The Curse of Islam
During the election turmoil in Iran, Hashemi Rafsanjani, former President of Iran, stated that "without Islam we will go astray." I take issue with that statement.
As any student of history knows, Iran, long before it became Iran, was Persian Empire - one of the greatest nations of the Ancient World. Other nations in Middle East likewise hosted great civilizations such as the Babylonians, the Egyptians, the Phonenicians and the Carthagenians.These were the great pride and glory of ancient world. I ask this: Are any of the nations that now exist on the territory of these great empires the pride and glory of contemporary world?
The Middle East - and that of course includes the Islamic Republic of Iran - defines itself by the religion of Islam. I ask this of the people living on the territory of these countries: What has Islam done for you? Is it really intelligent to assume that the best that the people who created the Persian, Babylonian, Egyptians, Phoenician and Carthagenian empires can do is be what they are now? And is it really intelligent to assume that the best such nations can be is what they are today?
Iran, for one, is full of beautiful and talented people. Is it right to believe that the best that these people can do is create a nation with per capita GDP less than that of Botswana, scientific advancement less than that of North Korea, and human rights record worse than that of Colombia? Is it right to believe that the Islamic Republic of Iran is anywhere close to its potential, or in any way worthy of calling itself the descendants of Persians? And finally, is it right to believe that the religion that is responsible for this sorry state of affairs is the rightful place from which the people living under its yoke should derive their identity and their moral compass?
Islam is not the savior of Middle East. Islam is the yoke of Middle East; a vast and unbearable burden; a snare and a hobbling that has taken great empires and reduced them to toilets of the world. Islam is the reason for these nations' chronic underachievement and brutality. Islam is the reason that these great empires were reduced from the greatest nations in the world to poor, brutal, oppressive boondoggles. And it is the true reason that these great empires - and the talented, beautiful people who inhabit them - have gone this badly astray.
So I ask again, Why derive your identity from this curse? Why not remember the greatness you've known in the past and seek to achieve something commensurate to that greatness now? Why not cease to identify yourselves with the myths of Bedouine hordes that enslaved your great countries and recover your true identity as the great nations that you were in the past?
Rafsanjani was wrong absolutely. It is Islam that led his great country astray in the first place, not to mention result in horrendous abuses against its people, through history and today. And it is by removing this terrible curse and recovering their real identity that the descendants of Persians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Carthagenians and Phoenicians can lift themselves from the sorry place into which Islam put them and again become great nations that they can and should be.