Source: Muslim Sunrise Summer 2018
All major world religions have faced great challenges from their very inception; but presently it appears that the powerful anti-religious forces are in full gear to attack from all possible fronts. Atheism and agnosticism are on the rise, getting well-organized and vocal. They say there is no place for any organized religion in our modern societies, no need of worshipping any God. According to them, the study of nature contradicts the existence of life after death; there is no proof of Hereafter, therefore, no accountability of our good or bad actions. The present day anti-religious trends are leading to secularism and materialism; and the love for worldly possessions is leading to self-centeredness, away from the paths to God and generosity.
Unfortunately, the history of religions is also full of coercion and violence by one against the other. There has been persecution and armed clashes on theological disputes. At present time, bloodshed on the bases of religious difference is still going on. Specifically some so-called Muslim groups are promoting abhorrent acts of violence and terrorism. Their motives might be political or economical, but they excite ignorant mobs to commit brutality towards the followers of opposing religions or different denominations in the name of their religion. Not only outside forces are attacking religious communities and belief systems, but from within religious organizations the rebellious elements are also busy in creating tremendous problems for religious leaders. For religious elite it is becoming difficult to instill the scriptural beliefs and practices among their followers.
In this issue of the Muslim Sunrise we have tried to cover some of the present day challenges to world religions in general, and to Islam in particular.
There are articles on Secularism, Naturalism and Spiritualism, Sunni Shia Conflict, and what is now widely termed as ‘Islamism’ – and in fact a reference to the militant groups within Muslim countries who are primarily motivated by geopolitics. Muslims are also facing challenges of alcoholism and gambling in Islamic countries, and especially living in Western societies. Among these challenges, the question whether Muslim women are oppressed or liberated in Islam is also addressed. Please, read these articles and give us your feedback.
Mubasher Ahmad, Editor-in-Chief
Read the volume online: Muslim Sunrise Summer 2018