Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"Islamic" Terrorism?

Since the late 20th Century, our world has been thrown into an age of terrorism. Attacks across the world have spawned, and what first started out as isolated attacks against U.S sites in the Muslim world has now become an organized guerilla war world-wide against any citizen population whose government is "swayed" by the interest of the West. These terrorists target indiscriminately; killing women, children, and the elderly at places like embassies, hotels, market places, mosques, and even funerals. They have no respect for sacred days as they kill on any holiday, even those they claim to follow themselves. Despite the world's condemnation of these on-going attacks and the philosophy of terrorism as a whole, there apparently is mass confusion as to the Muslim stance on terrorism here in the West. Do Muslims secretly condone terrorism or are they absolute in abhorring it? To answer this question once and for all, there needs to be a discussion of Western foreign policy, religion & politics, as well as conspiracy theory among other things.

Some people have taken the name "Islamic terrorism" to describe the terrorism of today yet this so-called "Islamic terrorism" never existed prior to the late 20th century. The reason for the rise in Muslim extremism and Muslim terrorists - at least at the outset - is most probably due, in some form or another, to the Israeli/Palestinian issue that began in that same era - 1947 to be precise. After the UN agreed to form a Jewish home within the Arab homeland, there have been several wars between the Jews of Israel and the Arabs in the Middle East, resulting in the defeat of the Arabs. The sanctioning of this mass "endodus" if you will, angered the Arab population as they felt it was a violation of their homeland; though Jews have every right to live in the land, the way it was conducted was far less than optimal. Many Palestinians became refugees with no where to go, ultimately many ended up settling in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip while the other refugees went into neighboring Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. In 2008, the condition of the Palestinian people is appalling and nothing short of a humanitarian crisis.

This anger may well have been the spark that ignited this terrorist phenomenon to what it is today, though many things have changed since those days. Passing over the details of the Arabs' grievances, in short, the unyielding support of the Western powers in favor of Israel - no matter the situation - has been a constant source of angst against both Israel and the West in the eyes of the Muslim world. Combine that with the U.S-led "War on Terror" and the foreign policy of the Bush administration to pre-emptively strike any nation that is deemed as a threat to national security, and you have a powder keg awaiting to explode. This is simply an overview, for a detailed analysis of the Middle East conflict one needs to read the works by scholars of the field as there is too much to be stated on this topic.

From the fall of the last Caliphate, to the injustice of Israel, and the continued occupation and wars within the Muslim lands, all of this pent up rage coalesced into a new face; a new enemy that the world would fear after the fall of the Soviet Union. This shadowy face is known simply as "Al Qaida." The mastermind behind the group is Osama Bin Laden, once considered a hero by the U.S amongst the freedom-fighters (mujahideen) of Afghanistan during the Soviet-Afghan war of the 1980's. What made Bin Laden change was what he felt was the U.S abandonment after the Soviet-Afghan war, the rejection of Saudi Arabia to let his mujahideen defend Kuwait against a bullying Saddam Hussein and its preference for U.S assistance instead. The final straw for Osama - *according to one of his published statements - was that U.S troops should not be stationed in the Muslim holy-land. Since Saudi Arabia did not respect this wish, Bin Laden turned on Saudi and any country that supported the West.

Al Qaida spawned the formation of countless smaller terror groups or "networks" world-wide to supress the U.S dominance that was spreading across the Muslim world. It has been said that this ideology is based on religious doctrine but a cursory look at Islam's teachings and the history of the Muslim world will clearly dispel any doubt. The Qur'an is very clear on the topic of suicide and how there is no justification for it whatsoever. " And do not kill yourselves. Surely, Allah is most-merciful to you." [4:29] Sahih (authentic) hadith elaborate this even clearer when the Prophet Muhammad says, "Indeed, whoever (intentionally) kills himself, then certainly he will be punished in the Fire of Hell, wherein he shall dwell forever." [Bukhari (5778) and Muslim (109 and 110)]. Therefore, it is completely unlawful for a Muslim to take his/her own life - no matter the circumstance. Islam is similarly strict about the punishment of murder. What then becomes of the one who both takes his own life and the lives of other innocents along with him? The answer should be obvious, but for many a terrorist unfortunately, it is not.

The mistaken view that their fight against the West is a jihad has been the religious fallacy of this dimension of the disease that is the terrorist ideology. No Paradise nor hur awaits them but the fires of hell and that should be clear. The word "jihad" literally means "struggle" but can be applied in the sense of a war as well. However, it should be clear that the Islamic position only justifies a defensive war and a just war, most clearly outlined in this single verse:

"And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)?- Men, women, and children, whose cry is: "Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect; and raise for us from thee one who will help!" [4:75]

So we see that the true spirit of an Islamic armed resistance is only a defensive one where the livelihood of the people has gone and oppression has taken over, and the Qur'an in other places notes that "persecution and oppression are worse than slaughter" [2:191, 217] Once a man asked the Prophet, "What is the better jihad?" And he replied by saying, "A word of truth in front of an oppressive ruler." (Sunan Al-Nasa'i #4209) The Prophet strongly condemned the killing of innocents and laid down strict laws for the tenets of an armed jihad, among them namely: (1) no killing of innocent civilians/non-combatants, only "those who strike you" the Qur'an says, (2) no killing of women and children, (3) no killing of the elderly, (4) no killing of the clergy, priests, rabbis or other religious authorities, (5) no wanton destruction of any kind nor demolition of the holy places of worship (temples, churches, mosques, etc.) (6) no cutting down of trees or burning of the harvest of the farmers [unless it be a strategem of war in which the enemy uses these very same tactics], (7) no mutilation of the enemy deceased (as was being done by the Pagans to the Muslim deceased) and (8) enemy captives must be treated fairly or ransomed (set-free) for a reasonable exchange. All these tenets were exemplified in the life of the Prophet, so much so that when he returned to Mecca, his birth-city that oppressed and drove him out, as a conqueror he forgave everyone and did not fight them while in the superior.

All of this goes to show that the Prophet's understanding of jihad and the terrorists' understanding of jihad are like night and day - there is no common ground whatsoever. The sacred tenets of jihad are all violated and no rules are honored. They massacre whatever they choose and where ever they deem fit. Indiscriminate killing of people of all kind and among the holiest of places. This is the very antithesis of the jihad the Prophet spoke of. If they claim to be Muslims, they should at the very least, know this much. Historically the Muslim mujahideen were very honorable and held their code strictly in practice, influencing the knights of medieval Europe and the chivalry that came along with it. But the terrorists have no honor nor shame and clearly no chivalry. Their war is not a just nor a defensive war. Rather, the more these fake Muslim terrorists appear to make themselves out to be Muslims, is how much further away from Islam they have truly gone!

Say, for example, the terrorists win the war and achieve their goal of having an Islamic state. What nation in their right-mind would ever support their government when they have made enemies of the entire world? It is impossible for them to live as an isolated nation from the rest of the world. Secondly, what type of shariah law are they applying? Certainly not the authentic kind where there is no coercion in matters of faith:

"Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things." [2:256]

Thirdly, they say they fight for the oppressed Muslims but how would they apologize to the families of the countless Muslims who have died at the hands of these terrorists (let alone the non-Muslim dead as well?) All terrorist attacks, with the exception of the major attacks in the West, are all occurring in the Muslim world, killing Muslims mostly. Who then are they fighting for? How convenient is it for an outside party to chase after a boogey man who doesn't seem to exist anymore? Doesn't that give them a free pass to invade whichever country they want and take its natural resources? The whole scenario is a little too convenient for an anti-Muslim group....There are just too many inconsistencies and yet we have to accept the "official" report until future history can show the truth.

If these demons were truly fighting for Islam then they either don't have a brain or they have NO idea what Islam teaches yet still insist on beating people into accepting it. A better way to spread the faith would be to randomly throw presents and gifts on the streets or large markets, places of worship, etc. while proclaiming "Allahu Akbar" instead of planting bombs and spreading death and misery, creating hatred and division. Any logical assessment of the situation would make that very clear. Yet they still do all the things that Islam prohibits in the most abhorrent of ways, all the while killing more Muslims than their so-called "enemies" and giving real Muslims a bad name. No, I'd say that the terrorists are the Muslim's worst enemy and one that we should fight on our own, with little outside help. There was a time in our history where another extremist faction, the "khawarij" was fought by the Muslims themselves until they disbanded or changed their ways. These terrorist groups are nothing more than modern day khawarij and it is up to the Muslims to defeat them, through education and if necessary, confrontation.

So to those non-Muslims who think Muslims do not speak out enough against terrorism, here I am, doing my part. I hope that you can now see that terrorism is more so a problem for Muslims than it is for you. The terrorists are our enemy in every single way and its got very little to do with religion itself and more so with politics. Once these people have improved economic conditions and political leverage through legitimate means (i.e - a mainstream voice for their grievances) than it is hoped they will no longer resort to those desperate and insane tactics. My prayers go out to the oppressed Muslims who are fighting legitimately oppressive regimes across the world, we do not judge you, only those who kill indiscriminately, illegitimately, with no apparent goal but to cause instability, fear, and confusion - may they perish! And now for some conspiracy fun!

**NOTE** All references to Bin Laden or Al Qaida can be researched online easily via Wikipedia, Google, and online documentaries on the subject. None of this information is hard to obtain.

1 comment:

Ruhudeen Ali said...

I wrote this article while I was very tired. There is so much that has been left unsaid. I agree with what you said, in fact, I wanted to include my own personal thoughts at the end of the article but I was too tired to write. Maybe I will update it some day.

But basically, in a nutshell, I don't think these people are actually Muslim who are doing these attacks. History has been known to expose the lies of the time in the past before. Terrorism is a crime that leaves no trace of evidence whatsoever, perfect for covert operations, proxy battles, and political propaganda. There are large world powers playing their hand in all of this. And so far, its worked. Their efforts have only damaged the Muslims more so than their supposed "enemy." But yes, there is a whole flip side to this article and I skipped over the lengthy list of grievances that this war has cost the Muslims, including the state terrorism endorsed by some of these rogue nations mentioned in the article.

My main point was to challenge those who view terrorism as an element of Islam, which is quintessentially the opposite of Islam's message which is to spread peace and harmony, not death, misery, and hatred.

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