Monday, March 9, 2015

PRIMACY OF ISLAM: Correspondence between Javed Jamil and C. Lehmann

(Here is an interesting correspondence between Dr. Javed Jameel and Mr. Christoff Lehmann, Editor-in-Chief of “nsnbc International”. Dr Jameel is an eminent Islamic thinker of writer of many scholarly books. The letters date back to Oct 2014 but were mailed by Dr. Javed Jameel to this editor only today. We publish it as it will be interesting know, how the brain and the heart works of world leaders in Journalism, diametrically in opposite directions.-SMAgha)
Writes Dr. Javed Jamil
It appears that the modern intellectuals, writers and analysts are not ready to acknowledge the supremacy of Islamic principles even when their hearts are convinced. Recently, I received a letter from the Secretary of Christoff Lehmann, Editor-in-Chief, nsnbc international asking for the full pdf format of the just published first volume (Dynamic Paradigm of Health) of my book, “Quranic Paradigms of Sciences & Society”.

Lehmann is an internationally renowned thinker and writer who also worked as one of the advisors of Yasser Arafat. Before establishing NSNBC international in 2013, he has been working for almost three decades in psychology and as independent consultant in international politics. He is a lifetime advocate for human rights, Palestinian rights to self-determination and statehood, international justice, and the prosecution of war crimes, including those who are being committed by privileged nations. Dr. Christof Lehmann, born 1958 in West Germany, was Advisor for Research in Psycho-traumatology to Yassir Arafat and Survivor of the Sabra Shatila Massace in 1982.

I sent him the pdf format of the work and received the following reply after about a week:

Lehman Writes to Dr. Javed Jamil.
Thank you for sending the PDF of your book for review. I spent a couple of hours reviewing some of the chapters of your book and found it very interesting. I fully agree with your basic premises, for example that the public health sectors, worldwide, increasingly become driven by economic considerations rather than fundamental, ethical considerations and what could be described as best practice. In fact, one can observe a new, economic moral being introduced in public health sectors. Just to mention one example; governments in Europe are running extensive campaigns against smoking tobacco, moralizing that it costs the public sector and the tax payer millions a year for the treatment of smoking related syndromes. The focus is on public spending, not on health. I also find your religious angle to the discourse on public health extremely interesting, because readily available studies show that an ecological approach to health, that takes cultural factors into account, is more efficient than an approach that focuses on the syndromes as isolated entities, detached from their environmental and other context or even from the individual itself.
That said, I decided not to write a review because I have to take my position as editor of an independent newspaper into account when making decisions about reviews. With all due respect for your personal views and religious affiliations, I cannot fully endorse a book whose author states that his particular religion has primacy, above all others. I have been brought up in a Buddhist belief system with strong Christian influences and would not be able to endorse any book that proclaims the primacy of Buddhism or Christianity above all other religions either. I find it my ethical, personal and professional duty not to publicly endorse any position that declares the primacy of any religion, anywhere.
To make the point, there are at least 2,700 religious belief systems which are being practised today. In Nepal alone, for example, there are over 300. NSNBC international is an independent and international newspaper that is, literally, being read by people in all countries. I was surprised to realize that we had achieved that after less than 10 month. That is quite a success, considering that it was established in February 2013. Please understand that my primary obligation is to keep it this way. I am confident that you understand my position and the fact that the world needs independent media more than you would need my endorsement of your book.
With warm regards and best wishes for success with your book.
Christof Lehmann
Editor-in-Chief, nsnbc International

Following the receipt of this letter, Dr. Jameel gave him the following reply:
Dear Dr Lehmann
I have no objection to your not reviewing the book on account of its religious angle. But right in the preface I have stated that all religions are important, and despite my presenting the incredible emphasis in Islam on all aspects of health and developing a Quranic Paradigm of Health, I have nowhere tried to belittle any other religion. I firmly believe that all religions must come together to fight an ideological war against the corrupt policies of the modern world. And I'd love to see that religious scholars belonging to all religions must present the relevance of their beliefs and practices in the current world. Rather than criticizing others for giving importance to their own religion, we should respect the rights of all to think their religion as the best. Because if they do not consider their religion as best, why would they stick to that religion?
I would not have minded if you had put the medical angle alone in your review and would have even criticized the book to have concentrated on one religion. My primary purpose is to promote a system where health has supremacy over every other consideration. I would have also loved to see the devouts of other religions presenting the positions of their own religions. But suppressing a view just because it talks of a specific religion is not convincing at all.
Thanks any way. Regards

Dr. Javed Jamil
Oct, 28, 2014

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