Home > Current Affairs > Why should I take the blame?

Why should I take the blame?

Whenever any sort of extremism / violence / terrorism happens anywhere in India or even across the world, the first fingers point towards one particular community – the one I belong to. I understand the politicial intentions and in some cases, the rationale, behind this. But, the partisan attitude of calling such form of violence MUSLIM EXTREMISM (a religional tag) while anything else done by other communities only gets a REGIONAL tag… this is very disappointing and an evidence of absolute partiality.

However, above all this is the important point of understanding whether there is any religious allegiance for these so called “extremists” or “terrorists”. It is absolute commonsense that any actions would get a group tag only when the group ideology encourages those actions and most of the group either involves themselves in such actions.

The world has been living side by side with terror for a long time. Even though actions may differ from country to country, all terrorist organizations aim at innocent civilians and send their messages by way of these people. When it comes to Islam, Islam is derived from the word ‘salaam’ which means peace. It is a religion of peace whose fundamentals teach its followers to maintain and promote peace throughout the world. All forms of terrorism / extremism are unconditionally condemned in Islam. According to the Holy Qur’an, it is a great sin to kill an innocent person, and anyone who does so will suffer great torment in the Hereafter:
… If someone kills another person—unless it is in retaliation for someone else or for causing corruption in the earth—it is as if he had murdered all mankind. And if anyone gives life to another person, it is as if he had given life to all mankind. Our Messengers came to them with Clear Signs, but even after that, many of them committed outrages in the earth. (Qur’an, 5:32)

Any Muslim who believes in God with a sincere heart, who scrupulously abides by His verses and fears suffering in the Hereafter, will avoid harming even one other person.

If this is what Islam is all about, then there is no way one can associate such voilent acts with the muslim community. In fact, all practising muslims denounce such acts and in no way regard these extremists / terrorists as one amongst us. How can someone who breaks the basic fundamental tenets of Islam (by harming innocent people) still remain a muslim? They are, in short, not muslims by any means of definition.

So, it is our earnest hope that we don’t give a religious color to such acts and that we unite together to fight this menace and wipe it out of this world forever. Only when this happens can we ensure that our energies and efforts are spent in the right direction… and not misdirected as it is happening today.

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  1. Shashikiran
    October 6, 2008 at 8:30 am

    I understand your arguments and appreciate the sentiments behind them.
    One question bothers me though, while accepting the arguments you submit.
    If ‘Islamic terorism’ is not the right term, then what is?
    ‘Saudi terrorism’, ‘Afghan terrorism’, ‘Sudanese terrorism’, etc.?
    If, for a moment, we assume that it is indeed a regional or one such non-religious form of terrorism, how do we explain the collaboration between these several national and international terrorist outfits which apparently share only one common feature and that is ‘religion’.
    On the other hand, you have appropriately pointed out that these people are not true to the spirit of Islam and have been mis-led.
    It only leads to the conclusion that these are two different aspects of this global terrorism and not to be mixed up. It is indeed an Islamist terrorism though not in spirit with the true Islam.

  2. October 6, 2008 at 8:34 am

    @ Shashikiran

    Appreciate your comment… 🙂

    My take on this issue about identity is something on the lines of how we define naxalism / maoist rebellion. There might be some religion linkage within these extremist groups or may not be, but then we identify them without tagging any religion.

    A similar approach to the new extremist groups would be to address them without linking the religion… since any common man on seeing the “Islamist” prefix would associate it with the religion thereby dragging the true practising muslims (which I mentioned detest any form of terrorism) into the blame game.

    What is your say on it?

  3. October 6, 2008 at 8:38 am

    @ Shashikiran

    One might get tempted to associate religion with such extremist groups if we see that it is one community killing only people from other communities. But, as we see it, the terrorism of today’s times is not leaving muslims unharmed… Whenever blasts have happened around India, what we have seen is muslims also losing their lives alongside so many others from other religions.

    And we could easily term it collateral damage had we not see that these terrorists even blast muslim churches… cases in point being Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh.

  4. guha
    October 6, 2008 at 10:49 am

    Moid,

    Thank you for including me on your mailing list

    While i empathize with the views expressed in this article. I have a quick couple of questions (which i believe) are worth pondering:

    1. I know that Islam as a religion is strongly opposed to terrorism (or any act which results in innocents being targeted), but what is the rest of the islamic world doing to contain the misguided few (who indluge in such acts)

    2. Why do we not see open condemnation of such acts from prominent islamic religious leaders (i know the Deoband seminary did issue a condemation, but i dont recall any other prominent groups rejecting this openly) – one incident that i find particularly telling, in the aftermath of the recent Delhi blasts is that while the shahi imam of the Jama Masjid was quick to condemn the police action in Jamia Nagar (as “targetting muslims”), he did not utter a word about the blasts itself !

    3. In all the Friday sermons you have attended, has anyone spoken out loud, condeming terrorism as unislamic

    While you can argue that the actions of a misguided segment should not be the basis of judging the community as a whole, i think it is also incumbent on the larger, peace loving muslims world over to speak out loud and firm against terrorism. Until such a time, people will continue to use words like “islamic terrorism” (however much of a contradiction that may be in reality) – i am not saying its fair, all i am saying is that it is understandable

  5. October 6, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    @ Guha

    Answering all your questions in one go, I can state it with full conviction that there is not a single friday sermon which I attend every week… that does not find the imam (leader) condemning human violence and praying for end to terrorism. I cannot even count the innumerable times when it has been said in the sermon that “killing people is the biggest sin in Islam and that killing one innocent people is like killing the whole humanity for which the punishment is of the unimaginable and the highest order”.

    However, the sense of little disappointment that appears in a majority of muslims and other minority communities alike is primarily ‘coz of high-handedness shown by the law enforcement agencies in some cases. Wouldn’t generalize but there has been a number of instances of these agencies arresting and torturing innocent people under the pretext of counter-terrorism thereby inducing fear and resentment.

    I can personally quote my first hand experience of seeing a cousin of mine… getting caught way back in 1993 after the 1992 riots (just ‘coz he was seen playing cricket outside with his friends during curfew) and tortured n lodged in jail for months together without trial. Eventually, he was released only to be mentally handicapped then on… from the trauma and is still in that shape even today. The saddest part here is that this guy was just 11 years old when he was caught… and had no remotest relation to any sort of violence. And what remains of him is a 26-year old mentally retarded guy with no career, no life to speak about and no future to look forward to.

    And I have personally heard of similar instances happening… not stories but actual facts. Isn’t this community sandwiched from all ends? The modern world advocates the use of Presumption of Innocence principle as a legal right of every global citizen (this stems from the Latin legal principle that ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat – the burden of proof rests on who asserts, not on who denies)… then why not apply the same principle to this?

    Reminds me of the example of a cat. Normally, it is supposed to be very docile but when you try to trouble it and corner it from all sides in a room, then can you witness the fury of the cat… which jumps on you violently to evade torture.

  6. October 27, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    I think the reason terrorist acts are described as ‘Islamic terrorist attacks’ is because the terrorists themselves loudly and unequivocally proclaim to be doing it in the name of Islam. Listen to any of the messages of bin Ladin etc.. So when the guy committing the crime himself gives the reason for it, its hard for others to claim that his reasoning is flawed..

  7. November 2, 2008 at 7:46 am

    @ Arslan

    Yes, indeed that is a big factor in Islam getting branded that ways. However, I think it is in the interest of all the global citizens to alienate these terrorists from any religion and treat them as outcasts… this ways, one can ensure everyone’s effort coming together for a genuine cause and not targetting it amongst ourselves leaving these terrorists continuing their evil agendas.

  1. March 21, 2010 at 12:10 pm

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