MUSLIMS AND TERRORISM
Asghar Ali Engineer
(Secular Perspective March 16-31-2006)
The bomb explosion in the Sankatmochan temple and
No religion promotes violence
and any religion, which does, cannot qualify for being a religion. All
religions lay great stress on non-violence and peace be it
The Qur’an clearly says in verse “…whosoever kills a person unless it be for manslaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he had killed entire humanity. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved the entire humanity.” Such is the sanctity of life in the eyes of Allah. Thus these so called ‘mujahidin’ are openly defying the injunctions of the Qur’an and slaughtering innocent people in places of worship. Even under the rules of jihad (although the Qur’an does not use the word jihad for war even once) the holy Prophet required Muslims not to kill any non-combatant or women or children or destroy any property or standing crops in the field.
These so called jihadis defy every rule of the shari’ah. How can then they be described as ‘holy warriors’? They are nothing more than murderers. If they are killing for revenge then that is also not considered a praiseworthy act in Islam. Allah is repeatedly described by the Qur’an as Ghafoor al-Rahim i.e. the Pardoner and Compassionate. Then how can those who worship a pardoning and compassionate God will kill innocent people as they often do in the name of jihad?
All this clearly shows that what these various terrorist organisations do in the name of jihad is far from any religious act. No one can accept indiscriminate acts of violence as integral part of religion. All such acts should be strongly condemned.
It is a matter of pride that
generally Indian Muslims are not involved in such acts of terrorism nor are
they part of Al-Qaeda. However, there may be some exceptions. All such terror organisations
breed under authoritarian regime. Indian Islam is no purist nor is obsessed
with restoration of early days. It is product of a multi-religious ethos which were nurtured by Sufis whose universal doctrine has been sulh-i-kul i.e. total peace and peace with all.
Indian Islam has richly contributed to the composite culture. Apart from Sufis
even the traditional ‘ulama in
It is unfortunate that many people in India do not understand this and after every such incident demand proof of Muslim loyalty and want ‘moderate’ Muslims to condemn it as Muslims. This is not in keeping with secular ethos. Why Indian Muslims should be required to condemn such acts of terror as Muslims and not as Indians. Such an attitude keeps us divided. The underlying assumption is that Muslims are not part of national mainstream. It really irritates when such demand comes even from otherwise secular people.
Also the word ‘moderate’
Muslim also conveys certain mindset. The underlying assumption is that all
other Muslims are ‘extremists’ and support such acts of terrorism whereas fact
is that overwhelming majority of Muslims are peace loving as demonstrated both
in Delhi in October and in
The Mufti of
The Hindu masses also
frustrated the political designs of communalists and did not express any support
for the yatra
announced by the
Our politicians hardly ever
measure up to standards of democracy. They want to exploit every event for
their purposes. It is indeed politicising of every such events that creates
conflict between Hindus and Muslims. Left to themselves they will never fight.
If people were inclined to fight there would have been immediate outburst of
communal violence in
People have also learnt from
various communal conflicts that how communal politicians play with their
religious sentiments and make them fight. The
The coming elections in U.P.
after few months, on the other hand, are making them restless and in view of
their lowest ever popularity are at their wits’ end as how to entice the Hindu
masses. Even their allies like JD(U) and Trinamul Congress are no more enthusiastic about various
Yadav did not reopen these cases as he did not want
to displease his Yadav voters who were mainly
Thus it is period of isolation
The Muslim leaders also have
learnt after demolition of
The Muslims showed total indifference to him, which he eminently deserved. It was at best a political gimmick. He too had an eye on coming elections in U.P. He wanted to emerge as champion of Muslims and acquire a national stature. He should have been dismissed from the cabinet, as he not only brought disgrace to Islam but also to our country in the eyes of other nations.
We are a secular democratic
nation and our father of nation is Mahatma Gandhi who was apostle of
non-violence and peace. How can a minister from this country announce monetary
reward for killing a foreign national, whatever his crime? One should protest
against it with dignity and demand from Danish Government to take action as per
their law. What he announced was also totally against the principles of Islam,
as pointed out above. It is unfortunate
that Mulayam Singh kept quiet about such a grave
pronouncement by his cabinet minister. He should have at least warned him.
Centre for Study of Society and Secularism