SHAFAQNA – On the wake of yet another senseless attack on Britain’s soil allegations have mounted that Islam, and Muslims have a lot to answer to … Beyond the overt underlying resentment such calls have carried, lies a reality we continue to ignore for we don’t know what to do with it.
Terrorism has been engineered to fit a very evident purpose: divide communities and faiths by sowing mistrust and fear.
For well over a decade we have been served the idea that Islam has existed in rejection, negation and condemnation of the West out of a sense of bigoted righteousness. The narrative has been weaved in such way, and the Scriptures distorted in such a manner that Islam was made out to be an abomination to be feared. And yes of course while many voices came in fact to defend Islam by arguing that the very premise of this Islamophobic argument was a fabrication born out of a form of political ethno-centrism by an elite whose agenda was alway to sell divisions as a mean to anchor its own absolutism, a litany of terror-motivated attacks, radical rants on the part of certain clerics and mainstream media inability to report truths when fiction sells so much better, forced an entire world religion well into the dog house …
So what now?
How do we vindicate a faith? How does one go about extinguishing fear when the innocent are dying by the hands of criminals claiming to be enacting God’s command? How do we convince the world that Muslims have been the main victims of terrorism since not only have they died under its blade but they have been blamed for its ideology.
Muslims you see have been wronged twice: once by extremists who have vowed to murder those who they see as lesser in faith, and once by those who imagined Muslims to be guilty of the terror decimating Muslim communities.
If we were to rationally examine Terror’s ideology and Terror’s primary victims we would find that Muslims have suffered more than most. In fact they have suffered by both Terror and those claiming to fight Terror.
In the light of such a reality one could be inclined to believe that the real agenda behind such violence was to paint a faith an enemy of humanity to better negate the rights of its communities and thus justify occupation.
That of course would require intellectual courage and a good dose of objectivity.
But I diverge here!
Islam and its many communities are hated for a minority has hijacked its Scriptures, perverted its literature, exported itself as absolute and sold itself as being mainstream. But how do we convince the greater public?
How do we explain the injustice of misapprehension?
Prince Ghazi bin Muhammed of Jordan, one of the world’s leading Muslim scholars, has told the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland that terrorist propaganda will succeed in making Muslims “even more hated than they currently are by most of the world.” I must say the Prince is most definitely onto something.
For all the many condemnations and grand declarations Muslim leaders have aired over the years, Islam is still viewed as a religion of hate and bloodshed.
The Prince issued a chilling and terrifying warning in his address. He stressed: “Terrorist propaganda will succeed in making Muslims even more hated than they currently are by most of the world, and in some places Muslims will be in internment camps and other concentration camps.”
And: “The other world religions – all of whom are enjoying their own fundamental renaissances, albeit not as spectacularly, with beautiful exceptions like Pope Francis, HM the Queen, will raise their voices in unison until they all demand together that Islam be wiped off the face of the Earth for not being enough of a religion of love. If this all sounds too bad to be true, unfortunately it isn’t. It is a mordant but serious warning.”
So again I must ask: how do we as a community face such a threat without departing from our principles?
The Quran teaches us to answer evil with that which is better.
How do you answer hate? How do we go about rehabilitating a faith that mainstream has grown accustomed to slam for it has been unable, or unwilling to lay blame at the system’s feet.
Yes the system.
Terror we must realise by now was architected before its ideology could be implemented.
Terror was thought out before it could manifest on our streets …
I will leave you here with the words of an exceptional Islamic scholar whose dedication to tolerance has been an inspiration: Dr John Andrew Morrow.
“It is critical to distinguish between the masses of Muslim human beings from the tiny minority of subhuman terrorists. The traditional values of Islam are perfectly compatible with the traditional values of the Western world; Judeo-Christian values and Humanitarian values. The Prophet Muhammad produced the first constitution in the political history of humanity. The Covenants of the Prophet were the first to enshrine modern notions of civic and human rights. The principles of the Prophet influenced the European Renaissance, the Napoleonic Code, the American Constitution, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Orthodox, traditional, mainstream, civilizational, and classical Islam does not need to be reformed. It needs to be healed of a disease, a poisonous innovation, called Takfiri Salafism—a cancerous tumor attached to the body of Islam. It does not belong to the body. It will debilitate, destroy, and kill the body. It must be amputated. The sooner that the cancerous tumor is surgically removed, the better it will be for both Muslims and non-Muslims.”
By Catherine Shakdam for Shafaqna
Note: Shafaqna would like to invite you, our readers, to comment on this editorial and share with us your views. Terrorism has become a global phenomenon and we must face it together if we are to defeat it.