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A call to Muslim clerics

The Quran repeatedly calls for universal harmony between all races, peoples, tribes and clans irrespective of their faiths.

india Updated: Mar 06, 2006 12:53 IST

To manynon-Muslim friends of mine, Islam has come to be seen as an intolerant and violently proselytising religion whose followers enforce conversions, destroy shrines and idols of other religions and indulge in terror in the name of religion. This is because religions are often judged by what their most debased, fanatical and intolerant followers do.

So Islam tends to be judged by the vandalism of a Mahmud of Ghazni, the Taliban and the terrorist acts in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan and Bangladesh. This is as unfair as judg ing Christianity by the savage tortures perpetrated by the Spanish Inquisition or judging Hinduism by the destruction of the Babri Masjid or the Gujarat killings.

The need of the hour is that Muslim clerics and the intelligentsia must engage their counterparts not only in Jammu and Kashmir but also in Pakistan and elsewhere. Using the media, posters, public and personal meetings, Muslim clerics should advise jehadis to desist from employing armed hostilities in the name of God, quoting from the Holy Quran.

For what the suicide bombers are doing is something absolutely un-Islamic. The Quran states on suicide: “Let not your own hands throw you into destruction. Do not destroy yourselves; surely God is most gracious to you.” Muslims around the world should condemn all violence perpetrated in the name of Islam. Sura Al-Baqr (Verse: 114) in the Quran states that Allah dislikes those who indulge in arson, loot and killings.

The Quran repeatedly calls for universal harmony between all races, peoples, tribes and clans irrespective of their faiths. Islam even says that if a Muslim ruler is hostile to non-Mus lims under him, he should go. Most so-called religious leaders, according to many thinkers, have lost the trust and confidence of the people. These leaders never allow the good ones to come forward. People understand this well but feel helpless and exploited. But they have to stand up and fight for their freedom and rights. For this they have to study, understand and implement the true message of the holy books including the Quran.

First Published: Mar 06, 2006 12:53 IST