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Muslims Against Terrorism

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Countering Terrorism from the Middle East

Over the past several decades, some persons of Arabian descent who claimed to be Muslims have committed terrorist acts against the United States. Those events, plus conflicts in the Middle East, media labeling terrorists as Muslims, the Taliban's treatment of women, and a history of conflict between Christians and Muslims, have created a number of myths.

The most dangerous myth is that Islam condones terrorism. Another myth is that Muslims are mostly Arabians. A third myth is that in Islamic teachings, men are allowed to terrorize women. A fourth myth is that Islamic teachings allow a government to force everyone to be Muslims.

Islam and Terrorism
Islam prohibits terrorism. Islam prohibits a Muslim from attacking innocent civilians. (Al-Islam)

"Islam does not support terrorism under any circumstances. Terrorism goes against every principle in Islam. If a Muslim engages in terrorism, he is not following Islam. He may be wrongly using the name of Islam for political or financial gain." (USA Today)

"Muslims throughout their history never allowed the killing of civilians, even in the midst of wars such as the Crusades. There is no respected Islamic scholar here in Saudi Arabia or anywhere else in the Muslim world who would support such a fatwa." (The Guardian - Khashoggi)

Hamza Yusuf, an Islamic scholar, has made several comments about Islam and terrorism. "The Prophet Muhammad said, 'Do not kill women or children or non-combatants and do not kill old people or religious people....'"

"Suicide is haram in Islam. It's prohibited, like a mortal sin. And murder is haram. And to kill civilians is murder."

"The Prophet also said that there are people who kill in the name of Islam and go to hell. And when he was asked why, he said, 'Because they weren't fighting truly for the sake of God.'

Muslims Against Terrorism requests media not use phrases such as "Islamic Fundamentalists" or "Muslim Terrorists" regarding terrorist attacks "Because such things do not exist. Islam is the religion of peace, love and mutual respect. Islam is the religion of moderation. Islam is the religion of human value and dignity." They ask that religious affiliation not be mentioned in terrorist attacks.

Editor's Note - Terrorists associated with the September 11th disaster could be called "al Qaeda Terrorists" since their involvement has been proven according to US, British, and Pakistani officials. When the Ku Klux Klan claimed credit for terrorist attacks in the 1960's, they were not identified by religion as "Christian Fundamentalists" or "Christian Terrorists." Although they identified themselves as a Christian movement, media never labeled them as Christians because their terrorism was regarded as a basic violation of Christian principles. We owe the same respect to the Muslim religion. (Pronounce al Qaeda as "Al Ka-e-dah.") (Muslims Against Terrorism)

Islam and Jet Fuel as a Weapon
According to Hamza Yusuf, an Islamic scholar, the Hadith states that "It's prohibited to burn anyone in Islam as a punishment. No one can grant these attackers any legitimacy. It was evil." (Islamic Server of MSA-USC)

Islam and Biological or Chemical Warfare
According to Hamza Yusuf, an Islamic scholar, the Prophet Muhammad said, "Do not cut down fruit-bearing trees and do not poison the wells of your enemies." (Islamic Server of MSA-USC)

Islam and Arabians
Most Muslims are not Arabians. About 12 percent of Muslims are Arabian. (Detroit Free Press)

Islam and Women
In Islamic teachings, men and women are to be respected equally. "Under Islamic law, women have always had the right to own property, receive an education and otherwise take part in community life. Men and women are to be respected equally. The Islamic rules for modest dress apply to women and men equally." (USA Today)

"In the Islamic world, at the beginning of Islam, there were no restrictions or prohibitions toward women to seek knowledge and education. There were many women scholars in the fields of religion, literature, music, education, and medicine." "Islam has given women the rights to work, to own property and to have wealth. Women can seek employment and work in professions such as medical care, teaching, civil and justice professions. These rights remain the same before and after marriage." (Afghanistan Online - Shorish-Shamley)

"The advent of Islam fundamentally altered the status of women in several ways. First, and most importantly, it overturned tradition by according women equal status before Allah. No longer were women denied a human face. Their souls like the souls of men were precious to Allah. They, like men, were worthy of dignity and respect. As a result of this new status and the revolution it worked on Arab society—women became pillars of early Muslim society and were counted among its strongest supporters." (The Social System and Morality of Islam - Bassiouni)

Beyond teachings in the Qur'an, Muslims encourage equality for woman in many countries. For example, the country with the most Muslims is Indonesia and it has a female president, Megawati Sukarnoputri. Another country with a very large Muslim population is Pakistan and their former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, was the first female to be elected head of a Muslim state. Queen Noor of Jordan is a major force for world peace, regional peace, women's rights, community development, and protection of the environment. Oppression of women is a violation of the teachings of Islam. Most Muslim women live in countries where equality of opportunity is encouraged.

Islam and Converting Others
In Islamic teachings, a Muslim is not allowed to force others to convert. "Let there be no compulsion in religion...." (Al-Islam - Al-Baqarah: 256)

"Jihad is not a war to force the faith on others, as many people think of it. It should never be interpreted as a way of compulsion of the belief on others, since there is an explicit verse in the Qur'an that says: 'There is no compulsion in religion' Al-Qur'an: Al-Baqarah (2:256)." ( Islamic Server of MSA-USC)

Instead, a Muslim must be respectful of other religions. By extension, an Islamic government is not allowed to compel anyone to be a Muslim.

Islam and Christianity
Islam teaches respect for Christianity. Muslims believe in the Old Testament of the Bible and the same God as Christians. Muslims believe that Jesus was a Prophet of God but not the Son of God. (USA Today)

Islam and Judaism
Islam teaches respect for Judaism. Muslims support the basic beliefs expressed in the Torah and the Koran. Muslims also accept all of the prophets of Judaism. "The main difference between Jews and Muslims is that Jews do not believe in the prophets after the Jewish prophets, including Muhammad and his teachings." (USA Today)

Islam and Actual Practice
Just as in other religions, some who practice Islam have incorporated historical traditions into their faith, traditions that are not part of the teachings of Muhammad.

Muslims and the United States
Practicing Muslims throughout the world condemn the terrorist attacks against the USA. They also oppose any response by the USA that will result in civilian casualties while pursuing the terrorists.

A meeting of the most influential Muslim clerics in the world, called the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), was held in October. The 56-nation OIC represents 1.2 billion Muslims. The OIC president stated, "We assert our utter rejection of these attacks and assert that confronting them must not touch innocent civilians and must not extend beyond those who carried out those attacks." (CBS News)

The Qur'an is clear that innocent civilians must be protected. Islam does not recognize "collateral damage," civilian casualties, as legitimate even during war.

News media have covered demonstrations against the USA in Muslim countries. Demonstrators who support the use of terrorism represent a very small percent of the Muslim population. However, demonstrators are using the American response to the tragic events of September 11th to remind Muslims that they find American foreign policies toward Muslims unfair.

Islam and Tyrants
Approximately 100 percent of Muslims are Sunni. "The equality of all Muslims is emphasized repeatedly throughout the Qur'an. It is because of that concept that Islam under the Sunni tradition does not have an ordained clergy. There is a direct relationship between every man and his Creator, and there can be no intermediary." (CBS News)

Muslims Against Terrorism
Makiya makes the case that, essential to stopping terrorism, is for Muslims of the world to stop violent criminals from hiding under the cloak of religion.

"But it is now up to Arabs and Muslims to draw the line that separates them from the Osama bin Ladens of this world, just as it was up to Americans to excoriate, isolate, outlaw, imprison and eventually root out the members of the Klan from their midst."

"Worse than being is morally bankrupt...[for Muslims] to 'rationalize' or 'explain' the new anti-Americanism rampant in so much of the Muslim and Arab worlds...."

"This [terrorism] is not Islam any more than the Ku Klux Klan is Christianity. No concessions can be made to either mindset, which have more in common with one another than they do with the religions they claim to represent." ( The Age - Makiya)

The Muslim organization Muslims Against Terrorism has the goal of working with Muslims and non-Muslims to help stop terrorism.

Goal of Terrorism
Editorial - One purpose of the attack against the USA was to help unify Muslims throughout the world. The terrorists were trying to get the USA to bomb and invade Muslim nations. The terrorists believed that the Muslims of the world would unite against the USA if the USA kills innocent Muslims while seeking revenge from the attack.

"If anyone slew a would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people." (Al-Islam - Al-Maidah: 32)

May we, in our efforts to eliminate terrorism, completely avoid any further casualties.


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