Is it possible that there are other conceptions of rational choice behaviour that do not see maximizing one’s interest in ‘a zero sum game’ as the object of human endeavour? According to the Holy Quran, Adam (pbuh) fell from grace after being promised that by eating from a tree forbidden for him he would have “immortality and power”. [Pickthall commentary of chapter 20, verse:120] Elsewhere, it states that humans were created in the “best of statures”. [Pickthall on chapter 94, verse 4] Moreover, there are verses which also cites that man is neither by nature good nor bad, but has the potential to recognise both and choose between them. What is the dialectic here? Is man by his very nature evil or good; or potentially both? Ok, how then can we understand the Aristote’s claim that ‘man is a rational animal’ in the context of this duality? Furthermore, of what benefit it is to us to have answers such as these? Continue reading Exploring Reason as an Innate Ability to Recognise Moral Truths: Part 2
There has been much talk recently of education reforms in the people’s house of the new Egyptian parliament and of whether the government should continue to accept the conditional education aid of donor nations, such as the United States. The main trust of the argument was that the meagre subsidisation of US funding, which was conditional upon increasing the teaching of English was seen as intervention into the running of the affairs of the state. I do not see the objection as unhealthy, quite to the contrary, because this is the type of pull and tug that is needed to enable donor-receiving countries, especially Islamic nations to establish their identity in a world of nations. But, in an interdependent world is it always the case that the giving of aid is motivated by attempts to exert influence upon the donor receiving nations? Continue reading Accepting Western Education Development Aid: Weighing up the Pros and Cons
Social Justice, how is it achievable and what should it mean to new Muslim states? Social Justice and Human Rights, terms which we will be using in our social, religious and political discourse are rooted in Anglo Saxon political culture and caution needs to taken when employing their use. Even in Anglo Saxon culture, to which these concepts did emerge their meanings will differ depending upon whether the person using them is a Socialist, Liberal, Democrat, Conservative and or any mixture of those political ideologies.
However, despite these complexities in practice the common man will know what is implied by the use of the term justice. The eradication of extreme poverty – a subtle acknowledgement that poverty will always exist – full employment, fair and equal access to the law, the opportunities of having a basic, free and quality education, health and affordable housing are the minimum basic rights the peoples of all nations deserve. Without, their provision how can a people live with dignity?
Continue reading Achieving Social Justice and Human Rights for Newly Liberated Muslim States