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Friday, July 1, 2011

TERRORISM: A challenge for the state

IN the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
The need has come to tackle the issue of terrorism with all the strength and might of government since it is the duty of government to protect the lives and property of its citizenry.  The security of man and woman irrespective of religious, tribal and social sentiment is a fundamental responsibility of the government and it must pull all stops to ensure that people live without fear of harassment.
One of the illogical arguments people put forward on the issue of Boko Haram is that it is religiously inclined. Some are quick to illustrate with weak evidences of Islam being supportive of terrorism, some base their opinions on the premise that known perpetrators are Muslims, Usama Bin Laden, bla! bla!  Fanatical Muslims do one evil or the other not on the teachings of Islam, neither do they carry out their gruesome acts on the practice of the prophet nor on the agreement of most Muslims in a given society.  Most are carried out based on ulterior motives of individuals or group.  Fortunately, the Qur’an is one and no verse of it encourages killing of fellow human being and destruction of properties for admittance into paradise.  The interpretation of the verse(s) which non Muslims are quick to quote is basically for defence justified by the circumstances which the verse was revealed and situation of earliest Muslims at that time.  when the infidels struck to attack the Muslims in an attempt to wipe out Islam.   But today, it has been so misinterpreted to suit the interest of the interpreter.
We have also heard of Christian terrorists who had carried out heinous crimes against humanity but yet they cannot be said to represent the teachings of their religion.   Kenny McClinton, Peter Steinfels, The Arm of the Lord, Defensive Action to mention a few. The list is more but that is not the point. The point is that anyone that goes about killing in the name of God does that on his own volition and it is meant to pursue a personal interest, not of the religion.  It is an ideologue which cannot be made to bear on the faith that discourages it.   Several evidences abound that pontificate 'no compulsion' in religion. 
In spite of all the condemnation and comments by Muslims scholars in the country and world over on the attacks allegedly said to have been launched by Muslims or groups,  people still adduce their subjective notions about Islam as being supportive of terrorism, irrespective of the obvious teachings of Islam that preaches peace and encourage peaceful co-existence. The matter is made worse by the group (Boko Haram) which many people see as a Islamic sect.
Muslims scholars in the country have continued to condemn the insurgence of Boko Haram in the country.  Sermon, lectures and papers have been delivered and published in the media to elucidate on the position of Islam against terrorism, yet subjective approximations and opinions abound.

Islam has prohibited everything that may pose threat to social harmony, cause breach of peace or may endanger peace and security of the citizenry.  Islamic laws stand for maintenance of peace and prevention of riots and disturbances. Islam strives for elimination of oppression, rioting or anything which adversely affects the culture and civilization of a country.  Terrorism ruptures social peace and Islam forbids it. It desires peace, tranquillity and social harmony. Acts of terrorism destroy the moral principles, meant for the welfare of human beings. That is a crime against humanity and God and has no place in a religion like Islam.  Any group or individual who hold different position cannot be said to represent Islam. Chikena!

Several attacks have been carried out in recent time, yet government has not been able to uncover the  perpetrators. It will be interesting to knwo those who are behind these devilish acts.
Any terrorist activity, which targets innocent persons, is against the concept of divine compassion and peace in Islam. That point has been elucidated from different angles by different scholars. Islam views any human act that violates divine compassion or peace with great contempt and derision. According to a famous tradition of the Prophet (s.a.w), he described all creatures as the ‘family of Allah’ and has instructed that they should be treated well. ‘He is the most beloved of Allah, who treats His family well. One who is kind to others is qualified for Divine Compassion. The Qur’an makes it very clear, “My Mercy extendeth to all things. “ (Surah Al A ‘raf, verse 156)
A climate of anarchy violates Divine Compassion and blessings of the Prophet (s.a.w).
Islam presents the best practical  model of tolerance. It is therefore a baseless fabrication that Islam is not disposed to tolerating people belonging to other creeds, ideologies and religions or supportive of violence.  The history of Islam offers models of religious tolerance and best treatment of persons belonging to different era.  Go back to history, Islam did not initiate a war agaisnt non-Muslims even when they had the opportunity. All the wars led by the prophet were launched by unbelievers against Islam and Muslims.  The prophet led the wars purely in defence and preservation of the faith.  Islam does not teach that  persons holding different creeds and ideas be eliminated. It aims to create suitable atmosphere for the principle “live and let live.”
Suratu-l- Kafiroon  makes it clear, Lakumdinukum, waliyadeen “To you be your Way, and to me mine.” La ikhra fi-deen  “Let there be no compulsion in religion. “ (Suratul- Baqarah, verse 256).
Nobody should be compelled to adopt Islam.   That is the teachings of Islam.  Any thing contrary is untrue about Islam and is unacceptable.

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