VOICE OF THE DAY
A Muslim view
Islamic warfare protects noncombatants, and manipulating terrorists are violating its laws.
Peace to you, dear readers. I was asked to write a reply to the letter written in the Dec. 19 Voices section (“Muslim reaction to killings sought,” by Bob W. Rush) asking for the Muslim community to respond to the terrorism/violence being perpetrated by so-called Muslim extremists.
I am an American who has embraced Islam post-Sept. 11, 2001. Islam does not teach hate, violence or exclusivity of salvation. In fact, there are rules to Islamic warfare that protect noncombatants, their property and also a cease-fire if the people pursue peaceful relations. It does not matter if the people are Muslim or non-Muslim. The point of Islamic warfare is to establish justice in a land where people are oppressed and corruption abounds or defend one’s life, home and right to practice his religion. These laws are being violated by the terrorists; their attacks harm men, women and children who offer no violence or opposition to justice. Property is stolen or destroyed, crops wiped out and no peace treaties are welcomed. So ultimately what we have are rampaging murderers and political extremists pulling the strings, manipulating the emotional state of people to convince them that they are acting to serve justice.
Killing Spawns Resentment
It is hard for most Americans to understand what it is that has spawned such a resentment in people, until they are offered insight into a different life that is reality on the other side of the world. To us it is articles in the newspaper, images on television and counts of how many of our people have given their lives in what we believe is a fight for freedom, justice and liberty for all. But to many ordinary people who consider themselves to be patriotic, honest, hard-working folk of Middle Eastern nations, American military action or support of certain governments results in the death of children, friends and family. We know from experience that anyone who loses a child or a beloved family member in a violent way generally becomes embittered and blames what they perceive to be the source of the problem, whether it be drunk drivers, gang-bangers or military skirmishes.
After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, our government ordered an investigation and the report concluded that the primary motivation was U.S. military aid to Israel. No matter how bitter people might be or what terrible things have been done to them or their loved ones, it does not justify the actions the terrorists took. It certainly did nothing to improve the conditions of the people trying to live alongside Israel.
No Room For Hate
When politically minded people gather emotionally wounded people together and focus those feelings into hate, they can manipulate them to do anything, and by perverting scripture they believe they serve justice. There is no room for hate in the heart of any true believer of God, be they Muslim, Christian or Jew. When there is arrogance (racial or social) or hate, love for God cannot be. I do understand that Israel is a very sensitive subject, but I ask you to think about the country not for religious affiliation or historical events. There are international laws that designate certain human rights, and if a country does not comply with them, we do not support their governments. Israel’s military actions violate human rights laws, and have continued to do so for more than 20 years. Yet the U.S. gives more aid to Israel (in weapons and so forth) than any other nation (to my understanding ).
The most horrifying to me, as a woman, is the checkpoint that refused to allow a woman in labor to cross to the waiting ambulance until after she and her twins had died. The most disturbing fact about the weaponry being used is the so-called “rubber bullets” that are metal rounds coated in plastic and end up killing many children, even entering their brains.
I am not calling an end to Israel or reviling the children of Israel. I am simply saying that there is another side to the story and that some of the bitterness and resentment is based in reality. I believe if we truly want peace, people (Muslim, Christian, Jew, or other) are going to have to recognize the humanity in the other and strive for a common goal: the right to live and believe free from persecution.
If you disagree, please feel free to contest my words with credible sources. If you want to know what all Muslims must abide by, try reading a translation of the meaning of the Quran. Look for a way to prove me wrong. I, as a Muslim – one who submits my whole self to God – believe in: God, the Messengers, the Angels, the Book, the Final Day, that Islam is my guide and inviolate law, that there is no compulsion in religion, other religions must be respectfully disagreed with but not reviled and to treat people gently. Most of all, I believe on living by example; clean and courteous. Religion must be lived in every breath, every word and every step – a way of life.
Annanina Joy Glover lives in Springfield.