Essentially, the bombing of Paris as well as the recent beheading of hostages by Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines are disgusting, deplorable and blatant acts of cowardice. These are sure signs of extremism and violence. But the entire media consistently portrays the total 1.6 billion Muslims in the world as terrorist and Islam is to blame.
To those who understand sociology, one of the fundamental characteristics of these actions, as exhibited in numerous cases in modern history, is that it manifests harshness in the treatment of people, crudeness in calling people to Islam and roughness in manner of approach. All of these are contrary to the teachings of Islam.
Allah s.w.t says in the Holy Quran, “Invite [all] to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching, and argue
with them in ways that are best and most gracious (16:25)” Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) is also described, “Now has come unto you a Messenger from among yourselves. It grieves him that you should perish, ardently anxious is he over you. To the believers he is kind and merciful. (9:28)”
Allah further says in the Quran, “If you were severe and harsh-hearted they would have broken away from about you.(3:159)”
Allah s.w.t. has commanded Muslims to call to Islam and to his teachings with wisdom, not foolishness, with amicability, not harsh words. The very basic nature of Islamic Tarbiyah and Dakwah is to achieve wisdom and amicability by penetrating the innermost recesses of man to transform him into a godly person in his conception, emotions and behavior.
Let us ponder this: 150 people in Paris dies, the whole world weeps. 250,000 people have died in Syria and no tear anywhere. Most of us looked on with apathy as the peoples of Syria, Palestine, Egypt were slaughtered and mass murders happened. No protest, no intervention. We are racists? We are chauvinists? We don’t care?
There is something wrong, not with the terrorists, but with humanity. Our failure as humanity is when good men do nothing, even when they know it is wrong.
The recent wake of terrorism, war and violence perpetuated around the world in the guise of religion or ideologies, it has never been a more appropriate time for us to understand that most violence in the world is driven by hunger, famine, lack of education and basic rights. These are the basic needs that drive the survival, not of the Muslim, Christian or Hindu, but all human beings. Every set of people, segregated both by race or religion, will fight and resort to violence when these basic needs are not met.
Every human being desires education, food and place to live. Let’s make this happen, regardless of race, religion or nationality.