by Prof. Tahir Mirza (Letters To The Editor, Crescent International Vol. 48, No. 12, Jumada' al-Akhirah, 1441)
Even a cursory glance at the Muslim world would show that it is beset with many problems. From mass poverty amid pockets of obscene affluence to chaotic traffic and gross mismanagement coupled with widespread corruption characterize most Muslim societies. It could be argued that other societies also face such problems. That may be true but people in those societies have some recourse to justice as well as a reasonable standard of living.
We need to identify what ails the Muslim world. I have often thought about it and come to the inescapable conclusion that barring a few exceptions, the vast majority of Muslim rulers are illegitimate. They are creations of colonialism and imposed on Muslim societies to continue the exploitation of these societies. Consider the Muslim East. Its present boundaries were drawn up by the British and French colonialists a century ago after the Ottoman Sultanate was defeated. Local tribal chiefs — ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Sa‘ud and Sharif Husayn of Makkah — played a major role in this treachery against the Turks. They refused to live with the Turks but were quite happy accepting subservience to the British (and now to the Americans).
Unless Muslims understand the root causes of their decline, it would be difficult for them to get out of the present terrible state they are in. The first step toward the solution of a problem is correct diagnosis.
Professor Tahir Mirza
Chicago, IL, US