Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Why I sometimes feel ashamed to be a Muslim

An evil means to an evil end Firoz Bakht Ahmed Indian Express: Wednesday, August 16, 2006
As a Muslim, my head goes down in shame each time I find a Muslim name attached with the inhuman and insane acts of terrorism. I feel let down by those marauders who follow the same religion as I do and bow before the same God. It agonises me when I hear that Muslim tenants are refused accommodation in cities.
Muslim voices of sanity aren’t loud enough. Even the London Muslims, while condemning the July 7 killings, added a ‘but’ about the ‘root cause’ of it. We must agree to the principle that killings of innocents cannot be justified irrespective of race, religion, place or ethnicity. Many Muslims are guilty of not speaking out against what happened in Darfur; many are guilty of being sympathetic towards a despot like Saddam Hussein. Many don’t speak out against unjust acts of Muslims against non-Muslims.
Extremists’ attacks anywhere are acts of depravity and wickedness. They are not the weapon of the weak against the strong but the rage of the angry against the defenceless and innocent. An evil means to an evil end. Jihad is the most misunderstood concept by our non-Muslim brethren and even by Muslims. The true meaning of jihad in Islam is not to be against other communities, groups or religions but against the vices and shortcomings within Muslim society. First an individual fights jihad against himself. After that he continues the efforts with his wife, family, locality and the community. This is Jihad-e-Akbar, the real meaning of jihad.
Muslims must come out openly against outfits like Lashkar-e-Toiba, Al-Qaeda, Harkat-ul-Ansar, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Sipah-e-Sahaba and others, all committed to desecrating peaceful co-existence and harmony in the world. In line with the jihadis, however, is the mentality of the US. It didn’t attack Israel for occupying Palestinian land; it did attack Iraq for aggression against Kuwait. This is how they interpret their war against terror — according to their whim and fancy.
Indian Hindus and Muslims are to be congratulated on acting with restraint after Mumbai’s tragedy. Saner elements in both communities should take steps to thwart attempts by communalists to play up such incidents.

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