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Civility… A Universal Human Virtue

20 August, 2016
Q I just ask myself and wonder, how can it be possible that all "civilized" countries - on top of them the USA - want to make us believe that all Muslims are terrorists?! They are forgetting Islam, which is - as all monotheistic religions - a peaceful message. Certainly they read it at their own way. As a French citizen, I'm not so proud that our government followed blindly the USA and England in Iraq for example... Does Europe exist? May Iraqi people live in peace and let us make together something, to avoid any future terrible and no name-war. May Allah accept my request inshaAllah.


Salam Dear Brother,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

It reflects genuine human concerns, rather than asking about Islam. We, as Muslims share your concerns too!

Let me start by saying that civility is a human virtue and is universal, though it can take different forms, according to culture. No culture should claim civil superiority except by the fact that it is serving humanity better and contributing more to universal welfare.

The dominion of capitalist globalization is not at all building a civilization that can claim to be fulfilling that role, but this is a different matter and needs another elaboration.

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Many events are unfolding and in some way or the other, are related to the American foreign policy. Of course, we definitely cannot generalize about the US as a nation. However, some of the painful outcomes are obvious for anyone to see.

There is no doubt that one of these effects is the distortion of the image of Muslims and Islam in the media. Another, is the global capitalism that is sweeping across the world, where dictators and repressive regimes have been put into power – or are maintained in power – by Western countries for their own economic and strategic interests.

Examples would be, the Shah of Iran, Ferdinand Marcos, President Suharto in Indonesia, Noreiga in Panama and the list could be extended to include countries like the Congo and Sierra Leone etc.

The purpose for which these people are supported is for them to make laws, which are conducive for multinational companies, in order to operate in their countries. That is, the investments of multinational companies in any of these countries would be protected.

Definitely, the West would like to use the term “democracy”… but in many cases, it is dictatorship… In this way the multinational companies exploit the indigenous local resources of the countries in which they operate! The IMF and the WB (as well as the WTO) are – all – agencies going along these lines.

It is through such a system that 40% of the world’s trade is conducted by 200 companies. Also, the world’s richest 100 people own more wealth than the world’s poorest 2.5 billion people!!

In order to have freedom to operate in any country of their choice, the West seeks to demonize Islam, as well as Muslims, even to the extent of trying to define Islam for Muslims, to match the culture and expectations of consumerism! When Muslims need help for their just causes, they do not get it or… maybe this help would come too late…

This was true in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Kashmir. It was also true in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 150 – 200 years ago there were many struggles striving for freedom [ jihad] against the colonial powers, from Brazil and the West Indies… through Africa to the sub-continent of India.

Various so-called Islamic sects were set up by the colonial powers to try to break up and weaken the Muslims. Today, the world powers are still trying the same tactics!

However, Islam is the religion of peace and justice. In order to establish justice it is necessary, sometimes, to fight wars, but Muslims are accused of being the aggressors!

Here, we need to stop and ask: Where is the justice for the Muslim world? Why is it that people are being driven to give their lives for their land, hoping their families would have something better? Why aren’t the reasons ever mentioned?

As Muslims we are looking at Europe at large with great disappointment… We were just hoping that it would play a role in the global reconciliation. Its history of enlightenment enables it to defend virtues of justice and freedom, along with that of democracy for all.

Yet, the economic and strategic interests have another say. We are still hoping Europe would try to talk sense to the UN Security Council. Though many war crimes are well documented by human rights agencies, there is no proper action taken.

The West is turning a “blind eye”, simply when it suits them! For example Putin was to get away with more atrocities in Chechnya if the West thinks it will side with them against their enemies!

In Iraq, many people would agree that Saddam Hussein had to go. Yet, the “humanitarian intervention” was never humanitarian, as the sanctions killed so many Iraqi children over 10 years.

Of course, the whole issue is basically about global economy and strategic interests. It would appear to this writer that capitalism has failed to fulfill the promises of justice, and that liberalism overcame democracy, for they do not go along anymore in world politics. Global capitalism is being sustained, but at what price and for how much longer?

Let us pray to Allah for justice… and work hard to achieve it in our wretched world through hard work, engagement in democratic transformation activism and a call for peace and fraternity. Please, let’s never give up on that…

Thank you and please keep in touch.


About Daud Matthews
Daud Matthews was born in 1938, he embraced Islam in 1970, and got married in Pakistan in 1973. Matthews studied physics and subsequently achieved Chartered Engineer, Fellow of both the British Computer Society and the Institute of Management.He was working initially in physics research labs, he then moved to computer management in 1971. He lived and worked in Saudi Arabia from 1974 to 1997 first with the University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran,and then with King Saud University in Riyadh. He's been involved in da'wah since 1986.