Terrorism has no place in Islam

Islam and terrorism are not intertwined as some people in Europe and America want us to believe. Islam has been the target by representative of Republican presidential candidate in particular and a few others following terrorist attacks in San Bernardino of California in December last year by American Muslim Syed Rizwan Farrok and his wife Tashfeen and killing of 49 and wounding 53 at Pulse Night club of gay community in Orlando of Florida by American born Omar Mateen.
In every religion there are bad elements but Islam has been identified as radical Islam. The attack on African Methodist Episcopal church during prayer service in South Carolina on 11 June of 2015 by a white man Dylann Roof took lives of nine parishioners. He was not described as Christian extremist or radical Christian. I also recall attack on Sikh temple in Wisconsin on 5th August of 2015. Six people lost their lives and four others injured. The attack was carried out by Wade Page who was not described as Christian extremist either. This actually reflects double-standard played by news media in America in particular.
In fact, Islam preaches peace. At least in fifty eight places in the Holy Qur’an the word peace has been mentioned. Islam does not preach killing of people. A terrorist does not believe in any religion whether it is Islam, Christianity, Judaism or Sikhism. As a matter of fact, the people who follow the tenets of Islam can never get involved in any form of terrorism under any circumstances because he or she is connected to Allah, Creator of this universe, and Allah would guide him or her to follow the correct path in this world.
I would like to quote from DR. Anne Marie Schimmel, a profound scholar on Islam and Sufism having received double doctorates on Islamic languages and civilisation and history of religion being a Protestant German christian whom I knew during my diplomatic assignment in Germany. Anne Marie Schimmel has this to say, “I have never seen anything in the Koran or in traditional writings that called for or even allowed terrorism or hostage taking.” She achieved as an expert in Arabic language, apart from other languages including Urdu and Turkey. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had set many examples of saving innocent people and children, including prisoners of war. Islam does not absolve of the killings of innocent persons or does not encourage suicide, or for that matter, suicide bombing to kill people. Let us look at what Qur’an has to say about suicide, “Do not kill yourselves. God is merciful to you but he who commits suicide through wickedness and injustice shall be burned in fire.” In Surah Nisa it has been mentioned that it is unlawful for a believer to kill another believer except by accident. He that kills a believer by design shall burn in the Hell forever. Surah Nisa also says believers, conduct yourselves with justice and bear true witness before God, even though it be against yourself, your parents or your kinfolk. Surah Imran speaks about righteousness and Justice to mankind. Surah Imran also says a person raised up as the noblest community for mankind who enjoin justice and forbid evil. In Surah Al-Anam it has been said that you shall not kill—-for that is forbidden by God—-except for a just cause. God has commanded not to commit evil in the hand, according to Surah Baqarah.
The Qur’an preaches the oneness of God and emphasises divine mercy and forgiveness. The Qur’an contains many statements and stories relating to many Prophets of the past, including Prophet Moses (SM) and Prophet Jesus (SM) which if not recognised as altogether obscure, lend themselves to more than one interpretation, according to N. J Dawood, an Iraqi scholar, a graduate from London University who brought out the English version of the Qur’an in 1956.
It is my privilege to quote from a Great Imam Mufti Mohammed Hanooti of Dar Al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church of Virginia with whom I have had encounters many times. Mufti Hanooti whom I met sometimes in April of 2015 to find out what ISIS ideology stands for. His opinion was that their ideology goes against Islamic ethic and principle who gave an interview to CNN on 7 July of 2008 wherein he was on the record as saying terrorist attack goes against Islamic law.
There is misconception in the Muslim world about other religions. History in fact provides many examples of tolerance towards other religion. The constitution of Al-Madina is a glaring example wherein the Prophet Muhammad (SM) had made a friendly agreement with the Jews and established them in their religion and their properties. As a matter of fact, when Hazrat Omar (Ra), second Caliph of Islam, entered Jerusalem in the year 634, Islam granted freedom of worship to all religious communities.
Many of you might have heard the name of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, a leader of India’s independence movement, twice President of Indian National Congress, renowned scholar and India’s first Education Minister, who is on the record as saying, “unity of man is the primary aim of religion. The message every Prophet delivered was that mankind was in reality one people and one community, and that there was but one God for all of them, and on that account they should serve him together and live as members of one family.” I would like to quote from the Prince of Wales who spoke on Islam and the West on 27 October of 1993 at Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies. He is on the record as saying, “Islam had contributed so much towards civilisation which we all too often think of, wrongly, as entirely western. Islam is part of our past, and present, in all fields of human endeavour. It has helped to create modern Europe.”
Unity of love, unity of mankind, unity of truth, unity in respect of freedom and unity in basic social life have been enshrined in the Qur’an. Therefore, terrorism does not exist in Islam.