By Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam
October 23, 2013
(Co-author (Jointly with Ashfaque Ullah Syed), Essential Message of Islam, Amana Publications, USA, 2009.)
The al Shabab’s target shooting of non-Muslim shoppers in the Nairobi Mall adds an expressly religious dimension to the most heinous phenomenon of terrorism. It renders the global Muslim community a tacit and unsolicited ally of the terror outfits and is designed to globalize Islamophobia, fuel anti-Muslim hatred provoking alienation of and radicalisation in Islam and thus helping the terrorists recruit fresh blood and expand their network. There can be no doubt that it was an ingenious strategy to earn the terrorists a permanent though shifting space in the political landscape of the world, facilitated by heavyweight counter terror measures and drone attacks. As this new development purports to serve the interest of the War Industrial complex, the Islamophobes, the Israel Lobby, the external and internal enemies of Islam keen to keep the Ummah in a state of perpetual anarchy, to the grave detriment of common peace seeking Muslims globally, it must be resisted. All that is needed is to call a spade a spade and expose the true nature of the terrorists by digging into their historical roots.
Terrorism under the ambit of Islam can be traced to the ideology of its first breakaway faction. ‘al-Khwarij’ or the Kharijites, meaning those who seceded from the faith, an euphemism for apostasy. It was a brutally fanatic sect, and as recorded in the annals of history, “it raised swords against the caliphs and made lawful their blood and their wealth and justified the killing of the children of polytheists, one’s own parents, and all the non-Muslims of the world  and “caused rivers of blood to flow in the first three centuries of Islam” . The present day terror outfits seem to have appropriated the terroristic ideology of this sect.
It is relevant here to summarily introduce the Kharijites giving as little detail of history as possible to avoid taxing the lay readers.
The Kharijites emerged in the immediate aftermath of the Siffin war (657 AD) in which Caliph Ali had agreed to an arbitration with Muawiya, his rebelling governor of Syria. A group of his fanatic followers argued that Ali, as a Caliph, defied the word of God by conceding to reconcile with a rebel who was to be fought and subdued. They rose in arms by quoting the statement of Qur’anic verse 6:57 "… command rests with none but God…” (6:57) and added a homicidal dimension to the notion of Takfir by treating any Muslim who opposed their political or theological opinions as apostate and enemy of Islam, deemed worthy of being killed. Thus, they called for killing Caliph Ali, Mu'waiya and all those who participated in the arbitration and any other Muslim who differed with them. Initially the non-Muslims did not feature in this scheme as the entire Arabia had come in the fold of Islam.
Today’s terrorist factions do not identify themselves as the Kharijites, but their express policy to kill all those Muslims who differ with them and innocent civilians in places of worship - mosques and churches, and public places - cafes, busses, trains, railway stations, hotels, and office buildings, let alone planes and the Twin Tower are emblematic of the Kharijite doctrine.
The loud self identification of these terror groups with Islam as echoed in their Arabic titles, their conspicuous display of the Shahadah on their arms and foreheads, their waving out of the Qur’an held in their hands and uttering of Qur’anic invocations from their mouths while boasting of their suicide bombings and terror attacks, and the target shooting of non-Muslims in Nairobi Mall virtually overturns the image of Islam from a religion of peace to a religion of violence and brushstrokes with terrorism the global Muslim community, which is no less averse to and remote from terrorism as the rest of humanity.
The early Kharijites conceivably belonged to the same genre of nomadic tribes whom the Qur’an finds – in the context of the revelation, intense in Kufr (denial of truth) and hypocrisy (Nifaq) (9:97), describe as Rijz (disgrace) (9:94) and Fasiq (9:67, 9:96) and condemns eternally (9:68, 9:95).
The Flawed and Force-Fitted Fatwas of Islamic Terror Apostates
Pioneering terrorist outfits like al-Qaida and Taliban have their Ulema issuing ‘Fatwas’ (religious rulings) to justify killing of innocent civilians such as in 9/11 attacks. But as noted under the conclusions of an exhaustive part by part refutation  of a recent 8 part fatwa by their ideologue, Yousuf al-Abeeri, “the concluding claim of the Fatwa of being authenticated by the Qur’an and the Hadith is a blatant lie…, and the eight parts cumulatively do not table a single Qur’anic verse or authenticated (Sahih) Hadith narration (such as from Imam Bukhari or Muslim) to support its theme - though any Hadith narration would not have lent it any credence as the Qur’an refutes each part of the Fatwa and all the eight parts cumulatively .”
The concluding part of the Refutation  of their Fatwa “AZAN: Call To Jihad On The Road To Khilafah” declares: “In light of the Qur’anic clear testimony borne by a cross section of its verses, it follows that any notion of terrorism is simply antithetic to the Qur’anic message. Hence, the call to militant Jihad by killing innocent civilians in terror attacks or instigating sedition and home-grown terrorism constitute a grand betrayal, if not complete hijacking of Islamic faith.”
The conclusion of the Refutation of Part-1  of Yousuf al-Abeeri’s 8-part fatwa declares: “A deadly spiritual potion is thus being brewed under the cloak of a fatwa which contradicts the Qur'an on many counts, is self contradictory, bizarre and untenable on others, suicidal for Islam and the broader Muslim community and a grave threat to human civilization.”
Conclusion: In consideration of the foregoing historical and Qur’anic analogy, and the concluding remarks of the Refutations of two recently issued comprehensive global Fatwas by the al-Qaida and Taliban terror ideologues, it may be a fitting response to declare the al-Qaida, Talibans, al Shabab, Boko Haram and others, including lone terrorists who justify killing of innocent men, women and children in terror attacks and suicide bombing as apostates and renegades of Islam and refer to them as Terrorist Apostate of Islam rather than Islamic terrorists, unless they commit to abjure terrorism and militant jihad and embrace the greater jihad of Islam that the Meccan Muslims were commanded to launch at the back of the Qur’an such as by promoting peace and harmony in the world, vying with other faith communities in goodness (2:148, 5:48), forgiving past enemies (5:2), and acknowledging the plurality of human society (49:13) – to cite just a few examples.
The writer of this paper has simply discharged his responsibility to bear witness to the truth as honestly as standing before God and it is for the terror ideologues to think how they will defend their position in the divine court.
Finally, the readers of this proposal are reminded of the following concluding remarks of a recent publication  to see the phenomenon of terror in its historical perspective without blaming the beautiful faith of Islam or the common peace loving Muslims of the world:
“The violent extremists – the modern Kharijites6 and Qaramites,7 of Islam are no more than poisonous sediments of history, and like their counterparts of almost a millennium ago, they are bound to be increasingly marginalized, and eventually jettisoned from the world of Islam.”
1. Abdul Quader Jilani, Ghunit al-talebin, Urdu translation by Shahir Shams Barelwi, Arshad Brothers, New Delhi p.178-180.
2. Philip K. Hitti, History of the Arabs, 1937, 10th edition; London 1993, p. 247.
3. Summing Up: Refutation of Sheikh Yousuf Al-Abeeri's Fatwa Supporting Wanton Killing of Innocent Civilians under Special Circumstances and Thus Justifying the 9/11 Attacks – Part - 8
6. Muhammad Yunus and Ashfaque Ullah Syed, Essential Message of Islam, Amana Publications, USA, 2009, p. 364.
Muhammad Yunus, a Chemical Engineering graduate from Indian Institute of Technology, and a retired corporate executive has been engaged in an in-depth study of the Qur’an since early 90’s, focusing on its core message. He has co-authored the referred exegetic work, which received the approval of al-Azhar al-Sharif, Cairo in 2002, and following restructuring and refinement was endorsed and authenticated by Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl of UCLA, and published by Amana Publications, Maryland, USA, 2009.