The battle between Islam and the rest of the world has been around since the religion’s inception. Islam is a conquering religion, pure and simple. The U.S. had its hands full of Islamic fanaticism back in the days of its founding, with the Barbary pirates. So too has much of Europe been engaged in conflict with the Islamic world, which has spilled over into its borders on more than one occasion. Why is it that these cultural encounters are almost always clashes? Because Islam is at war with the rest of humanity.
Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was the first Muslim voice of reform in India. He emerged on the scene at a time when Indian Muslim society was sunk in obscurantism and inertia and showed no desire to struggle out of its medieval grooves. The unwholesome influence of clergy had made them view modern education as incompatible with and hostile to religion.
The abortive uprising of 1857 and the cleric call to jihad made Muslims target of British wrath and reprisals. Sir Syed as a judicial officer served the government during the crisis but the aftermath of disturbances deeply impacted him.
He wrote: “I reflected about the decadence of the Muslim community, and came to the conclusion that modern education alone is the remedy of the ills they are suffering from. I decided on a strategy to disabuse their minds of strong communal belief that the study of European literature and science is anti-religion and promotes disbelief.”…
Maulana Hali in his biography of Sir Syed says that 60 maulvis and alims had signed fatwas accusing Sir Syed of disbelief and apostasy. There was total consensus among the Indian clerics, only divine approval was missing. Maulvi Ali Bakhsh did the needful and travelled to Mecca and Medina on the pretext of pilgrimage and secured a fatwa calling for beheading of Sir Syed if he repented not and persisted with his plan to establish the college.
Sir Syed was a visionary who pursued his dream ignoring all opposition and aptly remarked, “I know what they know not and I understand what they understand not.” History has proved that he was right and the clergy, as always, utterly wrong.
As we can see, this struggle against spiritual tyranny and physical enslavement has been around a long time.