An open letter to `Muslim` terror organizations

SHAFAQNA – The following was penned by  Saeed Anas Islamic Researcher and International Relations Analysts.

I begin with neither the opening verse of the Holy Qur`an “In the Name of Allah…” nor the Islamic Salutation: “Peace Be unto You”, on account of your despicable acts and wanton disregard for human life, property and religion. Indeed, your sense of respect for peace, love, tolerance and compassion has been overshadowed by the primacy of belligerence, cannibalism and barbarism.

Thus, I write this letter in the sacred month of Ramadan, on behalf of fellow grief-stricken but faithful and peace loving Muslims. I write this letter on behalf of thousands of innocent women and children who have died in series of your terrorist attacks around the world. I write this letter on behalf of thousands of people who have sustained injuries as a result of the barbaric attacks you have carried out so far, and vowed to continue in the future. I am certainly one of those who are always deeply saddened and embarrassed not only at your obscurantism, radicalism and barbarism but also the way and manner you conduct and take inspiration from Islam; the religion of peace, love and tolerance.

I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses; children and adults who have lost parents; fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters; humanitarians and humanists who have lost certain worldly desires in their efforts to care for the victims of terrorism. I write this letter on behalf of all – concerned policy makers, local, regional, international institutions, and civil society organizations who would spend their lives in perpetual pain and grief. Yes! These are individuals and institutions, who for one or two reasons, could not have access to express their anxieties as a result of your barbarism and lack of respect for the sanctity of human life.

Your organizations started as peaceful religious cliques but later emerged as powerful insurgent forces and deadliest `Jihadist` outfits in the world. You certainly do not belong to one nationality, language or race, but you have found one another from all the four corners of the world with a strong spirit of togetherness, one ideology and goal.

Lamentably, the world seems to be lacking a united front against your violent ideology. You have been emboldened because some states and non state actors who claim to champion the course of fighting your savagery rather condone, train and finance your scheme in their own backyard while others also feel reluctant because they seem not to be directly affected.

The amalgamation of hypocrisy and insensitivity on the part of nations and individuals has left many parts of the world burning in radicalism in the name of Islam. Your activities do not only give rise to Islamophobia, but defame the sublime character of the Holy Prophet Muhammad(s), desecrate the Holy Qur`an, and threaten the human race moving across all borders especially, at this crucial juncture, when the world is passing through a critical period in its struggle against your combined forces of extremism and destruction of human civilization. Certainly, only the correct belief and application of the message of Islam and its Divine Justice would ward off the sins of your heinous crimes and restore the honour and dignity of Islam and humanity.

Whereas the Holy Qur`an calls for pacific means to solving socio-political and religious challenges, your

organizations rather seek recourse to belligerence for solution to controversies; a conduct, which always rouses ire and creates a negative image of Islam in print and electronic media. Islam is a religion of peace, it is unacceptable to take the life of a human being who is created, sanctified and exalted by Allah to serve Him on earth in peace, security, love and sincerity. The Qur`an in this regard states: “If anyone killed a person, not in retaliation of murder, or to spread mischief on Earth, it would be as if he killed all people, and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of all people.” [Qur`an 5:32].

What is so outrageous is the way and manner you distort the scriptures (Qur`an and Tradition of Prophet Muhammad) to justify your acts of suicide bombing, decapitation, mutilation, crucifixion, rape, caging, drowning, burning and eating of human flesh in the name of Jihad.

What also creates more puzzle than answer is the spiritual motivations given to you by a bunch of heretical clerics in the Muslim World. Apart from publicly endorsing Palestinian suicide bombing as Halal (lawful), Sheikh Yususf al-Qaradawi, President of the International Union for Muslim Scholars who is said to be followed by 60 million Muslims and Sheikh Hassan al-Shafai, from al-Azhar University, in June, 2013 relinquished a Fatwa (Islamic Edict) ordering` Muslims` to join opposition forces in the Jihad (holy war) against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Their basis? His crackdown on anti-government protests was a fight against Islam.

That was certainly an iconoclastic interpretation of the term Jihad from renegades who have no iota of compassion and respect for the Holy Quran and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W). Jihad is defensive and not offensive. The doctrine has nothing to do with suicide bombing, beheading, and killing of women, children, raiding, plundering and ram shackling of Mosques, Churches, and Synagogues etc.

The bitter reality today is that your misguided acts have, to the largest extent, changed the perception of the world about Islam. Your belligerence seems to confirm the age-old suspicion by the sceptics that Islam is a violent religion. Relatively since September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Centre in New York, your mischievous activities in the name of Islam have spread like a contagion in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and beyond.

Islam is a diplomatic religion that welcomes diversity, tolerance, love and peaceful co-existence with people irrespective of faith, culture, tribe, race, class barrier and social status. The Holy Qur`an states: “O you mankind, We have created you in pairs (male and female) and made you into nations and tribes that you identify one another, the best amongst you in the sight of Allah are those who guard against evil” [Quran49:13]. Besides, Islam encourages Muslims to seek knowledge through study, search and investigation.

Islam has neither permitted Muslims to frown upon and abolish secular education nor encouraged adherents to establish so-called Islamic state and Caliphate, overthrow governments, introduce socio-political and religious change through looting of houses, markets, hospitals, schools, mosques, churches, cemeteries and killing of the vulnerable.

The Holy prophet (s) said: “Strife is always at rest, the curse of Allah is upon he who provokes it (strife).” In another narration, the Prophet stated: “If one of you sees evil, he or she should either change it with the hand (i.e through authorities), speak out in a diplomatic way and manner, or detest it (in secret)..”

Despite these injunctions from the Scripture on peaceful resolution to conflicts of any nature, your strange ideology rather sees extremism and violence as acts of Jihad (holy war) that grant one automatic entry into Heaven. The Holy Qur`an in this regard also states: “Call unto the way of your Lord with wisdom and good exhortation, and negotiate with that which is good, for your Lord certainly knows those who have gone astray and those who are guided” [Qur`an 16:125].

I use this platform in urging you (both potential and actual takfiris) around the world including the Jama`atu Ahl -al-Sunna Lida`wati wal Jihad (Boko Haram), al-Shabab, al-Qaeda, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Shaam, Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant ISIL-ISIS, , Abdallah Azzam Brigade, Tahriq-i- Taliban of Pakistan (TTP), Lashkar Jhangvi, and Ansaru Bait al-Maqdis to gather around the normative standard of the Holy Qur`an and Sunnah.

This implies that you should lay down your arms, negotiate peace, unconditionally, halt hostilities, reconcile, tolerate and embrace everyone peacefully devoid of pretence.

I write this letter acknowledging that there is certainly a day of reckoning when both leaders and followers will be made to account for their stewardship. In your capacity as a terrorist leader, financier, trainer or follower, you would carry the burden of moral courage to face the consequences of extremism and barbarism in this world and the next abode. I also hope that you would find the strength of character to stand before the whole world and beg for forgiveness. For it is only in discovering and attuning yourselves to reality that the human soul can find real peace, love and contentment.

May the Almighty Allah forgive us. It is my prayer and hope that this humble letter touches your hearts in order to obviate criticisms against Islam as a violent entity and bring the world in its current critical situation, a step closer to peace, security, love, diversity, tolerance and development. Let us earnestly spend the good portion of our wealth, time, energy and talents bestowed onto us by Allah to enrich, ennoble and refine ourselves and the world as an integrated whole. Almighty Allah states:

“And seek by means of whatever Allah has brought to you the Next Abode, but do not neglect your portion of this world, and be fair to others as Allah has been fair to you, and do not seek to inequitably make mischief on Earth. Indeed, Allah does not love mischief mongers” [Qur`an 28:77].

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