Muhammad Sabila.. The thinker who defends “reason and modernity” is absent for a year

A year has passed since the departure of the Moroccan thinker and academic Mohamed Sabila, known for his writings, dialogues and translations defending “reason and modernity”.

This late science imprinted the paths of generations of philosophy students at the Moroccan University, and the paths of readers of books and newspapers, as well as the awareness of the followers of the cultural and political debate in Morocco and the Arab world.

Sábila’s intellectual project was the awareness of modernity and the need for it, and between the stations in which she explained the meaning of “modernity in Morocco” or the process of becoming aware of the need for the “modernizing option ” in the country was a milestone in the current history of Morocco, which came after the terrorist acts of May 16, 2003.

After the slogan “Modern Democratic Morocco” became popular, officially and in public debate, Sabil warned about “the duty of Moroccan intellectuals to analyze this slogan and examine its components, and contribute to the development of Moroccan consciousness, in the direction of greater control. and further clarification of the elements of this project in its two main components: modernity and democracy”.

He presented the path of modernity as a “general strategic option”, democracy is its “political incarnation”, at the same time that he perceived that “the passage from the slogan to analysis and thought requires a great intellectual and mental effort to think of the new statements that emerged within modernity”. the great transformations and works of the cosmic thought process.”

The thinker continued: “One of the tasks facing Moroccan thought today is to delve into the thought of modernity, which is today the watchword of the “society project” around which the State, modern elites, the parties and the living forces of our country, before stating that it is proposed to “parties and forces with The “modernist option” is to know that “modernity is not a prefabricated intellectual recipe or a “five-year design” to apply; Rather, it is an individual and collective intellectual effort and mental effort against oneself primarily to get rid of the society and culture of the decadent eras, and build a modern society and culture based on the development of rational and enlightened cores. in our Arab-Islamic heritage.”

Mohamed Sabila stressed that the “modernizing option” in Morocco is not strange, but root, in general; “From the needs of our history and our experience as a nation”, and its early pioneers, “a group of intellectuals, political reformers and jurists like Al-Sulaimani, Al-Kurdudi, Al-Hajwi, Al-Arabi Al-Alawi, Abdel -Karim Al-Khattabi, Allal Al-Fassi, Belhassan Al-Wazzani (…) Abdullah Ibrahim, Abdel Hadi Boutaleb, Muhammad Abed Al-Jabri and Abdullah Al-Aroui.

This elite felt “an acute historical awareness of the need to engage with the times; The modernizing option is a self-response to the challenges of the time, crystallizing in parallel to the colonial shock that awakened consciousness and national sense.” In its first moments, it was “only a preliminary option, which began to crystallize and its characteristics, elements and details became evident with the deepening of the historical experience; With the growth of Moroccan historical consciousness and the development of analytical thinking in the field of social sciences and humanities”.

This choice “which springs from the core of our culture and our national consciousness” continued to be, in Sábila’s reading, “a balanced option, and was not accompanied or emanated from extremist appeals against our religious and intellectual heritage and our historical burden; The modern history of Morocco has not witnessed the rise of extremist secular movements. With the exception of some dynamic reflections of some factions of the left and the ideas of the third world between the sixties and eighties, this current was quickly integrated into the core of advanced national historical consciousness and did not leave an intellectual heritage that consolidates these tendencies. . .”

And he added: “It is true that in that period the historical current appeared, which is a call to adopt rational, historical and critical modernist visions of heritage, and an invitation to represent the culture of modernity and focus on the fact that development and progress cannot be achieved by stroking the ghosts of the past and blocking out the illusions associated with it.” However, this trend “crystallized, on the other hand, an intellectual vision based on the need for a critical examination of our heritage and culture, stripping our consciousness of self-deception, and adopting the will for modernization and progress, through the adoption of science, technology and , rationality, democracy and all the mechanisms of modernity”.

Sabila criticized the attempt to “completely couple” “modernity” with the denial of the sacred, describing it as “the artificial opposition between religion and modernity”; He wrote: “The historical experiences of other peoples and cultures show that, with the exception of the French model, which was characterized by strong opposition between religious and political authorities, the various ideologies of modernity (the English Enlightenment and the German Enlightenment) and the various styles and experiences of modernity (the English model and the American model) were characterized by non-conflict and hostility between modernity and religion.” .

Sábila went on to explain: “Indeed, the sociology of modernity demonstrates that modernity is an internal dynamic that arises from the core of cultural and religious heritage, as is the case of European modernity itself.”

He also criticized the way of talking about modernity “as if it were just a linguistic term or just an idea or a pure mental possibility with which its owner does what he wants”, and the conception of modernity as “a locomotive that we all ride ”. regardless of whether or not we are aware of it, and regardless of the type and degree of our intellectual reaction “to it”; They are, according to a way; “An intellectual choice that necessity imposes on us to varying degrees.”

At the beginning of the 21st century, Sila watched over a “profound philosophical debate that was silently developing in the Moroccan intellectual and academic sphere” about modernity, “with a philosophical and rational logic; Starting from a clear modernist intellectual option”; It is a “real and profound intellectual dialogue on the philosophical foundations of modernity.” contrause.”

The importance of this discussion and its observations is reflected, according to the late thinker Muhammad Sabila, in “extending (…) the concept of reason and rationality to include its doors, its barriers and its canvases” and in “attributing claims of liberation to the modernity, and attributing salvific omens to democracy”.