Today with so many voices stating that the religion advocates violence and Islam is under the scanner of the entire world and Islam is judged to be behind most of the violence and bloodshed in the world, including other religions. The word Jihad has been so badly misused both by wayward Muslim terrorists and Islam-baiters that it has completely lost its meaning. The term Jihad, in true sense, comes from its Arabic root (Jihada), and it means to struggle but today the terrorists speak and act violently only in the name of Islam or religion just to terrify and horrify the world and upset peace. Thus, the fundamentalists and extremists neither have any religion nor they belong to any religion. They have created their own religion and that is “terrorism”.
The consistent terrorist attacks against innocent people are only to terrorize the world and violate the human rights. So, we are supposed to realize that those Islamist terrorists are not simply misguided individuals acting on a whim but are those who are well educated on their wild act of inhumanity and are doing it deliberately in the name of religion to build distance between the religions and nations on the basis of some particular evil goals of their own. Their well-aware act of violence against innocent people is not just enough to be condemned but rather they must be fought to ensure peace and brotherhood among the nations, not only in Afghanistan but in the world at large. This terrorism hasn’t descended from another galaxy; rather it is bred within the community and is a result of particular mindsets that misinterpret Islam or any other religion.
Most of the viewers are in strong believe that these suicide bombers, criminals against peace and humanity that often invoke religion for their hateful criminal deeds and sum them with Arabic sounding names and call themselves to be the best heroes, Mujahids (Holy warriors) is only to pass their misdeeds as an act of Jihad. What Jihad they are going to impose on the world! The Jihad to kill humanity and impose terror and horror in the world! In fact, this is not the real meaning of Jihad.
More surprisingly, many of the terrorists acting in the name of the Islam in Palestine, Chechnya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan to justify their killings, have lost their moral compass. For them anyone who doesn’t agree with their point of view is an infidel and can be eliminated.
The word Jihad has been completely misinterpreted to invoke worst images of violent Muslims, forcing people to submit under duress. Islam rejects violence in all its forms in the strongest possible terms but the so-called Jihadists took that path without caring as to what impact it could have on a common man by making him a usual suspect. According to sayings of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), Jihad is the inner struggle for virtue to submit to God in all walks of life not killing the innocent people. It is to fight against evil desire and kill the hatred within you.
Our Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) further emphasizes, “Indeed whoever intentionally kills himself will be punished in the fire of hell, wherein he shall dwell forever.” Regardless of how reasonable the cause may be, the holy Quran strongly condones killing of innocent people. Terrorizing innocent civilians, bombing, killing and maiming of innocent men, women and children are most loathed by Islam and those who indulge in these in the name of religion are not to be called Muslims.
The fact is, the so-called Jihadists know well that murder is prohibited by the holy Quran and that during fighting non-combatants are guaranteed security of life if the state is at war. But today they are killing the helpless civilians only to build their own status. This is wisely recited in the holy Quran that taking the life of an innocent individual means killing the whole humanity. Indeed, they misinterpret verses from the holy Quran to justify their heinous and horrendous designs of killing the innocent civilians.
Objectively speaking, this is not the time to quote from the holy Quran on peace, but act truly. The fact is, those who are killing the innocents have nothing to do with Islam or any other religion. Surah Al-Baqr (Verse: 114) in the holy Quran states that “Allah dislikes those who indulge in arson, loot and killings. Surah Al-Kafirun (Chapter: 30) mentions: Lakum dinakum waliya yadeen (You follow your religion; let others follow theirs). Islam’s meaning is submission not hatred and killing.”
However, a considerable majority of us remain absolutely isolated from people belonging to other faiths. During the time of Taliban regime, it created huge distance and divided between Islam and the West that is the worst thing to happen. As a result, the nation has lost both the social and spiritual lifestyle. The Muslims should interact with people of other faiths too and that is to avoid some misunderstandings. Interaction and dialogue inculcate tolerance in one’s self. Isolation will deprive the world from getting to know the true spirit of each other’s religion and will let all the stereotypes keep getting reinforced for the better growth of our society.
The Islamic scholars, on their part must get involved in weaning away the stubborn followers of Islam, following the message from the holy Quran that killing innocent people is a sin and it only invokes hatred and bloodshed among the nations. Let us not wage a war of religion, but one of the reasons and tolerance. Let us engage in a dialogue. Let us prove all those who link Islam with violence are wrong and that they have their own religion and that is “Terrorism”.
It is also important that the Muslims and other religious communities, themselves, develop a broad range of tactics from traditional counter-terrorist methods to soften more sophisticated strategies in order to crackdown those who invoke violence in the name of religion, particularly the Islamic extremists. The so-called Jihadist groups are relentlessly pursuing their roadmap to extremism in their effort to establish Dar-ul-Islam – land of Islam in the countries that are already Dar-ul-Amaan, (the land of peace) by brainwashing and inciting innocent youths from the poor and most vulnerable families.
What is so regrettable is that there is no sign of debates in the community in this regard. This is a matter of serious concern over such violent acts and deeds of the so-called people who have come up with their evil intentions to destroy and upset peace in the world.
The acts of violence against human-beings are never condemned or if they are condemned, no measures have been taken to bring them to justice and there are lots of if’s and but’s while condemning these acts of terror. We have to agree to the principle that the killing of innocents cannot be justified irrespective of race, religion, place or ethnicity. Those who advocate violence and bloodshed in our society in the name of Islam or any other religion must be strongly punished so that it becomes an ever learning lesson for others. To root out this religion against humanity, the Muslims must take measures against the religious terrorist outfits that have destroyed and upset peace and prosperity in the world.
The Article First Published in Daily Outlook Afghanistan Group of Newspapers on July 25, 2012