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Terrorism is alien to Islam
By K. Hamza, Calicut

The spate of terrorist activities unleashed by some fanatical miscreants and extremists in the garb of ‘Islam’ in some parts of the world has extensively damaged the image of Islam, the religion of peace. Some Muslim organizations, under the leadership of self-appointed custodians of Islam, with their narrow and myopic interpretation of the Qur'an and Sunna, are being misguided and pushed to indulge in ‘Islamic Terrorism,’ a term coined by the western media.

The Qur'an and Sunna, the tradition of the Prophet, explicitly urge the believers to refrain from violence and aggression. Every chapters of the Qur'an starts with the words: ‘In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful’. The core concept of Islam is peace. Islam emphasizes that Muslims must eschew brutality and extremism in the pursuit of their legitimate rights. The means and the ends should be equally justifiable and reasonable within the precepts of Islamic teaching. Regrettably, hate and mistrust have taken over in the Islamic world where love and piety once reigned.

It is worth noting and pondering the following verses of the Qur'an which is the first source of inspiration for Muslims:
* ‘Fight for the sake of Allah those that fight against you, but do not attack them first. Allah does not love the aggressors’ (2:190).
* ‘Whosoever killed a person, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whosoever gave life to one, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind’ (5:32).
* ‘And good and evil are not alike. Repel evil with that which is best. And lo, he between whom and thyself was enmity will become as though he were a warm friend’ (41:34).

Now let us take Sunna or the sayings and life of the Prophet, upon whom be peace. The Prophet said, ‘No one amongst you should point a weapon towards others, for he does not know that satan might cause the weapon to injure someone and then he may fall into hell fire.’

A person happened to come to the mosque in Madinah with arrows and the iron-ends were exposed. Thereupon the Prophet told him to take hold of their pointed heads so that they may not do any harm to others. In another occasion, the Prophet saw a person giving training in archery to his son by targeting a hen. The Prophet advised the parent not to use any living being as a target for such training. Kindness and mercy to animals are most important. Once the disciples asked the Prophet whether they would reeceive any reward if they fed or saved any animal’s life. He replied that they will be rewarded by God if they feed and rescue any living being. In another instance, the Prophet told us that a woman would be thrown into hell because of a cat which she had confined it in a room until it died due to lack of food and water, while a sinner woman would be pardoned by God because she gave water to a thirsty dog standing near a well from which she drew water for it. ‘One, who is not merciful to others, will not be treated mercifully,’ said the Prophet. All these teachings clearly indicate that Islam does not foster cruelty and animosity. Islam stands for peace and love towards human beings and animals.

But, alas, where do present-day Muslims stand? The fire-breathing exhortation of some virulent clerics in some Muslim countries to wage Jihad (holy war) has infused an ardent desire in some stupid, bigoted, fanatical, ignoramus and desperate psychopaths to embrace ‘martyrdom.’ They are under the spell of a collective hysteria and insane fury. They also act as human bombs with explosives strapped around their bodies. Strangely enough, some Muslim scholars do not view such acts as suicide and further, they have given sanction to such horrendous acts as a part of Jihad. They also use vehicle-laden explosives and blow up public buildings, market places, shopping complexes and houses indiscriminately, maiming and killing innocent people. Hijacking planes or blocking traffic on roads, causing harassment to innocent passengers are other methods adopted by terrorists. Could any Muslim scholar quote any proof from the Qur'an and Sunna in support of such terrorist acts?.

Such acts of religious fanatics give much grist to the media, hostile to the Muslim countries, to churn out propaganda against Islam.

A question may naturally may arise here: What about the uprising of Muslims against their corrupt regimes which persecute them just because of their religion and human rights? Remember, Islam approves self-defence which is not an offence. Look at the uprising of the Palestininan people against the Zionist occupiers. The Palestinians have been ousted from their homeland and deprived of their properties and human rights. They target their occupier and its its staunch supporter, the USA. Muslims are duty-bound to support their struggle for retrieving their homeland and rights through peaceful means or through armed struggle. All Arab and Muslim countries should co-operate in this matter and extend full support with money and material, to the Palestinian struggle.

In the past five decades, the terrorist political thought first emerged in the West Asian countries in the wake of the zionist oppression of the Palestinians. Hizbullah and other groups attacked Israel and the US military bases. In retaliation, Israel and the US indiscriminately bombed Palestinians and Lebanese territories killing civilian population. Such heinous acts of the US and Israel were not viewed as ‘terrorism’ by the Western media. In the late 1970s, in a bid to undermine the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the CIA and the rebel factions triggered terrorist activities to uproot the regime of the mullas. The same happened in Algeria too. The mercenary 'Islamic terrorists', recruited by the Paris-based rebel factions, launched a series of massacres and cowardly terrorist acts in Algeria, to undermine the efforts of forming an Islamic government by the Islamic Salvation Front (ISF), the Islamic political party which won landslide victory in the general election in the early 1990s. The US and the western countries, particularly France, loathed and feared Islamic revivalism in Muslim countries which were under their domain and therefore they robbed the ISFof the fruits of a fair elections although these countries do not tire preaching us about hte virtues of ‘democracy’.

In modern times, the US is acting as the sole super power. The humiliating debacle of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan further strengthened this attitude of the US. Washington perceives the Islamic militancy as a threat to its global dominance. The CIA and other international secret agencies finance some outfits and recruit unemployed youths in order to engage them in terrorist acts and promote international terrorism under the camouflage of ‘Muslim extremists’ in a bid to tarnish the image of Islam and Muslims so that Islam may lose public support and credibility in waging actual Jihad against oppressors and occupiers. The ruling elites in some Muslim countries are corrupt and indulge in un-Islamic practices mimicking western culture. They instigate fratricidal and sectarian clashes in the Muslim countries where Muslims are gunned down even inside mosques. This is an outrageous violation of the sanctity of the mosques: ‘And who kills a believer intentionally, his reward shall be Hell wherein he shall abide’ (Qur'an 4:93). Driven by an insane fury, these ‘Muslim extremists’ unleash on their victims barbaric atrocities such as rape and mutilation of women and children. Intelligence agencies in nexus with their corrupt regimes are covertly playing their nefarious roles in such grisly acts, under the façade of ‘Muslim extremists’.

Jihad is to be first aimed at one's own self-purification. It means one should fight the enemy within himself and then turn to rectify others' faults. This is the first step of Jihad, said the Prophet.
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