“MUSLIMS ARE FUNDAMENTALISTS AND TERRORISTS”
Why are most of the Muslims ‘fundamentalists’ and ‘terrorists’?
This question is often hurled at Muslims, either directly or indirectly, during any discussion on religion or world affairs. Muslim stereotypes areperpetuated in every form of the media accompanied by gross misinformation about Islam and Muslims. Infact, such misinformation and false propaganda often lead to discrimination and acts of violence against Muslims. A case in point is the anti-Muslim campaign in the American media following the Oklahoma bomb blast, where the press was quick to declare a ‘Middle-Eastern Conspiracy’ behind the attack. The culprit was later identified as a soldier from the American Armed Forces.
Let us analyze this allegation of ‘fundamentalism’ and ‘terrorism’:
1. Definition of the word ‘fundamentalist’
A fundamentalist is a person who follows and adheres to the fundamentals of the doctrine or theory he is following. For a person to be a good doctor, he should know,follow, and practice the fundamentals of medicine. In other words, he should be a fundamentalist in the field of medicine. For a person to be a good mathematician, he should know, follow and practice the fundamentalsof mathematics. He should be a fundamentalist in the field of mathematics. For a person to be a good scientist, he should know, follow and practice the fundamentalsof science. He should be a fundamentalist in the field of science.
2. Not all ‘fundamentalists’ are the same
One cannot paint all fundamentalists with the same brush. One cannot categorize all fundamentalists as either good or bad. Such a categorization of any fundamentalistwill depend upon the field or activity in which he is a fundamentalist. A fundamentalist robber or thief causesharm to society and is therefore undesirable. A fundamentalist doctor,on the other hand, benefits society and earns much respect.
3. I am proud to be a Muslim fundamentalist
I am a fundamentalist Muslim who, by the grace of Allah, knows, follows and strives to practice the fundamentals of Islam. A true Muslimdoes not shy away from being a fundamentalist. I am proud to be a fundamentalist Muslim because, I know that the fundamentals of Islamare beneficial to humanity and the whole world. There is not a single fundamental of Islam that causes harm or is against the interests of the human race as a whole. Many people harbour misconceptions about Islam and consider several teachings of Islam to be unfair or improper. This is due to insufficient and incorrect knowledge of Islam. If one critically analyzes the teachings of Islam with an open mind, one cannot escape the fact that Islam is full of benefits both at the individual and collective levels.
4. Dictionary meaning of the word ‘fundamentalist’
The Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English language (published by Konemann) says that ‘fundamentalism’ was a movement which was first used to describe the Protestant Christians in America in the early part of the 20th century. Earlier the church believed that the complete message of the Bible was from God. But Protestant Christians protested and said that not only is the message of the Bible from God, but every word, every letter of the Bible is from Almighty God. If any person can prove that every word and every letter of the Bible is from Almighty God, then this movement of ‘fundamentalism’ of the Protestant Christians is a good movement.
On the other hand, if someone can prove that the Bible is not the word of God, then this movement of ‘fundamentalism’ of the Protestant Christians is not a good movement.
According to the earlier edition of theOxford Dictionary, “a ‘fundamentalist’ is a person who strictly adheres to the ancient teachings of any religion.” But the second edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (published by Clarendon Press) has changed the definition. This second edition says that “a ‘fundamentalist’ is a person who strictly adheres to the ancient teachings of any religion, especially Islam!”
Today the moment a person uses the word fundamentalist he thinks of a Muslim who is a terrorist.
5. Every Muslim should be a ‘terrorist’
Every Muslim should be a terrorist. A ‘terrorist’ is a person who causes terror. The moment a robber sees a policeman he is terrified. A policeman is a terrorist for the robber. Similarly every Muslim shouldbe a terrorist for the anti-social elements of society, such as thieves, dacoits and rapists. Whenever such an anti-social element sees a Muslim, he should be terrified. It is true that the word ‘terrorist’ is generally used for a person who causes terror among the common people. But a true Muslim should only be a terroristto selective people i.e. anti-social elements, and not to the common innocent people. In fact a Muslim should be a source of peace for innocent people.
6. Different labels given to the same individual for the same action, i.e. ‘terrorist’ and ‘patriot’
Before India achieved independence from British rule, some freedom fighters of India who did not subscribe to non-violence were labelled as ‘terrorists’ by the British government. The same individuals have been lauded by Indians for the same activities and hailed as ‘patriots’. Thus two different labels have been given to the same people for the same set of actions. One is calling them ‘terrorists’ while the other is calling them ‘patriots’. Those who believed that Britain had a right to rule over India called these people terrorists, while those who were of the view that Britain had no right to rule India called them patriots and freedom fighters.
It is therefore important that before a person is judged, he is given a fair hearing. Both sides of the argument should be heard, the situation should be analyzed, and the reason and the intention of the person should be taken into account, and then the person can be judged accordingly.
7. Islam means peace
Islam is derived from the word ‘salaam’ which means peace. It is a religion of peace whose fundamentals teach its followers to maintain and promote peace throughout the world.
Thus every Muslim should be a fundamentalist i.e. he should follow the fundamentals of the Religion of Peace – Islam. He should be a ‘terrorist’ only towards the anti-social elements in order to promote peace and justice in the society.
Copied: 7 December 2012