An Open Letter to “Islamic” Extremists
Dear “Islamic” Extremists,
As you would have noticed, I used quotation marks around the word Islamic because there is nothing Islamic about what you are doing. Your status in the sight of Allah is between you and Him so I will not go so far as to commit takfir on you, like you are wont to do to the rest of us who do not practice your literalist, fundamentalist Islam.
I generally enjoy my editorial duties: assigning work to my writers, coming up with new story ideas for the magazine, and I tend to go for the uplifting, spiritually-rejuvenating type of articles because God knows we all need it. But coming to the office this week with the Kenyan mall shooting and suicide bombing at a Pakistani church still fresh in my head, I decided that I had had enough.
Honestly, you kind of… suck.
You are a disgrace to the millions of Muslims who are struggling daily (yes, the ACTUAL meaning of Jihad) to be the best version of themselves, to restrain their basest desires and manifest Divine Characteristics and Attributes in themselves. You cause our scholars to release press statements to say they condemn your senseless killings and suicide bombing, over and over again, when their precious time can be used to uplift others, spread the teachings of Islam and other, you know, significantly-beneficial things!
You make us, the majority of the Muslims in the world, carry the burden of having to reiterate again and again that Islam literally comes from the root word “salaam” which means peace, and then put up with incredulous looks from our non-Muslim friends and colleagues who read about your suicide bombings and shootings.
You make it difficult for some of us to wear the hijab, or properly grow a beard for fear of being attacked. You even make it difficult for Sikhs to live a normal life wearing their turbans, thank you very much. I am SO convinced that all your killing and threats have made this world a better place.
You claim to be doing the work of God but you cannot possibly be referring to Allah, The Most Compassionate and The Most Merciful right? I mean, why would a God who introduces Himself as Ar-Rahman and Ar-Raheem (Most Compassionate, Most Merciful, respectively) ask you to take the lives of others?
Also, if you claim to be doing this in the name of Islam then you must have read the Qur’an (you know, the Holy Book that contains the revelations received by our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)) and must have somehow come across the following verses?Qur’an 6:161: “…Take not life, which Allah has made sacred..” Qur’an 5:53: “… Whoso kills a soul, unless it be for murder or for wreaking corruption in the land, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind.” Qur’an 2:190: “Fight in the way of God against those who fight against you, but BEGIN NOT HOSTILITIES. Lo! God does not love the aggressors.”
How about some Hadith then (collection of sayings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him)?
1. “Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong to them. Instead, accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong (even) if they do evil.”
2. “Do not kill any old person.”
3. “Do not kill any women.”
4. “Do not kill any children.”
5. “Do not kill any people in places of worship.”
Did you know points 2 to 5 referred specifically to wartime, when people generally take lives, and yet these are the guidelines that the Prophet (pbuh) has laid down for his Companions, and here you are, killing women AND children AND old persons at a shopping mall (seriously?) and at a church and there isn’t even a war happening! Shame on you!
Terrorism and its crime against civilians is impermissible under any interpretation of Islamic law. I understand that you have grievances, you have stands to make, messages to send out to certain parties, but seriously, you are doing it all wrong!
As Imam Zaid Shakir says,“True religion is not found in a self-glorying end brought on by a hail of bullets or a murderous act of suicide. Rather, true religion provides the spiritual direction needed to find one’s self-worth and human value in ones relationship with God.True religion provides the solace and succor needed to find inner peace even when outer realities are crushing. True religion provides nobility that empowers its possessor to fearlessly challenge oppressors while mercifully protecting life, regardless of the race, religion, color or creed of the living. True religion provides a path to heaven that is paved with devotion, lofty morals, patience, and struggling in a dignified manner against the guiles of one’s ego, the vicissitudes of the world and the vagaries of both power and powerlessness.”
Please take 8 minutes of your time and watch what Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah has got to say, and then later if you still have a few more minutes, read the other links I’ve attached below.
Ameera Begum, on behalf of a significant number of Muslims who are equally disgusted
Ameera is the Editor of Muzlimbuzz.sg, a chronic reader and a news junkie.