We all hear and talk about ‘terrorism’, but what does it really mean?
The Australian Law defines a terrorist act to be:
“An act, or a threat to commit an act, that is done with the intention to coerce or influence the public or any government by intimidation to advance a political, religious or ideological cause.” (Australian Government Counter-Terrorism Laws).
We reject all forms and acts of terrorism and believe there is NO room for terrorism in this world! We stand united to protect the security and peace of our nation and the world at large. Classifying all Muslims as terrorists, and wrongly associating Islam with terrorism are stereotypical notions that have no evidence to support them. These myths are in fact contradictory to Islam and its teaching- as the word “Islam” literally means “Peace“. Terrorism is a global problem and needs to be discussed in its larger perspective.
The Holy Quran does not just forbid Muslims from creating disorder in the world.
It also warns them that Allah does not love those who engage in any act of terror or harm towards another. It also reminds Muslims of the outcome of those who seek to create disorder in the world:
Islam is a religion that defines the act of murder of any one individual as equal to the killing of the whole of mankind.
Above all else, Islam is a religion that views persecuting and constantly making people fearful of their lives to be equal or worse than killing another human being.
How can the thought of even taking someone’s life, be considered a part of the true teachings of Islam?
It is inconceivable that the Holy Quran should present its Holy Prophet as the harbinger of an era of bloodshed in the name of peace and hatred in the name of love of God.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) lived in extreme persecution and history is witness to the great hardships he faced by strict Arab enemies. However even in these difficult times, instead of responding to violence with violence – he and his followers left their homes and livelihoods to migrate and avoid any persecution.
Another example of how Islam completely rejects any act of terror is the example provided by the Holy Prophet of Islam in his Charter of Rights, that was addressed to all Christians living as citizens under Muslim rule.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) stated:
“No bishop will be expelled from his bishopric, no monk from his monastery, no priest from his place of worship, and no pilgrim will be detained in his pilgrimage. None of their churches and other places of worship will be desolated or destroyed or demolished. No material of their churches will be used to build mosques or houses for the Muslims; any Muslim doing so will be regarded as recalcitrant to Allah and His Prophet. Monks and Bishops will be subject to no tax or indemnity whether they live in forests or on rivers, in the East or in the West, in the North or in the South. I give them my word of honour. They are on my promise and covenant and will enjoy perfect immunity from all sorts of inconveniences. Every help shall be given them in the repair of their churches. They shall be absolved of wearing arms. They shall be protected by the Muslims. Let this document not be disobeyed till Judgment Day.”
Another misunderstood concept, that is often related to terrorism is that of Jihad or Holy War.
We believe that true Jihad is that of the reformation of one’s self.
The notion that Islam allows or promotes the use of violence, fighting or war to spread its teachings, is completely false. The truth is that violent Jihad has no place in the Holy Quran or in the traditions of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). The Holy Quran rejects this form of Jihad by pronouncing “there should be no compulsion in religion.” [2:257]
In the history of Islam, we see that wars were fought and these are often related to the concept of Jihad. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) only fought defensive wars, and such defensive wars are permitted only when enemies initiate hostilities and wage violence or terror against weak, defenceless people, particularly those whose freedom of religion and conscience has been suppressed, and for having committed the only crime of declaring that God is their Lord. All offensive wars according to Islam are unholy. Thus, even when the war in self-defense is permitted, its purpose is to ensure freedom of conscience and religion for all faiths, not just Islam. The Holy Quran only permits one to fight in self-defense and only in circumstances where one may have been wronged [22:40].
“And if God did not repel some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques, wherein the name of God is oft commemorated.” [22:41]
It is not the purpose of Islam to punish or prosecute any unbelievers. Even in the harsh prehistoric situations that prevailed in 7th century Arabia, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) forgave his enemies and prisoners of war.
We believe that the greatest Jihad is to fight with one’s inner self, to reform and aspire to be better human beings in all aspects of our lives.
Hence, to tame one’s rebellious nature into complete submission to God is another form of Jihad and is, in fact, the greatest form of Jihad. This is in accordance with the teaching of the Holy Prophet of Islam, who on returning from a battle, is reported to have said:
“We are returning from the lesser Jihad to the greater Jihad.”
We believe that differences in opinion, faith, or culture are for the purposes of mankind to learn and benefit from each other. The world is in need of more love, stability, harmony, and understanding.
We believe that Australia can become an exemplary nation by promoting diversity, understanding, and goodwill.
We must show the rest of the world, that by working together we can achieve so much!