By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan for New Age Islam
August 26th, 2015
America was strongly opposed to communist Russia, but rather than drop a nuclear bomb on it, it devised and supported a literary campaign against the communist regime. A sizeable number of books were published and disseminated in various languages which criticized the flaws in the philosophy of communism. All this had taken careful planning and amounted to throwing down a challenge to communism at the ideological level. This strategy was successful, and in 1991 the USSR collapsed after sixty-nine years of existence. This is also the right way to tackle the modern-day so-called Islamic terrorist movements.
Modern terrorism in the name of Islam is based entirely on the misinterpretation of Islamic texts. One example of this misinterpretation derives from a verse of the Quran, which says: In al-hukmuillalillah. That is,
‘All power belongs to God alone.’ (12:40)
In this verse, hukm is used in the sense of the supernatural power of God. However, the Muslim extremist thinkers have misinterpreted it to mean political power. Furthermore, it is said that Muslims, as representatives of God, should establish God’s rule on earth. This assumption is wrong because it is based on a Quranic verse which has been taken out of context.
Another verse in the Quran says: ʿIdilu. This means,
‘Follow the principle of justice [in your life].’ (5:8)
But a misinterpretation of this verse has taken it in the transitive sense instead of the original intransitive sense in which it was used in the Quran. That is, the verb used in the above verse does not have any direct object of action, but because it has been wrongly interpreted, it comes to have an object of action, which in this case is the outside world. Thus, the verse has been taken to mean that justice should be imposed on people by force. As a result of this misinterpretation, the concept of justice has been politicized, although this notion cannot truly be inferred from the text.
Any interpretation of the above kind is false. And this falsehood must be made manifest so that people may understand with certainty that the present militancy has no sanction in Islam and so that extremists will give it up, in the knowledge that their actions are un-Islamic.
The terrorist phenomenon is based on misinterpretation of the scriptures. It can be eradicated only by a right interpretation of the text being universally publicized.
In a speech on July 19, 2015, the British Prime Minister David Cameron expressing his anxiety about youngsters travelling to Iraq and Syria to join the ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL), said,
‘We must de-glamourise the extremist cause, especially ISIL. This isn’t a pioneering movement – it is vicious, brutal, fundamentally abhorrent.’
It is true that present Muslim extremism is the result of the glamourization of the self-styled concept of global Khilafat or caliphate. Its real solution lies in de-glamourizing this false ideology developed by extremists through a misinterpretation of Islamic sources. Moreover, de-glamourization of the Khilafat can be achieved by de-Islamizing this concept of the Khilafat based on false interpretation.
The concept of political Islam has no basis in Islam. It has to be conceded that the present concept of the false Khilafat is based on a political interpretation of Islam.
The UN has rightly adopted this dictum:
‘Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.’
If we want to eradicate terrorism, we shall have to reengineer the minds of terrorists along peaceful lines. No other method will be of any avail.