Source: New Haven Register
By Dr.Sohail Hussain
A pediatrician, is a former president of the Connecticut chapter of the USA Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Youth Organization (www.alislam.org).
The Prophet Muhammad said about a certain group of Muslims that a time would come when, “Their religious clergy would be the worst creatures under the canopy of the heavens.”
Was the Prophet referring to the present?
Just in the last week, ISIS claimed responsibility for a six-point attack in Paris that left 129 dead and over 350 wounded. In Beirut, they boasted a double suicide bombing in which 40 civilians lost their lives at a busy marketplace. In Turkey last month, 97 people were killed (and nearly 250 others wounded) in a bombing near Ankara’s main train station. Last April, Kenyan militant group Al-Shabaab murdered at least 147 people, mostly students, at a college in the country’s northeast. The list goes on. These horrific scenes are amid a backdrop of plane attacks, public beheadings, abductions, and bold threats to inflict more terror.
So what’s the solution? During their economic summit last weekend in Turkey, the G20 nations vowed to defeat ISIS and agreed to share intelligence in order to prevent further attacks. French President Hollande spoke of waging a “merciless” fight against the enemy. While a defensive response and heightened vigilance are necessary, it is unlikely that they will lead to a permanent solution. That became self-evident when terrorism continued to flourish even after the killing of Osama bin Laden.
The problem is that there is a lineup of madrassa-trained opportunists waiting to spring to the limelight. Which developed nations funded these militant madrassas is the topic of a separate discussion. Anyhow, the latest newcomer is ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who dubs himself as the Caliph, or Khalifa, literally meaning a “successor.” Like a hydra, if you sever one head, several more will sprout, and with more venomous campaigns than their predecessor.
I believe a permanent solution will require a thoughtful, two-pronged approach.
The first is for all fair-minded people to recognize that they can and should blame a party of Muslims for extremism, but don’t blame Islam. Don’t accept the rantings of ISIS on face value. They do not represent the faith. For instance, they boast about a holy war against the West and yet most of their killings have been of Muslims in the Middle East. This really speaks of an agenda for domination rather than ideology, and anyone in their way becomes a victim. French journalist Didier François, who was held hostage by ISIS for almost a year, exposed the reality that his captors didn’t even have a Quran.
In sharp contrast to the propaganda by ISIS, I believe the Quran teaches its readers to uphold just relations and to aspire to beneficence. The emphatic challenge from my group the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is that not even one passage from the Quran or even one account in the life of the Prophet inculcated hatred or violence against non-believers. In fact the opposite is true. The Quran goes on to instruct believers to protect the houses of worship of all faiths and to protect freedom of religion.
Instead of making judgments from a few bits and pieces of isolated quotes taken out of context by ISIS or other hatemongers, I would recommend studying the translation and commentary of the Quran from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (www.alislam.org). Or why not decide for yourself about Muslims by visiting any of our mosques (www.ahmadiyya.us)?
Case in point right here in Connecticut. Just hours after the Paris attacks unfolded, a would-be assailant fired several rifle bullets into our mosque in Meriden. Our response in the wake of this apparent act of vengeance was to widen our doors even more to community around us. This weekend, we will host an open house prayer service to mourn the recent tragedies of extremism. We will continue, and may even increase, our annual blood drive efforts to honor the victims of 9/11, our Thanksgiving volunteerism, and other outreach activities. Our faith demands no less. The reaction from town officials and neighbors has also been heartwarmingly supportive. It is imperative that we separate the ills of a few Muslim leaders, about whom the Prophet warned, from the actual teachings of Islam. This will avoid the dangerous, and frankly artificial, polarization of peoples and will ostracize ISIS from the 1.6 billion Muslims who make up almost a quarter of the world’s population.
Categories: Ahmadiyyat: True Islam