By Maulana Muhammad Khan Sherani
(Translated by New Age Islam)
February 15, 2013
Terrorism and Jihad are the two topics which come under discussion during my meetings with western diplomats. Unfortunately, the west perceives Islam, Muslims and Jihad as synonymous with terrorism. In their view, every Muslims is a terrorist who is hell bent on destroying the world in suicide blasts. But they forget the fact that what is called terrorism today is their own creation and now they are making insufficient efforts to solve the problem. What happened is that after the defeat of the Soviet Union in 1992 when the mujahideen refused to replace one super power with the other, the western powers started using the emotionally vulnerable young Muslim students of madrasas by misinterpreting the concept of jihad. They provided them with financial and other aids. What the west calls AlQaida today is their own creation whom they strengthened. Then the circumstances took a different turn on September 11 when the west needed a new enemy and justification to maintain the NATO alliance after the disintegration of the USSR and so it gave the hint of a cultural war after the 9/11. Even many Islamic thinkers termed it as a war between Islam and the West. NATO alliance once again created a number of groups for the war on terror and started the so called war giving support to it everywhere. But unfortunately they admittedly failed to contain terrorism. I call this terrorism civil war which is was started in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. The destruction of these countries are living examples before us.
Secondly, millions of civilians, women and children were rendered homeless and lost their lives in Pakistan in this so called war on terror. However, holding the West responsible for this mayhem in our region won’t be wrong. The relationship of respect of every human being with God, the elders, and young people and love and affection for the younger ones is very important. Now if an external power wants to cause revolt, enmity and disrespect in these relationships, will be considered a terrorist and I will regard the defence of these relationships as jihad. By this definition, a common reader will realise that jihad is a sacred duty in Islam which is being used by the west as a tool.
Unfortunately, the growing number of young unwed mothers in the west is creating pressure on our family system and social relationships. One incident in this connection is the marriage of gays in Islamabad recently. So if the west wants to see an environment of peace, brotherhood and harmony, it will do well to act on the following proposals:
Firstly, what the west likes for itself should like it for others as well. Secondly, it should ensure the implementation of religious freedom enshrined in the UN Charter. Thirdly, it should not make efforts that force societies based on dogmas to adopt non-religious life style. In other words, if an individual or institution wants to strengthen their political, economic and social life according to their religious beliefs, they should not be stopped from doing it. It is an established fact that not only the teachings and practice of the holy prophet (pbuh) are a source of guidance for the Muslims but his mode of governance is also exemplary. The West should take such steps that the followers of different religions, instead of drifting away from their respective religions, can come closer to it because all the religions preach sympathy and tolerance and abstention from falsehood and deceit and propagate what is good. They should help such organisations in the region which impose restrictions on people’s beliefs and collective life style.
All these are the principles which if implemented will lead to peace, tolerance, justice and the protection of the values of relationships and the so called terrorism will die its own death.
Maulana Muhammad Khan Sherani is the Chairman of Islami Nazaryati Council