One of the highest misconceptions about Islam is that Muslims are terrorists and people often ask, why are most of the Muslims fundamentalists and terrorists?
This question is often hurled at Muslims, either directly or indirectly, during any discussion on religion or world affairs. Muslim stereotypes are perpetuated in every form of the media accompanied by gross misinformation about Islam and Muslims.
In fact, such misinformation and false propaganda often leads to discrimination and acts of violence against Muslims. A case in point is the anti-Muslim campaign in the American media following the Oklahoma bomb blast, where the press was quick to declare a ‘Middle Eastern conspiracy’ behind the attack.
The culprit was later identified as a soldier from the American Armed Forces.
Let us analyze this allegation of ‘fundamentalism’ and ‘terrorism’:
1. Definition of the word ‘fundamentalist’
A fundamentalist is a person who follows and adheres to the fundamentals of the doctrine or theory he is following. For a person to be a good doctor, he should know, follow, and practise the fundamentals of medicine. In other words, he should be a fundamentalist in the field of medicine.
For a person to be a good mathematician, he should know, follow, and practise the fundamentals of mathematics. He should be a fundamentalist in the field of mathematics. For a person to be a good scientist, he should know, follow, and practise the fundamentals of science. He should be a fundamentalist in the field of science.
2. Not all ‘fundamentalists’ are the same.
One cannot paint all fundamentalists with the same brush. One cannot categorize all fundamentalists as either good or bad. Such a categorization of any fundamentalist will depend upon the field or activity in which he is a fundamentalist. A fundamentalist robber or thief causes harm to society and is therefore undesirable. A fundamentalist doctor, on the other hand, benefits society and earns much respect.
3. I am proud to be a Muslim funda-mentalist.
I am a fundamentalist Muslim who, by the grace of Allah, knows, follows, and strives to practise the fundamentals of Islam. A true Muslim does not shy away from being a fundamentalist. I am proud to be a fundamentalist Muslim because, I know that the fundamentals of Islam are beneficial to humanity and the whole world.
There is not a single fundamental of Islam that causes harm or is against the interests of humans as a whole. Many people harbor misconceptions about Islam and consider several teachings of Islam to be unfair or improper. This is due to insufficient and incorrect knowledge of Islam.
If one critically analyzes the teachings of Islam with an open mind, one cannot escape the fact that Islam is full of benefits both at the individual and collective levels.
4. Dictionary meaning of the word ‘fundamentalist’
According to Webster’s dictionary ‘fundamentalism’ was a movement in American Protestantism that arose in the earlier part of the 20th century. It was a reaction to modernism, and stressed the infallibility of the Bible, not only in matters of faith and morals but also as a literal historical record.
It stressed on belief in the Bible as the literal word of God. Thus, fundamentalism was a word initially used for a group of Christians who believed that the Bible was the verbatim word of God without any errors and mistakes.
According to the Oxford dictionary ‘fundamentalism’ means ‘strict maintenance of ancient or fundamental doctrines of any religion, especially Islam’.
Today the moment a person uses the word fundamentalist he thinks of a Muslim who is a terrorist.
5. Every Muslim should be a terrorist.
Every Muslim should be a terrorist if it means following the fundamental of Islam. A terrorist is a person who causes terror.
The moment a robber sees a policeman he is terrified. A policeman is a terrorist for the robber.
Similarly, every Muslim should be a terrorist for the antisocial elements of society, such as thieves, dacoits, and rapists. Whenever such an anti-social element sees a Muslim, he should be terrified. It is true that the word ‘terrorist’ is generally used for a person who causes terror among the common people.
But a true Muslim should only be a terrorist to selective people i.e. anti-social elements, and not to the common innocent people. In fact, a Muslim should be a source of peace for innocent people.
6. Different labels given to the same individual for the same action, i.e. ‘terrorist’ and ‘patriot’. Before India achieved independence from British rule, some freedom fighters of India who did not subscribe to non-violence were labeled as terrorists by the British government. The same individuals have been lauded by Indians for the same activities and hailed as ‘patriots.
Thus, two different labels have been given to the same people for the same set of actions. One is calling him a terrorist while the other is calling him a patriot. Those who believed that Britain had a right to rule over India called these people terrorists, while those who were of the view that Britain had no right to rule India called them patriots and freedom fighters. It is therefore important that before a person is judged, he is given a fair hearing.
Both sides of the argument should be heard, the situation should be analyzed, and the reason and the intention of the person should be taken into account, and then the person can be judged accordingly.
7. Islam means peace.
Islam is derived from the word ‘salaam’ which means peace. It is a religion of peace whose fundamentals teach its followers to maintain and promote peace throughout the world.
Thus, every Muslim should be a fundamentalist i.e. he should follow the fundamentals of the Religion of Peace: Islam. He should be a terrorist only towards the antisocial elements in order to promote peace and justice in the society.
BUT IF A TERRORIST IS SOMEONE WHO KILLS INNOCENT PEOPLE as believed by the prejudiced Anti-Muslims, then we Muslims are far free from that.
A woman is in hell simply because she locked her own cat in the house without food; she didn’t provide food for the cat neither did she allow the cat to go out find food for itself and because of hunger, the Cat die and this woman is in hell due to that. I want you reading this to tell me, a religion that protects and value life of animals like cat, do you think that same religion can accept killing humans who are far superior to animals?
You non-Muslim reading this message is a testimony to yourself that ISLAM doesn’t accept killing of innocents. *But how? *
Simple! Because I strongly believe you’ve come across many Muslims and perhaps even transact with them! And why didn’t they kill you if indeed ISLAM accept such act? Is it because you were more powerful than them?
Simple! Take a look around you… There are non-Muslim in Egypt, middle east, Indonesia, UAE, Malaysia, etc. and these countries are controlled by Muslims. Why haven’t they killed all the non-Muslims under them if ISLAM accept such?
You might vividly change the logic to talk of boko Haram, ISIS, al-shabab, etc. That Aren’t they claiming to be Muslims and yet killing hundreds of people?
To such question, just mere understanding without logic is sufficient.
In Islam, God says in Qur’an chapter 5:32 that if you kill one single person, it’s as if you’ve killed the whole world… Furthers prohibits innocent killings except for a JUST cause! So be it boko Haram, ISIS, etc, they have already gone out of the Islamic norms and principle of safeguarding human life. So, they are *not real Muslims* and are just some ignorant power mongers.
The argument maybe extended as to that what about *jihad* during the time of Prophet Muhammed pbuh?
According to English Britannica, *Jihad which is an Arabic word means struggle or effort* and not war or killing…
But we’ve heard in history how the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) and his companions fought with sword to spread ISLAM, how do you term such? Isn’t that killing which is accepted in your religion?
You See, firstly, you only heard and haven’t spent time to read or research about Islamic history.
This is how it all happened in a nutshell. When Muhammed, peace be upon him was commissioned as a Messenger of God, he started calling people to monotheism thereby shunning polytheism and idolatry and so, the polytheists of his town Makkah got angry as to why they should abandon the idol worship of which they inherited from their forefathers to worship just one and only single God the Creator!
As the upright intellectuals among them accepted this message and calling of which among them were their sons and daughters, they the polytheists couldn’t accept that and made several attempts to assassinate the prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him).
With many failed attempts to assassinate him, a more tactical attempt was plotted of which they could easily assassinate him and then he Muhammed (peace be upon him) decided to run for his life to Madinah and that journey is known as HIJRAH in the Muslim world or migration in English.
When the polytheists of Makkah discovered he was warmly welcomed there, they organised their army troops to go there and kill him (peace be upon him) and upon that move, God ordered them to fight back to protect themselves and the land.
This is just a nutshell of what the west misinterprets, and term ISLAM is founded upon killing. Fighting to protect yourself and your people including your land isn’t terrorism!
So, when they that’s Muhammed (pbuh) and his companions finally defeated these polytheists and conquered them, God commanded and forbid them from fighting and killings.
To be more explicit about the issue of killings to our present-day life, ISLAM is the fastest growing religion in USA, UK, India, Sydney, Nigeria, Indonesia, Malaysia, Chile, etc. Which Muslims army have gone there forcing people to accept Islam if indeed ISLAM is on the sword?? Rhetorical!
Allah knows Best.