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Internet Culture

Much has been made of alternative media and the "Internet culture," of social networks and virtual relationships. Given that they helped generate mass mobilizations strong enough to overthrow regimes, any humanist thinking worthy of the name, particularly if it defines itself as secular, must study and assess today's "Internet culture" and, more generally, the media. Though it has empowered the masses, this same cult tends to relieve individuals of their personal responsibilities, hidden as they are behind virtual relationships, anonymity, and an obsession with surveillance, manipulation, and conspiracy.

Universal Miracle

Whenever a Prophet addressed his people, calling on them to believe in God and in the Day of Judgement, they asked him to come up with miraculous evidence in support of his message. The Arabs of Makkah also demanded such miracles from the Prophet. God gave earlier Messengers such miraculous signs: the Prophet Moses transformed his staff into a fast moving serpent, and his hand changed colour when he put it on his chest; the Prophet Jesus cured the blind man and restored a dead man to life; and other Prophets were given miracles that suited their peoples and their standard of civilization. The Prophet Muhammad was given none of these because his message was applicable to all mankind in all generations. To produce a miracle seen by a limited group of people, large as it may be, at a particular time and in a particular place, does not fit with that status of his message and its universal applicability. The Prophet refers to this when he says:

Oppression of Women

The creation of superstitions and the spreading of ignorant backward beliefs of family traditions, the inherited faulty systems of order along with servitude, the tradition of 'father power' in the community, the lack of psychology, all weave themselves together like a spider's web. And it is this very web which impoverishes the woman within itself. She becomes known as 'someone who is behind the curtain'. All of this occurs in the name of Islam, in the name of religion, in the name of tradition and worst of all, in the name of 'similarity to Fatemeh'.

Natural Fear

Everyone will experience the loss of a loved one. When the Prophet lost his son Ibrahim, he wept but also praised God, the source of life and death. People who believe in God and in the Afterlife handle death well. The same is true with calamities and tribulations. Maurice Bucaille, the well-known French physician, said that what attracted his interest in Islam was how North Africans in France faced death. As a physician exposed to disease and death, he observed many of his own countrymen not knowing how to die or handle death.

Conditional Trust

Al-Baqara (The Cow) Sura 2: Verses 30-31 (partial)

"And when your Lord said to the angels: 'I will create a vicegerent on earth', they said: 'Will You place therein one who will spread corruption and shed blood, whilst we hymn Your praise and glorify Your holy (name)?' God answered: 'I know that which you know not.' And He taught Adam the names of all things."

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