By Dr. Mohammad Ghitreef, New Age Islam
17 August 2016
A week ago there was another horrible suicide bomb attack on a civilian hospital in Quetta Baluchistan, which claimed more than 70 innocent lives and left hundreds injured. This cowardly, horrific and inhuman attack on the place wherein it is supposed that relief is given to suffering humanity without any discrimination, was so shocking and heart rending that it cannot be explained in words. Soon after the attack the notorious Tehreek-e-Taliban, Pakistan (TTP) owned its responsibility with a warning that if Shariah was not implemented in the country there would follow other such attacks. Shariah law surely would be amazed on who are its promoters and what they are doing in its name!
Here lies the root cause of these heinous crimes against humanity. Recently I have read an article penned by a renowned Pakistani religious scholar titled “I am not a terrorist: Case of a Mujahid.” He stated that since Pakistan was established in the name of Islam, so Shariah must be implemented by the government, otherwise some misled youth could not be prevented from resorting to violence to fulfill this obligation. With this false argument in Muslim religious circles, there are sympathizers of TTP and other terror outfits, and they always make a case for them claiming wrongly that the overwhelming majority of people in Pakistan are longing for Shariah rule, it is the establishment or the political class which so far has been a major hurdle in the way of Islamisation of the country. Now if this is the case , then the question arises why then since the birth of the Pakistani state, Islamists have not been able to secure more than 3-4 seats in the parliamentary elections every time? I wonder what is their answer this question?
Another pertinent question that stirs the mind: did the prophet of Islam (PBUH), who is the sole eternal role model for the Ummah, implement the Shariah with any coercive method? Or his true successors the Rashidun Khulafa (right guided vicegerents of the prophet) had done it? Or the great four Imams of historical Islam advocated it? I want a clear-cut answer to these relevant and grim questions to be given from the religious leaders who have sympathise with the criminals, who are giving only lip service to Islam and thus tarnishing its image.
When there was another horrific suicide attack by a killer truck driver in France, I jotted down a small piece which was published in NewageIslam.com. Some Urdu journalists got furious with me. One such friend even called me on phone to protest against that article, saying why were you so apologetic? Why you are writing for the people with a dubious image? Retorting to him, I asked h only one simple question: who does not have a dubious image among the stalwarts of so –called Mill causes? Tell me what is the main source of their funding? In fact, I personally know that in their private meetings they accuse and insinuate against each other.
Another argument the gentleman put to me was that the rogue and oppressive Americans have destroyed Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan and killed millions and millions, so in retaliation some sentimental and enraged youths perpetrate violence to show their agony, grief, and grievances to Americans who have been the main cause of destruction and plunder in Muslim world. So what is wrong in this violence?
Though this is to me a false justification, but the fact of the matter is that similar thinking is rampant among the Muslims generally and among Islamists in particular. One Pakistani intellectual even dared to say that the non-state Muslim actors on West’s soil are not our problem; it is the West’s problem itself, because these youngsters are born in that very West, educated there and now fed up with western lifestyle and its materialist culture, they are fed up with western glamour and seeking their religious roots, and reviving their lost Iman (faith), so this problem is a byproduct of West’s foolish and cruel deeds which it inflected on Muslim Ummah,now it is reaping the harvest of the seeds it has sown. So why should we bother? Let the West tackle its own problem!
Suppose for a moment this argument is correct, but for God’ sake, what the poor innocent patients in Quetta hospital had to do with Americans? What civilians in Paris or elsewhere were to do with Americans and their allies? With this kind of cruel and laughable excuses where go all the tall slogans about Islam being a humane, loving and peace promoting religion?
It is a must to condemn all such terror acts categorically without any ifs and buts. Simply because on the one hand these are totally anti human, anti Islam and anti reason in the first place, and because these terror acts instantly attract full media attention globally, which eventually tarnish the image of Islam, on the other?
Yes violence is a rather complex and very complicated issue. It involves psychological, religious, political as well as socio-economic factors. Yes, it is not a monopoly of Muslim societies; rather it is a global phenomenon. Notwithstanding these facts, Muslim themselves are a worst victims of this killing monster, yet in today's world, thanks to world media propaganda, increasing Islamophobia and also due to inhuman and insane actions of a few black sheep in Muslim societies, the majority of whom are non-state actors, now the world believes that Muslims are the real culprits and thus Islam is blamed and maligned for violence. The big fives along with their Muslim and non-Muslim allies are out to crush and destroy whole Muslim countries in the name of war on terror. This strategy is proving to be counterproductive as it eventually created ISIS, Al-Qaida and other terror outfits the world over. Well-documented and recently published Britain’s Chilcot report has established this fact more profoundly.
But the big difference is citing the religious base, as others don't cite their religion for the violence they commit, while we do. And therefore the core problem is that these terror groups find a justification in some old Fiqhi opinions presented, distorted and out of context by radicals and Muslim fundamentalists.
Some die-hard protagonists of Islamism are having a soft corner for these elements. Their ideologues often do read these fiqhi texts literally. So we are responsible now before the world to contain this monster terror wave which is inflicting its atrocities on the whole world every second day and moreover killing Muslims without any restraint on false excuses. The fact is that now the world believes that this monster is Muslims’ own making. In this regard Prof. Najatullha Siddiqi, and Saudi scholar Ahmad Abu Sulaiman were first to warn the so-called Islamic movement of the deadly consequences of violence in the name of Islam. Now a great chunk of clergy, intellectuals and thinkers are opposing this blood shedding and war mongering and terrorizing innocents people, yet the problem is still there and continues to bleed Muslims themselves more than the others.
Dr. Mohammd Ghitreef is the director of Foundation for Islamic Studies, New Delhi.