The face of the Muslim world is increasingly stained with the blood of the innocents. In the recent past, imperial interventions over a number of Muslim countries have unleashed political consequences and thereby, exacerbated sectarian tensions among different ethnic and religious groups. Trapped in the quagmire of the sectarian tensions between the Shias and the Sunnis, in many States- Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, etc- a host of terror groups are operating in the name of Islam- ranging from the Taliban in Afghanistan/Pakistan to the ISIL ( the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) under its Caliph Abu Baker al Baghdadi. These entities have poisoned the fair name of Islam by inextricably linking their quest for political power-grabbing with Islamic ethics. They make world headlines for all the wrong reasons in our times- including the destruction of historic monuments and cultural artefacts of enduring significance for the human civilization. They commit wanton and indiscriminate murders in the name of Allah. The targets of their attacks are not just the religious/sectarian/political opponents. The most brutal and heinous killing of innocents- women, children and even innocent civilians who have not taken arms against them- have been rightly described in the media as a crime against humanity. The victims of ISIL, for instance, include fellow brethren-in-faith, the Shiah Muslims and also the other religious minority groups in the region such as the ancient Yazidi community and the Arab Christians who over centuries, lived amicably among their Muslim brethren in the Middle East.
In this complex, political and religious matrix, it is important to assert and reclaim Islam and its original, peaceful teachings that holds human life as a sacred responsibility. Unlike what the ISIL in Iraq/Syria and the Taliban in Afghanistan/Pakistan assert, Islamic teachings promote social peace and tolerance of diversities under the rule of law- the maintenance of amicable relations among different, religious communities by recognizing the sanctity of life. In his Friday Sermon of February 27, 2015 the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius eloquently explains the Islamic norms for the balancing and stabilization of social life and peaceful co-existence, with the framework of Islamic law recognizing equitable retaliation only for the purpose of meeting the exigencies of justice and for preserving social order against extreme evils.