A Muslim cannot be a terrorist; a terrorist cannot be a Muslim: Islamic Scholar, Fethullah Gulen.
A few days ago, we commenced our day with apprehension and anxiety triggered by the news we heard in the media. Just like all Australians, I was concerned about the unpleasant developments, only my concern as an Australian Muslim contained an additional amount of sensitivity in comparison to the rest of the Australian society. Once again, I was listening to news about a devious plot of terror associated with the name of Islam. I sensed an intimidating fear in my heart as I questioned my logic, “Who are these people? Certainly, they could not be Muslims because I know what Islam is all about.”
First of all, as an Australian Muslim I would like to state that I condemn and denounce these types of actions that cannot be justified by any religious doctrine or ethics, no matter what aim or objective they serve. In the name of Islam, I feel ashamed and afraid of these people who claim to be Muslims.
As an Australian Muslim and social activist I feel threatened by these allegations of terror plots reported by the media. No one can justify the act of harming innocent citizens of this wonderful nation by arguing that it was a form of retaliation for the war crimes and genocides committed in various regions of the world. Furthermore, no Muslim, who possesses a basic knowledge about the doctrines of Islam, would support such an ugly act.
There is no doubt in my mind that nations currently battling with ongoing conflicts and civil wars are the unfortunate victims of a political global fight for interests. There is no place for Islam in these bloody and dirty conflicts that aim to serve only the interests of certain ideologies that wish to use Islam as a tool of propaganda.
It is a historical fact that during the Cold War certain powers used anarchist movements such as the Marxist-Leninist left wing and right-extremist sects to create a chaotic atmosphere enabling them to achieve their fiendish goals without drawing any attention. Unfortunately, the same dark forces are now using ignorant and vulnerable Muslim individuals or minorities who are constantly brainwashed and weakened with prejudgments.
Education is the key factor in solving this dreadful problem. It is vital that Muslim youth in Australia learn Islam from correct sources and that government bodies support all forms of educational and social interaction projects. We must work together.
I would like to thank the Prime Minister and in particular Simon Overlander, Chief Commissioner of Victoria, for their sagacious statements. An entire community cannot be held accountable for a crime committed by one or a few of its so-called members. Also a crime cannot be associated with the individual’s faith or racial identity. The best analogy in this case would be that the entire police force cannot be condemned due to a few corrupt officers who take bribes. Likewise, it would be great injustice to denounce the science of medicine because some of its members were charged with malpractice. It is evident that all societies have certain individuals that possess various obsessions, extreme views and obnoxious ideologies. These types of people also exist within the Muslim communities. Without doubt, this is a serious problem that occurs due to lack of proper education and ignorance.
We all need to realise that war and humanitarian crimes committed in nations like Somalia and Afghanistan are handled and investigated by international authorities and judiciary systems. Those who commit crimes against humanity and violate human rights or commit an act of terror will be punished accordingly by laws and the judiciary system. According to Islamic principles, no individual or group has the right to declare themselves as the Judge, jury and executioner to pass judgment on others.
Those that claim to act in the name of Islam should study the judicial system of Islam. They will see that these rules also apply to them.
I also have a few additional words for some individuals who are employed in the Australian media and other organisations. It is imperative that certain individuals who are obsessed with Muslims preserve their objectivity. Creating chaos by adding personal views and ideologies into their reports will not solve the problem and it will threaten the many educated Muslims who are trying to adapt to the conditions in Australia. It will also break the hearts of those who work vigorously for the benefit of this nation.
The problem of terror and crime concerns the whole of humanity and it is an issue that the mainstream Muslim society strongly opposes. This repugnant problem can only be solved by working together to abolish ignorance and to establish mutual understanding and respect. These are the days where all of us need to gather around the table of universal ethics and morals.
I say, come on Australia! Let us encourage and support all forms of positive social and educational activities and events that will help Australian Muslims to integrate more rapidly.
In the Koran, the holy book of Islam, there is a verse which states: “Oh Lord! Will you punish us for the foolishness of those amongst us”. I would like to answer this question with the following prayer: “Oh Lord! Give us wisdom and compassion. Turn us away from the ignorant and do not test us with them”. Our role model is the Prophet of Islam, the religion of peace and humanity. There is a Prophetic tradition that states, on one occasion, Mohammed stood up out of respect as a group of people were carrying a coffin. One person in the crowd said, “He is a Jew”. The Prophet answered, “He is a human being”.
Another important message from the Koran states, “Killing an innocent human being is like killing the entire humanity”. True Muslims who possess knowledge of the Islamic references should not allow these evil people to stain the pure name of Islam with their filthy hands filled with political doctrines that serve other interests. Correcting the wrongs and distributing good and peace is an advice conveyed to us by the Prophet. It was the Prophet who said, “A Muslim is a person whose tongue and hands will not harm others”. This noble duty of distributing peace stands before all Muslims of today.