Vol. 5 Num 56 Wed. July 21, 2004  
Letters to Editor

What is fundamentalism?

This is a reference to the letter of M Shahidul Islam of 8/4/5 published in an English daily on 10 July, 2004, supporting fundamentalism. He has said that fundamentalism in key to perfection and will go on and on.

Now, let us try to understand what is fundamentalism? Fundamentalism is to stick to one's own belief and thinking without considering whether his thinking is logically and scientifically true or not. Logic of a fundamentalist is to consider his own thinking and belief as true and unquestionable whatever may be there in science or knowledge. This is not a logical conception.

Fundamentalism of some religious societies of the west believed that the Sun revolves around the Earth daily, because it is their belief according to their holy scripts and as such unquestionable. Out of this fundamentalist belief, they imprisoned and tortured Galileo, throughout his life. Yet Galileo's Heliocentric concept was found to be true, contrary to the Geocentric concept of the fundamentalists.

Repetition of same words, again and again, is not acquisition of knowledge! But our great Prophet Hazrat Mohammed (Peace be on him) gave highest priority to the acquisition of knowledge i.e. to know the actual truth about the world and creation i.e. to be dynamic adjusting with the new truth acquired for advancement. Knowledge is acquisition of truth as against falsehood, superstition and fundamentalism.

At the beginning of the British rule, the fundamentalists boycotted English language for which we, Muslims of the subcontinent, remained backward for 100 years. Even the modern cultural fundamentalists are abhorrent to English language making us incompatible to keep pace with the progress of the modern world.

Fundamentalism is, therefore, contrary to logical perception and truth based on science.

It will be a great service to mankind, if the fundamentalists of all the societies of the world realise their mistake.