Khurram Murad (1932-1996) holds a distinctive place in the world of philosophy and intellectualism. He was a great thinker, author, professor, mentor and effective critic of many popular ideas of his time such as Secularism, Liberalism, and Communism. He gave a new direction to the emerging Islamic Movements and many of them were led by him. He clearly influenced the secular ideas of many people, including politicians and educated class. He is famous not only in Pakistan but in Europe and the West.
These thoughts were presented by UK based renowned scholar and the professor of Leeds University Dr Salman Sayyid in Khurram Murad Memorial Lecture 2015 held at the University of Management and Technology (UMT), Lahore.
Expressing his views Dr. Salman Sayyid said that Khuram Murad was a great thinker of Islam who awakened Muslim consciousness and influenced people of other faiths around the world. He said Muslim community in Britain was the strongest community in Europe and all this was only possible due to unremitting struggle of great people like Khuram Murad who rendered services for humanity and advocated humanity regardless of caste, color and ethnicity. He said Khurram Murad’s legacy was not only to that of penning up many books but also how he was able to influence other scholars, raised the consciousness of common people and helped in establishing organizations and institutions that played a role in becoming a voice of Muslim community and their recognition in Britain. He said Muslim Community in Europe was the largest donor of charity and despite their services for humanity, coexisting with other groups in peace and tranquility; Muslims were subject to disproportionate, unjustifiable bias. Such attitudes distance them from enjoying their most fundamental social rights and they were portrayed as extremists and fanatics.
Dr Salman Sayyid said Europe and America hold a different concept of democracy which was always not impartial for the Muslim world. When Palestinian people vote for Hamas, the West rejected public will, when democracy took its roots in Egypt, America and Europe put hurdles in its way. He said Islam is not given any tolerance in the western world rather the mass media of European countries regularly and recklessly insult Islamic religious symbols, especially the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Throwing light on the idea of “Eurocentralism” Dr Salman said that although Pakistan was not in Europe but Europe really was in Pakistan and this was a problem. Colonialism still plays a key role in the world we live in. Colonists have never left the minds of many people and it was much easier to be colonized when you had a colonial administrator inside your head, rather somewhere outside. He said when colonial administrator was somewhere outside, and then you could see it and argue against it. He said Eurocentrism was a way of thinking in which the idea the “West is the best” holds the worth and under the shadow of this concept Muslims were also required to think themselves inside the established norms and values of the Western World and do not think beyond this ideology. Again referring to Islamophobia the Scholar said that it was the response of raising Muslim consciousness in crystallization; it was about the idea that Muslims had a role to play in the world which is not confined to them in being in the mosque. Dr Salman Sayyid concluded that Islamophobia was not against the Muslims and Islam but it was against Muslim autonomy and against the idea that Muslims should make their own history.
The Khurram Murad Memorial Lecture 2015 was also addressed by Rector UMT Dr Hasan Sohaib Murad, Farooq Salman Murad and Dr Aijaz Aslam. A great number of general public, media persons, students and faculty members were present on the occasion.