Two terror acts shocked and aggrieved us during the last few days. The siege in Sydney (Australia) caused to death of two civilians and a day later, school attack by Taliban gunmen in Peshawar (Pakistan) took lives of some 150 people, most of them children. Obviously both of the terror acts are directly related to religious extremism. While the world leaders were still discussing the possible ways of combating with the evil namely ISIS and we were reading and watching in horror the news on barbaric actions of ISIS every day these two terrible incidents showed us how vulnerable and fragile is security in the world at all.
Paradoxically, those who suffer from the terror must have already become the main target of anti-terror rhetoric of some Islamophobic groups and parties. Statistics of bloodshed by “islamicist” terrorists are an apparent proof of the fact that “terror in the name of Islam” targets mainly Muslims. It is not just about loss of lives of thousands of Muslims, political and economic instability the terror causes in their countries but also a big trauma and source of anger for 1.5 billion Muslims living all around the world. Islamophobic treatments and waves against them and their lifestyle in different parts of the world also contribute to the consequents. The religion they put faith in has become a subject of arguing as a source of violence. Years ago the concept of terror was being associated with many things and groups but not Islam. For example, same Sydney witnessed two bloody terror acts against Turkish diplomats by the Armenian extremist groups in 1980s or once the symbol of terror for Europe was ETA in Spain. Nonetheless, nobody named Armenians or Bask terrorists, because terror has no nationality or religion. Then why the actions of some marginal extremist and violent groups should be assigned to Islam and Muslims?! Islam came to us 14 centuries ago and exceptkhawarijs that killed the two of the first four caliphs of Islam and closest companions of the Prophet Muhammad, and assassins (both of these two groups were called by the Islamic scholars as those who left the religion) the Muslim geography did not face any extremism and religious violence towards people, including non-Muslims living in the Muslim states. In fact, both khawarijs and assassins were targeting mostly Muslim believers and statesmen. If during the 14 centuries even a word was not changed in the Quran and Muslims continue to practice the same religious rules and duties how can Islam cause violence and extremism just in the last 30-35 years, in particular since the new millennium?! Those who really believe that Islam is a source and cause of violence and Muslims are terrorists should answer to this question. The book entitled “Covering Islam” by the late Edward Said questioning the objectivity of the Western media and its speculations on the realities of Islamic life could be a useful source to find an answer to the question above.
PS: Quran states, “whosoever kills a man it is as though he killed all mankind and whosoever saves a man it is as if he saved all mankind” (5:32).