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Published On:24 April 2013
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Islam forbids terrorism

Rushdi believes that a change agent must tell the truth to a benevolent dictator, religious hardliner, and compassionately connect with youth and have nots.

By Rushdi Siddiqui

In the post 9/11 environment, we have a funny farm of Muslim characters like the Shoe Bomber Richard Reid; Underwear Bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, Times Square Would-be Bomber Faisal Shahzad, Fort Hood Shooter Nidal Hasan, and other less prominent unsavoury characters.

What state do they belong to? Stateless! Where do their leaders reside? Caves! What rules of engagement do these people follow? Chaos! What God do these people follow? Devil! Do they understand the consequences of suicide missions (that gravely harm innocent people) on their own souls? No!

For Muslims in the US, UK, and other non-Muslim countries, every time there is an “incident” like the Boston Marathon explosion, our immediate thoughts are (1) God willing no injuries or deaths of innocent people and (2) please don’t let it be a Muslim!


We Muslims cannot continue to live this way. At one level, law-abiding Muslims everywhere need to declare a “civil war” on these stateless actors. We have been “hijacked” by these persona non-grata and broad-brush blamed (implicit endorsement of their actions) by the like of Islamophobes like Pamela Geller and self-proclaimed terrorist experts like Steve Emerson.

[Frankly, I would like to see a “wrestling match” between the extremists and Islamophobes, with evidence presented to support their ideology and assertions, respectively.]

The present approach of explaining, declaring counter fatwas, inter-faith dialogue, etc needs to be expanded to include language and actions these characters understand.

No, we are not talking about drone strikes and vigilante justice, although, it would be an appropriate and proportional emotional reaction. But, it would also be a slippery slope into their world of lack of respect for human life, rule of law and chaos ideology.

These characters are brainwashed by “out of context text” from the Quran and Hadith, and passions inflamed by actions (unwelcomed), presence and policies of super-powers on Muslims and Islam. Thus, liberators become occupiers.

It is here a well co-ordinated global PR campaign on “text references” needs to take place, and executed by the local imams at mosques and other places where such extremists congregate.

(The politics of Israel/Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc is a contributor to their way of thinking, but it’s for the G20 and the UN to aggressively chime with equitable treatment of competing aggrieved players, actions over inertia, etc. The countries must also be part of the solution by addressing corruption, youth unemployment, access to entrepreneurial capital, justice and rule of law.)

There is a brilliant piece by Juan Cole, “Top Ten Ways Islamic Law Forbids Terrorism”, that I have reproduced below. It is a starting point to build an educational campaign in local languages.

Yes, there will be a “blind faith” minority only interested in “blind justice”, hence, will not change their views and will counter-campaign. But their ideas and philosophy will be real-time tested in the hearts and minds of all people — Muslims and non-Muslims.

This report was first published on Cole’s website Informed Comment.


Erik Rush and others who hastened to scapegoat Muslims for the Boston Marathon bombing are ignorant of the religion. I can’t understand why people who have never so much as read a book about a subject appoint themselves experts on it. We don’t yet know who carried out the attack, but we know they either aren’t Muslims at all or they aren’t real Muslims, in the nature of the case.

1. Terrorism is above all murder. Murder is strictly forbidden in the Quran. Quran 6:151 says, “and do not kill a soul that God has made sacrosanct, save lawfully.” (i.e. murder is forbidden but the death penalty imposed by the state for a crime is permitted). 5:53 says, “… who so kills a soul, unless it be for murder or for wreaking corruption in the land, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and he who saves a life, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind.”

2. If the motive for terrorism is religious, it is impermissible in Islamic law. It is forbidden to attempt to impose Islam on other people. The Quran says: “There is no compulsion in religion. The right way has become distinct from error.” (The Cow, 2:256). Note that this verse was revealed in Medina in 622 AD or after and was never abrogated by any other verse of the Quran. Islam’s holy book forbids coercing people into adopting any religion. They have to willingly choose it.

3. Islamic law forbids aggressive warfare. The Quran says: “But if the enemies incline towards peace, do you also incline towards peace. And trust in God! For He is the one who hears and knows all things.” (8:61) The Quran chapter “The Cow,” 2:190, says: “Fight in the way of God against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! God loveth not aggressors.”

4. In the Islamic law of war, not just any civil engineer can declare or launch a war. It is the prerogative of the duly constituted leader of the Muslim community that engages in the war. Nowadays that would be the president or prime minister of the state, as advised by the mufti or national jurisconsult.

5. The killing of innocent non-combatants is forbidden. According to Sunni tradition, Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, the first Caliph, gave these instructions to his armies: “I instruct you in 10 matters: Do not kill women, children, the old, or the infirm; do not cut down fruit-bearing trees; do not destroy any town …” (Malik’s Muwatta’, “Kitab al-Jihad.”)

6. Terrorism or hirabah is forbidden in Islamic law, which groups it with brigandage, highway robbery and extortion rackets — any illicit use of fear and coercion in public spaces for money or power. The principle of forbidding the spreading of terror in the land is based on the Quran (Surah al-Ma’ida 5:33–34). Prominent Muslim legal scholar Sherman Jackson writes: “The Spanish Maliki jurist Ibn `Abd al-Barr (d. 464/1070)) defines the agent of hiraba as ‘Anyone who disturbs free passage in the streets and renders them unsafe to travel, striving to spread corruption in the land by taking money, killing people or violating what God has made it unlawful to violate is guilty of hirabah …’.”

7. Sneak attacks are forbidden. Muslim commanders must give the enemy fair warning that war is imminent. The Prophet Muhammad at one point gave four months’ notice.

8. The Prophet Muhammad counselled doing good to those who harm you and is said to have commanded: “Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong to them. Instead, accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong (even) if they do evil.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

9. The Quran demands of believers that they exercise justice towards people even where they have reason to be angry with them: “And do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness.”[5:8]

10. The Quran assures Christians and Jews of paradise if they believe and do good works, and commends Christians as the best friends of Muslims. I wrote elsewhere, “Dangerous falsehoods are being promulgated to the American public. The Quran does not preach violence against Christians.”

Quran 5:69 says (Arberry): “Surely they that believe, and those of Jewry, and the Christians, and those Sabeaans, whoso believes in God and the Last Day, and works righteousness — their wage waits them with their Lord, and no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow.”
In other words, the Quran promises Christians and Jews along with Muslims that if they have faith and works, they need have no fear in the afterlife. It is not saying that non-Muslims go to hell — quite the opposite.

When speaking of the 7th-century situation in the Muslim city-state of Medina, which was at war with pagan Mecca, the Quran notes that the polytheists and some Arabian Jewish tribes were opposed to Islam, but then goes on to say:

5:82. “… and you will find the nearest in love to the believers [Muslims] those who say: ‘We are Christians.’ That is because amongst them are priests and monks, and they are not proud.”
So the Quran not only does not urge Muslims to commit violence against Christians, it calls them “nearest in love” to the Muslims! The reason given is their piety, their ability to produce holy persons dedicated to God, and their lack of overweening pride.

(Courtesy: The Malaysian Insider)

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on April 24, 2013. Filed under , , , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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