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Islam and terrorism

Ever since the September 11 incident in 2001, the media has been constantly portraying Islam of being synonymous with terrorism, though the truth is right in front of everyone, Islam is not a religion of terrorism but the exact opposite.

There is no exact definition of terrorism but there are general ideas of it. According to Piceton University, terrorism is The calculated use of violence against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious This means that terrorism is mass violence to innocent people to gain goals that are political (Government wanting power), religious (Religion wanting followers).

Islam is a religion of peace, the word Islam itself means peace, and it is a religion of mercy and does not tolerate terrorism. The prophet Mohammed, peace and blessings be upon him, used to forbid soldiers of killing women and children he would say: {Do not betray, do not be excessive, do not kill a newborn child}(Narrated in Saheeh Muslim, #1731). When presenting Islam it is not done as the Christians do and say accept this or you will not be saved. Such as in the Crusade war of the Middle Ages when true Christians engaged in a holy war and brutally tortured and slaughtered thousands of Muslims for there conquest of Jerusalem where Muslims, Jews and Christians lived under Islamic rule in peace until it became a of extensive bloodshed. In Islam, the message is simply presented and then it is up to the others to accept it if they are convinced.

In sociology, there are functions of religion that are to provide a basis for social control, a social cohesion role, and to help people develop a sense of meaning and purpose in their lives. Islam provides social control by informing us on what not to eat, what to wear and how to speak, it also provides a meaning and purpose in life by telling us that there is an after life and the reward is heaven and that this life is a test.

The West often gets some verses from the Quran and present them out of there context that seem violent and connected that with terrorism, or take the example of what they call suicide bombing. An example of a verse taken from the Quran is the following: {Soon shall we cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with God, for which He had sent no authority: their abode will be fire: and evil is the home of the wrong-doers.} Surah 3 Verse 151. Yes this does talk about terror but no in the westerner sense of belief. To fully understand this verse it must be read with the previous and following verses: {O ye who believe! If ye obey the Unbelievers, they will drive you back to your heels, and ye will turn back (from Faith) to your own loss. Nay, God is your protector, and He is the best of helpers. *. Soon shall we cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with God, for which He had sent no authority: their abode will be fire: and evil is the home of the wrong-doers.} Surah 3 Verse 149 151. So, according to Al-Qurtubi, the verses actually mean O believers, if you follow the disbeliveers who urge you to forsake Islam and revert back to paganism, you will fall back to darkness! Hence, you will turn losers, for no one will come to your aid. But if you stay put and keep firm on the right path, Allah will protect you and will cast fear into the hearts of those disbeliveers. Thus, they will not dare attack you. This is because they have rejected Allahs way and ascribed unto Him partners.. So this verse is not a call for violence or terrorism in the meaning of killing the innocents.

The second point is about suicide bombing. It is hated in Islam for a person to take his own life deliberately. Mohammed, peace and blessing be upon him, said: Whoever commits suicide with a piece of iron will be punished with the same piece of iron in Hell. Whoever commits suicide by throttling shall keep throttling himself in Hell [Forever], and whoever commits suicide by stabbing shall keep on stabbing himself in Hell [forever]. However, when committing your own death is part of resisting aggression and injustice it becomes a different case. In this case, it is considered a striving in noble cause of upholding truth and justice, as well as defending honor and dignity. Thus it will be viewed as taking place in Allahs cause. If a person sacrifices his life in this way then he/she will be considered as a martyr.

In a study by a sociologist known as Marks Durkheim, that compares religious believers and their participation in religion and their likelihood that they would commit suicide, found that religious people who attend religious services often were less likely to commit suicide than those who do not. Muslims attend five religious prayers (services) a day, so the likelihood of a Muslim committing suicide is clearly very low.

The real terrorists in the world are no where near the Islamic boarder they are many people in different places; between 1889 and 1909 over 1700 African-Americans were brutally murdered in the United states by white Southern extremists. In 1946 the King David Hotel in Jerusalem blew up killing 91 British soldiers as well as British, Jewish and Arab civilians was done by Jewish terrorists. In 1994 a bomb was set off at an abortion clinic killing 2 receptionists this was done by American anti-abortion extremists who also murdered 2 abortion clinic workers in 1995 and assassinated 3 doctors in 1993, 1994, 1998.

In conclusion, The portraying in the media of Muslims and Islam is untrue and indeed far from the truth. Terrorism cannot be generalized in a society or religion; a group or an individual who may use the name of religion wrongly cannot be taken to represent the whole of religion.

References

Badr, Kamal. (2002). Ask about Islam: Faith and Practice: Commentary on suicide bombers. www.islamonline.net. Accessed: 16/08/2004. Last updated: 10/10/2004.

Ball, Lamaan. (2002). Ask about Islam: Culture and Society: Helping fellow students understand that Islam is not terrorism. www.islamonline.net. Accessed: 16/08/2004. Last updated: 05/08/2002.

Ibrahim, I. (1996). What does Islam say about Terrorism? A Brief Guide To Understanding Islam. Darussalam: Houston.

Love, R. (2002). Q&A about Islam and Terrorism. www.strategicnetwork.org. Accessed: 22/08/2004. Last updated: 01/01/2002.

Surah 3. Al-Imran. The Noble Quran

Wordnet. (2003). Terrorism. www.dictionary.com. Accessed: 22/08/2004. Last updated: 2003.

Uahya, H. (1995). Islam is Not the Source of Terrorism, But its Solution. www.islamdenouncesterrorism. Accessed: 19/08/2004. Last updated: unknown.

Yasser, M. (2004). Religion. The Sociological Imagination. Lecture notes







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