It is a very simplistic argument to blame Islam for any violent acts by terrorists or deviated Muslims who carry out their heinous actions sometimes in the name of Islam. Let us however analyse these claims with logic and proper reasoning instead of looking at it emotionally.
Suppose for sake of argument, if a terrorists kills someone by shouting “i kill thee in the name of god almighty” will the people blame god or blame the terrorist ? Similarly, some terrorists proclaim “Allah o Akbar” which is Arabic for “God is Great” though the subsequent actions is totally opposite of what god or religion has commanded. We need to understand that there is also a clear media bias in reporting which prefers to use terrorism tag more commonly with crimes associated with Muslims.
Furthermore nowadays the right wing political parties are trying to demonize Muslims by spreading rumors of alleged increase in crimes like rape due to refugees flooding to their countries from war zones. The intended purpose of such exercise is very obvious and that is to gain political capital by playing into the fears and emotions of people.
Hence keeping in view the current affairs where politicians spread hate and innocents suffer it is important to do critical analysis of information which reaches us through various media channels especially with respect to looking things from below mentioned perspectives:
- Understand the difference between Muslims and Islam and that NOT all Muslims have knowledge about Islam and practice it.
- For example if an Indian commits a crime it is not fault of Indian constitution similarly if a Muslim commits a crime it is not because of Islam unless you can prove link between Islamic religious preaching (from Islamic scriptures) and actions of this Muslim person.
- Sometimes wrong perception can be created by media and people with vested interests.
- All Islamic scholars and intellectuals have denounced terrorism and violence against innocents so we expect that the scholars and those knowledgeable know Islam better than the terrorists & criminals.
Hope this simple understanding of difference between religion and religious followers will help dispel many myths surrounding Islam and distinguishing the truth from falsehood.
“…If anyone killed a person not in retaliation for murder or to spread mischief in the land, it would be as if he killed the whole of mankind. And (likewise) if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the whole of mankind“ (Surah Al-Maaida 5:32).
Reason for perception of Islam being violent religion
- The question seems to arise from the influence of vicious media propaganda against Islam.
- Most of the information about Islam which non-muslims are getting is from anti Islamic websites like faithfreedom, islamwatch, wikiislam etc. which are nothing but full of false claims & allegations, quotation from unauthentic sources, mis-interpretations and statements taken out of context. To make it look authentic some claim that they are ex-muslims as if being ex-muslim gives more credibility to their claims.
- Many terror groups originating due to power vacuums created by western invasion of afghanistan and iraq who use religion as a means to motivate its ignorant followers and get support from masses
- Promotion of violent ideologies through social media by vested interests in the name if Islam.
- Unable to differentiate between the teachings prescribed in religious scriptures vs the actions of ignorant followers.
Islam means Peace
- The very name Islam comes from the Arabic root word ‘salama’ which means peace. Islam is a religion which is based upon achieving peace through the submission to the will of Allaah
- If we go by the content of religious scriptures and divine revelations then it is emphasized at several places to maintain peace.
- The violence is sometimes prescribed as means to maintain peace by removing oppression or to fight those who fight us: “And what is the matter with you that you do not fight in the cause of Allaah and for those weak, ill treated and oppressed among men, women and children whose only cry is; ‘Our Lord, rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors and raise for us from you one who will protect and raise for us from you one who will help“‘ (Surah An-Nisa 4:75).
- Even while fighting it is advised not to transgress the limits “And fight in the way of Allaah those who fight you. But do not transgress the limits. Truly Allaah loves not the transgressors“ (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:190).
- Not transgressing limits even during war was explained by prophet saws to mean not killing or harming the women and children, the elderly, the sick, monks, worshippers and hired labourers. Not transgressing the limits means not killing animals wantonly, burning crops and vegetation, polluting waters and destroying homes, monasteries, churches and synagogues.
- “Allaah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion, nor drove you out of your homes. Indeed, Allaah loves those who deal with equity“ (Surah Al-Mumtahinah 60:8).