By Omer Farooq
Today no religion or ideology is exempted from violence or extremism. But the gruesome face of violence in which whole human society is scorching is the one carried by State, be it domestic or internal, in the form of exploitation of weak by economic situation, or military operations in perspective of chaos or dictatorship.
In human relations there are many faces of violence from which no society is exempted. Factor or element of violence is present in every individual or society. We see it in the form of revenge, retaliation or unlawful activity by which a man quenches this instinctive thirst. Its stimuli are seen individually, socially, politically, religiously or economically.
To cope up with the violence at an individual level man has established governments so that each one of us could be safe from its excruciating effects. Law, different departments and the institutions for security are all its results and fruits. At an international level, to evade any threat of repression, violence and assaults, there is system of defense. At governmental level, international organization, councils and institutions were established so that they could play just role between different governments in the world. All these activities signify that repression and violence is in the instinct of man. Moreover such aggressive tendencies in human instinct are either nourished by creed, culture, civilization, environment which strengthens these tendencies by crossing all boundaries of justice and beneficence or by birth of those concepts and values by which society becomes such a stone hearted that human life looses all value and status before it. Then he is abetted to violence and aggression in such a manner that he falls from the status of humanity into deep down extreme abject.
Here we talk about that violence and extremism which is neither individual nor absolute social, which for its own ego satisfaction gives birth to repression and oppression. But the violence which is prevalent in both Muslim and Non-Muslim world is in the form of political violence.
Political violence is special type of violence which is unfortunately now prevalent in those societies also which attribute themselves to Islam. Otherwise in past the weapon of violence was observance of nationalists, leftists and those groups who played role in the battles set by imperialism.
Anyways when in current times this word “violence” is used it is seen to be the observance of right wings (Islamists) and not of those (west) powers, which have occupied water, air and Government Institutions and boycott the states who don’t bow before them politically, socially and economically. These powers keep on waving the sword, which they never put into scabbard. Upon those oppressed nations. This has become routine for those powers allied into UN. Those powers back Israel and for its supervision take the support of Security Council.
How bayonet scene is casted in which these imperialistic powers don’t have a single craving look towards those which are pilloried by them. They are there to wipe them out, completely destroy them, zip their mouths and curb their ears. Even when this oppressed lot in the modern language talks about democracy, elections and constitution. They are still treated the same way. These are different facets of this violence and extremism which aren’t under target. The ones under target are those Islamic movements which are alleged and portrayed to be inhumane in their thoughts and practices by imperialist powers, who claim to be harbinger of peace and enforce this narrative forcefully.
It is worth to be considered that the causes and actions behind the formulation of the armed groups who now fight against them and have chosen path of violence. What are the measures to be taken to prevent the groups from carrying on extremist activities?
Pages of Muslim history are not totally void of those groups which consider the use of arms inevitable to fight and to eradicate evil. However, this is also historical reality that the groups who successfully rebelled against the state (carrying on oppression and deviating from Islam) also paved the way for demolition of system of equity and justice.
Islamic scholars by their awareness have always condemned the use of violence, which leads to temptation in the society and ultimately shatters their organization and existence. Accordingly every such situation is considered to be “fitna” which Islam prohibits and it is stressed to fulfill the responsibility of “commanding what is good and forbidding what is evil” in a peaceful manner. However, whenever the necessity of armed exodus was felt the scholars of times have provisioned it and invited the rest of Muslim World to take the path to pave way for justice, equity and peace.
No doubt, in our history, emergences of such groups – which believe in strong arms are not in rarity. In Islamic thought and Muslim history there are certain principles by which we are permissible to wage ‘Jihad’ against a tyrant ruler. Our Ummah has also tasted the experience of governance and here also is tyranny witnessed. The reason for this is that the evil around us also unites the nations against us. When this union gets a chance to arise, it appears that on the name of revolution and nationalism. Muslims commits violence but the reality is, the situation and its consequences are outcome of political way, which has relation with reaction to political background.
Since Islamic culture is under dominance and subjugation, so violence is also using name of Islam. It is trying to take support of Quran, Hadith and Islamic thought. However, Muslims keep on fighting against atrocities which are being committed upon them. But such reactions also give birth to new cases of repression. For example those states which keep on suppressing each and every voice of their victims, impose economical restrictions upon them, keep on propagating lust in between them and don’t miss a chance of profanity and humiliation just like the imposed violence upon Palestine. Zionists are destroying population, so why won’t hearts exude upon it? Similar situation faced by those Muslim lands where revolutionary movements arise and are crushed by every mean.
ISLAMIC MOVEMENTS AND VIOLENCE
One of the cases of violence by Islamic groups is the resistances observed in war torn lands of Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Chechnya, Philippines and Turkmenistan against the ongoing occupation. It is obvious that there can be no other opinion regarding their validity of armed resistance from Islamic and legal point of view. Not only this, but the resistance against such fascism and imperialism is instinctive right of every oppressed being as it is compulsory upon every person to safeguard his wealth, chastity, life etc. “One who is killed while defending his wealth is martyred” (Hadith) There could be differences only upon the period and conditions of such a situation under which usurped right is taken back.
Usually in such situations Jihad is fruitful and profitable because in such regions the withdrawal of occupational forces is necessary which have occupied some parts of Muslim world since 19th century. They have strengthened their occupation there and without only small regions for their inhabitants where they can breathe freely and fairly rest of the areas where they are burning in a fire set by their enemies. So it is obvious that in such a condition and situation there can be no option but to answer in such a way. The armies which till yesterday couldn’t even dream of defeat are now chased by the Mujahideen. This oppressed and miserable lot in defense of their nation and homes has now become the army which is completely in line with natural reaction.
The other face of violence by muslims is that Jihad which is waged against the fascist and repressive governments. Even though the state constitutions of these dictators are attributed to Islam but the way of governance of the rulers is solely based on injustice, tyranny and abuse. With the result some groups of Islamic parties after feeling suffocated left the pacifist approach and sacrificed in such a way from which they have yielded negligible and accidental outcomes. Often the leaders of Islamic parties persuade those groups to shun the path of violence by explaining them how misleading the path adopted by them is. It is explained to them that their consideration is not founded upon any jurisprudence. The case is that the head isn’t bowed before falsehood with the hope that in coming times the consequences would be better.
Reality is that man’s freedom and rights are instinctive. They aren’t donated or presented as charity or gift. Unfortunately it is these rights which are taken away by repression, experience and preview of what is before us.
Texts regarding “Amr bil ma’roof” “nahi anil munkar” and “Shuhadaie Haq” and experiences of muslim and other communities add to it. Iranian revolution of 20th century is a big example of peaceful revolution which established another system after overthrew of the autocracy and its military power. After the revolution Iran developed in every field. Freedom struggle of Palestine can’t be forgotten. Certainly it would succeed and would destroy the basis of Zionist state.
As far as political revolutions are concerned, the mass movements are considered to be the important movement which emerged in the last decades of 20th century by putting end to dictatorship of SOVIET Union and northern Europe. Before that, such movements had already emerged in Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Chile etc.
It is possible that seeing our plight apologists would excuse that those were western powers whose need and necessity was liberalism but such a movement won’t materialize in those nations where the movement is based on religious thought which ‘snatches freedom of women’ and doesn’t permit them to take part in mass movements. It is not only funny excuse but is based on folly and hypocrisy.
There is even the possibility that few others might make an excuse of comfort, luxurious anti democratic mood of Arab world which has defragmented the Ummah. And everywhere in world is the voice of democracy prevalent. Even though in our part of world dictators seem to be succeeding for which they even rig the elections, not hidden from anyone.
There is need to mention about the two big ideological powers and their mutual relationship. Secular and Islamic parties are the only two which captivate the people and collect them around. They compel them to have regard of government and send message to mankind, “For democratic change you should support us. It is the only weapon before which west can drop their weapons and by which we can put ultimatum upon them.” Reality is that the secular group has presented the model of governance which can’t be named except governance of repression and tyranny. Due to public pressure these governments would succumb and no one would support them.
One of the types of Jihad is fought against international army and which is given the name of “Global Jihad against Zionism and Crusade” under the command of Osama Bin Laden and Yemen. It gave birth to violent group like “Al-Qaida” which started endless series of violence across theworld. They made planning to attack public places like embassies, restaurants, trains and even world trade center.
Another way is to bring political changes across big states which can bring changes in international policies, thoughts, ideas and whole set of values. The targets and concern of such political changes are:
- Supremacy of US plans in the implementation of which lie no obstacle.
- Destruction of few Muslim states and threat to few others who if don’t mend their ways would meet the fate of Iraq.
- US and European pressure against Islam, intellectual targeting and increase in its ally states.
- In whole world, especially in west the siege of minorities from Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir, Philippines and Turkistan and labeling them as terror groups.
- In an untouched style, establishing the hegemony of America’s supremacy.
- US administration (by proxy) upon every state and under the garb of war against terror attacking Islamic groups. For cooperation of security demand establishes and strengthens their dominance.
- Most important influence of those right wing parties who have religious intolerance in them. The assemblies and legislatures of many large countries have come under the direct influence of Christian right wing groups.
- Issuing certificates to armed companies by national and international laws. With the result they have snatched the basic human rights and consumed the freedom and immunity of general public.
- Every enemy of Islam provided full opportunities to use violence against muslims, distort image of islam, to label everyone associated with it as terrorist despite the fact that Islam is religion of mercy, justice and kindness.
This is all prevalent in the world which demonstrates religious intolerance, against principles of religion and destructive thinking. The reality is that Jihad isn’t something which can be forcefully imposed on any human. This is against the divine will which is prevalent in the creation.
“And if your Lord had willed, He could have made mankind one community; but they will not cease to differ.” (Surah Hud Verse: 118)
It means differences and diversity is the Sunnah of Allah which would be till doomsday. Purpose of jihad is to put an end to wrongdoing and transgression. Allah says in the Quran, “And fight against those who fight against you in war, but remember, don’t transgress. Allah doesn’t like those who transgress.” Islam doesn’t allow to blindly waging war against anyone but those who attack. For this stream, sayings of Prophet Muhammad (saw) and of his pious companions are absolutely clear.
In every religion or ideology there are teachings about war. The unification of entire world against Islam and Muslims isn’t good. This is absolute folly. At the same time, there is no permissibility for the blood of those who are safe and secure in their homes. Waging war against them is in no way allowed.
The reality is that the truth is path worthy to be followed by which we can get the weaker segments of society rid of tyranny and oppression. And every society where there is Islam deserves freedom.
*Author is an engineering student and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
**This is translation of an article originally writtenby Rachid Gannouchi, President of El Ennhada Party, Tunisia, originally published in Al-Mujte’ma’ 3 November 2016.