The major values and principles, which represented a moral cover and intellectual guide for enlightenment and modernity, constituted one of the components that contributed to the spread of its sayings worldwide, thus becoming an element of attraction and temptation for elites and societies.
The modern civilizational model, with its philosophical, cultural, and legal background, presented itself as a universal project, carrying in part human values to move humans and societies from a position of imitation, and the cultural and social systems that continued to govern them, to a position that elevates the human being, in systems and systems that recognize his existence and grant him the rank of holiness. In history, through the foundations of rationality, freedom, individualism, democracy, equality, and other main values on which the project of modernity is based for the individual human being and essentially modern societies.
But this project, which heralded modern man with a set of aspirations, its outcomes have been unfolding for decades, in destructive tendencies for humans and societies whose cultural and value foundations and political wills differ from the direction drawn by some of the forces that dominate the tools of civilization’s production to the present day, and which lead the world economically, legally, politically, and culturally. .
Perhaps the conflicts, wars and conflicts – in the Muslim world and the sponsorship of colonialism and settlement in the Third World as a whole – reveal the extent of the contradictions that the modernization project has carried over the past centuries, and they are not symptoms related to the conflict of interests and political and military disputes, but rather express a “paradigm” that carries its crisis within it, and in the form other; The project carries with it the sin of birth at the level of the genes from which it is formed.
Where does this appear? What are its manifestations at the level of modern history and reality? How does his view that is hostile to the other and rejects him in some of its manifestations with colonialism and opposition to the liberation, independence and sovereignty of peoples affect the relationship between cultures, peoples and civilizations… and more precisely the relationship between the East and the West?
The Arab-Islamic deliberative field and modernity…the need for criticism and the necessities of appeal
It is not very important to examine the linguistic and terminological connotations of concepts such as enlightenment and modernity, as they have become commonly used, nor is it important to engage in an academic description of the cognitive transitions through which the models of modernity and the will to enlightenment passed.
What concerns us here are the foundational aspects that contain fundamental contradictions in the entire project of modernity. These are the aspects with which the Arab and Islamic world interacts, and which have remained the subject of cultural and intellectual celebration by a group of elites and intellectuals, considering that the means of progress is to engage in the experience of multiple criticism and to engage in the era through… Getting rid of the heritage and everything that Arab culture hoards, because the latter contains an internal crisis, and therefore we must take the easy path to achieve progress.
Critics have paid careful attention – following the defeat of June with the second generation of pioneers of Arab renaissance thought – to heritage as a factor that must be worked on, and returned to to criticize it on the horizon of transcending it, and thus a number of intellectual and cultural studies in the Arab deliberative field can be counted that have been preoccupied with criticizing heritage. It is a criticism that oscillates between extremism in criticism using mostly ideological rather than scientific tools, which leads to its abolition. Due to the previous negative position on it, or moderate criticism that works to reconcile the spirit of the era with the enlightened aspects of the heritage.
But what should be emphasized is that most of these studies were not critically preoccupied with modernity, or that their preoccupation with it was from a position of absolute adoption, without a real critical dialogue with it. Except in a few intellectual and philosophical theses.
Or quite the opposite, where the preoccupation with it was based on a complete rejection of it, against a background that was mostly controlled by an emotional dimension, or subject to the context of resistance to the colonial West and its cultural values, assuming absolute rejection and the sharp contradiction between Islam and modernity, and that Islam does not need enlightenment or renewal, and that The way forward in returning to Islam.
This is, in fact, alienation from the era, and some of the advocates of the hypothesis of complete rejection were not founded on cognitive aspects that provide a critical and conscious reading of the crisis of modernity, and thus give the Islamic civilizational dimension the possibility of resumption in a way that creates a creative connection between the bright Islamic civilizational heritage and its values, and the era. Current.
Power devoid of morals and devoid of values reaches its peak with hostility toward man, life, and nature, and then begins to decompose and collapse, as the major transformations in the course of civilizations, cultures, and peoples were morally motivated, and no matter how much countries possess the tools of technology and progress, being stripped of moral motivation is considered… An indicator of the beginning of decline
Colonialism of the Islamic world was the most important factor that fueled rejection and obscured the process of conscious criticism of the project of modernity, and then the twentieth century constituted a direct resistance to colonialism. Culture was one of the aspects of resistance and rejection of everything that came from the other side, which means that colonialism is one of the obstacles that… It prevents the process of education based on mutual dialogue between peoples’ cultures and their civilizational peculiarities.
Likewise, the vision – which was formed after the Western world introduced the contexts of modernity to the Arab and Islamic world – represented an inferiority and exclusionary view, and a cover for and justification for colonialism. Under the pretext of separating the civilized and uncivilized world, the truth is that civilization is far from the superficial usage that prevails today. Indeed, since its first uses, the discourse of civilization has mostly carried within it a barbaric tendency against humanity and civilization, and has remained lacking in moral and humanitarian impulses.
Perhaps the popular discourse on the occupied land of Palestine today is a return to these ancient narratives and collective mobilization in a language based on complete articulation, which puts the West in front of a test of contradictions in philosophy and the model that governs its vision of relations between peoples and cultures, and the view of the other.
When we consider this view of the West, the true face of it and how it views the East becomes clear to us, as colonialism and the desire to dominate with tools of deadly violence are considered one of the most horrific aspects that have accompanied the project of modern progress. Also, control with soft tools, controlling peoples’ destinies and choices, and dissolving their cultural and symbolic capabilities, constitutes moral violence and a rejection of the other and what is hidden within it. Rather, it is a rejection of diversity, pluralism, difference, and the pursuit of imposing one global vision, which is certainly the vision of the West.
Here it can be said, according to the inevitabilities of history: power devoid of morals and devoid of values reaches its peak with hostility to man, life, and nature, and then begins to decompose and collapse, as the major transformations in the course of civilizations, cultures, and peoples were morally motivated, no matter how much countries possessed the tools of technology and progress. Deprivation of moral conscience is an indicator of the beginning of decline.
As for the East; What is actually hidden within it at the level of its symbolic and cultural values constitutes a creative motivation for renaissance and civilizational resumption, based on a return to its true self and identity while adopting the spirit of the times.
Therefore, this is a way out for humanity as a whole from the tendency to destruction through physical aggression against people and life, and the moral dismantling of cultural values. Innate values that triumph for man, preserve his dignity and freedom, and realize his humanity. Thus, the West creates a new model, which major events can contribute to strengthening, and allowing it to emerge on the ruins of the West’s old, sharp perceptions.
Jerusalem and the issue of Palestine have constantly inspired Arab and Islamic civilizational awareness throughout history by resuming the cycle of civilization and radiance once again, and a new liberation of urbanism and humanity in the entire region. But this time it carries with it a revealing mirror of the impasse of modernity, enlightenment, and progress supported by demoralized power, that is, beyond the world of Arabs and Muslims.
The dilemma of enlightenment and modernity: the absolute sovereignty of reason and the atrophy of the moral sense
Since the 17th century until this present moment, the mind has been the one that has governed the way of thinking in the patterns of modernity and the projects on which it is based. These projects produce a pattern of the way of thinking and living, but at the same time same These projects set aside religion with its moral imperatives without having any real role in shaping those perceptions and philosophies.
Rationalism was indeed a liberation from the shackles of oppression that imposed on free thought and criticism, but at the same time same There was not adequate supervision and protection to ensure that one would not fall into severe extremism, which would bring with it problems for the future. It is the endless suffering that humanity is experiencing today.
These sufferings result from falling into a moral danger, as man has submitted to the obsession with progress and mastery over man and nature through the excessive use of the mind without protection or moral motives that govern and control this power that he possesses, so that it is not destructive to man, nature, and the world in which we live.
Accordingly, there is no problem with the mind, rather it is the fairest division among people, one of the sanctities that a person possesses, and it is one of the elements of the uniqueness with which he is distinguished from the beings below him. But relying on it alone, and destroying the rest of the active elements in producing meaning, interpreting relationships, and establishing systems, has made man a prisoner of these desires, subject to them, carrying out what they dictate to him without deterrence.
Hence, the mind that liberated a number of societies in an era, its poor employment – and what it produced in the fields of technology, economics, and justification for the possession of destructive power and the absence of morals – led to human societies falling under domination and control with the market system and its values that have no mercy or morals.
From this perspective, wars and the annihilation of people and societies have become normal, with the ability to justify this. This happened since the Puritan migration to America and the extermination of the Native Americans, then the continuation of the colonial and imperialist tide, of which Palestine is the last of the lasting colonial phenomena and the prominent manifestations since that era.
And of course, before that, with the two world wars that claimed the lives of millions of people, and together they can be considered an authentic expression of a crisis resulting from an abomination in the system of enlightenment and modernity, which made progress its goal without setting controls and moral values for it, placing the “honored human being” at the heart of this progress.
In conclusion: What has been taking place in the Arab and Islamic context for three continuous centuries of colonialism – since Napoleon’s horses trampled Al-Azhar Mosque until the present moment – is in fact a struggle on two grounds and two models, in which colonialism embodies rough power, matched by a constant rejection and reluctance to subjugation and submission in various ways. Forms of resistance.
On the other hand, the West is trying to control soft tools, by dismantling the cultural complex and creating a division at the level of consciousness. The Arab context has always been in constant clash with manifestations of enlightenment and modernity, which sometimes come on the back of a tank, and other times through cultural media.
These contradictions inherent in the Western model – between its desire to dominate and use the element of force and control on the one hand, and its desire to preserve its image and enlightened statements about human rights and freedoms on the other hand – make the modern philosophy of progress far removed from moral and ethical motives and make it face a real crisis.
This crisis he faces gives us strength to criticize this model and calls into question its entire legitimacy and sincerity when it comes to the civilized East, which has been seeking to resume for three centuries.
The current context, and the current scene that we face, which is a context of major moral, philosophical, and moral collapses, makes us face the necessity of returning to the Arab and Islamic self…a return with a double criticism and drawing inspiration from various experiences and starting points for the future. The future of humanity as a whole is in the embrace of morality, and not outside of it or disavowing it.