I know that others have cited this before, but I think it’s worth repeating. In his book Islam
, the late Fazlur Rahman makes an observation for the ages, especially this one, a time besotted by such notions that the ultimate solution for the Muslim world is in regime-change or any other political engineering or surface-dwelling concoction. The issue is where it has always been since the beginning of civilization. Rahman says:
To many observers, the history of Islam in modern times is essentially the history of Western impact on Muslim societies, especially since the 13th/19th century. They conceive Islam to be a semi-inert mass receiving the destructive blows or the formative influences from the West. There is a genuine reason why things should appear in this light. Islam, ever since its inception, has faced and met spiritual and intellectual challenges…. From the 2nd/8th to the 4th/10th centuries, a series of intellectual and cultural crises arose in Islam, the most serious and significant of which was that produced by Hellenist intellectualism, but Islam met all those successfully – assimilating, rejecting and adjusting itself to the new currents. But the Muslims were, at that time, psychologically invincible, politically masters of the situation and, at the level of content of religion, not encumbered by the dead weight of tradition – for it was largely the new elements and currents of thought that supplied and built up the content of the Muslim tradition itself. The phrase to carve into the tablets of our minds is “psychologically invincible,” the most dangerous weapon the Muslim today can try to mine and produce. No centrifuges needed nor the most noxious and immoral weaponry unleashed on mankind, invented and promulgated in the Judeo-Christian secular West.