Showing posts with label violence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label violence. Show all posts

Friday, November 29, 2019

'Jihad' and World Politics


One of the most misunderstood and much maligned concepts in the world of religion today is the doctrine of ‘Jihad’ in Islam. Unlike any other matter of devotional piety in any religion, ‘Jihad’ brings around it images of a deadly cocktail of religion, identity politics and armed violence involving wily politicians, extremists and terrorists; generating genuine anxiety, confusion and fear among the people. Indeed, ‘Jihad’ has come to mean different things to different people in our times. 

In our deeply troubled world, where powerful nations set the rules of the global game, non-State actors are also increasingly becoming vital players. In States where turbulent political conditions exist, ‘Jihad’ is almost invariably associated with the call to arms and violence by certain Muslim-groups ostensibly working to protect the collective interests of the Muslim communities concerned. For many governments with separatist movements or insurgent groups in their territorial domain; ‘Jihad’ is nothing but an ideology of unbridled violence and mayhem championed by non-State actorsIn sharp contrast to this, the groups fighting States look upon ‘Jihad’ as the ideology of their political resistance against unjust regimes- the moral and ethical justification for their militant campaigns against governments that ‘oppress’ the people. Inspired by their own notions of injustice and agency; often seeking retribution for alleged past crimes of the State concerned or to induce change in State policies vis-a-vis certain matters; organized groups as well ‘lone wolfs’- including suicide bombers- perpetrate violent crimes, targeting symbols of State power. These attacks often indiscriminately impact civilians as well, leading to ‘collateral damage’- unnecessary suffering for common people caught up in such incidents.

For instance, the horrific 9/11 terror attacks in the United States of America at the beginning of this century- in the year 2001- directed at the symbols of American military and economic heft resulted also in the death of thousands of people going about their everyday lives. The terrorists who executed this most audacious attack claimed they were driven by the ideals of ‘Jihad’ in committing this mass murder. Those who waged this ‘war’ on America were seeking vengeance upon the country for its dreadful policies abroad- including military interventions that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people, and even destroyed entire societies in the Muslim world. Despite the moral high-ground the parties in conflict- States and the terror groups- seek to assert for themselves, both State terrorism and non-State terrorism are problematic for their means and methods of warfare and also due to the profound consequences such violence has upon its innocent victims, common folks like us.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Terrorism: The Politics of Hate

On "Islamic” Terrorism

Today, the so-called “Islamic” terrorism is on everyone’s lips. Some want nothing more than to satiate their visceral hatred of everything related to Islam. In Western countries nowadays, it is recurrent for them through their written and spoken media/ press to perpetually talk/ discuss on the subject of “Islamic” terrorism that is currently overtaking the world. There is not a day which passes by that this act (“Islamic” Terrorism) does not make the front page of the media and therefore raises debates within the Islamic community and elsewhere on the merits of this religious terrorism. By publishing it urbi et orbi, there is no doubt that some people want nothing more than to appease their visceral hatred of everything related to Islam and to discredit this faith in the eyes of those who do not profess it.

So far, a lot of conferences, debates and meetings have been organized worldwide so that common sense prevails between the protagonists. But in these dialogues of the deaf not a single glimmer of hope of peace, love and tolerance appeared on the horizon - those who vilify Islam continue to inject hatred and dream of a last crusade to end forever with the modern-day Saracens, i.e. the Muslims. On the other hand, the rebellious (among the Muslims – the extremists) do not give in - they organize themselves and make armaments speak. In all this folly, it is quite legitimate for one to know what the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam thinks about this so-called “Islamic” terrorism which is being projected from morning till night.

I really wonder what they mean by “Islamic” terrorism! Islam is to terrorism as light is to darkness, life to death or peace to war. Naturally they intersect each other but in diametrically opposed directions. We see them cling to each other but they never make the road happily together, hand in hand. However, it cannot be denied that on many occasions Muslims are involved in terrorist activities on behalf of a predominantly Muslim group or country. 

But aren’t there also other groups involved in terrorism and subversion around the world? Suppose that by using the same principle that gave rise to the term “Islamic terrorism”, would it be appropriate to label all other forms of terrorism as follows: Sikh terrorism, Hindu terrorism, Christian terrorism, Jewish terrorism, Atheist terrorism, Buddhist terrorism, Animistic terrorism and Pagan terrorism?

It is not easy to turn a blind eye to the various forms of terrorism that are unfortunately growing in every corner of the world; it is impossible in fact for an observer to be unaware of the persecution, bloodshed and murders perpetrated in the name of a so-called ideal or noble cause. Terrorism is a global problem that requires careful consideration in its broadest aspects.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

'A Call for International Peace'

The International Day of Non-Violence is observed each year on 2 October – the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, who helped lead India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. It is a befitting occasion to reflect upon the many ‘fires’ around our conflict-riven world where there is much violence, oppression and injustice. Many ‘powerful’ ones- nations/leaders/groups/entities- are steeped in arrogance and hostility against the ‘wretched of the earth’; seeking to suppress the legitimate interests and rights of the ‘other’ among them. In a special message, Muhyi-ud-Din Al Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius calls our attention to the need for individual and collective efforts to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, promote just relations among communities and peoples and to uphold ‘Peace’ as an ethical imperative of our times: 

“It is my humble appeal to the national and international authorities to see to it that human rights are always respected at every step of the way….Each government, and each individual also at his own personal level should strive to help in building a peaceful society, and strive to fight all evils along the way”.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Coercion- Against the spirit of Islam

A common misconception that has resurfaced recently and this time in a magnified, out-of-proportion blow is that the instrument for the spread of Islam was force. This is indeed an age-old allegation, the root of which kept on growing with hatred against Islam, to stop the progress of truth, peace and harmony.

Islam never advocated compulsion. If the Holy Quran, the books of Hadith and historical records are carefully examined, studied and listened to attentively, as far as possible, one is bound to reach one positive conclusion. That conclusion is that the allegation that Islam permitted the use of sword - or any other armament for that matter - for the spread of religion is shameless and utterly unfounded. This, in fact, is the view held by only those who have not studied the Holy Quran or the Traditions or other reliable sources of Islamic history without prejudice. 

Some have even gone to the extent of fabricating lies and levying unfounded charges upon Islam without inhibition. I know that the time is approaching fast when those who are hungry and thirsty for Truth will see through their deception. 

Can a religion be described as a religion of compulsion when its Holy Book, the Quran, has categorically prohibited the use of force for the spread of faith? So says the Holy Quran: There is NO COMPULSION in religion. (2: 257).

Can we accuse that great prophet of using force against others, who for thirteen years, day and night, exhorted all his companions in Mecca not to return evil for evil but to forbear and forgive. When, however, the mischief of the enemy exceeded all limits and when the various peoples around him made determined efforts to exterminate Islam, God’s attribute that He always defends His beloved one so demanded, “Let those who raised the sword perish by the sword.”