To put an end to alienating religiosity

To put an end to alienating religiosity

If religion is no longer liberating, if it can no longer emancipate man and give him something to think about the demands of the times, what is the use of it? It is time to put an end to alienating religiosity.

The challenges facing humanity lie elsewhere than in theological-legal considerations. Enough of the debates on how we should or should not pray while the Mediterranean feeds daily on the souls of hope hunters! Enough of discussions such as “the place of women in Islam”, “the importance of the mosque in the life of the citizen”, “education in Islam”, at a time when the ecological crisis threatens thousands, even millions of people. brothers and sisters in humanity.

Enough of the debates on the permissibility or not of having a religious guide or of following an initiatory path, while “assassins of the dawn”, as Césaire said, are in the process of tearing away from man his humanity. Enough of the alienating religiosity and long live freedom of conscience!

How many producers of religious discourse sing the glories and virtues of the “couple in Islam”, as if the Koran were a code of personal status? How many hierarchs of Islam sing about the merits or dangers of work in Islam, as if the Koran were a work code? What can we say about what some call “Islamic finance” which is nothing but a capitalist scam? Is there an Islamically acceptable way to conduct financial transactions? What can we say about the famous “Islamic medicine”, as if there were a Koranic way of operating on a brain or vaccinating a child?

What about Muslims who sleep morning and night and who, after each scientific discovery, wake up to say that it was written in the Koran? What will they say if another discovery contradicts the first? That the Quran was wrong? This is all just literature. Let's stop wanting to Koranize or Islamize everything. And this, for the very survival of man.

Religion, as its etymology indicates, aims to create connections, to bind. Linking man to a higher principle, linking man to man, linking man to nature, this is what all religion must serve. And trash any speech which, in the name of a conception of this or that religion, undermines the dignity of man and the rights of nature. Trash all texts that call for hatred of other men, under the pretext that they do not share the same religion with us. Toss all inquisitive speech and long live freedom of worship!

As I have had the opportunity to say elsewhere, time is running out, let us eradicate the myths of the past. Let us refuse to lock ourselves into a legendary past to which certain identity theorists and apologists of a fantasized Islam would like us to return. Contrary to what identitarians and followers of a medieval reading of Islamic scriptural texts claim, things were not necessarily better before. Let us not be backward-looking and defeatist, nothing has been set in stone, no predestination has fixed the destiny of humanity. The world is ours and for us. It's up to us to change it.

Man's work is not yet finished. It has only just begun, Césaire liked to say. Together, we must be co-directors of human work. The world has never been so rich as it is today. However, social inequalities continue to increase. While countries risk famine, a few multi-billionaires own almost half of human wealth.

As I write these lines, famine threatens Somalia, Somalis are “starving” as they commonly say, and on the other hand, one of the richest petromonarchies on the planet is in the process of disappearing. Yemen on the map, under the gaze and blessing of the great powers. This must stop. Through humanitarian work, awareness raising or simple writing, we must be among the actors of this radical change which, I hope, will bring smiles back to people's faces, for eternity. (1)

Dr Seydi Diamil Niane,

Islamologist, research fellow at Timbuktu Institute – African Center for Peace Studies

(1) Seydi Diamil Niane, I, a Muslim, do not have to justify myself, Eyrolles-Timbuktu Institute, 2017, p.118.