Persia

The Land Of First Human Rights Charter

  • "I have no religion, but if I were to choose one, it would be that of Shariati's." Jean-Paul Sartre ---------------------------------- My Lord, grant me success in struggling during failure, in having patience in disappointment, in going alone, in Jihad without weapons, in working without pay, in making sacrifice in silence, in having religious belief in the world, in having ideology without popular traditions, in having faith (Iman) without pretensions, non-conformity without immaturity, beauty without physical appearance, loneliness in the crowd, and loving without the beloved knowing about it. ----------------------------------
  • HAJJ: Reflection on Its Rituals, by Ali Shariati
  • photos: Farshad Palideh & Ehsan Mohammadi
  • May 2008
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Fatima is Fatima, By Ali Shariati – Part 2/5

Posted by Parsin on May 3, 2008

CHAPTER FOUR

What should be done?
Islam distributes freedom. People are in love with Islam and yet, the young intellectuals realize the weakness and decline of Islam’s followers. The main reason for this contradiction is ‘not having come to know’. It is coming to know which has value. Love and faith have no value if they precede coming to know and precede chose or commitment. If the Quran is read but not understood, it is no different from a blank book. The Prophet gave his followers awareness, greatness, chastity and freedom when they came to know who he was. When one reads a book miss understating the Prophet’s character or when a book of his sayings is not given to his longing people, what effect can loving him, praising and eulogizing him have?

Love and faith follow coming to know something. It is that which moves the spirit and brings up the nation. This is why the face of Fatima has remained unknown behind the constant praise, eulogies, and lamentations of her followers.

In Muslim societies there are three faces of woman. One is the face of the traditional woman. Another is the face of the new woman, European like, who has just begun to grow and introduce herself. The third is the face of Fatima which has no resemblance whatsoever to that of the ethnically Muslim woman. The face of the ethnically Muslim woman, which has taken form in the minds of those loyal to religion in our society, is as far away from the face of Fatima as Fatima’s face is from the modern woman’s.

The crises which we are facing in the world today, in the East, and in particular in Islamic society, the contradictions which have appeared are all the result of the break-down of human qualities. It has come from the agitation which affects the way a society behaves and thinks. Principally, the changing human form has produced a particular type of intellectually educated man and woman, modernists, who contradict the religious man or woman. No power could have prevented the appearance of this contradiction.

This is neither to confirm this change nor to deny it. That is not within the scope of this discussion. Rather, we refer to the change in society, the change in the dress of man, his thoughts, his lifestyle and his direction in life. Women also follow this change. It is not possible that she remain in her same mould.

In previous generations a son was inclined to fit exactly into his father’s mould. His father had no fear that his son might be other than him. There was no difference between them. There were such strong feelings and ties between them that no doubt or indecisiveness could be heard in their words. But today it is not like this. One of the peculiarities of our generation, whether in the East or in the West, is the distance between the older and younger generations. From the point of view of ‘calendar time’, their distance is 30 years, but from the point of view of society’s time, 30 centuries.

Yesterday, society was permanent. Values and social characteristics seemed unchangeable. In a period of 100, 200, 300 years, nothing changed. The foundation of society, the forms of production and distribution, the type of consumption, the social relationships, the government, the religious ceremonies, the negative and positive values, the art, the literature, the language and all other things were the same during the lifetime of a grandfather and of his grandchild.

The worthy and the unworthy
In such fixed worlds and closed societies, where society’s time stands still, men and women are of a permanent type. It is perfectly natural that a daughter be an exact copy of her mother. If there is a difference of opinion between a mother and her daughter, it only relates to extraneous things or it arises from daily conflicts. In the world today, a girl, without having gone astray, without having fallen into corruption, creates a distance between herself and her mother. They are strangers to each other. An age difference of 15, 20 or 30 years separates them into two distinct people, two different human beings attached to two different social cycles, attached to two different histories, two different cultures, two different languages, two different visions and two different lives. Their relationship is such that only their home addresses are the same.

In the external forms of society, we see this same contradiction and historic distance between two generations, two types of visions. For example, we see flocks of sheep grazing on the asphalt streets of Tehran, and being milked in front of the consumer-resident of the capital at the same time that pasteurized milk is available in the stores. Or, we see a camel standing next to a Jaguar sports car. The distance is the same as that which separated Cain and Abel from the electronic age and automobiles.

We see a mother and daughter, with this distance between them, walking shoulder to shoulder down the street, one eating baklava and the other chewing gum. When you add these two together, you do not get a natural, permanent sum. It is obvious that the mother is beginning the last years of her life. She is pulled and preserved by habit. The daughter, on the other hand, is just beginning the first days of her life’s journey. It is clear that the daughter will never become the type who eats baklava with relish.

Yet the mother and daughter will eventually become identical. The mother will have the same relationship to her daughter that she had to her own mother.

The change from this type of mother to the new type of daughter is inevitable. Only beginners write about this phenomenon of change. They have not sensed the abusive language, accusations, anger, punishments, and deprivations. They have not sensed the chains and irons around the necks. They have never kicked and screamed or cried out in pain. They have never fainted from loss of strength.

These observers of change in society are just beginning to touch upon these issues, but the work has already been done. They are wasting their efforts. The* results are worth less than zero. The opposition is strengthened.

Those who act as guides, who give explanations, in the name of faith, religion and charity are also mistaken in trying to save forms inherited from the past. They try to preserve old customs and habits. They are referred to in the Koran as ‘tales of the ancients’, ‘the ancients,’ Segends of the ancients’, ‘fathers of old’, ‘fables of the ancients’, and ‘stories of yore’.

These words all refer to the first myths and first fathers. But those who act as guides see old as synonymous with traditional. As a result, they call every change, including even change in dress or hair-do, infidelity. They mistakenly believe that the spiritual source and the belief in submission to God (Islam) can only be preserved through the worship of anything which is old. They turn away from anything new, from any change and from any re-birth.

Woman, in their view, must also remain as she is today because, simply enough, her form existed in the past and has become part of social traditions. It may be 19th century, 17th century or even pre-Islamic, but it is considered to be religious and Islamic. It must, therefore, be preserved. Those who seek to guide accept this view because it has become part of their way of life and because it suits their interests. They try to remain the same and hold onto things of the past forever. They say, “Islam wanted it to be this way. Religion has taken this form. It should remain like this until Judgment Day.”

But the world changes. Everything changes. Mr. X and his son change. But a woman must retain her permanent form. In general terms, their point of view is that the Prophet sealed woman into her traditional form and that she must retain the characteristics which Haji Agha, [her husband], inscribed in her.

This type of thinking tends to lead us astray. If we wish to keep the forms because of our own inexperience, time itself will outrun us. We must realize that destruction is also a reality. Insistence upon keeping these forms will bear no fruit, as society will never listen. It cannot listen because these are mortal transient customs.

Those who seek to guide try to explain social traditions which have come into being through habit, in religious terms. When we equate religion with social or cultural traditions, we make Islam the guardian of declining forms of life and society. We confuse cultural and historical phenomena with inherited, superstitious beliefs. Time changes habits, social relationships, indigenous, historical phenomena and ancient, cultural signs. We mistakenly believe the Islamic religion to be only these social traditions. Aren’t these great errors committed today? Aren’t we seeing them with our own eyes?

Three clear methods of problem solving
There are three well-known methods of problem solving. Conservatism is the method used by the guardians of Traditions-as interpreted by culture. It is used by leaders who guard and preserve society so that the guardians have something to guard.

The logic of the conservative is this: If we change the customs of the past, it is as if we had separated the roots from the trunk of a tree. The cultural relationships which are preserved in custom are connected to the body of society like a hierarchy of nerves. If the roots are destroyed, so is the rest of the tree.

It is exactly because of this that after a great revolution, anguish, confusion and/or dictators come into being. Hastily digging out the roots of social and cultural phenomena in a quick, revolutionary manner will cause society to face a sudden void. The unfortunate results of this void will be made apparent after the revolution subsides.

Revolutionism is a method used by leaders who tear out things by the roots, believing that all custom is based only on old superstitions and, is, therefore, reactionary and rotten. The reasoning of the revolutionary runs like this: by retaining outdated cultural customs, we keep society outdated and living in the past. We stagnate. Thus a revolutionary leader says that all forms inherited from the past should be eliminated because these forms are like chains around our wrists, feet, spirit, thoughts, will and vision. All of our relationships to the past should be done away with. New rules should replace old. Otherwise society remains behind, fanatic, stagnant, and bound to the past.

Reformism is a method used by people who believe in gradual change. These people lay the groundwork for gradual change in social conditions. Reformism is the middle way between the other two. The reasoning of the returner is just as weak as that of the other two methods. He takes a third way, believing change should be quiet and gradual so that the different factions do not oppose each other. If change is gradual, reformers reason, the foundation of society will not take on a revolutionary form but rather change over a long period of time. Thus, programs should be graduated to reach this end.

But the method of reformism or gradual evolution usually faces negative, strong reactions from internal and external enemies during the long time period this method requires. These forces either stop it or destroy it.

If, for instance, we wished to change the ethics of our youth, or if we wanted to enlighten the thoughts of all people, we would be destroyed before we could reach our goal. Or, perhaps, corrupt, circumstances would dominate and deceive society and paralyze us. A leader who tries to gradually bring about change in society over a relatively long period of time believes that he used logic in calculating his programs. But such a leader does not take into account the powers seeking to neutralize change. One does not always have the time necessary to neutralize powers which are against change. Reactionary elements do not always give the time necessary to leisurely implement gradual changes. Factors considered minor make themselves manifest.

The particular method of the Prophet steming from his traditions
The Traditions of the Prophet (ahadith), so important in Islam, consist of the words which he spoke, the laws he brought, the deeds he performed, things he remained silent about or did not disagree with and deeds he actually performed in his lifetime without telling others that they should themselves perform them. The Traditions of the Prophet, then, are his words and his conduct. These become the rules of Islam which are divided into two groups: first, those which existed before Islam but were confirmed by the Prophet (signed rules); second, those which had not existed previously but were established by Islam (created rules). Besides these signed and created rules and the words and deeds of the Prophet, a third principle can also be perceived. It is my belief that it is the most sensitive. It is the method that the Prophet used.

The Prophet preserved the form, the container of a custom which had deep roots in society, one which people had gotten used to from generation to generation and one which was practiced in a natural manner, but he changed the contents, the spirit, the direction and the practical application of customs in a revolutionary, decisive and immediate manner.

He was inspired by a particular method which he uses in social combat. Without producing negative results, without containing any of the weak points of the other methods, his method contained the positive characteristics of the others. Through the customs of society which apply the brakes, he quickly attained his social goals. His revolutionary method was this: he maintained the container of a social tradition but inwardly changed the contents.

He used this method in reconciling social phenomena. He adopted a process and method which is a model for all problem solving. This method can be applied to two problems or two phenomena which in no way resemble each other. Recognizing how important this method is, we cannot fully explore it here. We can only clarify it by a few examples.

Before Islam, there was a custom of total ablution which was both a belief and a superstition. The pre-Islamic Arabs believed that when a person had sexual intercourse, he or she incarnated jinn (spirits which inhabit the earth), thereby rendering both body and soul unclean. Until he or she found water and performed a total ablution, the jinn could not be exorcised.

Another example is the pilgrimage to Makkah. Before Islam, it was an Arab custom, full of superstitious ancestor worship. It was a glorified type of idol worship, holding economic advantage for the Quraysh tribe. It had gradually come to assume this form from the time of Abraham. Islam kept the pre-Islamic custom of pilgrimage, believing that Abraham, the Friend of God, had built the Kabah which (after a period of decline) had been purified of its idols and renewed.

The basis of the pilgrimage had been twofold: to protect the economic interests of the Quraysh merchants in Makkah and to create an artificial need among the Arab tribes for the Quraysh nobility. It was revealed to the Prophet of Islam to take this form and change it into a most beautiful and deep rite founded upon the unity of God and the oneness of humanity.

The Prophet, with his revolutionary stand, took the pilgrimage of the idol-worshipping tribes and changed it into a completely opposite rite. It was a revolutionary leap. As a result, the Arab people underwent no anguish, no loss of values or beliefs, but rather, revived the truth and cleansed an ancient custom. They moved easily from idol worship to unity. Suddenly, they had left the past. Their society was not aware that the foundations of idol worship had been torn down. This leap, this revolutionary social method found within the Traditions of the Prophet preserved the outer form but changed its content. It maintained the container as a permanent element but changed and transformed the content.

The conservative, at whatever cost, tries, to the last bit of his strength, to keep his customs-even if it means sacrificing himself and others. (The revolutionary, on the other hand, wants to change everything into another form all at once. He wants to annihilate everything, to suddenly jump-whether or not society is prepared to leap in that direction.) When the conservative senses the possibility of revolution, he turns to anger, dictatorship, and extensive public murders not only against his enemies but also against the people themselves. A reformer, on the other hand, always gives a corrupter the opportunity to destroy. The Prophet, through the inspired method of his work, showed us that if we understand and can put his method into action, we could behave in a most enlightened and correct way.

A clear visioned intellectual, confronted by outdated customs, ancient traditions, a dead culture and a stagnant religious and social order, takes up the mandate of the Prophet rather than submit to prejudices from the past. By this method one can reach revolutionary goals without the danger of revolution, on one hand, and without opposing the basis of faith and ancient social values on the other. By doing so, one does not remove oneself from people, nor does one become a stranger on whom people may turn and condemn. This method works because the Prophet received knowledge from the divine Infinite, because he asked for the help of revelation and because he made use of what he received.

Realism: A mneans of serving idealism
One of the peculiarities of Islam is that it accepts both beliefs which are identical to it as well as coercive beliefs of society. It admits to the existence of both. Here the perception of Islam is special.

The idealistic schools of thought embrace the highest values, the absolute and most desirable ideologies. Each and every fact is categorically rejected if it does not suit them. They have no patience. They deny unpleasant realities and dig out the roots of anger. Anger, violence, pleasure seeking and greed are realities which do exist. Moral idealism or religious idealism (i.e. Christianity) ignores these vices and denies their existence.

On the other hand, schools of thought which are based on realism accept all things as the basis of reality. For instance, sodomy is not accepted in England or in Christianity due to religious idealism, not reality. Divorce among Catholics is prohibited to preserve the family and to re-enforce the sacred nature of marriage.

But reality is other than this. Some human beings cannot preserve the first, sacred marriage and remain loyal to each other. It so often happens that human beings grow apart during their lifetime. They become strangers. They live together like two pitiful people. That which has joined them is not love; it is only the ties of law. They are afflicted. One might even become lucky with someone else. This reality has existed in the past, exists in the present and will exist in the future. Civilized and uncivilized people, the religious and the nonreligious, have felt it and continue to feel it. Statistics show it, but some Christian groups deny this reality. They bind marriage to the sacred. They force a family to stay together even when a real hell is behind the doors, and the family has become a center of murder, adultery and corruption. The door of divorce has been closed, but thousands of windows of swindle and illegality have been opened.

Concubines
Social realities are such that if we do not open doors to them, they will spring out from the windows. Forbidding divorce brings about a type of concubinage. That is, a man who cannot live with his legal wife separates from her without being able to get a divorce. The same is true for a woman. She cannot get a divorce, so she lives separately. They each live for years separated from each other. Perhaps each finds another man or woman. The children born out of such a situation are natural but illegal. Such people often have sick beliefs and complexes. Their spirit is anti-social.

Suppose a woman and her legal husband become strangers. They begin opposing each other. They both reach the conclusion that the relationship of husband and wife is not just sleeping together. It cannot continue. They cannot even live as neighbors. It is natural that they separate. The man leaves the household and goes looking for the type of woman he always wanted. Love, the need for a family life, and the pull of sex (one way or the other) helps him to find a natural tie. The man and his new partner find a place and live together. The wife’s life follows exactly the same pattern and the same fate. As a result, we see that nature and reality build two new families; two incompatible types find compatible partners.

But some Christian ideologies do not accept this reality. Therefore, no one, including that man and woman, is responsible. People close their eyes so as not to see it. As a result, they accepts, in legal terms, a decomposed house which has no external existence. Its materials have all been used to make another house. It is the former empty marriage which is acknowledged as official, while these two natural families are denied.

Here we see the distance between common law, civil law and religious law, and we see how natural forces, realities and oppositions arise. As a result, families which are Christian, do not actually exist, while families which are real and natural are considered to be corrupt and sinful Christianity, by denying this reality, causes the family which comes into being to be illegal. The children which are born of concubinage are also illegal.

From the point of view of a religious society, they are criminals. They do not have a share in the kindness of the family nor the purity of society. Society looks upon them as sinners. Complexes arise within them. They suffer anger and anguish which is beyond imagination. They take their revenge on society.

Crimes which occur in Europe and, in particular, in America, do not exist in backward and underdeveloped countries. The reason is that in these Western societies (even though they have civilizations in the sense that they have culture, ethics, nourished minds, freedom of thought, etc.), there is something born into this generation which makes them take revenge upon society in the worst of forms.

An Englishman had built something which resembled a very small bow and arrow. He had attached this to a box upon which he had displayed cigarettes, selling them along the streets and at movie houses. With this device, he shot a tiny poison tipped arrow into a group of people blinding or killing them. The police could not find the killer. They were looking for a motive connecting the murderer and the murdered. But the murderer had no particular reason for murdering those people. He murdered simply because other people were accepted by society and he was not.

Such a murder can be explained as the result of complexes which the church refuses to accept. It thus has had a hand in bringing misfortune about. Fortunately, we have not yet seen such complexes here. Because there is divorce in our society, there are no illegal families. Because there is divorce there is no family which is a non-entity forced to live with each other under common law. We do not bind people together through the force of law.

A child wanted to go out of a room, but a Samavar, a teapot and various dishes were in the way. He closed his eyes and tried to pass through. He thought all the obstacles were gone. Idealism is like a child who does not see reality. It does not want to see reality. It closes its eyes to that which it does not want to see. Because it does not see obstacles, it thinks they do not exist.

The opposite of idealism is realism. Its followers see everything, no matter how ugly or unpleasant, simply because it has an external existence. They accept a thing, attach their hearts to it and find faith. They oppose and reject, however, all beauty, truth and correctness simply because these do not record with existing realities. Through this rejection, they become unbelievers.

One of my students, who was among the pseudo enlightened of this country, drew only one conclusion from our conversations. As he was a supporter of dialectical materialism and I was religious, a believer in Islam, he rejected whatever I said because of his pre-conceived notions. Even if I said something which agreed with Marxism (with which he should have agreed) without attributing the idea, he rejected it.

One day I was speaking about the murders committed by the Umayyids and the disagreements which existed between the classes. The Umayyids had a political dictatorship which dominated religion in order to justify their situation. They wanted people to believe that whatever happened was God’s will. This, they said, was particularly true about their own government. I spoke about the people who opposed them and resisted the situation. I saw how my student suddenly became unhappy. I was opposing the Umayyids. I was praising the Prophet, the Companions, Fatima, Abu Dharr, Hujr and Hussein as leaders of a movement for justice and human freedom against prejudice, oppression and ignorance. What could this first class enlightened thinker do? He yelled out, ‘The despot is history!’

According to the Marxist philosophy of history, society must move through historic phases in a certain predictable sequence. Ali, Hussein and Abu Dharr were ideologists who opposed the despotism of history. I said, ‘The Mercy of God be upon this enlightened one.’

I see that I was right in re-iterating the fact that when the level of thought and vision of a society is transformed, the religious, non-religious, enlightened, reactionary and ignorant scholar are all the same. When a religious view prevails, all unknown and uncomprehended facts are called fate and destiny.

When a society becomes Marxist, it believes in the despotism of history. It believes that whatever happens is beyond human will. Whatever exists is accepted because it is a reality resulting inevitably from the processes of history. I said, ‘No look my friend, the sword is the despot here, not history.’

We see that realists believe that whatever exists should be as it is! The members of the Parliament in England defend the laws of homosexuality because homosexuality is an objective reality which exists in society. Therefore, it must be made legal.

To oppose this realism is to worship idealized fantasies which form the outlook of politicians and pseudo-intellectuals. You do not hear them argue that Israel is a reality. The settlement of the Palestinian people in lands occupied by Israel is a manifestation of someone who worshiped the ideal. Even though it is wrong, it is a reality which a realist must accept. Although it goes against the grain of humanity, although it is murder, it exists. Politicians and intellectuals accept it, and officially recognize it.

A magazine entitled ‘This Week’ has recently been published for young people. All the articles, translations, news items and photographs are the output of only two or three well-known writers using pen names. These writers visit whore houses and then, damn them. They write for our young people giving them a point-by-point description of events which take place. One of the top writers (who is too knowledgeable) is a politician who officially represents Islamic culture! He advises women who are overweight and unhappy because of it to find an illicit lover as a solution to their obesity. This is all a reality. Most probably the writers of “This Week” had first scientifically experienced this form of weight loss.

Abuse of the weak by the strong is also a reality. Oppression and suppression of certain classes are also realities. Reality seekers are completely objective viewers. They see the external form which is a scientific and sensible reality. Then they judge. They face no difficulties with imagination, ideology and ideas which are not translated into real forms.

We see that an idealist, a thinker, a reformer tends towards mental desires, ideals and sacred values, but denies or rejects the realities which deviate from his beliefs. It is impossible to negate them. He turns his back on them, or else, through inexperience, rejects them. He pulls himself away from realities. He thinks in terms of imagery. He occupies a sacred place but does not realize that he is in an idealistic environment.

A realist, on the other hand, kills flights of thought, visions, efforts, mental longings of perfection. A realist keeps everything as it is. He builds walls around the framework of existing values and within the existing situation. He paralyzes creative thought, rebellion and the deep changes of life. His needs and desires tend only towards the present, external purposes of mankind. He surrenders to realities and nourishes that which exists.

Neither idealism nor realism: Both
Islam is a pure tree which belongs neither to the East nor the West but has its roots in the heavens and its branches reaching towards the earth. Contrary to idealism, Islam recognizes the realities of life (in both body and spirit) of the individual, as well as the realities of community relationships and of the depths of a society seen only in the motion of history.

Islam like realism only admits to the existence of life’s harsher realities, but unlike realism, Islam does not accept the status quo but seeks to change. It changes essence in a revolutionary way. It carries the common idea of ‘reality’ along with its ideals. It uses such realities as a means to reach its idealistic goals, its real desires, which are without form by themselves. Unlike realism, Islam does not submit to realities, but rather, it causes the realities to submit to it. Islam does not turn away from realities as idealists do. It seeks them out. It tames them. Through this means, Islam uses that which hinders the idealists as raw material for its own ideals.

For example, Islam accepts divorce, a new marriage contract and temporary marriage (in certain very exceptional cases). Islam accepts divorce in certain social circumstances. If it did not accept divorce, divorce would still exist, but it would be outside its control. By accepting an unavoidable, natural reality, it makes it into a legal form. As a result, one can conquer the sense of guilt one has in the eyes of God and society. Thus, divorce is based upon ethical principles and religion is preserved. Such people can nourish their environment. Society does not look upon them as sinners or on their children as illegal and impure.

Islam succeeded the day it admitted the existence of these social and human realities. Because of this, it can control its results. It can give realities a corrected legal form. It can bestow an ethical and religiously accepted form upon amorphous ‘facts’. By confirming and admitting the existence of reality, Islam gains strength. It can then control, guide and dominate any reality within its framework.

If we deny realities, they will dominate us. Without knowing it, we will be pulled wherever they want us to go, and we, like the realists, will be drowned in existing realities, whether good or bad. On the other hand, idealists make the mistake of imprisoning themselves in the chains of useless customs. Realists move along with realities and accept them. Idealists, who do not recognize such realities, deny them through their ignorance and their attachment to imaginary ideals. Idealists are then attacked by realities. The idealists fall on their knees because they are defenseless, inexperienced and weak. They are destroyed.

We don’t see the form that girls who are raised in very strict religious homes take. We don’t see how she covers her face so that, God forbid; the fish in the courtyard pool do not see her What happens when she enters the ocean of society? She vigorously swims, but she is so afraid that she loses control of herself and drowns. In order to make up for what she lacks now, she pays her fine a thousand times over

The same is true for young men who grow up in a pious society. The nouveau riche have just moved from the former world of their idealistic pseudo-religious environment in which they were prohibited from learning physics or chemistry, and in which women were forbidden to have a high school or college education. The men did not shave their beards. They sat in coaches instead of in buses or in taxis. They wore no necktie They did not let their hair grow long. They did not change the form of their clothes or their hair-style. They neither bought radios nor did they spread the word of the Koran through a microphone! Suddenly, these young people faced the new world of realities, full of twists and turns.

You see what confusion it has caused. The newly rich young person sees the pretense. He has learned certain airs through watching Western films and TV. He has learned about showing off luxury and being silly. He has seen the exaggeration of it all. It is so exaggerated that even foreigners laugh about it. Why? Because these pretenses exist side by side with reality whereas we deny the realities before we even come to know them. This is why we have been captured by our imagination.

This new civilization has attacked all boundaries toppled all the watchtowers of the world. The new generation has been caught in the whirling wind of the Renaissance, the 17th century intellectual movements, the French revolution and the industrialized life style. These historical events changed the weather of the world. The change of atmosphere of our country is also a reality. It is a most certain reality. It is clear that sooner or later lightening will strike. When it does, machines, printing presses, books, newspapers, democracy, electronic media movies, schools, women’s education, new industrial techniques, new sciences, and many other new things will come and will change us.

The leaders of the people, those responsible for ethics, those who have been given the responsibility of guiding lives and thoughts, those who stand face to face with unavoidable realities have closed their eyes. They have given their hearts to mental ideologies and to their ancient thoughts. They have tried to preserve their horse drawn carriages side by side with taxis.

They still light lamps when they have electricity. They correctly predict the rush to the inferior world. They know it will bring about the decline of much belief, faith, piety, health and independence. They know that corruption will find a home deep within people’s brains. But face to face with this rush towards modernity (and knowing the relationship which it imposes on the furthermost points and on the most backward tribes of society even those in the depths of the desert) they only say one thing and one thing only: Forbidden! Radio? Don’t buy Movies? Don’t see them. Television? Don’t watch. Loudspeaker? Don’t listen. University? Don’t go. The new science? Don’t study it. Newspapers? Don’t read them. Vote? Don’t do it. Office work? Don t do it and woman? Shhh…Don’t mention that word!

Face to face with the flood of new technology covering the globe, face to face with civilization which sells refrigerators to the Eskimos, they attempt to completely defend the past. Their total army and strategy consists of only two words: ‘Forbidden!’ and ‘No!’.

What is the result? What we see is what happens. Contemporary events and realities break the barriers and tear down the watch-towers. Realities tears down the bricks of the walls and destroys the defenders of the past who hide with their eyes closed and faces averted in disapproval.

The force of these modern consumerist realities ruins everything at once. They attack the city’s inhabited areas, its bazaars, mosques and even our homes like wild bulls, wolves or chained dogs. They plunder everything. But they do not leave. They come, they kill, they burn and they take, but they do not leave as the army of Ghengis Khan left. Why?

Because no one even sees them. Our border guards, our watchmen, don’t like them. They are so exasperated that they don’t even bother to look at them. They don’t want to go and separate the good from the bad and correct them. They don’t want to adapt them to the climate and the people of our country. They don’t want to choose among them. They don’t want to shame, control and dominate them. They stand in the middle of the road facing a driverless car. They are run over and crushed.

This is why the veiled woman who wants to give birth to her children, screams, Why men physicians? Why should women not be treated by women physicians?” She wants her child to go to school and to the university. Her cries increase is this the faculty of literature or a fashion show? Is this an Islamic university? Is this an Islamic society? Does this school smell just a bit of Islam? Does it contain a bit of ethics and meaning? Is this the radio of a religious country or just a noise box? What kind of a translation is this of one culture by another-this full-scale importation of television, publications, laws, and banks? What film is this? What theater? What art? What craft? Really, what kind of a civilization is this? But then again, as Hafez (the great poet) has said,

As our destiny has been shaped in our absence if only a little fails to accord with our wishes, don’t worry

And, in our case, we have to say:
If all of this is not according to our wishes, don’t worry!

When modernism came and found a place for itself, when it begins to work, you were absent. You ran away. When you, a pious man, a religious, ethical Muslim (sensitive to people’s feelings, responsible for the spirits and thoughts of society, preserver of the Islamic culture) sulk and retire into a corner, you allow a Reza Khan to bring a new civilization into effect and to employ a new industry and science.

It takes great effort to effectively interfere in events which unfold. Yet it is only through this effort that one can guide the determined motion of society. People who believe we should preserve that which is incapable of being preserved which is dying (and who are in a position to advise those who inspire, those who appease and those who give condolences) do not recognize the dangers. They create believers from among those who accept the unacceptable. They delude the majority of society. They keep them in an unholy state of prostration-silent, weak and submissive.

Those who seek a flowing, active society and want a better human life, acknowledge realities. They know pain. They take their strength from pain in order to heal their wounds. This group does not include those who, as demigods, defend that which is incapable of being defended, or those who take the public into their own hands, or those who follow the styles of the day, or those who praise according to what is fashionable, or those who try to attach themselves to something.

Those who acknowledge realities are people who know time moves. They know that society has a skin which it sheds. They feel that the strong forces of the world have turned to us to make us change. Neither are they sufficiently without pain to sit down and watch, nor are they, without shame, able to take whatever job is handed to them. They are not so stupid as one who sees a flood covering his town but protects only his wife and children, pulls only his own carpet from the water. They know that today is not like the past when families were living in a closed society. Now, even if you hide your daughter in the back room of your house, national and international television will follow her, find her and show her the attractions of the outside world.

CHAPTER FIVE

Which mold do they fill?
In reality, in our society, those who ask, ‘Who am l?’ Who should I be?’ Or what is my identity?’ are of two types. Other type is a person attached to out-dated, existing traditions which are called religion and ethics and which that person wants to impose upon others. He can’t. Even though he knows he can’t, he still adheres to outdated customs. He still retains them. He tries to impose them upon young people.

There is another type afraid to act even under the name of intellectual, modernist or freedom-seeker because he thinks, “If I interfere or negate or agree or control the ‘ifs’, I Will be condemned as being old-fashioned, eastern, backward and religious.” So against the social changes, the changes in the types of young men and women, he plays the role of a dead per son. In other words, his child acts while the mother and father create possibilities for him. They are called intellectual parents But their silence and surrender does not stem from their; intellectual abilities. Nor does it come from their beliefs, but rather from their impotency and weakness. He says to himself “If I interfere, I will give up my outer, external strength to this show and my inner emptiness.” He shouts out, “Prestige, Papa!

These are two types, two types of people who can be molded One is attached to the traditions of the Chahar Bagh in Esfahan, ugly, crooked and decayed. The second is a product of European brick kilns-straight, subtle, with endurance, hollow and absurd.

These are two types and two ways, both of which are lost. Why? One stands against the roaring flood of realities which is about to ruin everything. He tries to turn back the waters with his hands. He tries to stop the flow. He cries out, laments, sobs, and swears at the flood, but the flood just builds up, flows out and sinks everything in its way.

The other one stretches himself out next to the flood waters like a dead person, like a useless observer. This dear man who has no personality of his own, is quiet and works from morning until night, committing murder, ripping people off, pick pocketing, and performing a thousand dirty deeds. He tricks people and then fills his pockets which he, in turn, empties into the pockets of the foreign companies.

Women we cannot know
There are only some European women whom we have the right to recognize. It is they to whom we always have to refer. They are the women introduced through magazines, television and sexy movies. They are women made sexy by writers. They are introduced to us as a universal type of European woman.

Let me tell you about the European girl we have no right to know. At the age of sixteen she went to the deserts of Africa, to the deserts of Algeria and Australia. She spent all of her life in wild places. She lived with the threat of sickness, death and wild tribes. Throughout her youth and old age she studied the waves emitted from the antennae of ants. When she grew old, her daughter carried on her work. The second generation of this European woman returned to France at the age of fifty. At the university she said, aI discovered the language of the ants and I learned some of their signs of communication.”

Also, we have no right to know Madame Gushan who spent her whole life finding the roots of philosophical ideas and the studying the wisdom of Avicenna, ibn Rushd, Mulla Sadra and Haji Mulla Hadi Sabzevari. She also studied Greek philosophy and many of the works of Aristotle and compared them with Islamic material. She showed what our philosophers received from them. She corrected that which had been badly translated and incorrectly understood for 1000 years of Islamic civilization.

We have no right to know the Italian Mme. De la Vida. She edited and completed the ‘Science of the Soul’ of Avicenna itself based on the ancient Greek manuscript on the soul written by Aristotle. We have no right to know Mme. Curie who discovered radioactivity.

And what about Resass Du La Chappelle who knew more about the sanctity of Ali than all the Islamic scientists. Resass Du La Chappelle was a young, beautiful, free Swedish girl, born far from Islamic culture. She was distant from Muslim behavior and beliefs. From the beginning of her youth, she devoted her life to knowing that unknown spirit in the structure of Islam. She followed a man covered by the hatred of his enemies, caught in traps laid by hypocrites and meaningless friends. She discovered the most correct manuscripts about Ali. She came to know the most subtle waves of his spirit, the depth of his feelings and the highest peaks of his ideas. For the first time, she felt his anger, pain, loneliness, brokenness, fear and needs. Not only did she ‘see’ Ali in the Battles of Uhud, Badr and Hunayn, but she found Ali praying in the mihrab of the mosque in Kufa. She discovered his nights of complaining at the wells of Madinah. She gathered together the Nahj al-balaqah to which the Arab Muslims had access through the literary edition of Mohammad Abduh, the great Sunni religious leader, but about which the Jafaris had only lectures of Javad Fazel which had to be read with the help of the Arabic text!

This girl-a disbeliever destined for hell-gathered all of the writings of Ali from books, notebooks or manuscripts, hidden here and there. She read all of them and translated them and interpreted them. The most beautiful and deepest writings ever written about someone flowed from her pen. For forty-two years she has continued to study, think, work and research Ali.

We have no right to know Angela, the American girl in prison who is not only the hope of two countries, but of all the free people of the world, of all the wounded, of all those condemned through racial discrimination-in other words, all the oppressed.

We should not know that foreign women are not just toys of the Don Juans who take money and jewels-female slaves serving men as long as they want them, as long as they are interested. We should believe that they are worthy only of man’s desires and lusts.

The foreign woman has progressed to the point of becoming the embodiment of an ideology, of a country, of salvation and of the honor of a generation. But we have no right to know her.

We only have the right to know fashion models and beauty queens. We have only the right to know movie sex goddesses in cheap exploitation films, the Queen of Monaco and all of the seven female guards around James Bond. Such women are the sacrifices made to European production. of Europe. They are the toys and wind-up dolls of the wealthy. They are the slaves of the houses of the new merchants.

We Muslims only have the right to know these examples of the women of European civilization. I have never seen photographs from Cambridge, the Sorbonne or Harvard University telling about female university students who go to the library to work on 14th and 15th century manuscripts and to research artefacts from 2500-3000 years ago in China. I have not seen pictures of those who bend over Quranic manuscripts based upon Latin. I have not seen pictures of those studying Greek, Cuneiform and Sanskrit texts without moving and without allowing their eyes to rove. They don’t take their heads out of their books until the librarian takes their books away or asks them to leave.

You, men and women, seekers of knowledge, scholars, researchers have you ever heard of the famous German scholar, Frau Hunekeh? Have you heard that she has recently written a very comprehensive study of Islam and its influence upon European civilization which has been translated into Arabic and is entitled, The Arab’s Sun Spreads over the West.

These are not today’s women and they should not be known. Why? Because one group is made up of old fashioned, ethnic cultural-bound seekers. The other is superstitious, newly rich and hidden, but at the same time known and apparent. If they join hands, they will awaken us. They will destroy everything we have. So people are obliged to take the form of tamed consumers and quiet slaves.

These two groups, old-fashioned and newly wealthy, for all practical purposes, work together to produce a new type. One does this under the name of ethics and religion while the other does this under the name of freedom and progress. The old-fashioned woman is abused by prejudice and fanaticism. They push her, leaving her without bread and water. They show her anger. They have no compassion. They treat her so badly that the woman, half crazy with her eyes and ears closed, throws herself into the skirts of those with goat-like beards, who welcome her, take off their hats respectfully and with correct manners, bend forward politely, smiling, and treating her gently.

The European woman, about whom I was speaking, is a woman of today. She delivered herself, but she is the progeny of the Middle Ages. She is reacting to the inhuman treatment and fanaticism of the priests of the Middle Ages, who, in the name of Christianity and religion, misguided women and cursed and enslaved them. They even said woman was hated by God and was the main cause of Adam’s fall from Paradise to the earth!

In the Middle Ages, people asked priests, “If there is a woman in a house, should a man, who is not related, enter?”

The priests said, “Never. Because if the man is not related and he enters the house where there is a woman even if he does not see the woman-still he has sinned.”

In other words, if an unrelated man goes to the second floor of the house and a woman is in the basement, sin occurs. It seems that the sins of women spread through the air.

St. Thomas Dakin said, “If God should see the love for a woman upon a man’s face even if the woman is his wife, he becomes angry because no love, other than the love of God, should sit upon his heart. Christ lived without a wife. A man can be a Christian without having touched a woman. This is why Christian brothers and spiritual fathers-and even Christian sisters-never marry. They believe marriage is a tie which arouses God’s anger. We should only join with God through Jesus Christ because two loves cannot fit into one heart. Only those who remain unmarried can carry the Holy Ghost.”

In Christianity, the first sin was the sin of woman. Every man, as the child of Adam, who turns towards a woman, even if that woman be his wife, as Eve was the wife of Adam, repeats the first, primordial sin. The sin and disobedience of Adam is renewed in the memory of God!

Thus one must do something so that God will forget Adam and his sin! This is why a woman in the thoughts of the people of the Middle Ages was hated, weakened and held back from the ownership of anything. Such hatred even extended to the point that if a woman, owning property, went to her husband’s house, she lost the rights to her own property. Her ownership was itself transferred to her husband. A woman had no legal status. The effects of this can still be found in European civilization, which is completely unacceptable to us.

Even today, if a woman marries, she changes her name. This is not just for use in her home or unofficially. Her education certificates, her identification, her passport-everything is changed from carrying her father’s name to her husband’s name. This means that a woman herself is nothing. She has no essential existence. A name is significant. A creature who lacks significance stands through others. In her parent’s home, she uses her father’s name. She lives with her first owner. When she goes to her husband’s home, the name of another man (her new owner) distinguishes her. She does not possess sufficient value or credit to have a name of her own. Modern Muslims believe that European tradition has also influenced Muslim countries. They believe European traditions are better than ours. Even if it is a tradition from the slave age, even if it is a detested and ugly action, the very fact that it has a foreign mark upon it is sufficient for our modernists to attempt to imitate it. This is just an example which our pseudo-foreigners take from the foreign ‘better’ race. Whatever that race does is copied without even knowing its reason, purpose or value. Our modernists have no common sense.

In imitating, whether by a modernist or by an old-fashionist, choice is impossible. There is no questioning or judgment about good or bad, no distinction between the useful and the useless. The basis of all imitation is the principle that “Whatever defect the king accepts is art.” They confirm him until it reaches the point where if he says, Day is night,” they add, Yes. I see the moon and the stars.”

In the official European marriage forms, the two people to be married are asked, “Name?” Secondly, girl’s family name. In answering the first question, the family name which will be taken after marriage, that is, the family name of the husband-to-be is recorded. In answer to the second question, her unmarried family name, the name of her father, is recorded.

In other words, a woman belongs to the owner of the house Even if a house had originally belonged to her, she could not continue to own it because she was a woman. In her father’s house, it was her father’s name and in her husband’s house, it is her husband’s name which is used. This is why she officially changes her name through marriage.

Only an idiot ridiculously and unconsciously acts and thinks like a foreigner because he or she cannot distinguish values. This is why we say pseudo-foreigners have been born into our modern society who do not resemble foreigners. Pseudo-Europeans have come into existence for which no example in Europe exists.

In Islam, from the very beginning, the purest form of Islam, (not the present composite form of Islam), a woman is completely independent in respect to woman’s rights. She can even seek payment from her husband for nursing her child. She can carry on her own businesses without any interference from her husband. She can work. As to production she can independently and directly put her capital into effect. She has the most economic independence of any member of society.

All of the anti-human and pseudo-religious pressures committed against European women in the name of religion have caused a reaction. This reaction is directed against the Middle Ages. The memory of it has remained with her. In Italy and Spain where religion is still strong, women are denied many of their human rights in spite of the signs of freedom and the emphasis upon human rights.

We are talking about human freedom and social rights, not sexual freedom and sexual rights. We see with what speed the latter becomes prevalent. In return for the second world’s (the previous third world’s oil, diamonds, rubber gum, copper, coffee and uranium which inexpensively enter Europe, Europe exports freedom, ethics, techniques, culture, art, literature and, in particular, sex, to our hungry, plundered world. All the means of advertisement, all the means of social, technical, artistic and educational expertise of an underdeveloped country are employed to serve propaganda, promotion and distribution. These things are all other than freedoms and human rights!

Sexual freedom is deceiving. It is part of a new exploitation, a type of limitless deception, which the impure system of Western capitalism produces. It causes both the East and West innocently to reach out towards it-until things get to the point that the influencing west and the influenced East form a continuous culture.

The young generation (in particular, those who are rebellious, audacious and have not been stupefied by religious stipulations and the hereditary chains of traditions falls into the Western trap. At any moment it is possible that, based upon rebellion, they take up a notion contrary to their interests and as a result put their heads into a cheap foreign lover’s grasp and thereby, become so drowned and giddy in the artificial freedom presented by capitalists that they no longer know what the world is about. They so completely saturate themselves with materialism that they no longer sense their poverty and slavery. We see to what extent the internal conditions of despotism in Asia, Africa and Latin America have resulted in an insane emphasis upon the rights and freedom of sex as advertised by the Western capitalists. Sexual freedom is emphasized and strengthened so that the groundwork is laid for its daily increase.

We can, with a little bit of caution and discernment, come to know what is behind these attractive forms of thunder-struck, sexuality. It is none other than the denial of the modern world. We have to come to know these great idols and the three faces of the contemporary religious trinity: exploitation, colonialization and despotism. This trinity makes Freud a prophet. From Freudism they build a supposedly scientific and human religion. From sexuality they build an ethical conscience. Finally, from lust, a blessed temple is built. They build their place of worship and create a powerful servant class. The first sacrifice recorded on the threshold of this temple is woman.

Who is the contemporary woman serving oneself vs. serving others
In the 15th and 16th centuries (following the Renaissance and the passing away of customs and ancient religion) the thought of Descartes and the logic of analytical science replaced natural sensitivities and religious feelings. According to Durkheim, individual autonomy in one’s dealings with one’s society (family, tribe or country) and serving oneself as an independent entity replaced the unity of society and the serving of others. Utility replaces values. Realism replaces idealism. Instincts replace spiritual efforts. Welfare and the problems of life replace the search for perfection, consciousness of God and self-sufficiency. Intelligent logic is consciously chosen to substitute for the sacred and spiritual which, through an unacceptable materialist analysis are related to a kind of eternal pleasure.

Finally, known phenomena, capable of analysis and synthesis, are considered to be relative and materialistic. They form the people, life, culture, all of the dimensions of the earth, the elements of society and the unlimited attractions of the new spirit. They replace the essence of inspiration and the composite truths which are above one’s individual will. They do away with anything which is only understood by the supra-intellectual (spiritual faculty) that is, everything which is beyond logical science, such as the eternal, hidden Platonic dimensions.

The roots of these dimensions exist in the depths of being. Since the beginning of humanity, they have poked their heads through. They are enigmatic attractions from another world. They are from the essence of fate. They are absolute; their source is divine destiny. Alas, nature has replaced metaphysics; science has replaced inspiration; pleasure has replaced chastity; happiness has replaced perfection; and tranquillity has replaced piety. As Francis Bacon said, Power has replaced Truth.”

This spiritual and intellectual change in the deep evolution of human values has changed the main direction of culture, knowledge and feelings. New means of earning a livelihood, new view of love and the relationship between men and women, the place of women in society and their relationship to men have had revolutionary effects upon the roots of the fabric of our life, literature, art and sensitivities.

All things are analyzed according to the science and positivist vision of Descartes. This includes the sacred and ethical principles always viewed as values above human knowledge that is, divine virtues. These are now analyzed as material things. Among these values are women and love, which had previously existed together in a halo of sanctity. They were hidden in the imagination, spirit, and inspiration where they remained untouched. Now they place them upon the blackboard and the billboard.

One of the people responsible for this is Claude Bernard who saw human beings as corpses without a spirit. Freud considered the spirit to be a sick animal. For the bourgeoisie, life is money. The result is what we see now.

Opposed to these were the Christian priests. Next to their laboratories were churches. They had nothing to offer other than ‘excommunication’. They were club wielders whom no one feared. Compared to materialists who at least reasoned and gave examples, they simply cried out, ‘Religion is dying!’ They issued unreasonable cannon laws. They constantly threw the fire of hell into the faces of their parishioners but to no avail.

A woman, as far as her life was concerned, was part of a family. Even though she had no independent human personality, at least she could easily be dissolved in the family, which was one spirit. Little by little she became economically independent. She began working outside of the home. With industrialization in full swing, with daily progress and improvement in social occupations, women went to work.

From society’s point of view, economic independence has also made her socially independent. Thereafter she found individual existence beside her husband and children. Today, before marriage and setting up a household, she has individual independence. Because she has developed intellectually and logically, this has of itself altered her relationship with others (her lover, her father and her family). Family life is no longer based on sensitive feelings or intuitive attractions or deep, unconscious, spiritual efforts but, rather, upon the linear principles of intellectual accounting and detailed calculation. She has been freed from many social, family and religious chains through her accountant’s vision of the situation. She is now capable of seeing reality, of being able to analyze and intellectualize, of seeking herself, of finding her own interests and individual profits and spending for herself. She authentically seeks pleasure, encounters things, and looks for tranquillity, intelligence and happiness. At the same time, however, many of her deep feelings have been taken away from her. Her hereditary feelings, which are other than the intellectual, have been removed. Her humanness has suffered (and has left her lonely). But it has made her independent.

Durkheim has shown that in the past, the social spirit of command responsibility was strong. Whenever economics and individuality grew individuals lost family roots, sensitivities, traditional ideas and spirit. They became autonomous. This independence gave them multiple possibilities. The very fact that an eighteen-year-old girl can very easily get her own apartment and live alone without any supervision is one of them.

A woman is allowed many freedoms in her home for economic reasons. Whenever she becomes angry over life, she can flee from her situation, as she has individual rights. In her view, bearing the sorrow of another does not fit with a healthy intelligence; therefore, whenever she must make a sacrifice, or give in abundance, she closes her eyes.

For peace of mind, pleasure, freedom, and for anything which affects her own well-being, she opens her eyes. This is because things like loyalty, sacrifice, generosity, gratitude, and love are all spiritual and ethical things. They are not capable of intellectual and logical demonstration.

“Sacrifice your life so that others may live,” or “bear sorrow so that others may have peace,” are transactions which do not pay off, no matter how you account for them.

Then who can answer her question, “Why should I sacrifice myself for he who needs me? Why should I remain loyal to him? Why should I remain with this ugly, weak man because of a promise, an agreement, made when he was handsome, strong, and the only creature around at that time? I bore him patiently. Why should I now close my eyes to the handsome, strong man who is available and who understands my spirit and my goals?”

Sartre presents an example. A woman is the wife of a man who has no attractive qualities. In comparison to him, there is an attractive man who loves her. The intelligent way is clear. Both men need her. One needs her as a wife, the other as a lover. The woman does not need the first man but rather the second.

By remaining loyal to her husband, two needs are sacrificed (those of herself and her lover) and one is satisfied (that of her husband). In fleeing from him and letting him go, two needs are satisfied and one is sacrificed. The duty of this woman is clear. Her intelligence makes the decision a clear mathematical formula. The reason behind why a woman would sacrifice two needs for one is not simply an intellectual, logical Cartesian or Freudian one. An intelligent woman thinks and acts logically. Economic freedom and social rights present her with the possibility of doing it. She does it.

Children come into the world. A child restricts the freedom of its mother and father. Intelligence cannot accept the fact that the peace of mind and freedom of two people be sacrificed for one person. They either do not bring children into the world or they leave them with a nurse or in an institution. Among all of these illogical feelings and ethical and traditional bounds, there is a conscience, a spirit which a woman holds onto. She issued unreasonable cannon laws. They constantly threw the fire of hell into the faces of their parishioners but to no avail.

A woman, as far as her life was concerned, was part of a family. Even though she had no independent human personality, at least she could easily be dissolved in the family, which was one spirit. Little by little she became economically independent. She began working outside of the home. With industrialization in full swing, with daily progress and improvement in social occupations, women went to work.

From society’s point of view, economic independence has also made her socially independent. Thereafter she found individual existence beside her husband and children. Today, before marriage and setting up a household, she has individual independence. Because she has developed intellectually and logically, this has of itself altered her relationship with others (her lover, her father and her family). Family life is no longer based on sensitive feelings or intuitive attractions or deep, unconscious, spiritual efforts but, rather, upon the linear principles of intellectual accounting and detailed calculation. She has been freed from many social, family and religious chains through her accountant s vision of the situation. She is now capable of seeing reality, of being able to analyze and intellectualize, of seeking herself, of finding her own interests and individual profits and spending for herself. She authentically seeks pleasure, encounters things, and looks for tranquillity, intelligence and happiness. At the same time, however, many of her deep feelings have been taken away from her. Her hereditary feelings which are other than the intellectual, have been removed. Her humanness has suffered (and has left her lonely). But it has made her independent.

Durkheim has shown that in the past, the social spirit of command responsibility was strong. Whenever economics and individuality grew individuals lost family roots, sensitivities, traditional ideas and spirit. They became autonomous. This independence gave them multiple possibilities. The very fact that an eighteen year old girl can very easily get her own apartment and live alone without any supervision is one of them.

A woman is allowed many freedoms in her home for economic reasons. Whenever she becomes angry over life, she can flee from her situation, as she has individual rights. In her view, bearing the sorrow of another does not fit with a healthy intelligence; therefore, whenever she must make a sacrifice, or give in abundance, she closes her eyes.

For peace of mind, pleasure, freedom, and for anything which affects her own well-being, she opens her eyes. This is because things like loyalty, sacrifice, generosity, gratitude, and love are all spiritual and ethical things. They are not capable of intellectual and logical demonstration.

“Sacrifice your life so that others may live,” or “bear sorrow so that others may have peace,” are transactions which do not pay off, no matter how you account for them.

Then who can answer her question, why should I sacrifice myself for he who needs me? Why should I remain loyal to him? Why should I remain with this ugly, weak man because of a promise, an agreement, made when he was handsome, strong, and the only creature around at that time? I bore him patiently. Why should I now close my eyes to the handsome, strong man who is available and who understands my spirit and my goals?”

Sartre presents an example. A woman is the wife of a man who has no attractive qualities. In comparison to him, there is an attractive man who loves her. The intelligent way is clear. Both men need her. One needs her as a wife, the other as a lover. The woman does not need the first man but rather the second.

By remaining loyal to her husband, two needs are sacrificed (those of herself and her lover) and one is satisfied (that of her husband). In fleeing from him and letting him go, two needs are satisfied and one is sacrificed. The duty of this woman is clear. Her intelligence makes the decision a clear mathematical formula. The reason behind why a woman would sacrifice two needs for one is not simply an intellectual, logical Cartesian or Freudian one. An intelligent woman thinks and acts logically. Economic freedom and social rights present her with the possibility of doing it. She does it.

Children come into the world. A child restricts the freedom of its mother and father. Intelligence cannot accept the fact that the peace of mind and freedom of two people be sacrificed for one person. They either do not bring children into the world or they leave them with a nurse or in an institution. Among all of these illogical feelings and ethical and traditional bounds, there is a conscience, a spirit which a woman holds onto. She finds it by immersing herself into the fabric of the spiritual depths of her family.

There are a hundred irrational, impractical rationalizations which encourage her to choose forgiveness, suffering, sacrifice for her husband and children, home, family, and the sensitive values of life which had been disconnected. Because of economic and social independence, she had developed an individual spirit and independence instead of gaining a social spirit through which the individual is dissolved.

Loneliness
Loneliness is the greatest tragedy of the century. Durkheim has analyzed the situation in his book, Suicide. Suicide in the East is an exception. It is not a common event. In Europe it is looked upon as a social phenomenon. It is not an accident; it is a reality. Its incidence grows higher and higher everyday in developed societies. The rate of suicide in Spain, which is an underdeveloped country, is less than in other European countries. In Northern Europe the suicide rate is higher. This same pattern exists between villages and urban centers, between the developed areas and the more underdeveloped areas and between the nonreligious, modern group and the old-fashioned religious group. Why? Because people are lonely.

Religion ties people together. It causes a common spirit which is born in its followers to be shared. It nourishes a sympathy between each individual and God. In the past, each individual was linked through hundreds of connections with others family, friends and tribes. Social and economic self-sufficiency makes people needless of each other.

It used to be society which gathered individuals together. Now instead of gathering individuals, the family defends the individual and his or her material needs. Intellectual studies and logic attack the spiritual and traditional religious connections. Intellectual growth, the logic of mathematics, the spirit of materialism, cause the spiritual connections to become unstable.

The individual becomes autonomous. Individual reasoning of necessity becomes self-seeking. It becomes needless of others. It stands alone. Because people no longer need each other, they uproot themselves, and each person then seeks out his or her own interests. Individuals are alone on their islands. Then the thought of suicide attacks them, for suicide is the neighbor of loneliness.

Women choose their men and men their women. But the very fact that men and women are both independent, powerful and without needs, causes them to move towards each other only because of sex. Other factors such as love, kindness, social and traditional roots, friendship, and sympathy, are not taken into consideration. Today, these sorts of attractions have died. Then what remains? A frail intellectual calculation without light, a logical necessity, or a force.

Sexual freedom in men and women’s thoughts (although officially beginning at puberty) for all practical purposes begins whenever one wants. A new idea appears-namely, that in order to satisfy a sexual urge, the only requirement is the sexual urge. It can be eliminated with money. Only money is necessary. At different levels or with different amounts of money, the sexual urge can be satisfied. One can at any time and under any government be a Don Juan or an Onassis. The First Lady of America can also be bought for a price. The difference between her and those who stand on the street is one of rate. Since boys and girls both enjoy sexual freedom, neither one wants to restrict him or herself for the whole of the* lives. It is not to their interest to restrict the power of their sexual urges.

In such circumstances none of the answers of logic or wisdom justify an individual choosing one person for one’s whole life-thereby restricting all future availability of pleasure and beauty in life.

Forming a family
At the present time, men and women freely satisfy their sexual urges in universities, restaurants, outings, and various gatherings of this kind. This continues until a woman comes to herself and sees that it is empty around her.

No one any longer seeks her out or if they do, it is to review, to revise a memory of the past. When a man has passed the freedom of his sexual cycle, when he has picked a flower from every garden and from each flower, taken its perfume, there is nothing any longer for him which is interesting or new. His sexual urge has subsided. It has been replaced by attachment to his position and his money. He seeks fame and worships position. His inclinations are now towards getting a house and forming a family. These feelings then appear in his being.

A woman, face to face with the reality that no one seeks her out, and, a man, exhausted from his freedoms and indeed by sexual experiences which have finally turned his heart, confront each other. They reach out towards each other at the end of a long and tiring road. They want to form a family.

A family is formed but that which draws these two together that which causes them to join hands, is fear and fatigue. On the part of the woman it is fear of bankruptcy and no longer being noticed. The man is tired and no longer interested in anything. A family has been formed but in place of love and the intensity of an ideal, instead of creative happiness and imagination, exhaustion and ennui set in so that nothing is new. They know what is there. Nothing!

There is nothing for which their hearts beat. They know why they have found each other. They know what needs they have from each other. Both, completely conscious, calculating, aware, seek each other out. Each knows what the other meant by the words, ‘be my divine sacrifice’. Each has achieved their wishes. Both sacrifice for the other. Both die for the other. But in the opposite way from which we normally understand it.

On the day of weddings, city hall is filled. Someone from city hall, with a medal on his coat, looking like a bureaucrat attends to them, not a clergyman who is a symbol of spirit, faith, reverence and sainthood. Each couple is called forward exactly like molded sugar cones. Their names are read from a list. They answer, “Yes.” Often several children standing behind the bride and groom also answer yes. It shows their existences have influenced the yes of their mothers and fathers. They pay their money. They sign the register. The ceremony is over. Each returns to his mould, his home. From among the 200-300 brides only 20-30 wear a bridal gown. Most of them say, ‘What?’, at my age, in my condition, it would be degrading to wear a bridal gown. It is not right.”

Then the wife goes to work and the man as well. They have a rendezvous with their friends to meet at noon in a restaurant and eat lunch together. This, of course, only happens when the wedding to some extent has been full of happiness and excitement. Otherwise they forget what had happened and what event had occurred. Most often, outside city hall after the civil ceremony, the bride and groom (who have been living together for years and each one has probably spent a year or more living with someone else), give each other a cold look as if to say, “So what? Where should we go? Fun? We’ve gone out a thousand times together. Embrace each other? We’ve tasted each other a thousand times and we’ve fled from the taste. Home? We came from home.” What appeals to them? Do they excite each other’s imagination and feelings? Not at all. Then its best if each continues his work each day like always.

Families are formed in this way. Both the man and the woman have schemed to find each other and form an economic union. Or else, they were married because of the other pressures. Perhaps a child was born causing the father and mother of the child to become a bride and groom. They show understanding, feelings and desires towards each other. They do not sense any secrets in each other, no paradox in their unirol. Nothing begins. Nothing changes. No imaginary flights, no heart beats, not even a smile upon their lips. This is why the foundation of a family becomes frail. Once the foundations weakened, the children in that family no longer see understanding, warmth and attractions. Because the mother and father will not sacrifice all of the freedoms for their children they put the child in a school or boarding school and only give it money so that they can continue their free life.

Afterwards, having formed a logical but deceitful partnership according to the laws and having created a faxnily, they then separate from each other. The possibilities continue for the man who has experienced thousands of warm and young embraces. How can this woman who is tired and fallen in spit it and whose masculine actions cause disgust in the man, satisfy his needs? And visa versa? A woman who can make a thollsand comparisons, takes the worn out man into her arms. Through her comparisons, his number is up. In such a situation, within a household which lacks understanding, he turns to bars, fraternities, new experiences, official and unofficial centers. Once again, contrary to the original invitation, the factor which keeps these two within the same household is an illogic one.

Women in the consumer system: Sex instead of Love
Societies which only authenticate things in the economics terms of production and consumption only understand economics. Women are no longer creature who excite the imagination nor speakers of pure feelings. Neither are they the beloveds of the great lovers nor do they have sacred roots. They are no longer spoken of in terms of mother, companion, center of inspiration and mirror of life and fidelity. Rather, as an economic product, women are bought and sold according to the value of their sexual attraction.

Capitalism, as a result of producing leisure time, has shaped a woman to serve two purposes. In the first, she fills the time between two jobs which is part of the fate of society. The bourgeoisie exploit her and create a dry and absurd future for her without any purpose whatsoever. Should she not ask, “Why am I working? Why am I living? ‘For whom am I suffering?”

Secondly, women are used as an instrument of entertainment. As the only creature who has both sex and sexuality, has been put to work, office employees and intellectuals can think about ways of spending their capital during their leisure time (instead of thinking about the ideas of classlessness, for instance). Women have been put to work to fill every empty moment of the life of society. Art quickly joins the market so that they can meet the orders of the capitalists and the bourgeoisie. The main purpose of art has always been beauty, spirit, feelings and love. This has now been changed into sex. The market of Freudism, the worship of the most vile and wretched sex has been made into an intellectual philosophy. Sex has been introduced as the virtue behind contemporary art. This is why we find instant paintings, poetry, films, theater, stories, novels etc. all concerned with sex in some form.

Capitalism encourages people to consume more in order to make people more dependent upon it. It also wishes to increase the amount consumed and the products produced. Women are presented only as creatures who are sexy and, other than this nothing. In other words, woman is used as a one-dimensional creature. She is placed in advertisements and used as propaganda for creating new values, new feelings and drawing attention to new consumer products. This causes artificial feelings in people. To protect the profits of capitalism, women are thrown in. In order to kill the great and spiritual feelings which destroy capitalism, woman works to prevent capitalism’s death.

Sexuality replaces love. Woman, the imprisoned creatures of the Middle Ages, has taken the form of a wage-slave in the new age. It is in great civilizations with progressive religions that woman has held a high place through the love she can give in and through the arts-even though she may not have had a direct relationship with art. But, she was looked upon as the source of inspiration, feelings and spiritual characteristics. Now she has taken the form of an instrument employed for serving social and economic purposes. She is used to change the form of society. She is used to destroy the highest values of the traditional societies. She is used to change ethics. She is used to change a traditional, spiritual, ethical or religious society into an empty, absurd, consuming society. She is used to pollute art which had been the theophany of the divine spirit of humanity. She is changed into an instrument for sexuality in order to change humanity.

But in the East
Now consumer society approaches the East. It is our turn. Here its work is very easy. Young eastern boys reach the age of puberty early. It is this early sexual awakening which causes eastern sociologists and psychologists to face many problems. Where is the owner of this generation? Who thought about them? There is a war between two groups. Conversations center on type of clothes, habits and tastes. Human problems, whether they are new or old, do not concern either side. The war is between being old-fashioned and modern. Winning is to the advantage of neither. One is called civilized and the other, is called pious, religious. Neither one relates in the least to either civilization or religion. One, the pious type, calls out for Fatima and Zaynab and the other calls out for the European woman. Both are insulting to each other.

Europeans want to change eastern societies to plunder our property and to ride upon our thoughts and our feelings. They want to take the food from our mouths as well as to destroy our common sense values. Without destroying these things, they cannot take the food from our mouths or our property.

First the West must break our moulds. We must be made to forget all of our human values and all of our traditions which were the very things which kept us upon our own feet. We must give these up and break them within ourselves. Once, empty-headed, with an impotent spirit, crippled and without content, we must become exactly like garbage cans which are filled with dirty and useless things and then are emptied.

This is what the West is doing to the brain and spirit of the East. They are emptying them of their contents. When we have no faith in anything, we have no intelligence or awareness so that we have no hero, we think the past is completely without value. When we believe our religion to be empty and full of myths, we feel spiritual meanings to be old-fashioned, reactionary and that way of life to be ugly and detestable. We either do not know ourselves, our children and our spirituality or else we know it badly. So what form does Western values change? They empty out our brain and heart so that we begin to thirst for exploiters. Whatever the plundering exploiters then want to pour into our interior, in whatever order they choose, they are free to do so.

It is because of this that the exploiters assign permanent slogans to plundering the East, emptying the minds of Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Iranians, Turks, Arabs, Blacks and others. All must take one form. All must have only one dimension. They must be consumers of Western economic products and have thoughts, but not think for themselves.

Insistence upon old values, traditions and religions, which are full of meaning, close the way to the West and guard the East. Insistence upon traditional values stands like a watchtower with a strong spirit against the West. They defend Islam and independence. Foreignness does not penetrate. Muslims are overflowing with honor, spiritual meaning, values and pride. Their history, people, culture, faith and religious characteristics give them independence, greatness a reason for which to hold their heads up high.

They see the Westerners as nouveau riche and newly civilized. They criticize them, humiliate them and confront them. But the West falls upon the soul of the Easterners like termites. Little by little the head is emptied out of its contents. The West even destroys the forces of resistance which remain. In place of the brave guardians of the watch-towers, full of spirit and pride it builds a people empty of common sense, perseverance and pride. The Easterners go forward to meet the enemy. They take whatever the West gives and do whatever it wants them to do. They become exactly as Westerners will them to be.

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