It appears as if we are still living in the medieval era. The world has witnessed unprecedented growth on scientific and technological fronts. This growth has affected, largely positively, not only world economy but the social behaviors and political thought of mankind.

Since prehistory, land has remained as a symbol of prosperity of the man. In order to capture new territories and maintain one's hold of conquered areas, large and strong armies were prerequisite. Recent history has many such examples but the Mongol army holds a special place. The account of its brutalities and atrocities against civilians especially women and children can still send shivers across ones spine.

Strong armies were necessary in that era to not only squeeze precious resources from the conquered lands but were also an effective means to spread ones message and ideology. The conquered were often forced to let go their previous religious and social set of beliefs and adopt those of the new masters.

However, these symbols of prosperity and power have failed to maintain their importance. They are no more the only symbol of power and prosperity. They are no more an effective means to spread ones ideology. Economic and technological supremacy has taken over the traditional tools of influence. Latest communication systems and social media have enabled man to reach out to billions of fellow brethren to present his views.

Japan, a small island nation of the world is the second largest car exporter of the world. It is home of the world’s 3rd largest economy. Its area is a fraction more than that of Baluchistan province. The literacy rate in imperial Japan was once 12%. Now it's 99%.

Today, no country can hold international trade/transactions without avoiding International Bank of Settlement or banking system at large. Today, one in Pakistan is few clicks away to teach Quran in Quebec over VoIP. Today, clerics address public gatherings and instill new thoughts into their followers in Pakistan through satellite connectivity from Canada. Today, pilots sitting in California bomb their targets in North Waziristan.

All this has been made possible due to advancement in science and technology. We boast to be followers of a religion whose first divine message was "To Read". We always brag that we are followers of the Prophet of Allah who always considered learning the best deed.

However, we, unfortunately, have not progressed beyond idea of sin and redemption. We have structured our belief system in such a manner that today masses consider lousy spirituality as complete message of Islam.

Our clergy, motivated by political interests, has been so shortsighted that instead of understanding new realities, accepting redefined fault-lines and adopting modern techniques to cope with complex challenges of today's world, it is still stuck in hitting the heights of Ummayids through time tested means.

Occupying territories, killing indiscriminately and imposing laws on the conquered lands without taking into account the history, traditions and social structures of the society has become the customary practice.

We are living in medieval era. Because our ideologues still seem hell bent on teaching our children the same old ways to influence the world, both materially and ideology. The world has changed and so have the scales of greatness. If we wish to dominate the world, we'll have to stop planning to hate and defeat it. Instead, start we’d have to start competing it. Compete with the world in the field of science, do better research, encourage inventions, produce better art and write better literature. Today's world is controlled by a handful of multinationals. Their ideology and intentions will always remain debatable. But no one questions their dedication to what they have achieved. And there is no debate how they have done so: through science and technological supremacy.

If this nation wishes to increase its weight and stature in the community of nations and become more influential, it'll have to part ways with the old wine. We don't debate whether it was supposed to be a castle of Islam or not. We don't discuss how father of the nation perceived this land to be. We don't discuss the role of Ehrar, Jamat-e-Islami or Jamiat-e-Ulma-e-Hind in Pakistan Movement. These issues will always be viewed with prejudiced perspectives.

However, what we can debate is: how we can realign ourselves to the needs of survival in the modern world? We can ponder whether using old military means to gain influence in the world can ever work. Recent history has taught us otherwise.

In T.S. Eliot's words, "For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice." We need a new voice and there will be no better time to have one than the times we live in. We must all come forward and play our role to make 2015 better than the previous years.

Ars Mustafa is an Islamabad-based social activist and freelance writer