Sunday, January 1, 2012

Secularism: Has It Become Confusing Propaganda?

Secularism is a state philosophy. It emerged following a different political situation in Europe. Not projecting that political and historical background, many people are explaining its meaning through only theoretical analysis of the word. Even many learned ulema (Islamic scholars) are expressing opinion in favor or against secularism not realizing its significance. In our country, most of the people who work for secular state philosophy are talking about the matter not realizing its A to Z significance. Against this backdrop, we think that it is very necessary to highlight this that, in which historical background this political philosophy had emerged.
When the Romans were conquering state after state, they could not earn people's love and sincere support as they were not attentive to people's education, culture, and economic development of the society. As a result, when the foreign forces like German, Teutonic, and Babrians were out to attack on Rome, its people were failed to play an enterprising role in protecting the country. In 376, Barbarians took positions in Serbian and Bulgarian regions. Later in 410 Visipathak King attacked Rome under the leadership of Oilaric. After a heavy fighting, the Roman Empire was broken like a house of cards. The defeat was unprecedented for the big empire. The historians think that the reason for falling of the big empire easily was not to people's response for various reasons.
Ancient Religious Belief
At the beginning, the Romans were mainly established on their ancient religious belief. Jerusalem was the main land of Christians. With the expansion of Christianity in Rome, the Romans started taking Christianity leaving the old religion. The Christianity became the main religion of the Romans gradually. The Christianity got the patronization of the Roman emperors 300 years after the birth of the Prophet Jesus. Rome was broken into pieces 17 years that means in 410 after the Christianity was given the status of the state religion. But this breaking was initiated much earlier. The capital of Roman Empire was moved to Constantinople from Rome for administrative need breaking Rome into East and West Rome.
Control of Pope
Because of shifting of the capital to Constantinople, the authority of Rome had gone under the control of Pope, head of the Roman Church. The founder of Roman Church was St Peter, who got massive recognition by all quarters as a priest and preacher of religion. Because of his influence, the domination of Roman Church was recognized by the all quarters. Earlier, St Peter sent various missions and carried out massive campaign to baptize Teutonic communities into Christianity. As a result those who were baptized into Christianity recognized the domination of Roman Church normally. In addition to those churches built in the West were established under the Roman Church. And the Roman Church used to enjoy annual financial benefit from these churches. So, the superiority of the Roman Church was recognized by Western Christian society. In addition, the Roman Bishop had been considered the successor of St Peter. For this reason, they honored Roman Bishop.
Later once a time, the Teutonic conquered Rome and through this, the legal authority of the Constantinople government over Rome ended. In this favorable situation, the chief Pope of Roman Church was became the ruler. Because of the support of the Western countries and their churches to Roman Pope, his influence increased to such an extent that the Constantinople ruler had no political and administrative power on him.
However, after moving the capital to Constantinople, a church was established there and its Pope was controlled by the government. As a result the church was run as per the wishes of the state. Their activities became limited by observing religious rituals. They were very conservative in religious rituals and they earned much fame in observing the rituals. But they became isolated in the day to day life. Moreover, Roman Bishop had to work with much reformist attitude because of the influence of Western countries. In addition to state power and amassing wealth, the lifestyle and austerity philosophy of the Pope and priests of the Roman Church were relaxed to some extent. Many changes in religious belief and practice had to bring for coordinating the Christianity with the lifestyle. As a result, two main churches were establishing in separate trends. Because of declaration of Christianity the state religion, the influence of religion on the state increased to a great extent.
In fact, the time of Rome 's fall by Teutonic has been mentioned as the Middle Ages in the history of state philosophy. The Middle Ages were divided into two parts -- the beginning and the last. St Asroze, St Augustine Pope, and Gregory were prominent state philosophers of the beginning part, which was mentioned as the golden era. Since the crown was in the head of Pope, the church was conquering and rules of the Christian religion spread across the world. But the power of the church was cut in the last part of the Middle Ages and the dignity of Pope was lackluster before the emperors. Rationalism got priority instead of religious faith. This time was mainly the mutual conflicting time between the church and state. At that time, a group of philosophers presented strong opinions in favor of the philosophy. They included St Augustine, Pope Gregory, and St Acunus. They projected Pope as essential like the nature and an absolute ruler.
Introduction of State System
And other group tried to tarnish the image of Pope and advocated for introduction a state system without philosophy. They were Dante, Marseille William, and John. They tried to make Pope obedient under the state and considered the state in the form of a religion-less structure. Machiavelli expressed the matter in a clear language.
In running the state, the responsibility and the obligation for maintaining the religious edicts by the Pope had initiated conflict between the state and Church. The head of the state wanted one thing, but Pope wanted other. In the consequence Church would have won most of the time as the people supported to the religion because of their natural emotion. In addition, some willful people were power-mongers. But if the Pope was not satisfied with them and they become not followers of religious edicts, the Pope did not arrange installation ceremony for them. As a result their latent hope was never implemented. For this reason, they were enraged to the religious authority over the state.
People's Latent Affection to Religion
These enraged class people worked unitedly against Popism. As a result, the conflict between this class and religion followers became inevitable. But the religion won repeatedly in the final struggle because people's latent affection to the religion is awaken one day and become united in favor of the religion. The conflict between the state and churches continued for the entire Middle Ages. Sometimes the state won against the churches and sometimes churches won against the state. Sometimes people gave tax to the churches and sometimes to the state. Sometimes they paid tax to both churches and state by becoming the victims of the situation. As a result, the entire Europe witnessed serious instability. For this situation, they held responsible each other.
To resolve this conflict, Pope Galcius placed his parallel philosophy or two-sword policy in 500. He thought that there were two separate goals of the human life. One is happiness of worldly life and other is eternal development and peace. The state mainly works for happiness and peace of people's worldly life, whereas the church works for achieving people's eternal development and peace. One is closely linked with other. Life does not complete excluding anyone. So two separate authorities may exist for the two fields. Against this backdrop, Galcius outlined two parallel forces. So he said the dues, the emperor wants, to give him and the dues, the God desires, to give him. It is mainly the two sword policy or parallel policy. In fact, Galcious wanted to solve the conflict through this system. But it was not possible to avoid the conflict. It continued until 1200. In the meantime rationalism was strengthened. As a result, the matter of taking issue related to worldly life in the light of logic got priority. A group of people expressed opinion for taking decisions in the light of logic instead of religion. The summary of their opinion there is no need of the presence of the religion in the state affair. In this context, people would move through the logic and justice. And the religious edicts would be applicable to the issues of people and religions. As a result, efforts were made to bring the church and emperor as the parallel status, and Dante was the proponent of this philosophy. He said that two guides were needed to achieve two goals of human life. The Pope would show the holy path by holding torch of the religious book. And the Emperor will be the guide of worldly life by holding rational and philosophical commodity. He also thought that God is the entity of the greatest kindness. And the church and empire both are blessed at his signal. It would not be wise of thinking that the church is superior to the emperor.
Through the remarks of Dante, undermining the superiority and dominance of the Church was initiated, which later reached to the level of toppling the church and religion from the state. Later philosopher Marcello announced superiority of the state over the church and confined the religion into the arena of eternal freedom by retreating it from the worldly life. He used to say the main work of the priests is to give assurances of ensuring better life, whereas the work of the state is to provide better life not only worldly life, even the world hereafter. In worldly life, the taste of better life will get through the practicing through conscious, prudence, logic and philosophy. But to get blessings of better life in hereafter, we have to depend on divine messages and priests. So, the main work of the priest is to help earn freedom in the world hereafter. The priests have nothing to do for worldly happiness. Whatever they will have to do is for the world hereafter. It is not proper for the priests to make interference in worldly matter. So, they have no rights to apply authority and enjoy facilities as the special class. Like other classes, this class will have to do work under the complete state authority. In the worldly matter, the state control over the priests will be like the control over agriculture and trade.
In this way, Marcello has brought the Pope and the priests under the authority of the state by bringing down their parallel status of the emperor. He wanted to curtail simultaneously the influence of the religion and the system for introduction of state rules and regulations, which have been continuing since ancient period. Nobody did show such courage earlier. In this way, Marcella axed the root of the traditional parallel policy and two-sword policy, and denied the universal characteristics of the religion. He crushed the lone sovereign authority of the church with the soil. Because of his philosophy, the church was downgraded at the level of a division controlled by the state. The music of religion, which was resounded in all spheres of the life, was confined to the limited level of the world hereafter. In this context, the activities of the church were controlled by the state and became its obedience. Spiritual or worldly life, the church and priests became subordinate of the government and the state, whereas the superiority of the state over the church was declared. He discussed in the details of this philosophy in the book entitled the Defencor Papis. The book was severely criticized by the contemporary people. For this, Pope VII Clement described Marcello the most hatred sin.
Unrest and Disorder in Europe
Marcello thought that conflict of power between the state and the church was the main reason for unrest and disorder in Europe. He also thought that it would not be possible to remove the conflict and disorder in any way if the church and state became parallel and hold equal authority. For this, he took measures to bring the church under the state control. However, the process for removing the conflict could be like that the state would be under the control of the religion and it was logical. But Marcello did not move to that thought. Because he wanted to undermine the priest authority and axe the root of the absolute power of Pope. His main goal was to send the religion into exile from the ruling system. Not to face the hit of rationalism, he brought the state under the logic and announced through all out forces that any interference of the religion in worldly matter is not proper. But his thought was not accepted in the contemporary world and people also did not accept it. However, 200 years after his death this was recognized as the state philosophy and got public support through Machiavelli. He was born in the Italian city of Florence in 1469 and died in 1527. He was considered the father of secular state philosophy. He, in fact, did not believe in religion. He believed that there was no goal in the world hereafter. The world is the field of earning completeness of life of the people. The qualities like fame, power and nobility give the people immortality. So, there is no need of any divine rule in the state life. For maintaining solidarity of the state, there is no need of the rulers to be confined themselves to the fence of the morality. He also thought that the citizens and rulers will be ruled under the same policy. Because the state is the greatest social organization and it is a carrier of social wellbeing. So, the state and its administrator cannot be brought at the level of the common people. The goal of the state is noble and the judgment of its work must be in separate criteria. He used to think that in people's life, the church and its policy are completely unnecessary. Because the principles of the church are meaningless in people's worldly life. By freeing of religious edicts from the secular state philosophy that means state administration, charging of the logic and judgment was the one of his innovations. In fact, during his time the entire Europe was the victim of disorder. Like the Greek city state, there were number of small states in Italy. Like Venice and Florence, there were also some republic states. But most of them were under the autocratic rule. Political conflict and competitions were the common phenomenon among the states, whereas the foreign forces observed the development in the region with sharp eye. Taking the scope for internal conflict, strong countries like Germany, Spain, and France were out to capture the states. As the situation became stable in 1600, five big countries were born comprising hundreds of city states. They were Naples, Vatican, Milan, Venice, and Florence. Although Italy remained in the world map, its internal situation was vulnerable. For this reason, Machiavelli advised that Italy needs such a ruler who will be very powerful. If needed, he will be clever like fox and strong like lion and he would not be confined of moral bonds in his or her own works.
The basic principles of the political thinking of the entire Middle Ages were the religion-based followers of divine rules. The powerful people were considered the representatives of God. All things of political, social, and economic life were under the religion and under the control of the church. All things were nurtured at the lap of church in the light of the religious theory. But Machiavelli was one of the philosophers who worked for rooting out the dominance of the religion through the influence of rationalism. Both Marcello and Machiavelli considered the church the biggest barrier to the path of the Italian unity. In this regard, Machiavelli was more aggressive than Marcello. He announced the church completely unnecessary and its policy meaningless for the worldly life. He also give stand the political, social, and economic life on the enjoyment of the rationalism and charged of life from the rationalism. Through this long review, it becomes clear like daylight that the secular philosophy was not born from the efforts of expressing liberal attitude to all religions or it was not initiated from the spirit of giving scope to all for practicing religion independently. Rather rooting out Islam from the state life and running people's life in the light of the rationalism had worked as the main spirit behind the emergence of the secular state philosophy.
We are not denying it that the Christianity was the religion for time being. There were not adequate elements in the religion, which can compete in the necessity of people of time immemorial. But the Christian priests tried to make impossible possible by taking initiative for establishing it as a universal religion. In addition, they cheated with the desire of divine by following evil strategies for establishing the religion for people to come in one hand, and they fell into their own trap to burden the religion, which has no elements to fulfill people's necessity on the people all time. It was proved that the Christianity was failed to fulfill people's expectations of the expanding world and solving their problems. As a result people took shelter to the rationalism by boycotting the religion.
Coordinating With Logic
In addition, people lost respect to the priests for their over willfulness, greediness, and moral erosion. For this reason, people did not want to follow them. As a result, people have disrespected to the religion and these have encouraged people to take shelter to the rationalism by coming out of the religion. Moreover, main problems, which have arisen, were the loosing of the main religion. It was mentioned earlier that the church of the Vatican was the reformists. To coordinate with the lifestyle of Barbarians, they relaxed the religious edicts in many fields. While coordinating with the logic, they were also compelled to change the religious rules. They had to bring changes in many field to establish the Christianity as a universal religion.
However, the church of the Constantinople was separated from the conservative life and world. Through the followers of the church, the Christianity has been described philosophical religion, which is separated from the life and world. As a result, there was a great crisis in front of the followers of the Christianity. By undertaking which explanation, they would hammer out a work plan. For this reasons, they were compelled to create a new way for running life in the state and its related fields by utilizing the logical philosophy and excluding the religion. For this, the secular philosophy was a great blessing for the Europe. But there is no logic to burden this philosophy on the Islamic world and the Muslim-dominated region.
State-Related Rules
The advent of Islam has been made as a universal religion. God has selected the religion for people until the day of judgment. The dynamics of the world people and solution of their problems until the day of resurrection have been mentioned in it. In addition, Islam is not a philosophical religion. It is closely related with the life and world. Islam has no scope for conducting any chapter of life by making it devoid if religion. In Islam, mosques are run on the basis of the divine rules. Similarly, the state is run on the basis of divine dictations.
There is no difference between the two. In addition, in the state-related rules, Islam has no crisis of inadequateness, which exists in the Christianity. In the overall rules of Islam, there are sufficient rules for state policy, economy, and social fields.
Significance of Islam
The main trend and main significance of Islam were not lost or distorted. For these reasons, there is no scope for thinking separate the state system from the Islamic code of life. Rather Islam is complete with own state system and code of life. If anybody thinks that Islam is separated from the state, it will be his or her incomplete faith in Islam. It cannot be called a complete faith. For this reason, there is no scope for a Muslim to become a believer in secular philosophy.
However, many people give explanation of secularism in this way that everybody will perform their respective religions independently. It has been mainly called to burden the secularism on the state. In fact, the secularism does not obstruct the rituals, which are performed at the personal level. But the intrusion of the religion into the state is curbed in iron hand, which we have realized against the backdrop of secular philosophy. There is no way of implementation of the Islamic edicts that are related with the state. Even there is no way of undertaking initiatives for implementing those. Moreover, there remains no scope for resisting politically if the state takes any anti-Islam step.

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