This is the ongoing machine today. Politically-ambitious religious clerics calling for violence and/or more violence, are one of the main reasons for mixing all this horrendous terror with Islam.
First it was declared “obligatory” #Jihad to kill political opponents to establish a semi-democracy, at best. Then it was okay to kill more human beings and shed rivers of blood to change political regimes from one form of tyranny to a slightly lighter one. Then it developed into selective and subjective definitions of tyranny and dictatorships where violence must be waged, human beings killed, and civility destroyed. All this, have nothing to do with Islam’s moral, social and religious principles.
Its imperative to separate the nowadays clerics from politics, if we seriously want to attempt to stop the abuse of “religion”. Religion is continuously being used as a facade for political views, interests and ambitions. Especially when some clerics call for violence and murder of more human beings (regardless of background/faith) in the name of #Jihad or #Islam or political reforms. Political and even religious reform is needed in many if not most places on earth today, but bloodshed and calling for violence against other human beings are not the answer. Clerics who have political ambitions are free to go into politics, establish a track-record, clear objectives and agenda, rather than cloaking their political ambitions with religious rhetoric and turning our youth into hateful and killing machines, even if this hate/violence is limited to one section of human beings, regardless who they are. The more we allow religious clerics to spew verbal violence on pulpits and through other media against other human beings (regardless of motive/background), the more we risk bringing up a generation of blind hate, mixing ambiguous, unclear and quite dirty political goals with the purity of religion and its noble goal to perfect the humanity within human beings and connect them to their Creator. Such clerics are the real terrorists, and their confused political/other ambitions are the the foundation of the biggest entrapment scheme ever designed in modern times entrapping young people into a complex net of ignorance, hate, death and destruction, recruiting and brainwashing vulnerable teenagers into killers and/or hateful people, while most of those clerics stay far and safe from harms-ways. Such violent, hateful, and bloody “religiosity” is also responsible for many young people leaving the religion all together, for lack of hope, mercy, forgiveness, inclusion, and love among other reasons offered by the so called “clerics”. The priorities are lost today. Individual ambitions and interests are prioritized over the pursuit and fulfillment of the Deeni Maqased (objectives of our religion) as a peaceful, humane, and protective of humans, their property, honor, and dignity.
Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters; in short: our religion has been kidnapped. The kidnappers are both the Political Mafia and the Mullah Mafia.
Our youth need religious clerics who work on their intellectual, spiritual and religious development, connecting them to The Creator of all, and teaching them love, forgiveness, unconditional compassion, mercy, and lessons from the past and present. Our youth need to understand that just because someone is dressed like, speaks like, has grand titles, or even is an actually qualified cleric, it does not he/she has a divine connection to political insights. In the recent past, we have seen and heard about many such “divine connection” claims, dreams and forecasts, which turned out to be Satanic and evil instead. The latter is abuse and opportunism in its greediest form, especially when the potential victims lose their lives. The people in Syria -for instance, have been robbed their dreams, childhood, smiles, hope, lives, and given “false religion” as the “only righteous religion” by religious/political hopefuls/opportunists. We must not just say NO to MORE BLOOD IN THE NAME OF GOD, but ensure that opportunists and people who call for any kind of violence against anyone are identified, their case for more killings of human beings is refuted, their arbitrary/selective direction of violence isolated, and the root of their verbal violence and crooked hateful theory is debunked based on the Qur’an and Authentic Sunnah, mercifully.
The ISIS terror, whoever is behind its design & maintenance, and other similar groups, are definitely not #ISLAM as we know and practice. But all the terror they are carrying out today is, nevertheless, based on existing theories by some Muslims, past and present. Such theories are not a secret, they are written in details, printed and widely available for anyone to read. However, such theories for mad violence is not limited to a faith system, or to a section of human society versus another. Our human history is rife with violence starting from Abel and Cain, up until now, and on the hands of many human beings from different backgrounds and religions. For us Muslims, it is time, however, to re-examine some texts/ideologies that are taught from the pulpits or other media today as “the Religion”, when in fact, it is just one possibly valid or invalid understanding of the religion. We must revive the Prophetic mandate of constructive criticism and use it to cite out and rebuttal verbal violence in light of Qur’an/Sahih Sunnah. We must distinguish between the understandings of some scholars (great or less, old or new), and the Deen (Qur’an and Sunnah) itself, for one does not mean the other necessarily. We must ensure that those who teach the “Sunnah” to our kids, are not teaching them verbal violence, slander and hate against others under the very name of the Sunnah. Our Prophetic Sunnah is Unconditional Mercy to all. That very basic definitive principle contradicts the intellectual/verbal terrorists claim to legitimizing hate and violence. I am saying here verbal violence, because it is the root of all kinds of violence. Any and all violence starts with a written or spoken word. Eliminate the root cause now. You can be different and disagree all you want, but you don’t have to be hateful and violent. Justifying violence against some versus others subjectively, is also just as evil. Dwarfing our great religion and its philosophy into a “cult”-like principals, is deception. A religion cannot be a cult. Don’t think those clerics who run to other pseudo-dictatorships, tyrannies, or other places decrying lack of democracy/freedoms by some and calling for violence and bloodshed in return, are consistently and faithful anti-tyranny, pro-democracy, or even Islamic, despite cloaking their greed, ambition and self-serving interests with religious rhetoric. The religion itself (not necessarily the religious) did not come to kill people, even if they disagree with it and flat out reject to believe in any of it. In fact, it came to give those very “disagreeing” people: life, opportunity, and a chance for redemption. Religion did not come to destroy countries, erase cities, and shed the blood of 10,000’s of people, rather it came to protect their lives, property and dignity. To construct not destruct. Religious tyranny is just as evil as political tyranny. In fact, I always say: religious tyranny is much worse.
This is not about shifting the blame to anyone, regardless. All of us are affected and all of us can do better. This is NOT about Sufi versus Salafi, either. For there is the good, the bad and the ugly everywhere and on all sides. Though we have seen in the past 40 years much more systematic intolerant speeches/materials, misrepresentations, and flat-out Takfiri-ideology from the Salafi side, legislating hate, slander, labeling and Takfir against other Sunni Muslims of different understandings, exercising “legal guardianship” rights over who Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah, presenting one exclusive line as the only school (instead of the many schools of Ahlus Sunnah) of our Salaf, and promoting “intellectual terrorism” against anyone who disagrees with their intolerant brand of Salafism. Yet, there are plenty of Takfiri and Jahel/hateful Sufi’s as well, who missed the boat on the whole point of Sufism/Ihsan and turned it into a Takfiri/Hateful cult. Some of such “Sufi’s” are immersed in a cult-ish and Jahl/ignorance of the basics of the Qur’an/Sunnah that make Takfiri Salafi’s look soft, Takfiri/Tafsiqi-hesitant and tolerant in comparison. Of course, on both sides, there are the Wanna-be’s, opportunists, and the Deen merchants. Yet the vast majority on all sides by far, are the masses who are descent-at-heart, love their Deen, and want to improve themselves and do good. What this is about though is not all that, it is about stopping the hemorrhage and preventing terror groups from entrapping and recruiting more vulnerable young people who have been fed some hate/verbal violence from some clerics who adopt verbal/written violence against others as means for political/religious views/ambitions, because that kind of feeding constitutes the foundation and root cause of any consequential recruiting into actual terrorism.
Unity should never mean conformity. It is okay look at the same thing and see it in two different ways, for that we have the Prophetic companions as examples.
It is time to go back to the Basics of the Unconditional Compassion and Mercy as the central theme of our faith and life, as the Qur’an and authentic Sunnah demand.
It is imperative that we restore Unconditional Compassion, Mercy, Inclusion, Forgiveness, and tolerance to the center of our beautiful faith, to ensure that clerics give our youth accurate and respectful information about “others”, to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings, especially those regarded as opponents, to realize that within Islam there isn’t just one view, other than the definitive (Qat’i) issues, but many. You don’t have to participate to one you don’t appreciate, but demonizing your ideological opponent is unethical, unintelligent, untrue, and above all un-Islamic. If left uncorrected, all this will lead to more suffering and victims of violence on all sides, most importantly, the most valuable asset any society has; good young people. We also need to start trying to reach out to our wider human community, our brothers and sisters in humanity and our neighbors of different religions, cultures and ethnicity to attempt to correct the relentless efforts of dehumanizing Muslims on Media outlets and the unbalanced portrayal of Muslims and their faith with an image of: savagery, inhumanity, and monstrosity. Do not build assumptions on the fact that the largest number of victims of violence in the world today, are actually Muslims. That the people who are hurt most by all these wars and violence in the name of Islam, are actually Muslims, etc.etc. Because all that does not matter. What matters is the perception of the masses. Agree with World, US, European, Arab politics or disagree, you’re free and I don’t care much about politics. But I know that average people at home, in America, are descent people at heart, fair-minded, tolerant, with a willingness to consider and change if presented with facts, so are most people in the world. This is the basis and the platform upon which where we all- as human beings- must start from; our human family; extending our hands and hearts to each other and offer compassion to each other, regardless of political, religious or social difference. Not only our mosques need to be open to all, but our minds and hearts. For now, we can pray for the best and start raising awareness. NO to shedding blood in the name of God
– Dr. Muhammad bin Yahya al-Ninowy, Feb 2015- Malaysia