Boko Haram does not represent Islam

Epigraph:

Indeed, Allah enjoins justice, and the doing of good to others; and giving like kindred; and forbids indecency, and manifest evil, and wrongful transgression. He admonished you that you may take heed. (Al Quran 16:91)

A woman attends a demonstration calling on the Nigerian government to increase efforts to rescue the hundreds of girls kidnapped from a school in Lagos, Nigeria.

A woman attends a demonstration calling on the Nigerian government to increase efforts to rescue the hundreds of girls kidnapped from a school in Lagos, Nigeria.

How should I condemn thee? Let me count the ways.

Boko Haram’s rampage of indiscriminate violence and tyranny has been going on for over three years now in Nigeria, but the organization has never grabbed international headlines quite like this before. They’ve bombed churches, killed innocents and done just about everything else in their mad pursuit to establish “Sharia Law,” but the recent kidnapping and potential sale and enslavement of around 200 to 300 schoolgirls has really reverberated across the world.

Naturally, as a common observer, I am saddened. It’s heart-rending to think of those families whose innocent daughters are caught in this sick web of fanaticism, let alone the girls themselves.

But as a devout Ahmadi Muslim, I’m more than sad. I’m shocked. I’m upset. I’m frustrated.

It’s frustrating because here you have this massive group of about 1.8 billion Muslims on earth today, and a handful of twisted extremists have hijacked the whole faith, steering the public discourse on Islam. Every inhumane and ghastly crime they perpetrate leaves a mark on the face of Islam, spread across the international stage in global headlines for all to see. “Boko Haram — Islamic Militants.” That’s how they’re described and viewed. The “militant” part is true. The “Islamic” part? Not so much.

It reminds me of an interesting conversation I had with an RCMP officer last year, just before the prime minister officially announced the highly controversial Office of Religious Freedom, a ceremony I attended in person.

Waiting for the PM, I started talking to one of the RCMP officers assigned to the PM’s security detail. Around that time last year, the RCMP had come under fire for corruption, so I asked him flat out: “What’s going on with the RCMP? Whatever happened to the noble ideal of the legendary Sam Steele? All we hear about now is corruption and scandal. What’s that all about?”

He replied succinctly: “Look, you know how many RCMP officers there are in Canada? Almost 70,000. All of them do their job day in and day out with honour, integrity and courage, but when one rotten apple does something stupid, the whole RCMP gets a bad rap. It’s like what Muslims go through; a few bad guys spoil it for everybody.”

Bingo!

It was a funny parallel, but one that aptly illustrates how Muslims have come to be so misrepresented and perceived so wrongly.

Read further

Additional Reading

Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran

13 replies

  1. What on earth do they represent then?
    If you are saddened by the activities of boko haram, then do not hesitate to condemn the examples they are following which is the illness.

  2. Thank you Ahmed Sahi for a timely article. If you or a friend of yours reads this comment, please tell us more about, Muslim Writers of Canada.

  3. BOKO HARAM !! Who told BOKO HARAM LOT to do such an evil act in the name of Islaam ? Can BOKO HARAM show me anywhere in THE QURR-AAN, what they are doing is allowed in Islam ? No way, they are , even near to ISLAMM . BOKO HARAM lot must be dealt with according to the law of the land for abduction by force !!! very very very SAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD .

  4. that is absolutely true… these people are doing wrong in the name of Islam… but how is the ahmadiya sect
    different.

  5. But I have not heard a single Muslim leader with influence openly condemn Boko Haram. Or did I miss it?

  6. Dear Dorival John,

    Additionally, to what has been already said, we consider the Muslim Times to be a leading Muslim voice and here we are condemning Boko Haram and all acts of terrorism or violation of non-combatants for any reason, whatsoever.

  7. Questions have to asked!

    Regrettably, a great number of Muslims are too apologetic, and refuse to confront The Muslim Malaise head-on. In The West, The Muslim Intellectuals prefer to keep a deafening silence.
    Why is The Ummah’s Decay not being addressed? Could it be that The Muslims prefer to dwell on The Muslim Golden Age? To hide behind that Golden Era’s façade, and happily restrict themselves to their daily rituals and personal circumstances.

    It’s time for The Muslims to get out of the confines of the Hijab, Halal Meat, the yearly Ramadan and Hajj rituals and start actualising their Spiritual endeavours into the Social, Economic, Political and Environmental well-being of the Homo-sapiens, the Flora and the Fauna on THE CREATOR’s Splendid Planet.

    The Muslim Intellectuals in the East seem to be dragging their feet, unfortunately. The Muslims in the West have to initiate the change, because ” Never will THE ALMIGHTY change the condition of a people until they change it themselves.” The Noble Qur’an 13:11

    Peace, La Paix, Shalom and Salaam.
    Umar Solim – England

  8. It is interesting to note that my fairly benign comments were removed by the moderator. It tells a lot about the moderators views on freedom of speech and expression .

  9. @ Azhar Iqbal

    quote–It is interesting to note that my fairly benign comments were removed by the moderator. It tells a lot about the moderators views on freedom of speech and expression .–unquote.
    .
    I am also disappointed the moderator’s behavior, some of my responds were deleted. The reason why he delete it,I guess,he fears that my belief will affect their followers. The same as extremist Muslim fear that Ahmadiyah’s belief will affect their followers. That is why Extremist Muslim like FPI,Taliban punish Muslim Ahmadiyah. They fear and hate Muslim Ahmadiyah. They hate differences of thought, and interpretation of Islam.
    ,
    Verily, if they believe they hold the truth of Islam, they should NOT fear what people say.
    .
    Fear create hatred, then stir up trouble and then delete, punish, and forbid. If they still keep doing it, they punish to death.
    .
    It is not Islamic teaching, we should love with different interpretation, ideas, and thought, in order different people can live in peace,and harmony.
    .
    With all my love to Moderators of TMT.

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