By Suntou B Touray
Religion is seen and taken by many to be divisive and a barrier to human interaction. An idea that replaces religion is therefore none other than secularism which is promoted and idealises by people across the religious divide. Every other idea, philosophy, belief or thought is subjected to the test of rationality and the scrutiny of the free minded people. Such scrutiny can take the form of ridiculing or even outright rejection with accompanying satire or depictions making mockery of a targeted belief system.
Secularism according some writers promises freedom and equality to all in every given public space. However, the price for accepting secularism is that, no sectional belief can be left beyond the reach of the freedom to question, to doubt and disparage (Sardar 1990)
To men/women of religious persuasions, to ridicule or caricature their faith on the guise of freedom of expression is just not on. But since we all live in the confine space of secularism, it will be intolerant and barbaric to refuse the natural order of free expression of views in any chosen mode. Be it art, music, or literature.
The modern world can be trusted to function peacefully with secular paradigms. Secularism is the ONLY ideal that can be trusted with freedom, liberty and the power of determination in every society. To religious minded people, this is also unrealistic. How can laws devised by men, presided over by men and executed by men be fairer than laws ordained by God the most high? How can a man-made idea based on the abrogation of faith and spirituality override religion?
Secularism purports to champion plurality, yet secularism can live only with plurality that accepts reformation upon secularist principles. The dogmatic scientism and rationale is enforced to silence religious adherers. The secularist celebrates new converts among their ranks who proclaim to also have undergone a transformation of the loss of faith. Loss of faith in the supernatural creator; therefore the secularist sees human potency and reasoning as the beginning and end of all debates.
The intellectual acumen and the skills of writers to marvel in arts and literary field strengthen the desire of the secularist in replacing the divine with the mortal divine-human intelligence-the arrogance of man, a weak being.
Secularist are quick to ridicule adherers of traditional values, they see those people as primitive and medieval. They accuse men/women of religion as hypocrite. The secularist do what they like whilst religious people pretend not to enjoy or want to do certain things deem forbidden. If the liberty to do as one like is what defines secularism, then there will always be those who will object to the freedom to disobey a God.
The likes of Ghandi, an educate lawyer proclaimed to the modernist secularist propagandist that, what they promote is base on the premise of a vacuum of emptiness. The emptiness that drives men to alcoholism and indulgence in all sorts of vices in a quest to fulfil a void.
P. L. Berger refers to secular modernism as the homeless mind. It is clear to read from script of folks from traditional back grounds infused with secular toxic agenda in their brains, distancing themselves from traditional values and doing their utmost to be seen as enlighten and up-stars. The feeling that cultural ethos is backward and uncivilised is the convincing argument they have. Who do they model themselves with?
Is it a crime to champion one's own culture? To champion one owns culture is not akin to protecting the prevalent practices, neither to romanticise nor glorify a past. It is neither also to seek the past as ones present. But traditions guide and inhabit a sense of belonging and direction; it ground people to what one can refer to in difficult and happy times.
In secular thoughts, the freedom for writers and artist to distort the image of others is seen a literary master work, yet who are the judges and jury in the clandestine castigations by prestige writers? Who are behind them? Wyn Davies former broadcaster asked this question: if the majority of right-thinking people in a society already have as a common currency a distorted image of the person or group defamed, how could that person be vindicated by a jury? the perfect system is in fact faulty. The image of blacks is not pretty at all in a modern secular advance human loving societies. Or is it?
As for Muslims in the west, the distorted information built upon ignorance taken for scholarly knowledge, full of inaccuracies, partial information rubber stamped as fair comment peddle by the media: TV, newspapers, Books, films, dramas, talk-radios etc is made to be the representative of a general currency.
The ugly part in the imposing of the secularising process on the world is promoted by subservient non-western writers and thinkers who swallowed every distorted understanding of the other, mainly the religious people. These black, Asian and Arab thinkers amplify the prejudices and continue repudiating their own cultures and traditional patrimony. This is a result of the legacy of years of pandering over secular modernist blanket assault on tradition and religion.
The proponents of secular values blame religion for all the problems of the world, yet when one analyse the global geo-political landscape properly, the agenda for secular values to be imposed on other people is self-evident. In a world where domination is the rule, as well as the ruler, the need to colonise the minds of many as been a necessary evil. The real politiks of power and control hover over every soul nowadays, you either go along with cultureless, tradition free and ultra-secular fundamentalist or you are a cast away.
The weapon against religion is spare headed by the artist. The artist saying the unsayable, thinking the unthinkable, has been part not merely of the quest but a prime agent in securing what are called human freedoms; that is how history has been made. Sardar and Davies 1990.
Tradition and religion are not the enemy of mankind, but men exhibit all the dangers tantamount to human proclamation struggles. These two ideals can never be destroyed, ever.