By: MARIA YAHYA
It has been 16 years since the 9/11 attack on the WTC and today i suddenly thought of looking at the DEFINITION OF TERRORIST.
As per the different dictionaries, the meaning is as follows :
OXFORD: “a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.”
CAMBRIDGE: ” someone who uses violent action, or threats of violent action, for political purposes.”
COLLINS ENGLISH: “a person who uses violence especially murder and bombing in order to achieve political aims.”
WEBSTER: ” the practise of coercing government to accede to political demands by committing violence on civilian targets.”
I was actually amazed that despite being a muslim, for all these years, sub-consciously i always thought of ‘Terrorists’ as being ‘Religious Fanatics’- it shows the power of propaganda inflicted by the mass media.
If these are the accepted definitions of ‘Terrorist’- then i have few questions to ask.
1. Can any religion ever propagate meaningless violence and bloodshed ??
2. Does religion really has anything to do with the violence rampant in the human society today ??
3. Has it been proven till date, that all these acts of violence happening all over the world on a daily basis are being perpetrated for the sake of religion or for something else ??
4. I want to know the cause of origin of terms like ISLAMOPHOBIA, ISLAMIC TERRORISM, RADICAL ISLAM etc.
If we take a glimpse at World History, there have been so many individuals throughout the different eras who have perpetrated the worst kind of inhumane treatment possible on civilians and that too in the name of either ethnic cleansing, suppressing anti-government protests or acquisition of territories. If i take into consideration the definition of ‘Terrorist’ – then shouldn’t all of them be considered as terrorists ???
On the other hand, if i think of these individuals as being religious fanatics and i try to justify their actions on that basis, so as per the norm i should be hating their religion and not their actions ???
So, if that is the case, is Hitler a terrorist or not ???
If i consider him to be a religious fanatic, rather than condemning Hitler’s actions, i should hate Judaism ???
In that case, there have been many tyrants throughout history and all of them belonged to some religion or the other. So, each one of us should hate some or the other religion ???
AND THIS DOES NOT MAKE SENSE TO ME.
My 5-year old son came crying back home from school one day. When i asked him the reason, he responded with a question. He asked me if i was a terrorist and whether i had killed anyone or not. Imagine my horror when i am being questioned by my own son like this.
I asked him as to why he is asking these kind of questions, to which he answered by saying that he was being taunted by his classmates and they called him all sorts of bad names and he ended up having a fight with them.
How am i supposed to answer him ???
How do i explain the intricacies of human behaviour to my innocent 5-year old ???
How do i help him make his peer group understand that their friend’s mother is not a terrorist ???
I dont know about the entire world and the society at large,
but i am a simple woman who has some basic needs-
~ the intrinsic need to believe in the EXISTENCE OF ONE GOD.
~ an ideal : an EXEMPLARY EXAMPLE OF HUMANE BEHAVIOUR CLUBBED WITH WORLDLY ACHIEVEMENTS and that is reflected in the personality of only one person- PROPHET MUHAMMAD(P.B.U.H).
~ to believe in a system where right and wrong and thereby their consequences have been clearly defined. The moral, social, economic, political, military fabrics pertaining to the society have been woven together beautifully and which has withstood the test of time – this is provided by ISLAM.
~ the need of accountability to my CREATOR which continually governs my life and its decisions.
~ the prospect of being rewarded for my deeds eternally.
AND THIS IS WHY I CHOSE ISLAM AS MY RELIGION.
The QURAN states- ” There is no compulsion in religion.” I have been given the choice to profess any religion i want to by GOD himself and yet the so called secular society wants to impose itself on my choices by manipulating my views.
So should i be branded a terrorist ???
Is Islam really so abhorrent ???
I think the time has come when we really need to question ourselves-
What is happening to the society today ???
Why is our tolerance level so low ???
Why are we so inhumane in our actions be it the issue of Afganisthan, Iraq, Kashmir, Palestine, Syria, Myanmar ???
Does a bomb differentiate between a Muslim and a non-Muslim or both are killed equally ???
What is the motive behind ‘Forced Displacement’ of specific groups ??? Has it really solved the so-called food, economic, financial and social crises ???
Is Islam- the religion really at fault as it is insinuated by the mass media ???
The society as it is today reminds me of the lines of a Charles Dickens’ novel- “It
was the best of times and it was the worst of times.”
It seems that we have advanced technologically but deteriorated morally and socially. Nothing can be more important than “HUMANITY” and that is highly lacking in us today.
We need to change our thoughts- EVERY HUMAN BEING IS IMPORTANT AND HAS SOMETHING TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE SOCIETY – THE CHOICE IS ENTIRELY OURS.
Lastly, i will end by saying that i did answer my son’s question- the only way a MOTHER can. I told him that ALLAH(swt) is the Supreme Judge. If you do good for your friends, then HE will reward you but if you do bad for them, then HE will punish you. This seemed to satisfy a 5-year old but as adults, we need to reflect upon our actions which shape the society and its norms.
May ALLAH(swt) bless all of mankind with guidance and understanding.