the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)
Peace And Condemnation of Terrorism in Islam
as a religion is totally committed to peace and security. It views with great
contempt, breach of peace, anarchy, rioting and terrorism. Muslims as Ummah are
a peace-loving community. Jehad under Islam is allowed subject to certain conditions.
It is meant for elevating the Word of God (Kalmatullah). Action
designated as Jihad has been recommended for securing justice for the
suppressed, assisting them in their efforts to secure that. It is also for
protecting the places of worship of people belonging to different religions. Its
aim is to resist the oppressors and prevent them from committing atrocities. It
provides for complete impartiality and full justice in dealing with persons
belonging to other religions. All these points have been clarified in Islamic
studies in detail.
a tragedy that in pursuance of dishonest and sinister intrigues, the concept of
Jehad is being consistently misrepresented and misinterpreted by linking Islam
and Muslims with sabotage and terrorism. That is contrary to facts. They are
being presented as intolerant. For firmly planting the misinformation in the
minds of the people, a powerful and widespread campaign is being conducted
through the print and electronic media.
surprising that terrorism has not been defined in a comprehensive and
satisfactory manner. There is no unanimity about the concept. The truth is that
no serious attempt has been made to clarify . the concept of terrorism. However,
there is hardly no hesitation in applying the label on Islam and Muslims. The
governing principle is 'might is right'. The powerful commits destruction and
brutal massacre of innocent persons, yet claims to be defender of freedom,
mankind and torchbearer of justice and civilization.
struggle or resistance of the weak for securing their legitimate rights, against
suppression or aggression is branded as terrorism. The barbarous bombing of
several countries by USA, Israeli aggression against Palestinians, Russian
atrocities in Chechnya and Chinese brutalities against Muslims in Sin kiang are
glaring examples of double standards being applied for: defining terrorism.
to the definition of terrorism by intellectuals, and thinkers of the West, the
conduct of the governments of USA, Israel, Russia, Philippine and Burma may be
regarded as brazen act of state terrorism. Unfortunately, the organs of United
Nations and the media have been utterly unsuccessful in restraining the tyrants
Role of Indian Media
and Communal Elements:
Indian media has played
a subservient role of the western and Zionist elements in linking Islam and
Muslims with terrorism. Instead of adopting the role of an objective and neutral
It is shocking that
even at the government level, attempt is being made in a clandestine manner to
project Muslims as terrorists. The Government of India brought out a poster
after the attack on the World Trade Center, with the photograph of Prime
Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in newspapers of various Indian languages. The
poster was against terrorism and for supporting the cause of peace. Only four
pictures were selected that cleverly pointed link of Muslims with terrorist
On the occasion of
Republic Day, January 26,2002, a poster was published, in which only the names
of Muslims appeared in the list of wanted terrorists. However that
advertisement, published in the newspapers carried the names of alleged
'terrorists' of other communities also.
It should be noted that
throughout the world, the activities of terrorists, of different groups, are
reported without revealing their religious affiliation. In India, the disruptive
sectarian activities of RSS and its subordinate bodies like Vishwa Hindu
Parishad and Bajrang Dal, are dubbed as expression of the sentiments of the
majority community. By concealing their real character, they are seen as linked
with 'patriotism'. The activities of groups affiliated with Ram Janmbhoomi
movement, that brought about the demolition of Babari Mosque are ignored and by
passed. Instruction in use of arms by Bajrang Dal recurring 'yatras' , communal
riots, murder of innocent persons, inflammatory statements, all of them taken
together fall within the definition of 'terrorist activities'. With the brute
power of the majority, support of the government and safeguards available to the
media, all such disruptive activities are classified under 'national honour' and
On the contrary, even
minor activities of minorities particularly Muslims in self-defence or for
safeguarding their identity or merely for registering their viewpoint or stand
is branded as act of terrorism and threat tot he security of the country. If
that is not so why poor. 'Madaris', supported by public donations, imparting
education of peace and humanity are projected as factories producing extremists
and terrorists. At national and international level, a sinister campaign is
under way to project the distinctive marks of Muslims, particularly their beards
and dress as symbols of terrorism, extremism and disruptive activities.
A question arises: Why
such a confusion about the definition of 'terrorism? If seriously considered, it
appears that the confusion has been deliberately created and is being
disseminated on a large scale as a part of definite plan. There is universal
unanimity in the campaign for targeting a particular religion and community. The
rival forces control ninety-nine per cent of the media. There fore instead of
defining terrorism on the basis of principles, might or use of power has become
a governing principle in defining 'terrorism'. The conduct of the governments of
USA, China, Russia, Israel, Burma and Philippine are glaring examples of such
It is a tragedy that
the superpowers are holding the United Nations Organization as 'hostage'. The
organization is not in a position to undertake any just and effective action
that is against their wishes and interests. The superpowers get their decisions
endorsed by the international body. The United Nations has not been successful
so far in enunciating and enforcing a definition of terrorism that may serve as
a guiding principle for action against terrorist activities.
years from December 18, 1972 to January 18, 2002, the issues related to
terrorism were discussed at various occasions, but clarity and unanimity on the
subject remained elusive. As a result what is terrorism according to one party
is resistance, or movement for freedom or defence of democracy and liberty to
the other. After the attack on World Trade Centre in USA on September 11, 2001
and brutal and aggressive bombing of Afghanistan by USA, the issue was
discussed again by United Nations on January 18, 2002. The session was attended
by forty nations. All participants agreed on the serious threat from terrorism
and stressed its immediate eradication. However, a few countries, particularly
Arab countries invited the attention of the participants that so much din has
been raised about the threat of terrorism and its eradication. But it should be
defined for effective action against the threat. No clear and convincing reply
came from any quarter. There was a deliberate attempt to evade the issue. Arab
countries upheld their stand that the resistance of Palestinians against foreign
occupation of their lands cannot be called 'terrorism'. Illegitimate seizure of
foreign territory is the worst type of organized terrorist activity. Stark, the
head of the UN Committee diverted the discussion by stating the 'organized
terrorism' is not a legal expression and the Security Council should not be
dragged in political battles.
It indicates that the
superpowers and under their influence UNO and its Security Council desire to
continue ambiguity and confusion about the definition of 'terrorism' for keeping
the option to act according their interests and requirements. The powers fully
realize that if the real causes of the malady are revealed, they shall be found
among the culprits. Present terrorist activities are the poisonous fruits of
their own misdeeds.
caused by malice, ill will and dishonesty, are being projected as rooted in the
teachings of Islam. In that context, reference is made to three issues of
Islamic Shariah. (1) The teaching of Islam about killing a Non-Muslim is Jihad
(2) Islam teaches hatred and legitimizes fight against other religions and their
followers. (3) It encourages intolerance towards the followers of other
religions. All the three breed terrorism.
All the three
allegations about Islamic Shariah are misconceived and motivated by malice and
ignorance. Jehad finds a place in the teachings of lslam, but not for killing
Non-Muslims. There is no provision encouraging perpetual hatred and fight
against the followers of other religions. Linking Islam, a religion of peace
with terrorism itself amounts to an act of terrorism.
The nefarious acts
called 'terrorism' are alien to the spirit and ethos of Islam. Terrorism
(Eng1ish) Atankvad (Hindi) and Arhab (Arabic) are the products of contemporary
age dominated by the West, particularly Europe. It has flourished on their soil.
The intellectuals, writers and politicians of the West introduced them in the
East. The terms, fundamentalism and totalitarianism as employed by the West have
no place in Islam. The votaries of Communist system promoted totalitarianism.
Fundamentalism grew and flourished in the context of the conflict between the
Church and the State. With help from the power of the media, the two have been
linked with Islam and those reposing faiths in the religion. That is grave
Respect of Human Life & Importance of Peace in Islam:
acts classified as terrorism have been strongly condemned by Islam. Islamic
teachings preach that every possible step should be taken for their eradication.
Islam has prohibited everything that may pose threat to social harmony, cause
breach of peace or may endanger peace and security of citizens. Islamic Shariah
stands for maintenance of peace and prevention of riots and disturbances. Islam
is against drunkenness, rape, adultery and scandal-mongering about innocent
women. Islam strives for elimination of oppression, rioting or anything which
adversely affects the culture and civilization of the country.
ruptures social peace. Islam strictly forbids terrorizing peace-loving
citizens. Religion desires peace, tranquility and social harmony. Acts of
terrorist violence destroy the moral principles, meant for the welfare of
human beings. That is a crime and has no place in a religion like Islam, which
is deeply committed to peace and security of human beings.
struggle waged by Muslims of Palestine, Chechnya and Sinkiang cannot be called
'terrorism'. That is a legitimate resistance against aggressors and oppressors
for securing their just rights. Terrorism in the true sense of the word is an
aggressive act against innocent persons, without legitimacy. The aim is to
frighten them. Acts of similar type may be committed by individual, group,
nation or the country that may be classified as terrorist activity, if the aim
is to terrorize the common person or the opponent for achieving certain ends.
type of terrorism has no place in Islamic Shariah. The Holy Quran makes it
explicit that killing an innocent person is equivalent to killing the whole
verse in Surah Maidah states, "If anyone slew a person unless it be
for murder or for speading mischief in the land it would be as If he slew the
whole people: and if anyone saved a life. It would be as if he saved the lift of
the whole people. "
(Al-Maidah. verse 32)
Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, a disciple of Sheikh-ul-Hind has clarified the intentions
of the verse. If somebody kills, anybody that may embolden others to commit
similar acts that creates an atmosphere of anarchy. That means opening the doors
for massacre, general unrest and lawlessness. If someone saves anybody from an
assassin, he sets an example for saving others and peaceful life. As a student
of religions, I may assert that respect and sanctity of human life, to the same
degree, is not found anywhere else, as in Islam.
different forms at several places in Holy Quran, unjustified murder has been
strongly condemned. Respect and protection of human life has been sufficiently
stressed. Holy Quran commands: "Nor take life-which Allah has made
sacred-except for just cause. " (Bani Isreal, verse 33) Murder
is justified only in case of an assassin, guilty of the murder of an innocent
person, as recompense.
According to the Prophet (Pbuh) the murder of an innocent person is among heinous crimes. (please refer chapter Al-Diyah, Bukhari). It has to be clarified that the power for ordering justified murder vests with the court of a just government. The death has to follow a judicial process. Keeping in view the value of human life the Shariah has found a way out. If the successors of the deceased are agreeable to compensation for the loss of life or if they forgive the assassin, his life shall be spared; otherwise, it is advisable to keep the society free from the existence of an assassin. The presence of an assassin within the society may embolden others to commit similar crimes. That is likely to pose a severe threat to the peaceful atmosphere of the society.