By Khaled Aljenfawi
October 08, 2013
A good and tolerant Muslim individual understands that Islam is a religion of peace. The holy book of Islam, Al-Quran calls for the practicing of peace and tolerance in daily life, not just among Muslims, but among God’s other children. A good Muslim according to the general principles and teachings of true Islam is not supposed to harm any of God’s creatures, whether humans or otherwise. However, fanatics around the world have been trying for decades to spread a different image about Islam: terrorizing non-Muslims and Muslims alike and creating mayhem around the world.
It seems that any person with a twisted mentality, artificially belonging to any faith, would sometimes turn the peaceful messages of their faith into weapons of destruction. Bigots, fanatics and extremists can turn, twist and manipulate the basic peaceful religious ideas into irrational justifications of their brutality. A higher percentage of Muslims around the world do actually adopt and practice the peaceful messages and positive ideals of Islam.
However, peace- loving Muslims have a responsibility of fighting terrorism inflicted in their name upon other innocent people around the world. I would even argue that we as contemporary Muslims will always have the responsibility to fight extremism and fanaticism close at home: Terrorism tends to start at home! Terrorism springs from the fundamental standards of human behavior common in a particular human environment, followed, adopted and generally used by some bad elements of that society. In other words, any typical Muslim upbringing determines the kind of behavior people adopt toward the outside world. A person, who has been raised in a certain social environment that seems to glorify or at least justify brutality toward the non-Muslim people, is set for producing terrorism.
Moreover, the causes of terrorism tend to relate mostly to some life styles, some family upbringing and social norms of certain “Islamic” societies. If one lives in a tolerant Muslim social environment, they would probably turn into a tolerant person. However, if one lives in a national or familial environment which seems to glorify fighting the “infidels” and which is also full of anti-Western slogans; lionizing masculinity over “femininity,” some people who grow up in such environments will always aspire to become terrorists. I do not believe that non-Muslim people around the world conspire every single day against Muslim people or Muslim countries.
If there is any one “conspiring” against Islam, it is local fundamentalists, local extremists and those who directly or indirectly glorify terrorism. We as Muslims have a moral and historical obligation to protect ourselves and to protect our fellow non- Muslim human beings from the wrath of the terrorist plague