Haider Zaman writes in Dawn, with thanks to Leslie:
SOME of the major problems besetting human society these days are terrorism, disrespect for the basic human rights and disregard for fair and impartial justice. Islam is the outstanding religion which provides the most appropriate and effective guidance for overcoming all the these problems.
In whatever way the term “terrorism” is defined and whatever its cause and motive may be, it does involve commission of excesses or crossing of limits, in one way or the other, as its main constituent element. The Holy Quran enjoins us to avoid the commission of excesses in several ways. One is when it expressly enjoins us not to commit excesses (5:87). The other is when it enjoins us not to disturb the balance (55:8). The balance is invariably disturbed through the commission of excesses. Therefore what the Quran emphasises by enjoining us not to disturb the balance is to avoid the
commission of all kinds of excesses including the acts of terrorism.
Secondly, the Quran expects the community of true believers i.e. those who follow its teachings in letter and in spirit, to be the people who are justly balanced (2:143). The people being justly balanced mean the people who follow the principle of golden mean, the people who are given to do justice to every one, in every matter everywhere. Such people have been further categorised as the people who enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong (9:71). Since the commission of excesses could be a wrong act by itself it cannot be said to have the sanction of the Quran whatever may be the motive behind it.
The Quran enjoins the prohibition of that which is wrong but it does not allow the removal of a wrong with another wrong. It specifically enjoins repulsion of evil with goodness (41:34), moderation as a way of life (31:19), doing of justice even to enemies (5:8) and kindness even to non-believers (60:8).
As regards the respect for the basic human rights, the most important of these is the right to equal treatment in certain matters and aspects of life. For example, our Constitution provides that all citizens shall be treated equally before the law and that there should be no discrimination on the basis of sex. But the Quran deals this issue in a more natural, realistic and broader sense when it says that all human beings are equal because they are born of the same male and female couple (49:13)…
Sometimes you just have to shake your head.