Khalid Baig

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Defending Shariah, Undermining Shariah

               Two statements on Shariah, made in February and March of this year by two prominent leaders in the UK and US have generated a storm of protest and praise. Both the statements and the reaction they generated are of interest to the students of history and Western civilization. They help us gauge the state of religious freedom and open mindedness in the Western world today.             The first was from Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, who suggested that for some personal matters like marriage and divorce Muslims in the UK could be allowed to be governed by the Shariah. He did not suggest that all personal matters for Muslims in the UK be so governed. He would pick and choose which personal matters would be so privileged and which would not, in effect awarding the right to second guess the Shariah to the Church of England whose law is an integral part of the law in the UK.

Medicine and Muslims - The Road Ahead

(Talk delivered at the 28th Annual convention of the Islamic Medical Association of South Africa. Durban, 6 July 2008)
I am thankful to the IMA for this opportunity to share with this distinguished gathering some thoughts about medicine and where we should be going with it in the future. Although I am in that stage of life where a person's medical knowledge increases rapidly as he hears new concerns, new tests and new names of diseases from his doctor or his reference age group, the perspective I want to share is not based solely on personal experience. It is also built on study and reflection on the history of medicine and the interplay of various forces that determined the path of this history.
I graduated from engineering college about thirty-five years ago. When I went for my MBA studies in Canada some years later, my perspective on some of the things I had learnt earlier changed.

Big Business - Muslim Rap

When the pagan Makkan army was marching to Badr in 2 A.H., it included not only fighting men, weapons, camels, and horses, but also the means of inciting the fighters: singing-girls and musical instruments. At every rest stop along the way these cheerleaders plied their craft, spitting venom against the Muslims and promising their favors in the most enticing ways to those who would destroy them.
The army had been summoned to protect their trade caravan. When they learnt that the caravan had escaped and some of them wanted to turn back, Abu Jahl insisted on continuing: "No, I will not return to Makkah, until we have refreshed ourselves at Badr, and spent three days in feasting, drinking wine, and listening to the singing and playing of the singing-girls."
In the end, the unequal war in Badr did not turn out to be the picnic he had imagined. Abu Jahl was slain, as were many other prominent leaders of Makkah.

What is Wrong With Our Education System?

What is Wrong With Our
By Khalid Baig

Quick question: Who discovered America? The almost guaranteed answer: Why, Columbus, of course. The bright student may even know the famous story that Columbus thought he had reached India and therefore called the people he found Indians.
If providing sound knowledge and developing critical thinking capabilities are any goals of an education system, the answer highlights the miserable failure of the education system prevalent in the Muslim world today on both counts. For no one asks the obvious: How can anyone be credited with discovering a land that was already heavily populated? Columbus was the first European to discover America, not the first man. Hundreds of thousands of other men and women had reached there before him and had been living for centuries. The assertion about Columbus reveals a Euro-centric mindset but the bias goes undetected and unquestioned.

Did God use Evolution to Create Universe

In our day, some circles hold the view that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution does not contradict with religion, and that those who renounce the theory of evolution unnecessarily promote it. This view, however, includes many misconceptions. It is the result of a failure to grasp the main tenet of Darwinism and the extremely dangerous outlook it mandates. That is why, for those who have faith in the existence of God, the mere Creator of all living-beings, yet carry the conviction that "God created living beings through evolution", it would be quite useful to primarily review the fundamental tenets of the theory.