Islam, Terrorism, Jihad and Media
A bomb goes off in a marketplace in Tel Aviv. A suicide bomber launches himself in a bus full of people in the street of Baghdad. Foreign tourists get massacred at a holiday resort in Nairobi, Kenya. This can go on and on. We all have heard this kind of pathetic news in the media. These kinds of incidents are widely known as Islamic terrorism according to the western media. All such incidents have come to be identified with the religion of Islam. Such incidents from past and present have undoubtedly affected Muslims worldwide and more so in the West. Any Muslim, who wants to practice his/her religion and expresses the pious desire to live under the umbrella of Islam, is labeled a fundamentalist or extremist. However, are such beliefs and opinions about Islam really justified?
A couple of things we all have to remember: Islam is not an Arab religion, it’s a religion of 1.2 billions of people worldwide. Not all of them are involved with terrorism. One of the many shortcomings that have arisen in the West is judging Islam by the conduct of a minority of its people. By doing this, segments of western society have deliberately portrays the desperate actions of many Muslims, and have given it the
name of Islam. Such behavior is clearly not objective and seeks to distort the reality of Islam. For if such a thing was done - judge a religion by the conduct of its people - then Muslim too could say that all Christianity is about child molesting and homosexuality whilst Hinduism was all about looting and breaking up mosques. Generalizing in such a manner is not seen as being objective, yet we find that the Western world is foremost in propagating this outlook on Islam. So what is real Islam? How does one dispel the myths, which have been created and spread so viciously? The only way one can examine Islam is to simply examine its belief system, the Qur'an and Sunnah, not on Osama Bin Laden’s activities. This is the way to find the truth about what Islam says about terror, terrorism and terrorists. Anybody who is sincerely searching for the truth will do it no other way.
The very name Islam comes from the Arabic root word 'salama' that means peace. Islam is a religion that is based upon achieving peace through the submission to the will of Allah (God). Thus, by this very simple linguistic definition, one can ascertain as to what the nature of this religion is. If such a religion is based on the notion of peace, then how is it that so many acts done by its adherents are contrary to peace? The answer is simple. Such actions, if not sanctioned by the religion, have no place in Islam. They are not Islamic and should not be thought of as Islamic.
The word jihad sends shivers down the spines of many Westerners. It readily comes to their mind that this term is associated with violence and oppression. However, it must be said that the meaning of jihad, as a 'holy war', is something which is totally foreign and not from Islam. By...