“The Muslim civilisation stands at a crossroads, deprived of its identity and vision,” Prof Munawwar Anees said on Thursday.
He was addressing a seminar organised by the Punjab University’s Department of Philosophy in connection with the Annual Iqbal Memorial Lecture 2012 titled: The Muslim Intellect: Triumph and Tragedy.
“As Muslims, we do not have a sound understanding of our faith. Even the early discourse on speculative theology is absent from our circles,” Dr Anees said.
He said orthodoxy had won over reason and rationalism and scepticism and individualism had been ‘mercilessly sacrificed’ at the altar of a totalitarian Puritanism.
He said the nation was suffocating due to the loss of pluralism and progressive thought, which he said, was the distinctive trait of the Muslim in the past.
He said that Iqbal’s idea of free will was a substratum for evolutionary epistemology and was already making inroads into the modern Muslim scholarship.
He also said that cultural relativism and postmodernism put an even higher premium on soul searching. He said the answer lay not in holding fast to the fence of scientific fundamentalism but carving new cognitive niches without losing touch with substantive knowledge.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2012.
More in PunjabMurder: Woman shot, killed