July 04, 2020
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Vacant Sans Light

A world without religions lies in danger of inching closer to the void. As for terrorism, it’s not the monopoly of so-called Islamic fundamentalists.

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Vacant Sans Light
Illustration by R. Prasad
Vacant Sans Light

After a terrorist attack any­where in the world, people ­invariably associate it with Islam, a religion that promotes peace at all times. In this reg­ard, the first thing is that we, the Islamic Ummah, have been condemning all kinds of terrorist attacks. The Darul Uloom Deoband ­organised an all-India conference in 2008 when it unequivocally ­declared terrorism a dreadful act against humanity. The Darul-Uloom even passed a resolution in that regard. Besides, while issuing a fatwa (a ruling on a point of Islamic law given by a recognised ­authority) on behalf of the Darul-Iftah (one of the most important departments of Darul Uloom that ­answers queries regarding ­religious and ­social matters), it is clearly stated that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. The fatwa emphasised that terrorism is only terrorism and it is wrong to link it with any religion.

We want to ask that if certain acts in Pakistan and Afghanistan can be called Islamist terrorism, why can’t the cold-blooded murders of Akhlaq Ahmed, Pehlu Khan and Hafiz Junaid by the mobs of the ‘bhagwa brigade’ and Gau Rakshak gangs in our country be termed Hindu terrorism? Why is Israel’s continuous att­ack on armless Palestinians not Jewish terrorism? And why are the superpower’s military invasions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, which have resulted in the killings of lakhs of innocent people and the plundering of cities, not Christian terrorism? Why are the acts of the Myanmar government—pol­ice-led killings of Rohingya Muslims, rape of women, and forceful displacement of lakhs of people—not termed as Buddhist terrorism?

Terror Trail

Cow terrorists ­detain a truck on NH 91, Aligarh

Photograph by Jitender Gupta

Many people in India feel for the victims of terrorist attacks in Paris, London and Barcelona, but they don’t show any remorse when people are being killed by mobs every other day in our own country. They do not even condemn the provocative speeches or open threats to communities. The killing of Ummer Khan and the dreaded attack on his friend Tahir in the Alwar district of Rajasthan in broad daylight in the name of cow protection is a fresh ­incident in point. But no media house/outlet has raised voice against these killings and ­nobody termed these attacks as acts of ‘bhagwa terrorism’.

Interestingly, the atrocities on Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar have shaken the UN. Investigative teams from Europe have concluded that there have been large-scale rapes of women in Myanmar. Atrocities by the country’s Buddhist government and the police increased to such a level that demands are being made to take back the Nobel Peace Prize from Aung San Suu Kyi—the first and incumbent State Counsellor of Myanmar, a pos­ition akin to a Prime Minister in the country. But by blaming a so-called Islamic group called the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), the oppressed themselves have been declared culprits. Even so, if some people blame the beginning of the conflict on an attack on the Myanmar army by a self-styled insurgent group, will that justify the ­violence committed on Rohingya Muslims?

As for the 9/11 attack, now the world has started coming to terms with the fact that the inc­ident could have been a part of a well-planned conspiracy since it provided the perfect excuse to invade Afghanistan; this real motive behind the ­attack has already been unv­eiled. But some people still see all these acts as exclusive acts of Islamist terrorism.

Stop The Silence

Protests in Calcutta against ­the Myanmar government’s violence on the Rohingya

Photograph by PTI

The ­progenitors of the Deobandi movement were among the first ones to give the call for ­independence from British rule. In 1857, a decade before the ­movement was founded, they led a ­revolt of sorts against the British in Thana Bhawan, a small town in present-day UP.

The reality is that till today, terrorism has not been ­defined correctly. Whoever is in power or has the power of the media, can give any act either the name of terrorism or something else. Due to this, two identical acts of terrorism are seen as totally different from each other; one is categorised as terrorism while the other is given a lighter name.

Our clear-cut opinion is that no religion teaches terrorism. To blame a religion or God for incidences of terrorism is wrong. The best way to attain real peace and prosperity in the world is that the leaders of all the religions should take a lead and show to people the real teachings of their religions. It is because all religions teach lessons of human respect, peace and tolerance. In this regard, the teachings of Islam are abundantly clear and solid. The Quran, which is the word of Allah, clearly ­announces that if someone kills a man it is like killing the ­entire mankind, and if someone saves a man it is like saving ­the entire mankind—and in this regard, no distinction has been made between a Muslim and a non-Muslim.

Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said that all creatures are dep­endents, and the most ­beloved to Allah is the one who treats well His dependents. One of the basic tenets of Islam is that all human beings will be resurrected after death to give an account of their deeds in this world in front of Allah. The oppressor will be punished and the oppressed will get justice. So, whoever follows the true orders of Allah and Islam the most, ­he/she is bound to be most ­peace-­loving and most ­respectful of humanity.

A community that doesn’t teach religious lessons…where the concept of God is absent, is likely to be barbaric. The bottom line is that peace and tranquillity can be sourced only through accepting the power of God and ­practising religious teachings correctly. Rejecting religion is not a solution to the issue of intolerance; rather it will amount to taking shelter under a drainpipe while trying to avoid getting drenched in rain.

Abul Qasim Nomani is Mohtamim (Vice-Chancellor) of Darul Uloom Deoband

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