Lecture to A Global World Conference: World Religions after September 11
Bismillaahi walhamdulillaahi wassalaatu wassalaamu ‘alaa rasoolillaahi
RE-DEFINING HUMANITY AND CIVILIZATION
Copyright 2006 NADINE SULTANA D’OSMAN HAN
beings are like parts of a body,
created from the same essence,
When one part is hurt and in pain,
the others cannot remain in peace and be quiet." —
Humanity can be defined by looking into each other’s eyes and seeing one’s own reflection. Civilization is a living orchestra in which mankind’s diversity must be harmonized like a symphony of various instruments.
Soren Aakye Kierkegaard said that " Life can only be understood backwards; But it must be lived forwards".
What does this mean? It means that we must look into the past for guidance, since the past is our stable point of reference, and thus avoid past errors.
Humanity is spirituality with a form. It bridges the outer and inner life. From Divine origin, Spirituality is the essence of Compassion, unbiased Justice, Tolerance, Morality, Honesty, Integrity, and Humility. Without Spirituality there can be neither humanity nor civilization. Spirituality is the direct communication between our conscience and the Divine. There can be no compromise or shield of justification for our bad deeds.
It is assumable that originally all Humans were not aware of this Divine Revelation and that it had to be taught to us in a framework that could be understood. Thus, Holy Prophets were chosen among us to enlighten us. These Teachings gave rise to Religion. For Moslems the "Ummah" is made comprehensible by the Teachings transmitted by Hz Prophet Mohammed.
With the passing of Time, Religion split into various branches to accommodate various cultures in the same manner as languages. Thus, it is ridiculous to declare that only one religion represents the only Truth, in the same context that only one language cannot be accepted as the sole means of communication. Only Spirituality is indivisible.
Religion itself must be diversified to meet the needs of a multi-cultural humanity and geographical differences.
What is the basic difference between Islam and Christianity?
Islam is oriented toward the heart and follows the emotional process reflected in the Sufi music with its flight into the ecstasy of the imaginary, an aspect of spiritualism. Christianity is oriented toward the intellectual process of its followers and is rigidly controlled much as "Western" classical music.
Thus, wisdom would require that instead of fighting one another, we harmonize both for a balance between the head and the heart.
Both language and religion are modified over time by human interpretation. In the first instance, on the positive side, it accommodates new discoveries or understandings. On the negative side, ambiguous wordings mislead the unwary.
In the second case, it is more complex. The interpretation or misinterpretation of religion gives rise to the temptation at manipulation in order to justify and legitimize objectionable actions or behavior, including cruelty and all sorts of abuses.
It is a sad fact that Humans are handicapped by genes inherited from the Survival Law of Nature that is the fate of most animals on this planet.
In fact, due to the very faulty and aggressive nature of mankind, several Prophets had to periodically redirect us to the right path away from barbarism.
Humans were blessed at some point in time by the Revelation of Spirituality, enablingthem to escape the cruel Jungle Law affecting the animal kingdom. But most of us could not or would not relinquish the thrill of power over the weak.
Civilization for them translated into the gratification of insatiable greed. It is a defect that has survived in spite of the example set by Prophets and that shall ultimately destroy humanity.
While Religion(s) proclaims to mirror Spirituality, in practice it is a tool of control for the power and ambitions of a few. Today, more than ever, religions are exploited to justify the injustices and imbalance carried out in their name in all areas of our lives: Political Racial, between Genders, between the poor vs rich, National economies, health, environment and so forth. The list goes on and on.
Spirituality that is the internal journey of one’s Soul cannot be confused with religion, nor so-called righteous humane secular democracies that are the imperfect laws of men in which self-interests are the ultimate goal. Spirituality cannot be applied to the self-appointed Judges of conscience and behavior, governed by the law of the strongest over the voiceless and defenseless multitude who cannot challenge them.
Spirituality is the uncorrupted word from the Divine found in the consciences of those untainted by sins of cruelty, oppression, injustice, and self-serving motives in contempt of other’s rights. No one can interfere between an individual conscience and the Divine. The Divine (Allah or God) is the only Judge of the Soul and the dispenser of punishment. No one has the right to anticipate what the Divine’s punishment shall be for an individual.
The only person we may be allowed to judge is oneself, in order to improve oneself. In the same way, a true Democracy cannot be a banner of justification in the oppression and exploitation of the weak in the name of so-called humanitarian goodness without substance.
In the same context, the ideology of Democracy has become a slogan without meaning. It has become a propaganda of deceits and inequalities that are carried out with impunity. Unless we urgently attend to justice for all in a global framework, with respect to individual rights, to dignity and well-being, to tolerance and indulgence with our human brothers and sisters worldwide, and severe with our own shortcomings, we shall drive ourselves to extinction.
While we are still hoping for a miracle to save ourselves from our destructive selves, it is my humble opinion that the long awaited final Prophet shall not save us this time from our follies, but shall come as a stern Judge. This time, Humans shall have to account for their evils. Mankind has taken too much for granted its rescue by exceptional Prophets. We have disregarded too often the warnings to amend our ways.
From the beginning of time we have indulged in Wars to appropriate what belongs to others, to justify falsely our oppression of the weak and generally to live by the dictate of the law of the Jungle. This Century shall see the accountability that we deserve. Perhaps we should prepare for it, for there is no more escape. In this, we shall be all equals, just as death does not spare any human.
THE PAST IS THE COMPASS OF TIME. It guides our steps in the present toward the future. Without a past we are lost, blindly seeking our reason for being.
It may be that life on earth is a glitch in an otherwise perfect cosmos. However, it is a point I shall not debate since its knowledge is outside the scope of human intelligence.
On the other hand, we know that life on earth is one of cruelty in which both animals and humans killed (and kill) each other for basic survival. At some point in time, only humans were blessed with the potential to distance themselves from this vicious circle and to progress toward what we call humanity and civilization. Yet, as to this Century we have been unable to achieve either. We have only achieved degrees of humanity and civilization, but at the same time, we have also achieved greater ability to inflict greater destruction and barbarism upon ourselves, the animal kingdom and the planet itself!
Primitive man’s aggressiveness was limited in scope and without a clear understanding of consequences, that were relatively minor. Today aggressiveness cannot be discounted in the same light manner for the very survival of the planet as a whole is at stake.
A CIVILIZED HUMANITY AND WARS ARE INCOMPATIBLE, and unless we can resolve disputes without violence, there can be no civilization and in fact we may be considered more barbaric than animals: A form of destructive virus.
WHY WARS? We have heard countless justifications for it over the centuries and particularly today, in which the aggressors are trying to convince their victims that the sufferings inflicted upon them are for their own good and thus not only morally acceptable, but something to celebrate! We are back to the Gladiator mentality.
Do not be deceived by slogans of self-justification in the name of righteous humanity. Wars are nothing less than legalized organized crimes. Regardless of the many shields to justify such aggressive behavior, the truth of the matter remains that wars are being waged to appropriate what belongs to others.
In theory, it is all very well to assume that prosperity comes from steady
hard work and honesty, but realities show otherwise. The most expedient means
to acquire wealth is by the exploitation of others. While most drug dealers
clearly understand this reality, most governments use the same tactics to
appropriate the coveted commodities such as petroleum in the Middle East,
diamonds in Africa, gold from
Wars are thus to control the right to exploit with impunity another country, for self-interest. The slogan of "human-rights" seems over-used and quite irrelevant in regards to wars when one analyzes the "laissez-faire" martyrdom of children worldwide, or the plight of the Palestinians who were ruthlessly uprooted from their country and way of life to make room for the Israelites, victims of War II, a conflict that had nothing to do with the Palestinians. Today, millions are persecuted, tortured, displaced and made homeless by Government policies and wars and while some murmurs of disapproval may be heard, no actions are taken for these unfortunate people are expendable by our uncivilized mentality in which the Law of the Jungle prevails— for it has never left us.
It is obvious that humans do not learn from past lessons of barbarism. History repeats itself, only with different victims.
The 20th Century should have been a century of peace and growth as the logical output of technological advances. We should have expected a better quality of life, physically, emotionally and intellectually as progress eliminated arduous manual work. Yet, this has clearly not happened. On the contrary, the 20th century claims to its shame, two World Wars and is heading toward a bloodier third one, not by necessity but by choice! We would do well to urgently examine our motives.
A superpower does not look kindly to self-reliant nations. Any nation that does not need charity or protection is viewed as a threat. Yet, this attitude is self-defeating.
WARFARE IS BIG BUSINESS. No other business could claim such exchange of billions of dollars, yet ironically, it benefits no one. The consumers need are just a speck in the economic scale in comparison to military needs. Thus, as such, warfare has to be promoted and expanded, to permit military trade. Such a giant investment must produce dividends, to avoid the bankruptcy of its nation, hence the wars.
The uncontrollable addiction to greed of big businesses could only lead to the present innovation of "preventive wars!". We are deceiving ourselves if we believe that peace can be achieved by warfare. History has shown time after time, that wars can only lead to retaliation and thus more bloodshed and misery for mankind.
It is also nonsense to declare that nuclear weapons should be the privileges
of a few nations, under the belief that they will use "mature
restraint" in the use of such weapons. The use of the atomic bomb by the
Double-standard policies never worked. It is undeniable that quality of life cannot be achieved by warfare and injustice.
The "New World Order" was presented as a gift of happy
promises for the future of mankind in the 21st Century. But as soon as the door
opened, it transformed itself into a "
If we look at the State of Affairs in our society, we would recognize the truths of our behavior reflected in our contempt of human lives resulting in children’s neglect, abuse and birth defects, famine, homelessness, discarded elders to whom the "golden years have turned into the pauper years", the addition to drugs, sex and violence so prized as entertainment. But our greatest modern crime today is the war-mass murder of civilians, the random imprisonment and torture of prisoners, most of them held without charges, but based on a system of discrimination toward the least favored ethnicity of the moment. The second most unspeakable evil is committed by enlisting children-soldiers!
Even animals protect their young!
Where are the promises of our scientists and politicians? Their discoveries have not resulted in the betterment of mankind, but its destruction. Farmers were removed to be replaced by scientists that thought they were better qualified than nature itself. The result is the pollution of the food chain, both vegetal and animal, leading to numerable new viruses and the destruction of the human immune system. As to the new abundance of genetically modified food chain, besides being of doubtful nutritional value, it has brought its own problem of an over-fed dependent society and along with it sickness and obesity in one corner of the planet and famine in another. In addition, drug discoveries do not fare better, and most experiments bring untold catastrophes that we are only perceiving now in our environment, health etc. We have even gone as far as to deny the basic right to die with dignity. Science without wisdom is very dangerous indeed. Even the computers have become powerful devices to spy and control individuals and groups, curtailing the precious right to privacy and political ethics.
It is time that the public demands maturity and decency toward human lives, from their leaders.
The 21st Century is the blooming of our past excesses.
While most politicians and "Futurists" like to remind us that the burden of our bad deeds shall not mature before the next generations, I tend to disagree, for our ancestors made the same reasoning — thus in the 21st Century, WE ARE THAT NEXT GENERATION. WE ARE THEIR FUTURE, AND THE BURDEN IS OURS TO SOLVE!
The 21st Century shall see either our salvation or our extinction. The choice is ours, and it can no longer be delayed and hidden under veils of illusions.
It is my humble opinion that unless we come to realize that WARS must be banned worldwide, along with weapons, we cannot save this planet nor achieve true civilization.
GLOBALIZATION must be defined not in terms of imposing one culture over another but to safeguard the security, economy, well-being and justice for all Nations without discrimination. Corporations must be regulated on the same standards worldwide. In addition, profits, salaries for both employers and employees must provide a fair maximum for employers and fair minimum for employees. A Global currency should be introduced so as to end currencies inequality.
When an employer receives several millions in salary and his employee at the bottom of the ladder an estimated 10 dollars an hour, it is not fair division of profits, but the impunity of organized corporate Mafia-style. Societies cannot function along this kind of inequity and thievery. Corporate profits must determine the fair equity of salary for both employer and employee . We cannot return to a slavery mentality in a civilized world.
It would be useful that an international language be taught to small children along with a native language. All humans should be bilingual.
Religions are the threads that unify a Community or Nations, thus they interweave deeply with governmental affairs. As such, religions have been used time and again by political Leaders to divide rather than unify human beings. THIS MUST CHANGE without delay. Religious conflicts deny the purpose of religion as an expression of spirituality and humane decency. It becomes like today’s democracies, just a superficial platform of talk without substance.
It is imperative that religions be unified in a commitment for the betterment of mankind without any discrimination against diversity of creed, belief, culture. Religions must speak with one voice against Governmental abuses of power.
RELIGION MUST BE A FORCEFUL "PRE-EMPTIVE" TOOL AGAINST THE EVIL OF DECLARATION OF WAR.
Religions are powerful entities and if they have the goodwill to do so, they have the power to strengthen the UN to implement the following:
An independent Truly International Court (much more expanded and effective than the model of today), and in which all Nations are represented fairly, must enforce that any declaration of War be considered a crime against humanity, and the Court must be able to have the authority to demand the immediate resignation of the Government in violation, and a new one voted in office. This regardless of the size or power of the Nation.
Laws must be reviewed to protect family unit well-being, the vulnerable, the sick (both physical and mental). Leisure time and proper education in morality (without oppression) must be re-introduced for a happy earth journey. Entertainment must be joyful, without vices or violence. It must be a tool of civilized relaxation, a model of inspiration of the finer qualities possible within human abilities. Suffering must never be inflicted upon others in reality or imaginary entertainment. The young look upon their elder for their future adulthood, thus it is important to show excellence in all our behavior if we can hope to attain the goal of civilization as intended by the Divine. Other laws governing marriage, sickness, death and so forth must be for the happiness of mankind. Marriage and motherhood are not for children. Marriage under the age of 18 (and possibly 21) years old should be banished worldwide. Maturity is essential for a healthy society. Children must not be rushed into adult responsibility that overwhelm them.
Societies are always reflected in the treatment and the education received by children.
The children are always the adults of tomorrow thus they must be our priority.
There is no doubt that criminals shall always exist even under the best of circumstances.
So how to deal with this problem? Prisons are not the answer in most cases. Petty crimes such as theft or disorderly conduct should be fined to compensate victims, or communities services performed.
For heinous murders, if not due to mental disorder or uncontrollable emotional disturbance, perhaps death penalty could be considered, but never in a physical painful manner. For others all efforts to rehabilitation should be considered. Children should never be judged as adults.
These recommendations may seem too ideological, yet if profound reforms are not implemented urgently, this century shall see the extinction of mankind in the worst kind of nightmare. Possibly, it is already too late, for the earth herself has its rhythm as well as its own immune system defense. While most "Futurist Politicians" believe that the answer lies by preparing remote survival quarters while annihilating most of mankind, it is an unrealistic vision.
Their agony may be even more painful than the ones they intent to inflict on the mass!
DO NOT BELIEVE FOR A MOMENT that our present induced hysteria toward
"National Security", " Patriot Act vs Terrorists threat",
"Terror from Islam", and all these propaganda slogans are sprouting
from a sudden momentum of aggression by so-called "Fundamentalist crazy
States or Nations". First, let me say that the present turmoil has nothing
to do with religious spirituality. The basic message of all religions, as
taught by every Prophet, was one of compassion, tolerance and justice. In the
case of Islam it is a peaceful oriented religion. This is supported by the
facts that warriors of Islam have shown time and again mercifulness in time of
Wars, respecting Islam teachings, that conquered populations should be spared.
The generosity of hospitality to strangers is also a direct influence from
Islam. At no time did the Moslems commit atrocities as was done in
This said, to this Century, mankind has not reached the goal of idyllic societies, and the future looks gloomier. Not because this is inevitable, but because the Leaders of today, controlled by the all-powerful Corporate World of our times, have no intention whatsoever to work toward the betterment of human beings, but rather toward their alienation in order that a chosen few can capitalize and benefit from the diminishing resources of the planet. In addition, we have reached that level in our development where the people who decide our fate have progressed toward the fantasy that they can match their "Creator" and create themselves a humanity that suits their needs and desire for total control of life surrounding them. In the role model that they have been taught, this small group wants to be the ultimate "Master" with "engineered" slaves or servants who would worship them.
Hence, the creation after World War II (and before that under different
names) of such future global planners as the "Think Tank" "
We should not be so surprised for from the beginning of time, the fate of mankind has always been shaped by an "Elite" class. Perhaps what has changed is the commitment or goals toward the betterment of mankind. Kings were committed to safeguard the well-being of their subjects, and those who erred were promptly removed by an intolerant public. Kings had their privileges, but they knew their limits. Also, they were very conscious of their obedience to a Divine force.
This is not so today. While numerous "religious" sects of all sorts have sprung up to mislead and capitalize on a naive people who has lost touch with true spirituality and search desperately for the right path to their inner being, the Master-Minds of today "futurists" consider themselves the new "Creator" or in other word the equal of the Divine.
The DIVINE is not a presence that we can categorize or understand easily with our limited human intelligence. Yet some have the mere breeziest of intuition that we may have been created as perhaps a sort of experiment. If we prove ourselves to be a defective experiment we might be destroyed, very much like humans do in their own laboratories with both animals and bacteria, once they are through with their own "live" experiment. We are well aware that the animals we use as "guinea pigs", are feeling the pain of their suffering, but are not conscious of the source of their pain and are powerless against the scientists who decide their fate!
OUR FATE may have been already decided. However, it is our moral duty to help ease the sufferings of our fellow-beings as long as the Divine allows us a breath . EVIL might triumph over TRUTH, but we must stand strong at the side of Justice and Tolerance and not falter in our determination to remain true to spirituality within our inner self. We must not waste in vain the precious gift of Life, in the here and thereafter, that the DIVINE has bestowed on us. The incomprehensible shall be made comprehensible in due course to the deserving souls. Insh’Allah, Insh’Allah.
"Futurists" are nothing knew, only the wording has changed,. In addition, all "Futurists" do not have the same "agendas".
The greatest "Futurist" of his time was ‘Nostradamus". Nostradamus was not some sort of magician nor a "medium" with the meaning that we usually associate with those who perceive what is obscure to the majority. Nostradamus was an exceptionally perceptive psychologist of human nature and very much conscious of the inter-relation between the cosmos, the earth and life itself. He could read the map of mankind’s journey on earth as revealed to him by his exceptional awareness of the world around him and the presence of the Divine in all things.
Nostradamus tried to transmit his knowledge to us, and his message is not as nebulous as it may first appear. However, Nostradamus did not conform to the knowledge and mentality of his own time, thus he had to take care to reveal truths in layers of veils so as not to antagonize the authorities of his time. Thanks to his wisdom, his words were not lost to those who would eventually comprehend his message. In the same way, the "experts" during his time did not accept the concept of earth as a sphere. This kind of mentality is still with us today, for the "experts" in each era do not look kindly on those whose insight or intuition look further into the future than the accepted "scientists" of the time. Thus, the "visionary" of this world must always take care not to make too obvious waves in a sea of ignorance or they may risk to become the victim of persecution or slander.
BEWARE of deceptions! Beware!
The 21st Century is going to be the Century of Truth, in which we shall all be accountable for our actions to a higher Court than the corrupt Courts of mankind. The 21st Century is not going to bring back to us a "Messiah" to redeem us from our sins.
Humans were unable or unwilling to recognize ‘Messiahs" when they came in the past. The Prophet, "Jesus Christ" (pbuh), was crucified and later his teachings distorted to the extreme extent as applied by the Christian’s inquisition.
Another Prophet, Hz Mohammad (pbuh), was sent to us to bring us back to the path of compassionate justice and behavior.
The passing of time brought its forgetfulness, and with it brought forth struggles for power with the consequences of division within Islam.
Allah the Merciful sent again a messenger as revealed by the Prophet (pbuh) for preparing his recognition by the faithful. This messenger was the Ottoman Sultan, Fatih Mehmet who reestablished the spiritual path leading to the Ottoman Caliphate for the preservation of Allah’s Will. Under its protective umbrella, Islam flourished in peace, justice and prosperity and benefiting the Christians as well.
Again, with the passing of time, corruption led to self-serving disloyalties and misinterpretations of his teachings. This brought forth in the 20th Century the vengeful sword of evil —leading to unprecedented mass deportation or massacre called justified "ethnic cleansing" for the good of humanity and democratic ideals, just as the Taliban (and other oppressive regimes) believed that prayers would absolve them from their daily crime of cruelty and injustice.
Needless to say, these Politicians and Religious Leaders do not abide by the rules and teachings that they impose on others by force.
As the 20th Century of Sorrows was approaching its end, a last merciful reprieve was granted to us, so as not to carry forth the destructive path of doom to the new millennium. But again, promises of instant material and power gratification clouded our judgment.
Thus, Divine signs went unrecognized by many, and ignored as well as exploited by a few. Henceforth, this modest messenger came to us with the softness of the mist, and left us with the quietness of humility. Alas! This is so.
Our mentality of presumptuousness to unlimited forgiveness for our sins looks toward a glorified "Messiah" to absolve us of wrongdoing. This is not going to happen. Time has come for the accountability of our actions toward others.
Unless the spiritual truth can triumph over the evils of the Jungle Law, it is my observation that we are reaching the end of our journey on earth. FOR WE HAVE REACHED THE FUTURE! WE ARE THE CHILDREN UPON WHICH THE SINS OF THE FATHERS HAVE BEEN BESTOWED.
"Angry Times" © 1990 by Nadine Sultana d’Osman Han
"Invitation to Reunification within Islam" © 1992 Nadine Sultana d’Osman Han
"The UMMAH" © 1993 by Nadine Sultana d’Osman Han
"Spiritual Earth Journey" © 2003 by Nadine Sultana d’Osman Han
"The Study of the Future" © 1977 by World Future Society