From Malaysia’s New Straits Times (with thanks to Nicolei) comes just what The Economist and the rest of the world is looking for: a moderate Muslim ready to denounce violence and terrorism perpetrated in the name of Islam.
Can we, the truly caring decent Muslims, not protest? Can we not say to the world that no, you have it wrong. Islam is not about killing. Islam is not about attacking five-year-olds on the threshold of a new life in a new country, killing them or leaving them impaired for life, if not physically, then definitely psychologically.
Islam is not about killing, torture and revenge, but whom do we tell this to? Where can we, the common man, go to plead the case for Islam? Is there a world tribunal for redress where people like you and I can plead on behalf of our faith? Where we can explain in simple layman’s terms that mad people kill, not religion? I know I am not equipped to delve at length into the philosophies and the fatwa, or the intricacies and the why of clever things like international relations and politics. I just despair that we have still not resolved age-old differences, nor healed age-old wounds. Since the dawn of mankind, we have always been at strife with one another.
At least, sad though it may be, the one thing constant with mankind is we have never been at peace. But surely there must be something that we can all do. It is time for all true Muslims to stand up and denounce terrorism in our own way. On a personal level, perhaps we could help separate the real Muslims from the murdering frauds who kill in the name of religion for whatever cause. Help to explain that the taking of lives, but for self-defence, is something all decent Muslims don’t condone.
People who kill innocents and who do not respect life must be exposed. Decent Muslims must stand up to expose them for the devils that they are for the sake of all good and peace-loving Muslims.
And we have to do it now.
For Muslims all over are being condemned and spat upon by people who do not know better.
“Before Sept 11, I never had a problem with what people wore or how they looked,” said a friend. “Now, all the more after what happened in Beslan, I find myself reacting with anger at anyone who looks remotely like al-Qaeda.
“I cannot help feeling so angry that it’s that kind of Muslim who gives my religion a bad name.
“I know this sounds stupid and totally tak masuk akal, but I’m only human and I cry at the carnage they leave in their wake.
“I just want to go out and bash them up, to show the world we do not condone what they do.” Many feel the same but cannot articulate so, or don’t feel the need or necessity to. …
The Muslim world must counter these atrocities. For how else can we set the balance right? Soon after Sept 11, I remember sitting horrified for days watching and listening to the reports on CNN and BBC. Much of what was happening was beamed to the world, primarily through these two channels. The news was slanted to portray the suicide bombers as the cold-hearted cowardly common murderers that they were. And I cringed at the terms that flailed my very soul “” Muslim terrorists, Muslim suicide bombers, Muslim this and Muslim that. It is so unfair to be associated with killers who have no right to call themselves Muslims.
How dare they claim to be on a jihad to save the Muslim world? When innocent blood is shed, you forfeit the right to call yourself a martyr. It’s time Muslims had their own wide-reaching PR set-up to explain the other side of the story. It is because we are not doing so that we are being misunderstood, feared and reviled.
We should all make it our personal jihad to correct the negative perceptions before this madness comes to our shores.
This all sounds great, but Nicolei also sends along some pointed comments:
Osama and the likes of him are able to and confidently quote from the Koran and hadiths to justify their terror. Many of the Muslim terrorists have studied in madrassahs and too many Islamic teachers and scholars have have been associated with or condoned the Islamic terrorists for their Islam to be classified as an aberration. Those who do so, like this writer, can at best only quote the Meccan revelations, but they are unable to effectively deal with the Islamic doctrine of abrogation — whereby the violent Medina verses that inspires the terrorists, overrules the peaceful Meccan verses. Islamic orthodoxy has consistently branded Muslims who deny the authority of the hadiths as heretics.
While I can cheer for Muslims like this writer, I also pity them; for until they deal with the violent verses in the Koran and hadiths and their historical tradition of violent jihad, they will be unable to convince knowledgable Muslims like Osama that what the terrorists did and will do in the name of Islam is wrong. On the contrary, Osama will view these peaceful Muslims as apostates, who ran away from the battle — and deserve their wrath with extreme prejudice.