Author: Harun Yahya
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During the last two decades in particular, the concept of "Islamic terror" has been often discussed. In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks on targets in New York and Washington which caused the death of tens of thousands of innocent civilians, this concept has once again returned to the top of the international agenda.
As Muslims, we completely condemn these attacks and offer our condolences to the American people.
In this article, we will explain that Islam is by no means the source of this violence and that violence has no place in Islam.
We strongly condemn the cruel terrorist acts which targeted the innocent people of the United States.
One point that should be stressed at the outset is that the identities of the perpetrators of the acts of terrorism which targeted the United States are not yet determined. There is a chance that these horrible attackers are linked to quite different centres. It may well be a communist organization harboring rage and hatred against American values, a fascist organization opposing federal administration or a secret faction in another state. Even though the hijackers have Muslim identities, the questions regarding by whom and for what purposes these people were used will probably remain to be a mystery.
The fact remains however, that even if the terrorists have Muslim identities, the terror they perpetrated cannot be labeled "Islamic terror", just as it would not be called "Jewish terror" if the perpetrators were Jews or "Christian terror" if they were Christians.
That is because, as we will examine in the following pages, murdering innocent people in the name of religion is unacceptable. We need to keep in mind that, among those who were killed in Washington or New York, there were people who loved Jesus (Christians), Prophet Moses (Jews) and Muslims. According to Islam, murdering innocent people is a great sin that, unless forgiven by God, brings torment in Hell.
Thus, a religious person who has fear of God can never commit such an act.
In fact, the aggressors can commit such violence only with the intention of attacking religion itself. It may well be that they carried out this violence to present religion as evil in the eyes of people, to divorce people from religion and to generate hatred and reaction against pious people. Consequently, every attack having a "religious" facade on American citizens or other innocent people is actually an attack made against religion.
For this reason, "Islamic terror" is quite an erroneous concept which contradicts Islam's message. That is because; the religion of Islam can by no means concur with terror. On the contrary, Muslims are responsible for preventing terrorist acts and bringing peace and justice to the world.
The Values of the Qur'an demands Goodness, Justice and Peace
Terror, in its broadest sense, is violence committed against non-military targets for political purposes. To put it in another way, the targets of terror are entirely innocent civilians whose only crime is, in the eyes of terrorists, to represent "the other".
This is an act bereft of any moral justification. This, as in the case of murders committed by Hitler or Stalin, is a crime committed against "mankind".
The Qur'an is a Book revealed to people as a guide to the true path and in this Book, God commands man to adopt good morals. This morality is based upon concepts such as love, compassion, tolerance and mercy. God calls all people to Islamic morals through which compassion, mercy, peace and tolerance can be experienced all over the world:
“You who believe! Enter absolutely into peace (Islam). Do not follow in the footsteps of Satan. He is an outright enemy to you.” (Surah Al-Baqara :208)
The values of the Qur'an hold a Muslim responsible for treating all people, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, kindly and justly, protecting the needy and the innocent and preventing the "dissemination of mischief". Mischief comprises all forms of anarchy and terror that remove security, comfort and peace. As God says in a verse, "God does not love mischief makers". (Surah Al-Qasas: 77)
Murdering a person for no reason is one of the most obvious examples of mischief. God repeats in the Qur'an a command He formerly revealed to Jews in the Old Testament thus:
“So We decreed for the tribe of Israel that if someone kills another person - unless it is in retaliation for someone else or for causing corruption in the earth - it is as if he had murdered all mankind. And if anyone gives life to another person, it is as if he had given life to all mankind. Our Messengers came to them with Clear Signs but even after that many of them committed outrages in the earth.” (Surah Al-Ma'ida: 32)