Islam Condemns Religious Extremism

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Originally posted in The Huffington Post

The spate of violent crimes being committed by mentally deranged, religious hypocrites is very concerning, and could not have been ordered by God the Almighty. Thus crime and terrorism such as San Bernadino, Paris massacre, Charlie Hebdo shooting and other violent acts perpetrated by terrorist groups like Boko Haram, Al- Qaeda and ISIS have no connection with Islam or teachings of the Holy Quran or those of Prophet Muhammad (May peace and blessings of God be with him). These divine teachings are further reiterated by true followers of God and Prophet Muhammad.

I am a Muslim American who belongs to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, USA. Among many other proclamations, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community proclaims and practices “Love for All Hatred for None”. This belief was embodied in the lifestyle of Prophet Muhammad (May peace and blessings of Allah be with him), and therefore should be emulated by all Muslims. Muhammad allowed Christians to worship in a mosque. The Prophet was also appointed leader over Muslims, Jews and pagans in Medina, a duty he successfully executed without prejudice. Which other act of kindness or benevolence can be greater than this?

I remember growing up in Africa where no one knew religious differences other than peaceful Sunday services, Christmas, Muslim Friday prayer, fasting, and the ram-slaughtering festival. These occasions were the only times when we realized someone was a Christian or a Muslim. Even during these periods, both Muslims and Christians exchanged gifts and pleasantries. I remember a Christian neighbor would call me to slaughter her chickens so we Muslims can eat out of it. Otherwise, we were all one indivisible play group. Religious discussions were always seen as a form of enlightenment where neither Muslim nor Christian was interested in winning the debate, but explaining and learning from each other. Mutual co-existence in our diversity such as the one experienced growing up in Africa is what Islam preaches as contained in the following verses of the Quran where God says:

“Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth has been made clear from error. Whoever rejects false worship and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks. And God hears and knows all things.” (Quran 2:257).

“If it had been your Lord’s will, all of the people on Earth would have believed. Would you then compel the people so to have them believe?” (Quran 10:100).

“So if they dispute with you (about religion), say ‘I have submitted my whole self to God, and so have those who follow me.’ And say to the People of the Scripture and to the unlearned: ‘Do you also submit yourselves?’ If they do, then they are on right guidance. But if they turn away, your duty is only to convey the Message. And in God’s sight are all of His servants.” (Quran 3:21).

“The Messenger’s duty is but to proclaim the Message.” (Quran 5:100).

This is true Islam, the type of belief I grew up with. However, nowadays, the same cannot be said of most that claim to be Muslims but do not follow Islamic injunctions. The terrorist, who are weak “people of no future ambitions”, are crooks cutting corners by churning suicide bombers and terrorists, killing innocent Muslims, Christians, and others in order to gain paradise. However, God Almighty already told us in the Quran that we can only attain everlasting life by believing in Him and doing good works, but not by killing another human being! Quran is explicit about this where God says;

“…..whosoever killed a person, unless it is for killing a person or for creating disorder in the land, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind…” (Quran 5:33).

Islam is a religion of peace, and Muslims should be seekers of peace at all times. Any violent behavior cannot be of Islam. Another supreme example of Muhammad’s benevolence and tolerance was during his triumphant return from Medina to his homeland Mecca. In Mecca Muhammad was originally severely persecuted. On his return with all the powers there could be as a conqueror, he did not terrorize or kill his adversaries despite all the power he commanded, but instead forgave all that fought against him during the early period of Islam in Mecca. Thus it is clear that a terrorist is neither a Muslim nor following Islamic injunctions as thought by God and His prophets. Hence killing another man or woman is definitely not a holy means of spreading ones belief or as a solution to disagreement.

I condemn in its entirety an act of terrorism, killing and intolerance. I express my sympathy, and heartfelt condolences and prayers to the families of the victims of these acts of terrorism that happened in San Bernardino and other parts of the world.

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