It is widely believed that ISIS is an Islamic organization.
But this belief is ill-founded. Any outfit, including ISIS,
that murders innocents can never be Islamic.
By A Hameed Yousuf
The ‘love’ with mother, ‘love’ with a wife, ‘love’ for the ‘chickens’ and a woman’s ‘love’ for jewels. The word despite being the same means different things and denotes different actions. The love for mother is to respect and care for her; the love for wife results in taking care of her and love-making; the love for chickens is to roast and gulp them down the stomach; the love for jewels is using and keeping them safe for the next use. As shown above, a common word such as love assumes new meanings in different contexts. Words change their meanings according to the context!
The ISIS or Islamic State is an outfit which allegedly fights for establishing Islamic Caliphate or it is a State of ‘Islam’ in itself. The words that form its name depict its relation with Islam. As said, words do not mean what they appear to be. The words strive to recreate the idea of a caliphate, which is political ambition in the present times; furthermore to use force and indiscriminate killings towards political ends can in no way be related to the word ‘Islamic’.
Islam is historically and statistically proved to be the most peaceful of all the religious, political and financial theories. It is for the whole universe and its message is relevant to all the ages. It is only in Islam that one assures the ethos of peace as many times as they communicate throughout a day. Even their everyday greeting ‘Assalam Alaikum’ conveys the message of peace for all Muslim brothers, and by extension to all people in general. For spreading the message of peace Muslims do not wait for a particular ‘day’ or time. They are all peace-loving and in peace all the time.
He who causes not-peace has in fact not achieved perfection in his religion. And he who indulges in violence on others or kills any innocent is deviating from the way shown by Islam. Their terrorizing actions or threatening statements are totally against the spirit of Islam.
It is so that no sooner than the news came of innocents being killed in Paris attack Muslims hurried to condemn it in the strongest possible words. Muslims also condemned and detached themselves from the 9/11 or 26/11 attacks. Muslims, especially in India, have been openly condemning the brutalities committed by the ISIS. “In tweets, in street gatherings and in open letters, moderate Muslims around the world are insisting that Islamic State extremists don’t speak for their religion,” a report by AP reads adding, “The secretary general of the world’s largest body of Muslim nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, also condemned the terrorist attacks in Paris and has expressed the organization’s “unwavering solidarity and support to France.”
For any terrorist incident being condemnable and its perpetrators being worthy of the harshest punishment, theoretical, political, ethnical or religious affiliations or the purpose behind the incident have no relevance. An act of terror is just an act of terror. Whatever the circumstances may be loss of innocent lives or non-combatant civilians being terrified is a reason enough to make any incident a terror happening.
Whoever killed the innocents in France, Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Russia, Syria, Africa, Pakistan, India, China, Turkey, United Kingdom or Palestine are terrorists without any doubt. Whoever kills the unborn humans in the wombs are the biggest terrorists.
Terrorism has many shades and colours. Somewhere they disguise in religious forms and they mainly nurture political ambitions; sometimes in the struggle for rights and sometimes for freedom. The common people are terrorized by deviant human behaviour; they are afraid, as they do not know which of them will be victim of man’s lust for sex, wealth and luxury. Under the pretext of care for the coming generations, in far future, man is hell bent on killing the generations that are to come in the near future.
Terrorism has been one of the major challenges for today’s humanity. Man have killed man earlier, too, and we suitably call such men belonging to the Stone Age. They were uneducated, uncivilized, uncultured and comparatively less aware of the beauties and bounties that have been put for them in this universe. But they also did not know the myriad ways or myriad pretexts to kill their fellow humans.
We feel pity for the victims of man-eating men; we disdain the eaters. How much do we disdain the modern men who roast and mince the innocent men with explosives? The weak are still unsafe; there are various outfits and armies that believe only in murder, plunder and shattering of peace.
The terrorist organizations and terrorist regimes are realities even in the so-called 21st century! In fact, the so-called war on terror has also increased terrorism. The unbelievable and unthinkable 9/11 attacks on the United States allegedly by the terrorists swearing allegiance to the Al-Qaeda gave the wars a new dimension at least in appearance if not in reality.
The War on Terror began. It was not just the United States but rather it was the United World that was fighting against terrorism. The hunt for terrorists led to murder of many civilians. The families of the civilians killed became a soft target of the terrorist recruiters who easily persuaded them to avenge the murderers of their family members.
“Terrorism is on the rise, with an almost fivefold increase in fatalities since 9/11, in spite of US-led efforts to combat it in the Middle East and elsewhere around the world.” This is a paragraph from a report published by UK’s The Guardian. The news was published around a year ago but it is not irrelevant.
The report about the Terrorism Index also adds, “The terrorism index raises questions about the effectiveness of a western counter-terrorism strategy since 9/11 that has seen US-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen and the use of proxy forces around the world. The “war on terror” launched by the Bush administration after the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington has failed to eliminate or reduce terrorism.
In fact the war on terror has also been used to score political and religious gains and the self-interest approach has rendered the war ineffective. Terrorism is on rise. Outfits are born and die, but their nefarious game continues.
In order to topple the Asad government in Syria, to remove Gaddafi in Libya, to counter Taliban in Afghanistan, to deal with Saddam Husain in Iraq and various other regimes in the Middle East people were persuaded to take arms and go with war against their own governments. The ensuing fights between the establishment and the ‘rebels’ terrorized common men. Innocents were not only terrorized but they were killed and are being killed for none of their faults; they are rendered homeless and are fleeing to other countries.
After 9/11 the world intervened in many countries to either ‘protect’ its citizens from ‘terrorists’ or ‘tyranny’ of their rulers. Now all of these countries live in constant terror. These war-torn countries have turned out to be a living hell for their own citizens. The intervening powers are in no position to claim that the lives of citizens there are better in any way than their situation before interventions. Terrorists have been executing their murderous plans successfully; the civil wars have torn off the fabric of peace in society.
In Syria, the Western-manufactured ISIS. “…The emergence of ISIS can be attributed directly to the US invasion of Iraq. Its genesis can be traced to the insurgency against the US forces. It grew from al-Qaida in Iraq,” reads the above mentioned report. The West prepared some men with Muslim names and then assigned them the bloody task of killing innocents. They are doing so. And now the bombings to target the ISIS men are also not sparing innocents.
The common man in Syria was shocked at the sudden murderous spree of the ISIS and now it is in awe to find that their protectors, too, are using dangerous chemicals that do not have the ability to distinguish between the terrorists and the civilians.
It is widely believed that ISIS is an Islamic organization. But this belief is ill-founded. Any outfit, including ISIS, that murders innocents can never be Islamic. However Islamic and deceptive their names may be, they are not the representative of any religion, let alone Islam. It may be that they are seeking a pretext in the so-called insane, inhumane and barbaric acts of the Jewish, Abortionist, Islamist, Capitalist, Hindu, Communist, Christian or Buddhist organizations to launch an onslaught or a defamatory campaign against Judaism, Islam, Capitalism, Hinduism, Communism, Christianity and Buddhism. It is not logical. And it will be worse if we resort to selective condemnation of the terrorist and anti-peace activities and in the process we ignore the terror activities that may hamper the natural process running this universe.
After the Paris attack the world including Muslims have come forward to condemn the barbarian terrorists. Terrorism and peace cannot co-exist; it has to be obliterated for the peace to prevail. The methodology should not be, however, that which directly or indirectly serves the terrorists’ cause i.e. killing of innocents and pushing them into a state of constant fear.
Terrorism has to be put to an end. But ‘how’ is the question. A definition of terrorism should be set and it should be applied everywhere and in case of everyone. A biased definition applied selectively may serve other temporary causes, but this will take your nowhere on the way to its solution. Identify the problem and fix responsibility. It may be the criterion to define terrorism and act accordingly: any act or statement that frightens innocent people, in whatever form and to whatever extent, should be put in the category of terrorism. In the war against terrorism killing of some innocents may be unavoidable but this will not exclude the killer acts from the category of terrorism. Let us be clear, straight, firm and honest.
As killing innocents in the war on terror is condemnable similar is the onslaught on the religions or isms that the terrorists happen to belong. Biblical laws cannot be criticized just because some Christian took arms and killed innocents illegally; the institution of priesthood is not be condemned just because some of its members not only terrorize but also kill the unborn pregnancies. We do not criticize Hindu scriptures or Hindu practices just because they persuade the citizens to topple the democracy and replace it with Ram Rashtra. We are not to condemn Communism just because it led to Maoism in India! Islam is not to be condemned as also some of its members contribute to the global network of multi-dimensioned terrorism. Targeting a culture exhibits intolerance that is very close to terrorism.
Intolerance towards religion, culture, language or community etc. goes in contrast to civility, sophistication and peace-loving natural bent of man. Patriotism cannot be limited to some actions or statements. Everything that serves the country, helps it go ahead and ensures that peace and tranquility prevails there, is a dimension of patriotism. An attempt to define patriotism with ‘sloganism’ and ‘hooliganism’ is an devious and misleading attempt.
Similar is the case of defining terrorism by religion or ism.