Modernity and Islam

By Elder George

A few years ago in an article entitled, Rocking the Casbah, Newsweek attempted to show how the radical feminists in the Muslim world are paving the way for change. The opening sentence of the article states, “For more than 30 years, much of the Muslim world has been sliding away from modernity.” It does not address the meaning of modernity, if it fits into the spiritual realm, or if it has produced benefits for society.

Modernity has to do with the material world, with the production and consumption of things; it has developed into the complete lack of restraint in its desire to consume and to satisfy the passions. The material world is the feminine world; it came into being so that the race could be propagated and nurtured. The masculine world is the world of the unseen and it provides the guidance for the material world. Without the guidance and authority of the unseen spiritual world the material world degenerates.

The material world fits into the spiritual realm only as it is subordinate to it. That is the meaning of the command, “You shall have no other gods before me.” Humankind cannot worship God and Mammon at the same time. To the degree that we worship the material world to that degree we fall spiritually. “Your worldly riches are transitory, but God’s reward is everlasting,” reminds us of the transitory nature of what is seen as compared to the permanence of the unseen. It is to protect the world from material worship and abuse that God has put man in charge of it. That concept is neither modern nor ancient—it is a fact of existence.

The modernity that the West and its adherents attempt to impose upon the Muslim world through alternations of force and enticement is a world contrary to nature, and as a result it is a world that is crumbling. The Western culture by any reasonable standard is decadent and decaying. Regarding the care of women, the number one debilitating illness of the American woman is depression. Concerning morals, 20 percent of American wives cheat on their husbands. Twenty four million American children go to bed at night in a home without a father in it. America also has the highest incarceration rate in the world. These statistics indicate that our “modern” way of life has produced many detrimental effects.

The Newsweek article uses as its major reference the works of Irshad Manji, a Canadian lesbian who wrote the book, The Trouble with Islam, in which she states, “Why are we squandering the talents of women, fully half of God’s creation?”

It does not occur to her that she is the one squandering her womanly talents, and that the women of Islam whom she refers to utilize their God given talents by bringing life into this world and nurturing it.

This “modern” concept that denies people the benefits of nurturing contributes to the national angst of society and its high rates of depression. In the poorest countries women suckle their young and stay home to care for their children. In America and most Western nations baby sitters, nurseries, after school programs, and nannies are more prominent in the lives of children than their mothers. Is it any wonder that increasing numbers of children have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and other learning and emotional disabilities? These children raised in our “modern” society are denied the benefits of the nurturing love of their mothers. Irshad Manji and the proponents of modernity don’t understand that.

Elder George’s website is and he can be reached at 212-874-7900 ext. 1329.


0 replies