The religious mind: in criticism of the critic and the critic

The religious mind: in criticism of the critic and the critic
The religious mind: in criticism of the critic and the critic

Professor Abbas Shaheen “Abu Osama” sheds a revealing light on the book of the jurist, Sayyid Ahmed al-Hasani al-Baghdadi, entitled “Critique of the Religious Reason” with a subtitle “Religions of the Earth and Religion of Heaven.” The two friends, Shaheen and Al-Baghdadi, are distinguished by combining intellectual work with political work, meaning that they worked in the theoretical field, just as they had a long experience in practical aspects, not only on the religious level, but also in political matters, especially patriotism in its Islamic perspective or its general horizon that is related to the interests of the nation. .
They have also devoted themselves to authoring and publishing decades ago, and they meet on many issues and dissertations, but they also differ, and even differ from each other in many angles of view, although the general path for them pours into the purposes of Islam and the interests of the nation with their keenness to highlight their Iraqi patriotism. .
Regardless of the tendency to present theses opposite or parallel theses, the mere inclusion of Mr. Al-Baghdadi’s research on the list of discussion and debate, by showing his strength factors and Mr. Shaheen’s agreement with many of his conclusions, is considered in itself to promote the book and draw the attention of the informed and uninformed reader to its importance, and more From that, the author of the critical book publishes the praises of a number of writers and opinion-holders regarding Al-Baghdadi’s book, which opens the appetite for reading it, especially when he chose an exciting title, and by it we mean “Discussions over Disputes.”
In this sense, it is a new definition and an expansion of the circle of readers who have not seen the book or the texts that have read it and wrote reviews for it, after publishing them as appendices to the book. In addition, it is also a documentary effort that is often lacking in religious books, especially traditional ones.
Shaheen’s book begins with criticism, or rather with a critical reading of al-Baghdadi’s book, as the book “Critique of the Religious Mind” is considered the conclusion of al-Baghdadi’s cultural and cognitive experience, his political and social suffering, his field experience as a religious reference and movement leader, in addition to his public participation in Arab conferences and seminars and his readings of new cultures and history. Differences, sects and religions.
Perhaps the introduction with which Shaheen begins his recitation of Al-Baghdadi’s book gives a clear picture of his high evaluation of the writer, his book, and his experience. What is more, he wants to present it to the English reader, who is meant by that who reads in English. Therefore, he asked me in my academic and intellectual capacity to write an introduction to this book. In fact, Shaheen considers al-Baghdadi among the best who wrote about Arab and Islamic revival with regard to enlightenment and reform, and places him among the great figures among them (Islamists) as well as among them (secularists).
I do not stop here at the prevailing concept of the Islamic and its opposition to the secular, but rather what I care about is who stands on the side of freedom, right, justice, equality and partnership and against tyranny, injustice, exploitation and exclusivity, whether he considers himself Islamic or secular, there are “Islamic” fanatics and extremists just as there are “secular” ones And not everything that is non-Islamic or non-religious is secular or secular, rather there are values ​​that should determine the vision, behavior and significance. There are also enlightened Islamists who are open to others, accept diversity, and acknowledge pluralism and the right to be different. There are “secularists” or “civilians,” as they sometimes express themselves, who reject those values ​​and stand against them, especially when they are in power. The Nazi regime in Germany, the fascist regime in Italy, the Japanese militarism, or even the (socialist) Soviet regime or the (revolutionary) Third World regimes, as we used to call them, were not religious, rather they were closer to civil and secular, believer or non-believer, but they were dictatorships. inclusive and authoritative.
Professor Shaheen tried to confirm his disagreement with Mr. Al-Baghdadi in the introduction to his book when he said: I disagreed with His Eminence (what is meant with Al-Baghdadi) regarding the epistemological, doctrinal and jurisprudential adoptions that contradict the well-known jurists and theologians, while acknowledging the courage of his proposition, his daring and his freedom in addressing and confronting when dealing with ideas, positions and issues of reality. Which is what I agreed with him, and I hoped that the aspects of the difference would be clarified and that they be indicated and highlighted, but they came scattered in the folds of the book.
The criticism of the critic came in line with the criticism of Al-Manqood regarding the elites, even if they and the writer of the lines belong to the elites, and it was necessary to differentiate between the elites driven behind Western projects and the elites confronting them, and between the elites submitting to tyranny and the elites that reject it, especially as the critic says, which is He is right in confronting ignorance, delusion, marginalization, heresies, extremism, brutality, and partisanship. This is also stated by al-Manqood, who cites the text and the quotation. Sometimes he talks about elites in thought, but they prevail over politics, and so the first becomes subordinate to the second, while the opposite should be the case, and such discourse is often What characterizes the religious establishment, which speaks abstractly about values, while many of its adherents deal differently on the ground, which creates a kind of duplicity in dealing and selectivity in behavior, which Mr. Al-Baghdadi rejects, and he highlighted this position in his conversations with me. In my book entitled “The Religion of Reason and the Jurisprudence of Reality,” Center for Arab Unity Studies, Beirut, 2021.
The author distinguished between al-Hasani al-Baghdadi and some of his followers. He does not only say interpretation, but rather that he seeks change. As Karl Marx said, it is not the task of philosophers to interpret the world, but rather to change it. Sometimes, by virtue of his radical mind, he takes radical positions against everything that he believes stands in the way of change, whatever its titles, from “packed-packed fatwas,” as he calls them, to liberating the mind from “injustice, aggression, and oppression,” which lasted for ages, and became fearful, dependent, imitated, and even imprisoned. .
Mr. Al-Baghdadi goes far in his radical extremism, which is highlighted by Professor Shaheen when he criticizes the schools of Najaf Al-Ashraf and Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, and returns to criticize fatwas and illegal statements and the system of jurisprudence and texts on which they are based, generalizing that with some of the issues of the nation that is experiencing destruction, devastation and aggression, denouncing imperialism that encourages war. Sectarian and sectarian, commenting on the issue of “the surviving squad” similar to “God’s chosen people,” and he considers this to be a mere metaphysical mental luxury.
From the Mafraq site, I say: Those political views that Mr. Al-Baghdadi calls for, whether we disagree with him or agree on them, come in harmony with his system of ideas and opinions, and Mr. Al-Baghdadi does not hesitate to confront many of what is prevalent in jurisprudence and the opinions of jurists, and even despises them like “purity.” The Prophet Muhammad’s urination” and striking heads with swords and prey on the occasion of Ashura, to please the common people and flatter them and tickle their feelings and stir up their sorrows and sorrows, to the extent that biblical preaching is considered to have contributed to activating the culture of non-violence in order to satisfy “Israel” and America, and this is considered contrary to the releases of the Qur’anic evidence and the hadiths of the Prophet and their generalities that necessitate jihad Armed in its various forms.
In fact, I did not find anything clear in this compositional mixture, unless we understand his call for armed struggle as a basic method for restoring rights.
In his harsh and unfamiliar criticism of the religious establishment, he says: I have no difference between the black or white turban, the stars of forbidden singing, the naked fashion show girls, and living on the inherited religion with all its problems and contradictions, and the principles of jurisprudence, the prevailing talisman in the ancient schools of jurisprudence, which has no scientific fruit, but rather an anesthesia for the reference Religious opposition and its exclusion from the nation’s issues. He considers the opinions of many references, sheikhs, and scholars that are neither fattening nor rich in hunger, and he focuses on the (Iraqi) protest movement’s response to some of the symbols that deceived it, within the framework of some slogans that resonated in the street, and how I would have liked if the critic and critic had addressed the social, economic, intellectual and cultural causes of fanaticism And extremism, violence, and the continued dominance of traditional forces over society, regardless of the growing phenomena of protest against them.
In his discussions of the book Al-Manqood, the writer stops at my conversations with Mr. Al-Baghdadi regarding sectarianism and sectarianism (the eighth debate from the book Religion of Reason and Jurisprudence of Reality), and reaffirms here that sectarianism has been fueled by the American occupation of Iraq since 2003 with reference to some actions on the part of previous governments with a negative sectarian orientation Especially the displacement of tens of thousands of Iraqis under the pretext of Iranian dependency, as they are from the “fifth column” (on the eve of and during the Iran-Iraq war 1980-1988).
The critic and the critic deal with the criticism of the selective and sectarian opposite positions, that is, sectarianism against sectarianism, and approach the idea of ​​prohibiting and criminalizing it, and this is what we previously presented to him about a quarter of a century ago, and we promised and published a “draft law to prohibit sectarianism and promote citizenship,” in our book “Controversy of Identities in Iraq “Citizenship and the State”, the Arab House of Sciences, Beirut, 2009. Al-Sayyid Al-Baghdadi infers his fight against sectarianism from the unity of Islam’s values ​​and human purposes, and he evidences it with a number of Quranic verses that warn against dividing the nation into sects, sects and parties.
Mr. Shaheen made a great effort in presenting and presenting the opinions of Mr. Al-Hasani Al-Baghdadi, and he honestly tried to stop at their texts so that the idea would be clear and consistent, and if he stopped at some stations of criticism, he left them as they are, and of course these remain in need of deepening and reading to highlight their strength factors and at the same time Its weaknesses, which lead to interaction, integration, development and change. In any case, this good effort will be an important prelude to reading the book of Mr. Al-Baghdadi, and they deserve the honor of trying, and as Imam Al-Shafi’i says, “My opinion is correct and may be wrong, and your opinion is wrong and may be correct.”

* Introduction to Professor Abbas Shaheen’s book entitled “Discourses on Discourses on Criticism of the Religious Reason”, which is a discussion of Sayyid Ahmad al-Hasani al-Baghdadi’s book entitled “Critique of the Religious Reason” with a subtitle “Religions of the Earth and the Religion of Heaven.”
Published in Al-Zaman (Iraqi) newspaper on May 13, 2023.

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