When there is no ‘Democratic Terrorism’ then there can be no ‘Islamic Terrorism’
Let me begin by the greetings of Islam,
اسلام علیکم ورحمتہ اللہ وبرکاتہ
which means, “May the peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you”. This is how Muslims all around the globe greet themselves as taught by Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
So far we have been debating the issue “Is Islam a Religion of Peace?”. Now let us confront the accusations, whether false or ‘factual’, coming from the West, Islamophobes and now recent JNU administration that notion like Islamic Terrorism does exist which means Islam is a religion that promotes and endorses terrorism or Islam encourages and allows its followers to commit violent terroristic acts.
There is a very intricate myth entwined around this word “Terrorism”. So far there is no universal consensus regarding the definition of Terrorism. The international communities have not yet accepted a common comprehensive definition of Terrorism. Angus Martyn in a briefing paper for the Australian Parliament has stated that, “The international community has never succeeded in developing an accepted comprehensive definition of terrorism. During the 1970s and 1980s, the United Nations attempts to define the term foundered mainly due to differences of opinion between various members about the use of violence in the context of conflicts over national liberation and Right to Self-determination.” This means US and UK invading Muslim nations without any legitimacy and carpet bombing them, Israel and India killing thousands of protestors demanding their legitimate rights are not going to be included in terroristic acts but the efforts of self-defence made by the antipodal party may be included in terroristic acts.
Let’s understand Terrorism by the means of casualties. Every war of US fought in the name of making the world ‘safe for democracy’ has resulted in huge casualties. The three bloodiest conflicts US engaged itself after world war II – The Korean War, The Vietnam War, Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq & Pakistan – has resulted in the killing of more than 9 million civilians. If we compare the numbers with how many people have been killed in ISIS attacks around the world – According to report by New York Times numbers are more than 1,200 and a report by CNN shows 2043 killings – plus if we add the killings perpetrated by Taliban and Al-Qaeda, the numbers do not even touch 0.1 million mark. In the same way, if we look at the casualties of Palestinians by the brute Israeli forces, the numbers are nearly equal to 1 lakh while as the Israelis killed in retaliation by Palestinians and suicide bombers, the numbers are not more than four thousand. Similarly in Kashmir, the civilian and militant casualties by the direct action of Indian Army are also above one lakh (Militant casualties being only 22,000 ) while as the casualties of security forces by militant attacks are nearly five thousand. So if we’re really interested in studying the terrorism, why not include another subject in our institutions – American Terrorism, Israeli Terrorism, Indian Terrorism?
The myth of Islamic Terrorism is actually the cause of terrorist activities perpetrated by ISIS, Taliban, Al-Qaeda and self-defensive actions of militant organisations in Palestine and Kashmir and has been defined keeping in reference the casualties I mentioned above. But is it really Islamic? Dr. Robert Pape, political scientist at the University of Chicago and founder of the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, who studied every single case of suicide Terrorism from 1980–2005, nearly 4600 cases, concluded “ There is a very little or no connection b/w suicide Terrorism & Islamic fundamentalism or any of the world’s Religion, rather what nearly all suicide Terrorist attacks have in common is a Specific, Secular & Strategic goal to compel modern democracies to withdraw Military Forces from the territories Terrorists consider their homelands.”
If it was the case and Islam was really cause behind terrorism and inspired its followers to resort to violence and terroristic activities, I myself being a Muslim would’ve blew myself up a long time ago to earn the ‘ martyr’s Paradise ‘.
Islam about Terrorism
There is very deceptive and delusive habit or perception streaming through the minds of most people, Muslims and Non-muslims as well – deceptive perception of understanding. People often try to understand a religion or belief by the actions of its followers, rather than understanding the religion or belief directly. Islam is no exception. Islam not only disallows its followers to resort to violence and terrorism but also teaches them to condemn it and detest it. Last year, Raed al-Salah, head of the White Helmets – a volunteer rescue group that have saved more than one lakh people in Syria, sent his statement to Oscars ceremony, which he was unable to attend as his documentary “Last Men in Aleppo ” was nominated for Oscars, and it was read – ” To save one life is to save all of humanity”. The statement is a part of the Quran, Surah Mai’dah 5th verse. The extract of the full verse is that whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all humankind; and whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all humankind. This is the Islam and this is the Quran which is blamed for orchestrating violence and terrorism. Apart from Quran and Hadith openly opposing and condemning the violence and killing of innocents, Islamic scholars have also condemned it and referred it ‘unislamic’. Dr. Sheikh Tahir-ul-Qadri, Pakistan’s prominent scholar in his 600 page Fatwa, denounced and condemned every innocent killing, every act of suicide Terrorism unconditionally without ifs and buts. In July 2005, Sheikh Mohammad Aafifi Alakiti from the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, published a fatwa condemning the targeting of innocents by terrorists after 7/7. In November 2008, nearly 6,000 Indian Muslim clerics approved a fatwa against terrorism at a conference in Hyderabad. In March 2008, the rector of the Deoband madrasa in India, Maulana Marghubur Rahman, issued the following statement in Deoband, India, in 2008: “We condemn all forms of terrorism, and in this we make no distinction. Terrorism is completely wrong, no matter who engages in it, and no matter what religion he follows or community he belongs to. Islam is a religion of mercy and peace.”
Not only Muslim scholars but mainstream Muslims have also condemned the violence and terrorism time and again. Gallup Poll, conducted across the 35 countries & more than 50,000 Muslims polled, 93% out of them rejected 9/11 and the remaining 7% when re-polled by focussed groups sited Political reasons for their support of violence, not the religious reasons. According to an ICM Research Poll in 2006, 99% Muslims rejected 7/7.
There is a very ridiculous view growing around that Muslims are constantly expected to apologize and condemn the actions of few lunatics and misguided who cherry pick and misquote verses of the Quran out of context to justify their horrendous behaviour and execute their terroristic acts to achieve their political and strategic goals and also try to encourage and brainwash other Muslims to follow the same. So it gets really very frustrating having to defend ourselves for something we are not associated with. There is actually a very huge similarity between the West, Islamophobes, JNU administration and ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Taliban type terroristic organisations as both believe that Islam is a Religion of Violence and Terrorism and can be used to justify innocent killings.
As Mr. Pape has said through his very sophisticated analysis regarding the suicide terrorism that parties resorting to terrorism have only political, strategic and secular goals to achieve fully disregarding and excluding any role of religion in such acts; religion being simply used as a camouflage to hide the real goals. If religion was actually compelling terroristic groups to kill people and blow themselves up, then democracy is also compelling the US and coalition forces to kill people of those lands they’ve invaded during past because all the Muslim Nations were invaded in the name of making those nations safe for democracy – be it invasion of Iraq to topple dictator Saddam Hussein to destroy WMD and bring democracy, invasion of Afghanistan to topple Taliban government and bring democracy and invasion of Libya to topple dictator Gaddafi to setup democracy. So should we also study a new subject in JNU called “Democratic Terrorism” because democracy is encouraging West to kill people. But we know it’s a false perception. Nothing is done in the name of democracy but it is actually a power game – dirty game of vicious interests, so is the case with Islam. You go and invade their countries, they intrigue back by bombing your cities. You say you are doing it in the name of democracy and they say they are doing it in the name of Islam – both being the farrago of lies and deceit to beguile people of this world, why play a dirty game with our Religion?