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Islam Denounces Terrorism

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This is not the Jihad in the Koran

There is no killing in the jihad in the Koran. There is no raining bombs down in the jihad in the Koran. There are no suicide bombers or cowardly attacks on the innocent. There is no hatred or cursing people in the jihad in the Koran. The children of the Prophet Abraham (pbuh), of the Prophet Jacob (pbuh) and the Prophet Moses (pbuh) are not accursed in the jihad in the Koran. There are no threats and intimidation in the jihad in the Koran. Islam is not that kind of faith. There is no slaughter, death, hatred and rage in Islam, nor in Christianity or in Judaism.

I am a Muslim. I learned my faith from the Koran. There is no slaughter, death, hatred or anger in that faith I learned from the Koran. My faith taught me to love and respect people, no matter what their faith, nationality, opinions or race. My faith introduced me to the People of the Book. It showed me that Christians and Jews exist. I learned from the Koran that I must love and protect them and treat them with affection. The Koran commanded me to care for the People of the Book, and that they are my brothers and sisters. The Koran taught me that the Prophets Abraham (pbuh), Moses (pbuh), Jesus (pbuh) and all the others are my prophets, too.

Therefore, if someone says, “I learned from the Koran that I must kill, bomb and curse people” then he is lying, or has been mistaught. A radical who says he is a Muslim follows a faith invented solely for the purpose of killing, bombing and cursing. That invented faith does not stem from the Koran. That Holy Book they kiss and touch to their foreheads and hang on the wall may never actually have been read.

That is the kind of faith in which everything is dark. It offers hatred instead of love, anger instead of affection, enmity instead of brotherhood, afflictions instead of beauty and ignorance instead of art, beauty, science and culture. It is easy to put a gun in the hand of someone who believes in such a faith. It is easy to say, “That community are your enemies.” It is easy to stir such a person up. It is easy to produce communities of rage. This terrible scourge, which exists not only in Islam but also in all the true faiths and even in Marxism, Satanism and materialism, in short in all religions, ideologies and ways of thinking, is the scourge of radicalism.

Why does radicalism exist? Because that is what many people are taught. They know no other faith. That is all the radicals who appear in the name of Islam know as Islam. They have been left in ignorance, in a ghetto. They have been turned away from society, art and science. They have always been misinformed about the concept of “jihad” and have applied it wrongly because that is what they were taught. They have always imagined that by acting on what they were taught they were doing a good thing. They never even imagined they were actually harming themselves, their faith, their own families, their own peoples and, of course, others.

Yet the jihad in the Koran is different to what they imagine. The word jihad comes from the Arabic word – “jahd.” Its meaning is: 1. To work, strive, labor, make sacrifices. 2. To control one’s own lower self. In Islam, it is to inform the other side, to teach good morals, and to strive to turn people away from evil with love and compassion. In other words, what a Muslim engaged in“jahd” needs to do is to strive to spread love, peace and affection and to teach people in an altruistic manner to turn them away from evil. A Muslim’s second jihad is waged with himself. It involves becoming a good person by turning his back on evil, hatred and rage and training his own lower self.

Radicals are ignorant of this. There is therefore no point in condemning, cursing, threatening, imprisoning or exiling someone who imagines that by killing he is waging jihad. None of that false information in his brain can be eradicated through weapons or menaces. Even if the person is eliminated, his ideas will not. That mistaken idea will continue to produce mistaken people. You can only neutralize ideas with other ideas. There is no other way. The problem is lack of education. And in order for such a person to be properly educated, you need teachers who will always support the truth, love and peace. These people need to act in the light of a method that has never yet been tried or applied. They need to speak a new language, “the language of peace.”

It is easy to curse people in a moment of anger. But the language of peace is different. There are no “terrorists” in the language of peace, only falsely educated, ignorant people. This is important, because it becomes harder to teach such a person; the more he is called a terrorist the more he becomes to believe he really is one. There is no destructiveness or bullying in the language of peace. There is no rude talk. There are no angry words, no provocative words in the language of peace, even if the conditions are ripe for anger and hatred. There are no angry people who say, “You are a traitor, a killer” in the language of peace, only teachers who say, “You have been wrongly taught and are misinformed.” We need special people, special groups of people who have abandoned the language of anger used for so many years and that merely increases hatred and killing, and who use that special language of peace instead, which requires wisdom, altruism and superior virtues. Instead of joining the hordes of the cursers, who have never solved anything, we need to find solutions to these tragedies as superior people who employ that special language of peace.

No nations or communities have ever tried this because they have known only one way: to brand and curse the aggressors before them. And so new generations have grown up living in anger and aggression and constantly cursing others, as if that were an answer. They have never sought to realize that ignorance is the real problem. Of course, as with all communities, there have been evil people within these communities. But if the ignorant people who constitute the majority of a society can be taught properly, the evil will have no power. However, it must not be forgotten that ignorance can only come to an end through careful and scrupulous education by those who use only the language of peace. Once ignorance comes to an end, there will be nobody left to talk into killing, launching rockets or becoming suicide bombers. Bombs and killing will lose all their logic. Of course, it calls for special virtues and maturity to keep the language of peace alive in a community that lives in aggression. But solutions in hard times have always come from achieving what is difficult. Teaching the radicals with the language of peace is a solution. And, whether they like it or not, IT IS THE ONLY SOLUTION.


The writer graduated from Istanbul University, and is a commentator and religious and political analyst at A9 TV Istanbul/Turkey. She is host of the Building Bridges show, a columnist for several national and international newspapers. 


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