Sister on a Mission

A Muslimah in the Midwest trying to counteract all the "war on terror" propaganda.

Location: Midwest, United States

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Murder and Muslim Don't Mix

I was in Syria this summer when the London bombings occurred. At about that time there was a shoot-out in Damascus during a raid and some suspected Al Qaeda members were killed. These things, along with the daily dose of insanity from Iraq, really infuriated me. I wrote an article at the time but it was completely incoherent – I was so angry I couldn’t articulate anything.

Some time has passed now, and I am going to try my hand at articulating a little better after having pondered it all this time, but I am certainly no less angry. I am sick and bloody tired of these miscreants who think they’re serving Allah by perpetrating violence. And even though I do believe that some of the violence attributed to the shadowy “Al Qaeda” is either misattributed or flat-out set up, there obviously are some “Muslims” in the world who believe that killing innocent people is a way to gain hassanet (blessings, reward).

In reality Islam came not to destroy innocent people but to destroy the belief that killing innocent people is acceptable. Human rights, women’s rights, freedom of religion and even prisoner rights as we know them today were born with Islam. Many major provisions of the Geneva Conventions could have been taken straight out of an Islamic Law book. When Abu Bakr, the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) closest friend and the first Khalifa, sent his men into battle he advised them as the Prophet had advised him: Do not destroy crops. Do not harm women and children. Do not harm the elderly. Do not harm non-combatants. Do not harm those who have taken sanctuary in religious institutions. THAT is how Muslims conduct war.

Not by attacking night clubs or killing commuters or toppling towers.

Attacks of that nature are haram (forbidden) on so many levels! God forbids the killing of innocents, He forbids His servants from killing themselves, from using fire as a weapon, from killing other Muslims unless it is a judicially ordered capital punishment arrived at after due process……there is simply no way to twist these depraved acts into something praiseworthy, no matter how hard one might wish to try.

Now add to all that the fact that these sorts of destructive lashings out hurt regular Muslims more than anyone else. The terrorists consider us fair game because we have not crossed over to their “dark side”, the public views us with suspicion, fear and prejudice, and western governments feel free to create things like the Patriot Act to keep us in line, to shut down our legitimate charities and nonprofit organizations, and to justify whatever collateral damage “happens” when they “go after the terrorists”. Translation: regular Muslims find themselves in everyone’s crosshairs.

It’s as if Al Qaeda and the Bush administration are both working toward the same goals, just from different ends of the field. “With us or against us” is just as obtuse and ignorant and dangerous whether it comes from a cowboy president or a shady salafi. So the rest of us need to form an alliance. Regular Muslims and regular non-Muslims need to reach out to each other. Because then we’ll have a means of fighting back. We can fight violence with peaceful refusal to give in to it. We can fight ignorance with relationships. And we can fight extremism with solid understanding. If we endeavor to create a strong community of regular people will we be able to defeat the hotheads among us – whether they wear spurs or turbans.