By Muhammad Yunus, New Age Islam
(Co-author (Jointly with Ashfaque Ullah Syed), Essential Message of Islam, Amana Publications, USA, 2009.
07 December 2016
This article is in response to a recent press report according to which the President Elect of America, Donald Trump in his first telephonic conversation with the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin identified Radical Islam as the no.1 threat to peace and security of the world in this era. Conceivably, by Radical Islam they meant the ideology of murderous takfirism - declaring an innocent person or group of people ‘Kafir’ and killing them individually, in small or large groups or en-masse in terror attacks.
The vast majority of Muslims, the world over, may have been offended or even shocked by this remark as this amounts to putting a tag of terror on their faith for the heinous crimes committed by an infinitesimally small minority of its followers. But they must not take the words of these great leaders as anti-Islamic rhetoric and search their souls.
Over the past few years (2002-2005), the author of this essay has been voicing his grave concern over the menace of terrorism in a series of his articles and refutation of the manuals (fatwa texts) of terror ideologues. The world leaders’ above remark merely captures the essence of these warnings, the gist of which is quoted below:
1. “the politicized, antiquated and desiccated Salafi Islam that is feeding radicalization on a global scale and thus playing in the hands of the terrorist outfits (is) now a great threat to the West and a great menace to the rest of the world, including the Muslim majority and minority countries.” 
2. “(The terrorist narrative is) tailored to indoctrinate the target reader with a sadistic, barbaric and ferocious mindset that will readily accept an exhaustive fatwa on the justification of mass killing of men, women and children including the 9/11 attacks on its face value. 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.” 
3. “(The narrative) bombards the simple and innocent Muslims with what is most awe-inspiring and obscure to them – the verses of the Qur’an, and capitalizes on their ignorance of the meaning of the Qur’anic verses to sell them their own fatwa, however un-Qur’anic it may really be – as God knows best.” 
4. “(The Fatwa justifies) gruesome acts like “leaving snakes, scorpions and other dangerous insects among their defence establishments (domain) and the killing of civilians (children, women and the elderly), notably common Americans” 
5. “An ideological war is thus being spearheaded globally to turn Islam from a religion of peace, harmony and universal brotherhood into a cult of bestial violence and naked terrorism – a grand betrayal of faith, a monstrous conspiracy, let alone its bloody fallout.” 
The Muslims may argue that barely a hundred terrorists were involved in all the major terror attacks in European countries and America since 9/11 - which for a population of almost two hundred millions is statistically insignificant and therefore does not warrant the above remark. The problem is, regardless of the paucity of number, any Muslim person can potentially get radicalized and single-handedly or barely with a few comrades launch a bloody terror attack, anywhere, anytime, in any country, against any group of people. This virtually renders each and every Muslim a potential ‘radical’ in the eyes of the non-Muslims – particularly those in the Western/ Muslim minority world. This, coupled with the most horrifying video-clippings from ISIS creates a fear of the Muslim in the perception of common Westerner. Hence, in the ultimate analysis, Radicalization is designed to “turning Islam from a religion of peace, harmony and universal brotherhood into a cult of bestial violence and naked terrorism” as this writer had earlier concluded . The question is what the common peace-loving and progressive Muslims must do to diffuse, and in time eradicate radicalization. This brings us to the caption of the article.
In practical terms, the so-called Radical Islam is so abstract, secretive and symptomless that no Muslims will have any clues if his next door neighbour or even the next of kin was radicalized and planning a terror attack at any public place – be it a mosque, a church, a community centre, a mall, a wedding reception, a funeral assembly, finishing line of a marathon race or a packed orchestra hall. Use of the most advanced artillery, naval and air power against Muslim lands over the past years to eradicate terrorism from the face of the earth has multiplied this menace many folds and gave birth to the monstrous terrorist outfit – the ISIS which is feeding on Radicalization. In a great irony and paradox of history, this only resulted in an increase in Muslim population in Europe and America through influx of refugees with inevitable penetration of Radicalizing agents in these lands and alarming rise in and risk of terrorism. Therefore, what may be the consequence of even greater measure of sanctions, torture or pre-emptive use of more destructive weapons against Muslim lands whose leaders may be aiding and abetting terrorism ideologically or financially – as some hardliners suggest - is anybody’s guess. Portable weapons of mass killing can be bought in the underground world of smugglers and these are getting more and more deadly by the day. So a heavy handed, bloody or collectively punitive measure can result in increased terrorism and radicalization – the terror-outfits may be preparing for this – nobody knows.
As the Muslims are the main victims of terror attacks and counter terror military measures and collectively suspected, tacitly blamed, criticized, censored and even stigmatized for terrorism in their religion’s name, their stakes are by far the highest. Therefore, they must be in the forefront in the war against terrorism/ radicalization. This writer has already penned a number of articles targeted at the Ulema (traditional preachers) and religious scholars of Islam calling for outlawing ISIS and its affiliates from Islam based on religious (Qur’anic) ground and historical precedent from early Islam [6-11]. But they failed to trigger any debate in traditional/ progressive Islamic scholarship, conceivably due to their highly technical religious cum historical grounds, and of course, the fear of a deadly backlash – as unlike this almost invisible and obscure writer, the Ulema and Muslim scholars of the world are highly visible in the Muslim quarters, and cannot risk their lives by taking a firm stand against the terror outfits.
As it is impossible to read the mind of the Ulema fraternity as some or many of them may not be absolutely sure of the disconnect between Islam and Radicalism, this article is targeted at Muslim organizations who may have already condemned terrorism and radicalization in strongest terms, to launch a massive awareness campaign to tear away all the different strands of Takfiri ideology and thus erode its potential appeal to unsuspecting Muslim youth, and convince the world that Islam is not an alien or dreadful religion but radicalism is alien to Islamic teaching and its dreadful apparition.
It is suggested that Muslim organizations – particularly in the West, propagate a focused anti-Radicalization narrative to strip Radicalism (bloody Takfiri ideology) of any religious basis and convince the deeply disturbed Muslim masses and the aghast Western world that this murderous ideology is the brainchild of Stan and it is incumbent on each and every Muslim to disavow it as any part of their faith such as by refusing – at least in principle, to give Islamic burial to those who are killed in a state of radicalization.
Since Radicalism draws on misinterpretation of some of the fundamental tenets of our faith (as enshrined in the Qur’an) and denial of others, and confusion between the popular Shariah Law of Islam and its divine Shariah, the suggested anti-Radicalization narrative may consist of the following tenets of faith.
i) We worship the same God as the rest of believing humanity.
ii) We claim no exclusivity in religion - in God’s sight all are equal.
iii) The Prophet never took to any form coercion, let alone Radicalism (murderous takfirism) during the 23 year span of his mission.
iv) We believe in pluralism, peaceful coexistence and cordial relations with the rest of humanity.
v) We believe in the dignity human beings.
vi) We believe in universal justice
vii) We believe in universal human rights.
viii) Our prime duty as Muslims is to serve humanity
ix) We do not support the notion of Islamic Caliphate in this era.
x) We do not hanker after the so-called Islamic Shariah Law.
xi) We are commanded to be kind to all people including neighbours and strangers
xii) We are commanded to forgive past enemies and collaborate with them for common good.
xiii) We seek to follow the upright path of the Qura’n that lies in its best meaning
xiv) We believe those who cause mischief on earth by selectively quoting from the Qur’an or any other Islamic sources are traitors of religion.
To wrap up this article, the author will support his spiritual invalidation of Radicalism as a cult of Satan by quoting the following concluding paragraph of his article written in the immediate aftermath of Paris attacks.
“In sum terrorism in the name of Islam is an ideological cancer that has allowed the devil to dominate the terrorist mind. So all his heinous crimes are inspired by devil (Satan), and his xenophobic delusions lead him to confusing it with Allah – the Most Kind and the Most Merciful. Their call, while perpetrating terror should more fittingly be ‘Satan the Great’ (May God forgive me for coining this expression) and not ‘God the Great.’ It is these people who commit a sin perhaps more grave than shirk – they say Allah in place of Shaytan in their xenophobic mania that has exceeded all limits – though God alone knows why the Muslim Ulema are not protesting against this inordinately unholy swap though the heaven breaks lose over their heads when a cartoon, or malicious report of publication demonizing the Prophet appears in the media.” 
The author will also warn his audience of a tacit sympathy or fear (God knows best) of the Ulema fraternity for the ISIS cult – the champions of Radicalism. This is demonstrated by the absence of any thunderous outburst when ISIS’s “self-styled Khalifa al-Baghdadi and his followers repeatedly say that Islam has never been a religion of peace, not even for a day,” and that “it has always been a religion of war and conflict” as quoted by Sultan Shahin, the founder editor of New Age Islam. 
Part-2 of the article, to follow soon, sets out compelling substantiation of the noted tenets of faith drawn primarily on the Qur’an - the primary scripture of Islam the Word of God for the Muslims of all sects and stripes. The proposed campaign is thus designed to destroy the dark forces of Evil with the Light of the Qur’an, for the Qur’an and the Qur’an alone is its own best defence – and no supplementary discourse is needed to defend it.
2. Refutation Of Sheikh Yousuf Al-Abeeri's Fatwa Appearing In English Translation In New Age Islam Website Supporting Wanton Killing Of Innocent Civilians Under Special Circumstances And Thus Justifying The 9/11 Attacks - Part-1
3. Refutation Of Sheikh Yousuf Al-Abeeri's Fatwa Appearing In English Translation In New Age Islam Website Supporting Wanton Killing Of Innocent Civilians Under Special Circumstances And Thus Justifying The 9/11 Attacks - Part-4.URL: https://www.newageislam.com/islamterrorism-jihad/refutation-sheikh-yousuf-al-abeeri/d/10516
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.
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