A prominent U.S.-based Iranian philosopher believes that Western civilization is on the path of collapse while Islamic civilization continues to rise in Western countries.
In an exclusive interview with the Mehr News Agency, Seyyed Hossein Nasr said that despite the incessant efforts by Western governments to sow discord among Muslims, the Islamic civilization continues to expand in the West and the Islamic thought continues to thrive.
Nasr, a professor of Islamic studies at George Washington University and a prominent Islamic philosopher, has authored many scholarly books and articles. He is also known for his contribution to the field of comparative religion.
Following is an excerpt of a translation from Persian of the interview with Professor Nasr, which appeared on the Mehr website on Saturday:
Q: Do you believe in the so-called renaissance of the Islamic civilization in the current world?
A: Yes. Despite all the tragedies we are currently witnessing in the Islamic world, in countries like Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Pakistan, the Islamic civilization is on the rise. If modern humans stop destroying the environment and allow the world to continue to exist and if there is something left of history, the Islamic civilization will certainly thrive.
Since I was a teenager, I always believed in the Islamic renaissance, and through the years, I have always tried to revive the logical and philosophical aspects of Islamic civilization. Even now, I am very optimistic about the Islamic renaissance.
Despite all the problems that the Islamic world is facing, the spiritual and religious position of Islam is much stronger than secularism and Christianity in the West.
For example, there are only 2 million Muslims living in Britain, which is a major European country that has a population of 55 million people. However, the number of people going to mosques for Friday prayers is more than the number of people attending churches on Sundays. This may seem inconceivable, but it is the reality. The world is witnessing the collapse of Western civilization, a civilization which once dominated and amazed everyone.
Q: What impact will the current Islamophobia campaign have on Western people’s perception of the religion of Islam?
A: Islam continues to spread in the West despite all the media attacks on the religion. Various governments continue to spend their money to sow discord between Shias and Sunnis, between Arabs and non-Arabs to break up their unity. However, Islam is on the rise in the West and its position is even better than what we saw 50 years ago.
At that time, when I was writing my Ph.D. dissertation at Harvard University, I studied most of the books written on Islam in the West. Now, after 50 years, the literature has remained the same. The Iranians, the Egyptians, and Muslims in other countries have done almost nothing new to promote Islam. It is, in fact, the reality of Islam itself which continues to thrive in an astonishing way.
As an Iranian and a Muslim, I firmly believe that Islamic civilization will be revived, despite all the problems and difficulties it is facing.