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We live in a world in which four fifths of its population live in frustration while the other fifth lives in fear. The United Nations, our world's "figleaf," does not hide the shame of humanity but rather scandalizes humanity's malaise. It is troubling that the League of Nations and the United Nations were born after two world wars. Humanity's unity should come as a natural birth and not as the result of a caesarian section, i.e., through violent global wars. This is reminiscent of the ages of epidemics. Then, because of ignorance about the causes behind these illnesses, plagues swept through communities, leaving millions of dead behind. Yet, after technology made it possible for us to see smaller forms of life and medicine brought us a better understanding of germs, communities became better equipped to halt disease and heal the sufferers. If a country now is devastated by an epidemic, we blame it on the lack of sufficient hygiene. So too, the wars that erupt here and there are caused by ignorance of the intellectual organisms that infect communities with hate and influence people to commit atrocities. In today's world, relying on science, we concern ourselves with preventing germ warfare while sheltering the intellectual viruses that destroy us: our intellectual foods are still polluted. We cannot afford to continue to be confused or ignorant about these invasive germs.

In this article, I will shed some light on the root causes of the historical and religious violence that have afflicted humanity. Because one cannot understand religion or law without having a true understanding of humankind, I must first discuss the Islamic understanding of humanity, whose existence necessitates both the disciplines of law and religion. Two distinct, but intertwining, foundational perspectives govern the way in which Islam understands humans' relationship with their reality: a biological, psychological and historical perspective, which is available to human reason; and a religious perspective revealed in the Qur'an.

  • Le Rôle Des Acteurs Religieux Dans La Construction De La Paix Et De La Démocratie: J'avais écrit, il y a un demi-siècle, un livre sur le rôle du penseur et de la pensée dans les crises. Certes, je parlais alors de la crise dans le monde musulman. Un demi-siècle auparavant, de nombreux développements ont eu lieu dans un monde qui change toujours et à grande vitesse. Toutefois, les principes formulés dans ce livre sont toujours valables, à mon avis pour approcher la crise mondiale.
  • The role of religious actors in peace-building: Half a century ago, I wrote a book about the intellectual and his role in times of trouble and crisis. Although my main focus was on issues pertaining mainly to the Islamic world, and despite the fact that it was written a half a century ago—a long time considering the changes that have taken place in a dynamic and ever evolving world despite all that, I still believe that my book can still provide an effective instrument with which to...


Interview with Current Islamic Issues

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