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Terrorism: greatest danger to Islam and Muslims -ii
By Maulana Akhlaq Hussain Qasmi

Muslims staying in USA
Young men born in the US and having religious sentiments are becoming difficult to control and keep under check. They may also probably adopt the course of terrorism. It is feared that action against such youngmen may be taken at governmental level. They have implicated a Muslim in the explosion that took place in the World Trade Centre. The well-known American magazine Newsweek has said, or rather declared throughout the world, that this is the handiwork of some Muslims. Another magazine, Time has said that investigations are going on and nothing can be said authoritatively. It is quite possible that this explosion might have been done by Jews because Zionist forces are very much afraid of the growth of the Muslim ‘fundamentalism’ in the US. They are noticing that centres of fundamentalist Muslims are already established in the US and assistance is being provided to Muslim countries from here. It is said that immigrant Muslims of the US are rendering all kinds of help and assistance, moral as well as financial, to Hamas activities in Palestine. From this point of view it is feared that local population of the US may take some steps against Muslims. But if US Muslims adopt the course of terrorism, the consequences for Islamic movements at the international level will be very harmful and dangerous. Because of this I have taken such a long time and given so much importance to it. Now I wish to describe in detail three points clearly in this connection:

Success of terrorism
The first thing is that success is not possible through terrorist methods. This method is successful only in those places where, because of some foreign aggression, occupation armies have to devote their entire attention and resources to meet the foreign incursion and cannot pay full attention towards internal conflict and terrorist activities. Or if the supply line of these armies is very long, in which case it may be disrupted through terrorist or guerrilla activities. But this method is never successful against national armies or national governments. The outstanding example of this is that of Vietnam where a super power like the US failed because its status in Vietnam was that of an occupation army. Its supply lines were very long, i.e., all the way from the US to Vietnam, a distance of thousands of miles. Therefore, it was defeated against the Vietnamese resistance. The second example is that of Algeria. People of Algeria waged guerrilla warfare against France and won. They succeeded because the French army was not a national army; rather it was an occupation army. Her supply lines were stretched and hence France faced defeat in Algeria and the Algerian movement succeeded. Therefore, it proves that this method succeeds only at such places where (1) foreign armies are occupants, and (2) supply lines of these armies are long.

Failure of terrorism
This method is not successful against national armies. This may be noted that an important reason for the success of the Mujahideen against Russia in Afghanistan was that Russians had come from a foreign land which made the local population stand up against them with full force. And secondly, a super power at that time was at the back of the Afghans and the Mujahideen were receiving full assistance from this superpower.

One reason for the success of the jihad in Algeria at that time was that the US was backing freedom movements throughout the world in those days after the second world war. Even though it might not have been actively helping but freedom movements throughout the world were getting moral support from the US. In India’s independence also American support was there. It pressurized Britain to free India and this proved decisive. Even then the struggle and sacrifices made here have their own importance and nobody can deny this fact. Any foreigner or anyone will say good words about you only when you yourselves will be prepared to lay down your lives.

These were some examples where freedom movements succeeded by adopting terrorist methods. Now I am giving the example of failure.

Freedom Movement of Palestine
An important example in this connection is that of the PLO and Al-Fatah. The fact is that these Palestinian groups have gone to such an extent in terrorist activities and they have performed such great feats that are probably unparalleled in the world. Not only their menfolk, even their women have performed great feats. But in spite of all this, why did they fail? The reason is that Jews had come and settled down in Israel and the mutual Palestinian-Jewish conflict became a local phenomenon. If our Palestinian brethren would have stood up and faced the Jews when they were being brought from neighbouring and far off places and settled down here, then they could have succeeded. But now Jews have already settled down in Israel and the struggle of Palestinians is not against any foreign occupation army but against an internal government. The results of these should be borne in mind. These contain a great lesson for us.

Terrorism and the Sunnah
Most important thing for us is that this method of terrorism is not the way of Muhammad, the Prophet of Allah, upon whom be peace.This will be described in detail when we shall discuss the prophetic revolution in a positive manner. Here only this much is to be said that there is no possibility of success by following this method.

The second important thing is that a very harmful effect of this method will be that terrorism and fundamentalist Islamic movements throughout the world will become synonymous words, if they are not already in the process of becoming synonymous. Hence enemies of Islam will have moral justification to crush Muslims. As a matter of fact, anything enjoying moral justification carries much weight. The effects of anything done without moral justification are very much different from things carried out under moral justification.

Disrepute of Jihad in God’s way
The biggest crime of this thought, in my view, is that we put the label of ‘jihad in the way of God’ on such wrong activities. Billions of rupees collected in this way are spent for disruptive activities and groups. This to my mind, is a very big crime. This is simply bringing bad name to Islam and misuse of pious and holy words of ‘jihad in the path of God.’ Literally every struggle is a jihad, no doubt. But Jihad in the path of God is something else and its terms and conditions are different. Jihad in the way of God will take the form of a battle only if certain conditions are fulfilled. First of all, some such persons should already exist who, by their character and outward appearance, should look like true slaves of God. Without this, it is simply bringing bad name to Jihad. Again, owing allegiance to an Ameer, political ruler, is a necessary pre-condition for carrying out a jihad for the sake of God. Just as salaat cannot be offered without ablution, in the same way jihad cannot be termed a jihad without these preconditions. But we put the seal of ‘jihad’ on every conflict, with the result that we have taken up the challenge of bringing bad name to the Islamic concept of jihad.

Defence of life and property
Our struggle to defend life and property against robbers and terrorists is separate from Jihad and a Muslim killed during or as a result of of such defence is also a martyr, because the Prophet, pbuh, has said that a person who is killed while defending his goods, honour and property is also a martyr. Death by accident or epidemics too is martyrdom. The Prophet, pbuh, said that death by intestinal diseases is also martyrdom. But there is a lot of difference between such martyrdom and that resulting from jihad for the sake of God. The whole life of a Muslim is Jehad and his death is martyrdom. He has to lead his life as a witness to God. As I have stated, there are very strict conditions for jihad in the path of God and fighting for His cause.

From the point of view of the present standards of power, it is not a matter of religiosity or wisdom to create a spirit of jihad among the powerless sections. Even if we Muslims perform jihad, we do so by obtaining arms and money from Europe and America. When this kind of help stops, we become involved in inner conflicts for sharing power as in Afghanistan.

Referring to a poem by Allama Iqbal, Dr Israr has mentioned a fable concerning Iblees and a man which is very instructive: ‘In this connection I remember a couplet of Allama Iqbal in which he has spoken about Satan’s implorations to God. Addressing God, Satan says to Him: ‘O God this Man is nothing compared to me. I see no strength or power at all in him. He is simply a small stock of hay. A single spark from me is sufficient to reduce him to ashes’:
‘Ibn-e-Adam cheest? Yak musht-e-khak ast
Mushte-e-khak ra yak sharara az mun bus ast’

The purpose for which I have referred to this poem is apparent in the second line.

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