After my mother’s death, I lived in the 1970s in SOS-children village. In my foster home there were nine children. In addition to my biological siblings, my foster home had siblings from two other families. When children grew to young adults they usually moved to a student home of the village council, where each was expected to become independent.
I had two brothers, who were constantly getting involved to mischief. They did not do anything criminal, but it felt that they were not able to act with common sense. I felt that the older brother had chosen his younger brother to be his role model. The brothers seemed to be acting according to the younger brothers foolish ideas.
As the brothers grew up to young adults, when they were expected to gain independence and to take responsibility of themselves, the situation was problematic. The leaders of the village had found a place for the younger one, which was expected to better his behavioural problems, but what to do with the elder brother?
One day the leader of the village asked it from me. Should the elder brother be moved to the student home for boys, or should he be located to some other place? In my opinion the elder brother was not defiant, disobedient or uncooperative in any way. For me it was clear that when he would get involved with elder boys at the student home, which would give a new model of acting, his “behavioural problems” would improve on its own.
Common Sense Follows the Logic of the Heart
This thing started to circle in my mind, when I saw a video, in which Roy Beck, a reporter-author presents with gumballs, that immigration does not solve worlds poverty and refugee problems. It has also troubled me when I have heard demands that refugees should be deported back to their home countries. In my opinion it does not help at all, if refugees are returned back to their starting point, where they do not have constructive role model.
The Quran and the Bible are both books, whose teachings contradict themselves in different sentences and paragraphs. They do not give direct guidance and each person interprets the teachings individually. A n evil person brings forth evil out of his evil treasure and a good person brings forth good out of his good treasure. Some Christians interpret the Bible, as if the meaning of the book was God’s judgement, fires of Hell and Kingdom of Heaven denied from godless pagans. Other Christians concentrate on teachings of Jesus and the message of love, which especially emphasizes that we should love our enemies.
Among Muslims the interpretation of the Quran between practitioners of Islam differs similarly. There are radical Islamists and moderate Muslims. Some people say that there is no difference between radical and moderate Islam and they claim that Islam is evil to its core.
I think that this perspective is as unfair, as if you let Ku Klux Klan to define Christian identity. Many ask, at which point moderate Muslims have condemned acts of terror by radical Islamists. No words have been heard so far. In my opinion the reason for this can rather be found in the priorities of the Jew-owned western media, whose purpose is to demonize Islam and Muslims, rather than show them in a positive perspective.
Radical Christian movements have not gained foothold in modern world. Partially the reason for this are the great global awakening (revival) movements of Billy Graham, Reinhard Bonnke and many others, but I believe that the most important thing is that the driving force of organized western democracies is common sense and the Voice of Reason (cf rule of law and justice), which has the logic of the heart in its center.
Common Sense = the Unwritten Law of God
Hamed Abdel-Samad, who moved 20 years ago from Egypt to Germany, unable to speak a single word in German language, tells on the video “The Arab Revolution and the future of the West”, that when he was observing German society in the beginning he felt, as if he had been given a complicated device without instructions, how to use it. Gradually he understood that it was like secret society, whose acts are not only directed by laws and regulations, but more importantly by unwritten laws (Common Sense), which keeps the society together.
The Bible tells us about the new covenant that God makes between Him and His people:
This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbour, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more. (Jeremiah 31:33-34)
What does this practically mean? Hamed clarifies this by taking an example from the Constitution. The second article in the German Constitution provides every individual citizen the right for free development of personality. Article four talks about freedom of belief, religion and conscience, and provides every citizen the freedom to exercise any religion.
I think that the core idea of Hamed’s presentation is that an average citizen, who has grown up in a western democracy, does not need special education to understand, which regulations are the most important and which are secondary. Citizens don’t necessarily need to know anything about the Constitution. Common Sense tells them that nobody has the right to demand other people to give away their personal rights on the premise that they have the right to exercise their religion freely. Human dignity and individual freedom of citizens to personal development overrides the institutional freedom of religion. Or should I say that all rights and freedoms are personal, because the relationship of each individual with God is personal. No human being can move him- or herself into God’s position and command for example, how their children should live their lives.
Common Sense Gone Lost
Arabic nations have 70 million illiterate people, who are not capable of independent thinking. Ibrahim Al-Buleihi considers them as lemmings, who have a mindset of a herd and who are completely led by any popular (political) ideology. When these people move to a western democracy they do not ally themselves with common sense and Voice of Reason and start to adapt to the new environment. They find their spiritual home in such groups and communities, which can be seen more or less destructive forces of organized society, like anarchists or far-liberal movements, to whom the concept of common sense is as unfamiliar as it is to their followers.
Dr. Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi thinks that the reason behind backwardness of Arabic countries is the lack of work ethics. According to some research, a government worker in an Arab country spends daily in average only 27 minutes doing his job. Most of his working time is spent on secondary things. Thus it is no wonder that the Gross Domestic Product of the entire Arabic world does not reach even the GDP of Spain.
We should be careful, what we regard as a reason, and what as a consequence of some other state of affairs. If we see consequences as if they were reasons we do not find sustainable solutions for our problems, but our measures have only a cosmetic effect. I think that the reason why the Arab World do not have a working tradition like western countries is due to Muslims relationship with God and the Voice of Reason.
In 2013 I wrote in my article “The Roots of Capitalism” that in the beginning of the 20th century Max Weber studied the ‘holy alliance’ of Protestantism and economic development and wrote a book about it called The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, 1930.
In the center of this ‘holy alliance’ is the observation that while for other religions holiness is separation from the world with closters, munks and hermits, for Protestants holiness is a kind of hard working holiness. Work itself is a personal service to God, an indication of spiritual toil and strive.
The economic growth in western countries has come into being as a by-product of the consciousness of the Protestants. Originally they have simply focused on creating connection and well-being among people. Work has not only been a means of earning a living, but rather a service to God. Jesus says:
As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. Matthew 25:40
Jesus taught that people should not worry about their physical needs. He said:
Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:25-33
Maybe the economic recession in western countries and the harmful policies of our leaders are an indication that they do not follow common sense, but are guided by own ego and the egos of their significant little brothers.
I linked to this article several videos, in which Islamic thinkers of Arabic world present their views. I wonder, why most of them are completely unknown in western countries.
When I listen to them I feel that they are saying more than our own so called intellectuals, who speak with deep chest voice of their ego. These Islamic thinkers, who have a connection to their hearts and look at the world with common sense, are the most positive resource in the Muslim world. Their voice is also the most effective weapon against the radical Islamic movements.
Videos:Roy Beck: Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs Hamed Abdel-Samad: The Arab Revolution and the future of the West
Hamed Abdel-Samad: Islam Facing Modernity
Hamed Abdel-Samad: Downfall of the Islamic World Wafa Sultan: Millions are Leaving Islam
Irshad Manji: What is wrong with Islam today? (Head to Head Interview)
Mona Eltahawy: Do Arab men hate women? (Head to Head Interview)
Shereen El Feki: Sex in the Arab World Ibrahim Al-Buleihi: Arab Delusions
Ibrahim Al-Buleihi: The Truth About Muslims
Mosab Hassan Yousef (Son of Hamas): Islam will collapse in 10 years
Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari: Muslim Failure
Dr. Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: Working is not a Virtue in the Arab World
Shaikh M Tawhidi etc: Muslims Want Their Own State in Australia!
Dhiyaa Al-Musawi: Problems in the Muslim World