SHOULD “POLITICAL ISLAM” BE FEARED

2012-07-02 06:39

No, as Muslims, we have to adhere to ethical standards and values, not only in acts of worship but also in every aspects of life including political affairs.

Many individuals have misconceptions about Muslims because of various factors. With media coverage about Islam growing daily, it is important to address these misconceptions and so called fears. Before any individual begins to form an opinion about Islam and Muslims, one needs to check whether one’s knowledge about Islam is complete, honest and obtained from reliable sources. Sources like the internet or some book written by a so called expert who may not be even a Muslim cannot be trusted. We need to critically analyse what we are fed via the mass media and other platforms of information dissemination.

When one critically studies Western hate or fear of Islam or the new mantra political Islam, it is difficult, if not impossible, to justify this panic on the basis of the commonly cited reasons.

Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance, compassion and promotes human values, equality and a life of dignity for all. The Muslim greeting: Assalamu- Alaikum (peace be upon you) evidences not only the Muslim desire for peace but also for the peaceful co- existence with others.

Individuals who question Islam’s desire for co-existence or peace are unfortunately using the behaviour of a few misguided Muslims who have distorted the true message of the Quran, the teachings of Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) and who intimidate innocent people, to penalise the mainstream Muslims. Similarly, some individuals look at Islam as a religion that oppresses women and promotes extremism and terrorism. Terrorism in all its forms, different types of oppression, radicalism, dictatorship, unjustified killing and other acts of violence have been condemned in the Quran, by Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) and by most mainstream theologians. There is no link between Islam, terrorism and violence. The violence and terrorist acts carried out by some groups or individuals in different parts of the world are not the teachings of Islam.

Just because some radical Islamic group or country may apply selectively part of Shariah law unjustly, unfortunately, many people erroneously believe that it is a model of Sharia Law. The Quran, traditions of the Prophet (PBUH) and the consensus of the Scholars are the sources of guidance for Muslims. Anything else like suicide bombings, unjust killings, ill treatment of women, hatred, bigotry, and fanaticism, just to name a few, are not the teachings of Islam.

The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) during his last pilgrimage to Makkah not only laid down the fundamentals of Islam but also reinforced the rights of women, workers, animals and society in general in his sermon to his companions.

Islam holds every human being in high esteem and does not permit violence, destruction and unjust killings. The rules of warfare that Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) imposed on his army over 1400 years are emulated by the Geneva Convention.

To erroneously misquote events or verses from the Quran, in order to support a discussion or to mislead people is grossly incorrect. The historical context must always be considered when developing an understanding of an explanation. Without knowing the conditions behind the narrative, one cannot apply the outcome correctly.

Misrepresentation, ignorance, fearmonger, injustice, and inequalities are our obstacles to peace and harmony. By demonizing or fearing Islam and Muslims serves only to conceal, obscure and distract us from the truth. Radicalism, racism, xenophobia and extremism are a reality in every community and are a global trend and we have not yet dedicated the necessary resources to challenge and transform this. Reducing global problems to Islam and Muslims is totally unjust and unfair, while, Western imperialism, capitalism and greed, the real perpetrators of terrorism and violence, are ignored.

Terrorism, bloodshed, illegal occupations and wars are demons of our times and should be condemned. Every injustice and cruelty against civilians in any part of the world, against any race, gender, class or religious sect, must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

Islam and its teachings are not the problem. The main problem facing the world today is the absence of truth, equality and justice. The challenges ahead are enormous and it is therefore time for us all to stand together to put out the fire of global terrorism. We need real transformation and not just condemnations and rhetoric’s. Only by true change will we become free of terrorism and all forms of fear.

The onus is on us as ordinary people to bring about progressive change and to heal the “bleeding world” by promoting dialogue, human rights and universal values.

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