I believe that tolerant and peace-loving Muslims should not keep silent toward some of the atrocities committed in their name. Fanatics, extremists and sometimes fraudulent quacks exploit our Islamic culture, heritage and our Muslim identity to promote their twisted ideologies. We as Muslim are supposed to be always fair and just in what we do and what we say. For example, in Surah Al-Maeda, verse 8 God says: “O you who believe, stand up as witnesses for God in all fairness, and do not let the hatred of a people deviate you from justice. Be just: This is closest to piety; and beware of God. Surely God is aware of all you do.” Muslims are required to abide by what is just and fair, and to deal righteously with those they love and strangers alike. Being just, fair and truthful in today’s world is to declare one’s refusal of terrorism in all its forms.
I would even argue that tolerant, open-minded Muslim individuals should not be silenced by those fanatics who attempt to hijack Islam.
If such extremists infringe upon our rights as peace-loving and rational Muslims, we should not give them the opportunity to continue doing so. As any other peaceful religion around the world, Islam calls for the achievement of harmony and peace among people. In addition to forbidding the spelling of Muslim blood, Islam calls for the protection of the weak, and the innocent followers of other faiths. Islam does not indorse terrorist ideologies. Those who inflict terror on innocent people do not respect the true principles of Islam as we know them as Muslims and as we read them in the holy Quran.
I would even recommend that tolerant and rational Muslim individuals should start their fight against terrorism at home.
Those who terrorize the world in the name of Islam, victimize Muslims as well. One can “speak up” against Terrorism by doing the following:
■ Continue to denounce violent and extremist ideologies.
■ Tolerant Muslims should continue to reveal the peaceful messages of Islam through showing their respect to human life and dignity all around the world, especially among non-Muslims.
■ Expose the conspiracy of fanatics against Islam.
■ Continually announce to the world that a religion like Islam with its historic achievements in science, philosophy, and the arts does not condone terror. Instead, Islam calls for creativity and tolerance: “God is beautiful and he loves beauty.” The prophet, peace be upon him, says in one Hadith: “whoever among you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand ; if he cannot, then with his tongue ; and if he cannot, then with his heart and that is the weakest of faith.” Speaking up against fanatic ideologies is one form of eradicating an evil that has been terrorizing Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
By Khaled Aljenfawi