SOME people imagine that fanaticism is blindly implemented. That is not the case; fanaticism adopted under certain conditions as a result of ignorance and lack of proper education is at other times learned and put into practice as the result of training lasting many years.
Fanatics who undergo this training are convinced that their teachings are the truest interpretation of life, and willingly and deliberately espouse those ideas.
People who adopt fanaticism as a philosophy transmit their traditions from one generation to another in a disciplined manner through education, both within the family and at school.
Fanatical thinking is taught to children subjected to a serious and comprehensive book reading training from a very early age through a systematic approach.
Since the parents have also gone through the same education, the information their children acquire at school and in the family environment is similar. This leads to children receiving the same fanatical indoctrination wherever they are. It is therefore very unlikely for a child raised in a fanatical family to develop a different perspective to that of its parents.
One of the main characteristics of Muslim fundamentalists is that they regard the Holy Quran as insufficient in their own eyes. They claim it is impossible for anyone to understand the Quran by reading it on their own, and that the faith can only be learned from traditional scholars and their works.
In that light, no books other than those by scholars who espouse fanaticism are ever recommended, but are even banned entirely. Through this way of wicked thinking that regards the Quran and the true hadiths of our Prophet (pbuh) as insufficient, people are prevented from acquiring true information.
Another feature of fanaticism is obsession with detail. Something that is explained in just one verse in the Quran is explained over hundreds of pages in books containing fundamentalist teachings.
The more detail fundamentalists go into, the more they turn away from the truth of faith, though they never realise. And in this way they disappear inside superstitious information with no place in the Quran; they turn away from the rational spirit of the Quran that opens up the heart and begin living by fanaticism filled with nonsense.
The best way of freeing people from this dark philosophy is a systematic and accurate programme of education. It is essential for religious education in Muslim countries to be based on the Quran. New generations must learn the faith from the Quran itself, not from fundamentalist books.
One important subject that children need to be told about is the fact that scientific findings are in complete harmony with the verses of the Quran. Many scientific findings are never brought up or regarded as important under the fanatical way of thinking. Spheres of art such as music, painting, sculpture and architecture are described as the work of satan and banned. Yet numerous verses of the Quran emphasise the need for art and beauty.
The fanatical perspective, also referred to as fundamentalism, leads people into darkness and it also exists in Christian and Judaic societies. It can also be found among atheist, Marxist, fascist and various false belief systems. In that sense, fundamentalism is a threat, not only to Islamic countries, but to all mankind.
Fanatics are excessively devoted to their own ideas and reject all other ideas and are often all too willing to implement policies of violence when they regard that as necessary.
Since they are blind to the truth, they have no compunction about responding to contrary ideas with aggression. For that reason, the people of the world are increasingly divided into thousands of groups that have adopted violence as a philosophy of life, and each one regards itself as on the right path, while admitting no right to exist to any of the others. As a result, war and conflict go on forever.
All this turmoil can be brought to an end through serious measures being taken in the field of education across the world. If Muslim countries adopt the true moral values of the Quran and embrace all people with a perspective based on friendship, brotherhood, respect and understanding, then the division between them will come to an end.
They will be able to serve as role models for the entire world with their emphasis on love, peace, brotherhood and freedom of thought, and their fair and democratic attitudes.
Adnan Oktar's article on New Straits Times