When we are able to map a common ‘moral terrain’ within and across a culture or wider society, we can start to see people navigate this terrain to converge on a shared understanding and shared desire to move forward. There are currently several sizable movements to try and bring Americans together in a more useful conversation across our political and moral tribes, using much of this science of human understanding. Reason Revival is one of them. The future of this is uncertain, but it is worth our efforts, and we certainly have the tools. If we can apply this kind of moral psychology and human understanding in America and the West, to better navigate the problems and issues across our human landscape, maybe we can apply it across much of the diverse and expansive tapestry of the Muslim world as well, with a view to how local scientific thinking and science revivals can best take off.
A quote from my upcoming book, about “how we can converge our Spheres of Skills and Knowledge, across Muslim and Secular Communities, for an empowerment of Dissidents, Freethinkers, and a new Scientific Golden Age within Islamic societies
In the big picture- the long war-this is about how we use the tools of reasoning, critical thinking, literacy, science and skepticism, enabled through the empowering medium of idea exchange, diffusive information sharing and education. These are our best weapons, from Afghanistan to Egypt, Syria and Algeria, all the way into the marginalized and impoverished ghettos of Paris and London. The manner in which we foster or assist such processes, and the grounded nuances of how we tailor them to the sociocultural realities and human circumstances across the urban and rural terrain of these areas and regions, is itself a project worth exploring with the same vigor that we explore the human genome, medical breakthroughs, and space ventures to Mars. The literary, scientific and educational empowerment of human societies through the medium of their own cultures, in truly ground-up ways respectful of and receptive to the people and activists within them, should be part of the Arms Race of the 21st century.
We’re all human, we all came from stardust, and we all share the same evolved ancestral nature. Across our outer layers of tribe, identity, race and religion, we share the same micro-expressive emotions* and innate capacities for love, hate, compassion, and reasoning, and – most importantly – we all want to flourish.
Science and reason can take off across the Muslim world, and we can see a Moral Arc within Islam. It will draw on our ability to hope, to dream, and to remove our self-imposed barriers to collaboration and solidarity, across Muslim and secular frontiers.
The Muslim world thrived once, it can thrive again. Let us work together to set sail for the stars
“Per Aspera, Ad Astra!”
” من خلال المشقة, الى النجوم !”