The destruction of the pearls of world civilization does not attract the same attention as in case of the fire at Notre Dame

Mosul's Great Mosque of al-Nuri was destroyed in June 2017 by ISIS AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images


Ph.D. in political science Elnur Aslanov

“As long as the Muslim world does not transform the concept of social responsibility into a lifestyle, there is no such synergy of people like in the West,” Ph.D. in political science Elnur Aslanov notes in his latest article for Gordonua.com.

Why does charity better in the West than in the East?

Just a few days after the fire at Notre-Dame-de-Paris, thousands of social media publications enthusiastically and emotionally were describing donations from eminent French families having allocated funds in the amount of more than $ 700 million (amount changing every day) to restore the cathedral, that was built on the site of the first Christian Church in Paris.

Parallels with how the West responds to the actions in the Middle East started to be drawn along with the news on the nobility of Arno and Pino families and Total Group. There was no such big stir after the destruction of the Umayyad Mosque of Aleppo (the oldest mosque of the city, according to legend the tomb of the Prophet Zechariah is located there. – “GORDON”) having a 1350-year history, as in the case of the fire at Notre Dame.

It’s not about the fire in Paris has touched the hearts of millions and become a personal tragedy for many people or about hundreds of millions of people around the world were watching the burning cathedral in real time. Moreover, this isn’t a matter of discussion of Umayyad Mosque’s destruction was limited to a couple of news. The problem does not lie in the fact of the confrontation of the Christian and Muslim world, as some may conclude.

Since the early 1970s, the West has been actively implementing the concept of social responsibility. It mobilizes companies and individuals to take into account the interests of society and, accordingly, improves the quality of social life in general. The Western concept, which has gone far beyond the framework of companies’ corporate culture is clearly formulated as the concept of giving back to society. Eventually, for the last 50 years, this way of behavior has changed lifestyle of the Western society.

Unfortunately, the Muslim society (Ummah) is not in a hurry to put the concept of social responsibility into action, as the Western society did. Despite the fact that many wealthy people from Muslim countries live and work in Europe, and could adopt their experience, no damage, fires, bombings or other cataclysms cause them to show the same reaction.

Companies and people owning multibillion-dollar businesses around the world had not taken same similar action not just during the destruction of the Umayyad Mosque of Aleppo, but also when ISIS blew up the central library of Mosul, and so destroyed 8–10 thousands of books, including ancient works on philosophy, history, culture. Hundreds of thousands of pages of disproportionate amount of historical and art treasures have been irrevocably lost.

A photo posted by ISIS showing the destruction of religious sites.
Photo: via Newsweek.

Even when the historical Maryam Khatoon Mosque, a construction of the 1821 year in the West of Mosul, the Mosque “Sultan Vais” (1838) and the Mosque built during the Caliph Omar, and named after him were destroyed, no actions or steps were taken. No actions or steps that would catch the attention of the world society. This is not only about the buildings of Islamic culture. The Middle East is a repository of the pearls of world civilization that are destroyed or wiped off the face of the earth.

In all kinds of ways, one of the roots of the problem lies in the absence of social responsibility culture in the Muslim World, which does not motivate businesses and individuals to take active socially-responsible behavior. It happens despite the obligatory charity (zakat) among the pillars of Islam. There are also other factors and causes. Nevertheless, one of them is already apparent.

Therefore, as long as the Muslim world does not transform the concept of social responsibility from ordinary philanthropy into a lifestyle and mental model, unfortunately, it would never be possible to achieve such a brilliant effect of social harmony that the whole world witnessed after the fire in Paris.

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