May 20, 2013 by Abdullah Mohammad
The recent terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon in the USA is condemned by all true Muslims. We must first state that Islam prohibits all violence and assaults. The Koran, the essential reference point of Islam, contains several statements on the subject.
This terrorist act, in which three people lost their lives and hundreds were injured, was a savage act of misguided foolishness designed to set the Western and Islamic worlds against one another. Such ruthless acts have been used many times in different countries to try and give the West the impression that Islam is a faith that regards violence and terror as legitimate. The September 11th attacks, again carried out in the USA, were certainly the worst of these assaults. Immediately after those attacks, numerous people – including certain politicians and religious figures – issued statements saying that Islam is a religion that supports terror; some even encouraged a religious war against the Muslim world. So it’s safe to say that those acts were to some extent successful. Today we are again hearing statements from various bigots, extremists and some media organizations in the USA encouraging violence against Muslims and their isolation from society. We hope that the American people will be on their guard against such incitement and will recognize them as crude acts of provocation and demagoguery.
The word Islam means “peace and ease.” It is inconceivable for a faith that means that to encourage violence and hatred. In the Koran, verse 32 of Surat al-Ma’ida states quite clearly that someone who kills one person for no reason has committed a crime as awful as if he had killed all mankind. The passage in question refers to the killing of anyone, of whatever faith or race. In other words, a Muslim will not kill a Christian or a Jew or an atheist. Only if a Muslim’s own life is in danger can he use force against someone else, and then only in self-defense. The use of violence for any other reason than self-defense violates the principles of faith of Islam.
The Koran contains many passages encouraging love and affection. The following words from verse 159 of Surah Al ‘Imran, “…It is a mercy from God that you were gentle with them…” makes it abundantly clear that Islam is based on treating people with kindness.
Whoever claims to be a Muslim and says that the faith advocates acts of terror or violence is either an agent provocateur claiming to be a Muslim, or someone who is wholly ignorant of the faith. Someone who says such things out of ignorance will mend his ways if told what the Koran truly says. People can only be properly informed about Islam if no credence is attached to provocation. If everyone knows that Islam views violence and hatred as unacceptable there will be no more issues for provocateurs or extremists to rage about.
There are people trying to incite hostility toward Islam in the Christian and Jewish world, and there are also people trying to incite hostility toward Christianity and Judaism in the Islamic world. These people are bigoted fanatics who issue provocative statements based not on the Koran, but on hadiths they fabricate themselves. This is a very serious and a very real problem in the Islamic world, and we cannot simply dismiss it. All true Muslims are deeply uneasy at such people being regarded as members of the Islamic world and representatives of the faith because these people have nothing to do with the values espoused by Islam. They have deprived themselves of fine feelings such as love, affection and compassion. They are filled with hatred and rage, not only for members of other faiths, but also for most Muslims from different sects. They may hate someone they have never met solely because he belongs to a different group. This is a perverse and unacceptable perspective for Muslims.
Causing members of different faiths and/or ethnicities to fall out and inciting conflict among them has been a technique successfully employed by those wishing to spread war throughout the course of history. Yet this world is wide and fertile enough for everyone to live in happiness and peace and well-being. There is no real reason for conflict or resorting to violence. All the supposed reasons for war and conflict are hollow ruses.
It is much, much easier to live in peace and love than in conflict and war. For example, it is unacceptable for either Palestinians or Israelis to have to live behind walls in fear of bombs, rockets and other weapons. This plight of these two peoples, one descended from the Prophet Ishmael and the other from the Prophet Jacob (peace be upon them both), is a disgrace on all mankind.
Our hope is that people with radical views will ultimately fade away within the moderate, loving and respectful views held by rational people – historically, radical movements inevitably burn out or destroy themselves – but for that to happen it is absolutely essential for sensible people in the Islamic, Christian and Judaic worlds to act as one in a spirit of solidarity. An alliance of good people is essential. Otherwise, neither terror nor acts of violence can ever be entirely overcome.