Teaching tolerance through Islam

tulsaworld.com: Each time I see a news headline with a link between Islam and terrorism my heart sinks. As I watched and read about the hostage situation in Sydney, I had the same sinking feeling as I saw yet another shocking story of possible terrorism. These acts of terrorism are becoming more and more prevalent with many of the perpetrators claiming to be Muslims. However, these heinous acts are not only crimes against humanity, but also a crimes against Islam, the verv religion that these groups claim to follow.

Crimes such as these perpetuate fear against Muslims and Islam. This fear is on the rise even here in America, and the very small but attention-grabbing minority of Muslim youth who fall prey to these ideologies do not help the matter. However, as a Muslim youth leader and a member of your community, I feel the need to set the record straight by pointing out some fundamental teachings of my religion that run directly counter to the practices of these extremists.

Islam demands the preservation of human life and gives high regard to the value of every human being. The following verse speaks to this value: “Whoso gave life to a person, it shall be as if he had given life to all of mankind ..(Chapter 5: Verse 33). In fact, this same verse is everyday inspiration for me as a physician and many other Muslims around the world who act to save lives. Islam and the Quran give so much value to one human life that it is absolutely absurd to imagine that this religion would sanction the killing of scores of innocents. The importance attached to the preservation of life renders the actions of ISIS, al-Qaida, or any other terrorist organization, outside the pale of Islam.

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