By Ameer Ali
6 June 2017
Suicide bombing, the most indiscriminate, cowardly and barbaric tool of modern warfare, has become a trademark weapon in the hands of Islamist extremists.
Though aimed at their enemies, mostly security personnel, diplomats and bureaucrats, these bombings have killed thousands of innocents, mostly Muslims, such as the 12-year-old Australian schoolgirl Zynab Al Harbiya from Melbourne.
According to one count, suicide bombers have killed more than 20,000 people and injured more than 50,000 between the 1970s and last year.
Suicide bombing is a crime against humanity and a plague that is wiping out any room for rationality in the political argument in favour of Islam.
Likewise, the killings and carnage committed by individual fanatics such as those who caused the havoc in London at the weekend are equally abominable and should be condemned without reservation.
Yet, there has been no internationally organised demonstration of outrage against suicide bombing from the Muslim quarters except some random statements and press releases condemning this act and calling it un-Islamic.
Contrast this reaction to the massive anti-war international protest organised by non-Muslims when George Bush and his partners decided to bomb Muslim Iraq in 2003.
Compared with this worldwide anti-war outrage, Muslim protests against suicide bombing are rather mute and are not sending a clear message of abhorrence to the perpetrators.
Religious arguments cannot win the day because the extremists are also quoting the Koran and the prophet of Islam to justify their acts.
What is needed is a mass movement organised by Muslims on an international scale to openly demonstrate to the Islamists and to the outside world that the indiscriminate killings and carnage unleashed by suicide bombings are abhorrent and barbaric.
It should show that the international Muslim community is in partnership with non-Muslims not only in condemning this barbaric strategy but also in identifying the culprits and their organisations.
Such a mass movement must originate from the most prestigious centres of Sunni and Shia Islam, such as the holy cities of Mecca and Medina and Karbala, and from intellectual centres such as the Al-Azhar in Egypt. Every available media device and pulpits in the mosques must be used to send the message of disapproval in the most unambiguous language.
At least on this particular issue the sectarian divisions among Muslims should be buried. Unless this is done the muteness of the Muslim majority will be misunderstood by the rest of the world as approval of the deadly acts committed by the extremists. Will all the sermons in mosques during this holy month of Ramadan and the one at the Hajj this year be devoted to relay this anti-terror message?
Dr Ameer Ali is a lecturer in the School of Business and Governance, Murdoch University