit from production and sales of weapons all over the world — whether to terrorist groups, or to countries made to fight each other. In the recent Saudi-Qatar crisis, US government officials visited both sides and sold 500 Billion dollars in arms to the Saudi’s and 60 Billion dollars of arms to the Qataris. Similarly, both sides in the Iran-Iraq war received arms from the USA, which is the largest arms exporter in the world today.  For more information about how creation of Islamic Terrorism is extremely important for the Pentagon to justify its enormous budget, when peace could easily be achieved all over the world, see Disinformation: Manufacturing Monsters. For a more detailed analysis of how the search for corporate profits is the hidden driver of wars, terrorism, death and destruction, all over the world, see my article on the Business of War.  This article provides links to a lot of evidence, proving the US involvement in the creation of ISIS, as a tool to achieve their own goals in the Middle East. Interestingly, some of the key links, which included speeches by senior officials and politicians in the USA on you-tube, have been removed, since after I wrote the article. The world is run on propaganda and disinformation, and sensitive information which would reveal the truth is destroyed or suppressed. This is why poor Julian Assange of WikiLeaks is being heavily persecuted — he only revealed official secret documents which reveal the many conspiracies currently being done without public knowledge. Huge amounts of money goes into manufacturing propaganda designed to deceive the public into believing lies. See for example: The US Government Spent over 500 million on fake Al-Qaeda propaganda videos

This is not widely known, but the Qaeda’s currently being used in Madrassas all over Afghanistan were published by a USAID funded project, and designed at University of Nebraska, Center for Afghan Studies. These Qaeda’s inculcate a Jihadi mindset, teaching alphabet by using K is for Kalashnikov, and math by “If a truck carries 25 Russian soldiers and you kill 15 of them, how many would be left?”. For evidence, see articles on K is for KalashnikovNebraska: Center for Afghan Studies,   Much more material exists, but there is active campaign of suppression of evidence, so solid documentaries of speeches by US officials acknowledging their involvement keep getting removed from the internet.

All the evidence above provides a very surprising answer to the question why Islam today teaches us to hate the disbelievers and kill them, when our Prophet Mohammad SAW was Mercy to all Mankind, and suffered so much sorrow on behalf of non-Muslims that Allah T’aala had to console him in the Holy Quran. Today, the divisions and hatreds among us were created by our enemies to Divide-and-Rule us — This is also what the Quran informs our Prophet: “Indeed, those who have divided their religion and become sects – you, [O Muhammad], are not [associated] with them in anything.”  Our only remedy is to unite with each other — note that unity does NOT mean that we all should have the same belief, ONLY that we should tolerate differences of opinion and love each other as brothers DESPITE having differences of opinions. This is when difference become a mercy for the Ummah. For more on this issue, see my article on Unite and Prosper, and also Remembering Sabika Sheikh.

An essential step in the process of healing the wounds created by colonization is to understand that enmity was planted in our hearts by our enemies to divide and rule us. We need to bring out this history, in order to emphasize that in our distant, pre-colonial, past, Muslims and Hindus lived at peace with other. This requires revising the colonial history which paints us as eternal enemies. See the important project of creating a shared history with the Indians. This is an extremely important initiative == constructing an anti-dote to the divide-and-rule poison which we have swallowed, which continue to shape our minds and destinies. This continuous hostility benefits arms exporters, threatens democracy by necessitating large and strong military, massively reduces funds desperately needed for development. If we could create a consensus on a common history this would be enormously helpful in creating the possibility of a harmonious future.

This is just one element within the bigger project of freeing our minds from the colonial chains. This requires us to cleanse our hearts of hatred of our fellow human beings. Our Prophet Mohammad SAW was sent as a Mercy to Mankind, and his heart was full of love, even for his own worst enemies. While his enemies were planning new schemes to humiliate and torture him, he was praying, with tears in his eyes, for their guidance, to save them from the eternal hellfire. Today, we need to learn to follow his Sunnah — as the last Ummah, we have been given the responsibility to convey the final message to all of mankind. Because this is a message of love, of deep concern for the eternal welfare of all mankind, it can only be conveyed with love.

Islamic Economics: Introductory Lecture at Imam Sadiq Univ. Tehran

[shortlink: bit.do/azisu] In November 2010, I was invited to deliver a series of lectures on Islamic Economics at the Imam Sadiq University in Tehran. During my visit, I was very impressed with the atmosphere of the university. During lunch, very simple meals were served at the Cafeteria, and everyone, from the highest officials, to the students, were together in the same place. An atmosphere of Islamic simplicity and equality prevailed.

My first lecture (in English) explained some key features of Islamic Economics. This lecture has been among my most popular lectures on this topic, attracting more than 600 hits. Today, the central and core need for the Muslim Ummah as a whole is to shake off the trap of Western education, and develop our own methodology and subject matter for teaching. The most important task we face is the development of character, which is at the heart of an Islamic education. A western education is completely irrelevant, and in fact, serves to destroy character, especially in economics. This has even been noted in the secular west. See for example, Julie Nelson: Poisoning the Well: How Economic Theory Damages the Moral Imagination.

My 75m video lecture on Islamic Economics, delivered in Tehran, is linked below. Slides for the lecture which provide a brief outline are also given below

 

The powerpoint slides for the lecture were made later by my students, and are available for view/download here — they will give some idea of the topics covered in the video lecture.

 

 

The British Educated and Civilized Us?

We have swallowed hundreds of poisonous lies as a result of our Western education — these create the Deep Inferiority Complex displayed by Hassan Nisar discussed earlier. In the previous post, I explained that the Europeans did not become “Enlightened” spontaneously. The Dark Ages of Europe ended due to the light of the Islamic Civilization which had shone brightly in Al-Andalus, Islamic Spain, for seven hundred years. In this post, I discuss another widespread belief which is inculcated by Western education — that colonization was a BENEFICIAL process. England colonized India which was populated by savage, uneducated and ignorant barbarians, and brought us the benefits of their advanced civilization.

In fact, the opposite is true, as I have explained in detail in The Ways of the Eagles.  In this post, I want to briefly discuss the educational systems of India. A while ago, some brainwashed person wrote in the papers that the concept of public education was introduced by the British to India. Actually the REVERSE is true. India had an excellent system of public education, which was destroyed by the British.

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Englightenment: Myths & Truths

In my earlier post on “History: Conquest Song of the Victors“, I have explained some major myths of Eurocentric history which we have all come to believe in the course of our Western Education. Absorbing these myths leads to a Deep Inferiority Complex, since Eurocentric history states that Enlightenment occurred only in Europe, and the rest of world remains trapped in ignorance, superstition, and darkness. Furthermore this myth is re-inforced when we look at the world around us, and see the latest technology, wealth, advances, and images of happy people wallowing in luxuries, in the West, and only poverty and misery in the East. This is a very powerful myth which has many different elements which are used to create an illusion, an appearance which is drastically different from reality. As the Quran (3:196) states — “Do not be deceived by the prosperity (apparent luxury & power) of the non-Muslims throughout the land.”

One important element of the collection of lies that Eurocentric history teaches is that the Enlightenment was a spontaneous event — suddenly European woke up from a sleep, without any apparent external factor which caused this. This hides the extremely important source — where did the light come from, which ended the Dark Ages of Europe? An examination of history shows that this was the light from Al-Andalus, an advanced civilization which was enjoying the heights of luxury, with inventions and advances completely unknown in the backwards and ignorant Europe. In a pattern that has been repeated throughout the ages, primitive, young and energetic tribes overthrow ancient decadent civilization. After about 700 years of Islamic rule, the Muslims had become used to luxuries, and forgotten hardships required by struggles. A beautiful account of the advanced civilization, now forgotten in the annals of History because it does not fit the Eurocentric story, has been given by Maria Rosa Menocal in The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain —

The Re-Conquest of Islamic Spain, completed in 1492, gave European access to millions of books in Islamic libraries throughout Spain. For Europe, this event opened the door to floodgates of knowledge gathered from around the entire world. At the time, scholarship was confined to the Church, but the Catholic Church was deeply threatened by this new source of alien knowledge, often dramatically in conflict with Church teachings. It took Europe two centuries to absorb some portions of this knowledge. The Church fought a long and intense battle trying to prevent this knowledge from entering Europe and upsetting traditional Church teaching. All books had to receive approval from Church authorities before they could be published. There was a board of censorship, to eliminate heretical thoughts. On top of all this, if some anti-Catholic ideas did make it to print, there was the Inquisition, which would imprison and torture people to recant and come into line with orthodoxy. The next two centuries in Europe were spent in a battle which became known as the Battle between Science and Religion — when really it was a battle between ideas coming from the knowledge in the books of Islamic Spain, and traditional Catholic teachings.  A detailed account of this history is given by C. K. Raju: Is Science Western in Origin? For short posts describing some aspects, see my articles on “The Emergence of Science“, “The Rise and Fall of Civilizations“, and also, “The Islamic Origins of Science.”

In fact, there is no conflict between Science and Religion — one deals with the internal world inside us, hearts and souls, while the other deals with the external world outside us. See my essay on Science and Religion. However, the European historical experience, the battle between Science and Religion had very important consequences which shaped European thought about both of these topics. These consequences matter even today, because European thinking about these areas is deeply distorted by their peculiar historical experience. Europeans came to believe that Religion was just ignorance and superstition and that it was in conflict with Science. There were two mistakes in this conclusion — one was the confusion of medieval Catholic Christianity with Religion in general, and the second was the idea that since religion appeals to heart and soul, we should disregard hearts and souls in our search for truth. These mistaken ideas about science and religion had devastating consequences on the Western conception of knowledge. While knowledge of the external world became prized and increased greatly, knowledge of the internal world of the human beings decreased substantially. This led to silly models of human behavior, loss of understanding of sources of human welfare, loss of character and codes of conduct, leading to breakdown of communities and families. Some aspect of how Western misconceptions about the nature of knowledge have been explored at length in my essay/video on “The Search for Knowledge“.

Deep Inferiority Complex

A recent TV show clip — interview of journalist Hassan Nisar on Geo-program Mere Mutabiq — reminded me of how strongly we have been brainwashed into believing in the superiority of white man. The person being interview said that there was no concept of lying in the West, and that while we sell number 2 medicines here, that would be impossible in the West. Similarly, he had a long list of items in which the White man is infinitely superior to the brown man.
All of this is based on romantic idealization based on complete ignorance of the realities of the modern Western cultures. Apparently the man has never heard of President Trump whose lies are famous — Secretary KellyAnne Conway created the notion of “Alternative Facts” to defend them! Where was Hassan Nisar when the the whole US Governtment told deliberate lies about WMD to get public to support their attack on Iraq — nor does he know about the recent case where more than half of a Havard class was caught cheating. For more data, see article in Newsweek:
Similarly the idea that there is social responsiblity about use of medicines in the West has no match to reality. In fact, there is NO LIMIT to how much Pharma can charge for medicines in the USA , and they use this power to charge completely outrageous prices, sometimes for essential drugs.
Similarly, the idea that drug companies would not sell dangerous/harmful drugs is simply false — they do ANYTHING for profits, and (like tobacco) they have sold and marketed drugs known to be harmful, for example see:
Similarly for EVERY point made by Mr Hassan Nisar , examination of the facts shows that his misconception that only Angels live in the West and only Devils live in the East is seriously wrong, based on complete ignorance about the realities.
However, the real problem is much DEEPER — basically 300 years of colonization leaves deep psychological scars. Furthermore, the educational system devised by Macaulay, which continues to this day, we DESIGNED to create admiration and respect for the West, together with contempt and hatred for our own heritage and ancestors. This conquest of knowledge was a key to the ability of a handful of British to rule a huge country. In the era of the British rule, boot-licking of the British was the only way to rise in the ranks of the Government. Those people who admired the British and betrayed their own people got awards and honors, while those who were honest and sincere were stripped of their properties and imprisoned in British Jails. This mentality has survived to this day.  Today, it is common to hear that “Hum to Zaleel Qaum Hain” and that everyone in Pakistan is corrupt, and long list of complaints about how bad we are as a nation, while in the West everyone is perfect. In my own experience as a teacher, this inferiority complex is the FIRST barrier to educating students to achieve excellence. Coming in with the belief that we are an inferior people, it is hard for students to believe in themselves, and in the possibility that we can make great achievements. As a first step, we need to remove this inferiority complex. My first lecture in most courses I teach is designed to create confidence and to encourage students to have high visions; for example, see “The Ways of the Eagles“.
My newly launched blog, An Islamic WorldView (shortlink: bit.do/aziwv)  is meant to provide the ANTIDOTE to these poisons that we have all swallowed, due to our Western education: A recent post explains the source of this problem: History: Conquest Song of the Victors