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Saturday, 10 December 2011

Why brand entire Muslim community as terrorist?

From TCN
By Aziz A. Mubaraki,
Terrorism should be seen as an international menace. No religious identity should be attached to it as no religion on earth justifies terrorism that often ends up killing innocent people. Islam strongly forbids violence against the innocent. The unenlightened Muslims who say they are acting in defence of the religion may have either misinterpreted Islam or are practising it erroneously. And so, if one views at Islam on the basis of the activities of these misguided people, he or she will make a big mistake.
Yet the fact is, since the 9/11 World Trade Center attack, the entire Muslim community has been living in despair by being misunderstood by most in the rest of the world. The attack by few criminals was condemned by global Muslim leadership that identified the attackers as the black sheep in the community. But unfortunately, the entire Muslim community is still being viewed as terrorist today.

Very few non-Muslims have bothered to consider the facts that tens of thousands of local Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan have been involved in anti-terrorism operations, helping the Allied Forces and local governments. Could the US-led military action against Iraq ever succeed if it did not get key support of the Islamic country of Saudi Arabia?
In recent times, some ill-informed groups have been slapping a number of unrealistic charges against Muslims. They portray Muslims as bad ferocious individuals, citing specific incidents to their convenience as evidence, even though in almost all cases they are very far cry from the truth. They try to give a totally different impression of the Islam as revealed in the Qur’an, citing various wars that took place as the religion spread around the world. They overlook the fact that in those wars Muslims took to arms basically to defend themselves. Their charges against Muslims or Islam are routinely hollow and always go unsubstantiated. The people in question are unacquainted with Islam, and are badly informed of the true face of those who commit cruelty in the name of Islam. They are often unable to evaluate the state of affairs in question in a healthy and rational manner.
If someone truly wants to know what Islam is, he or she should read the Quran- the only authentic source to know the religion. The Quran is based on the concepts of morality, love, compassion, mercy, modesty, self-sacrifice, tolerance and peace. One, who truly follows the path of Islam- as advised in the Quran, is considered the best Muslim. Not all Muslims follow the Quran. So, not all Muslims are good Muslims or good human beings. However, today Islam is mostly being identified on the basis of what its morality-less followers are doing.
On reading the Quran one can understand how Allah instructs His followers to be nice to his neighbours around, and shun cruelty and violence. Allah says, He does not like his followers who resort to violence against innocent people. Those who do not obey this divine command are walking in the footsteps of Satan and moving away from Allah.
Even the political doctrine in Islam is extremely peaceful, moderate and accommodating. The concept that badly needs clarification in this context is that of "jihad". The exact meaning of "Jihad" is "effort". That is, "to carry out jihad" is "to show efforts, to struggle". To be very precise, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) explained that "the greatest jihad is the one a person carries out against his lower soul". Here the “lower soul" is one’s selfish desire, unhealthy ambitions and immoral intentions. The use of the concept of "jihad" for acts of aggression against innocent people, is indeed “TERRORISM”, and is not only unjustified but amounts to a serious distortion of tenets of Islam. These misguided lots- "the terrorists", ignore what their conscience says and listen to their earthly desire for violence by resorting to wickedness, which is indeed un-Islamic. They become loveless, aggressive people who do not hesitate to hurt others without the slightest pang of conscience. Having no fear of Allah or God, they do not abide by the morality of their religion, nor do they practice it. Nothing can stop them from committing crimes and hurting the innocents. Hence these misguided men should not be considered followers of any religion at all.
Compassion, peace and tolerance constitute the very basis of Islam, and the commands of the Quran leave no room for dispute and contradictions. The moral teaching offered to humanity by Islam is one that aims to bring peace, happiness and justice to the world. The barbarism that is happening in the world today under the name of "Islamic Terrorism" has no connection with the Quran. Such terrorism-related activities are the work of a section of ignorant, bigoted criminals who have nothing to do with religion and its tenets. A strong action should be taken against these individuals, groups and organizations who take to savagery under the guise of Islam.
Throughout the 13 years they lived in Mecca, our Prophet (PBUH) and his Companions were subjected to terrible duress, attacks and slanders; they were forced to leave their homes and threatened with death. But they never resorted to violence despite all this aggression and oppression they faced. When the oppression in Mecca increased, they migrated to Medina, and during the Medina period they only engaged in wars that were unavoidable and for defensive purposes. This further leaves every Muslim with a duty to represent, through his attitudes and behavior, the religion of Allah in all finest possible manners. Muslims must display kindness, humility, forgiveness, as our Prophet (PBUH) possessed. And they must be compassionate and affectionate as he was.
The people who make malicious claims, imagines that it is genuine Muslims who abide by the Qur’an that spread terror in the name of Islam. The fact is, however, that they (ill doers) have nothing to do with the Qur’an or Islam at all. By making these allegations against Muslims, the motivated sections in question ignore one very important point. As is known in history the USA caused the deaths of tens of thousands of people by dropping atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But the Islamic world never sought to lay the blame for this action perpetrated by the U.S. government or Christians. In the same way, thousands of Muslims were barbarically slaughtered during the attacks which were openly called the Crusades, and even Christians belonging to other sects were tortured to death, many mosques were both pillaged and ransacked. The blood that has recently been shed in Iraq, Afghanistan and other Muslim countries was Muslim blood. But Muslims have never used this as grounds to charge that the people who live by the Gospel are killers. Any sane person can see that irreligion always reigns anywhere in which oppression is taking place. Indeed, rational Muslims who abide by the Qur’an and believe in Allah never hold Christians responsible for the massacres in question. That is not something that anyone who genuinely believes in Allah could do.
Unless one reads the Quran he or she cannot understand what Islam is all about. The Quran preaches that Muslims must not go to extreme in any war.
“Fight in the Way of Allah against those who fight you, but do not go beyond the limits. Allah does not love those who go beyond the limits.” (Surat al-Baqara, 190)
“But if they cease, Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surat al-Baqara, 192)
(Aziz A. Mubaraki is Member, Advisory Committee, Airport Authority of India (NSC), Ministry of Civil Aviations, Government of India)

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