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mjaga
 
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Quote mjaga Replybullet Topic: Islam & Terrorism
    Posted: 12 November 2005 at 10:48pm
ISLAM & TERRORISM

Terror = Control by intimidation.
Terrorism = The use of violence and intimidation for political purposes.

From the above dictionary meanings, it is clear that both 'terror' and 'terrorism' are not nice things. Both are based on perpetration of injustices. Any group or party, whether political or otherwise, or any nation for that matter, that unjustly tries to gain control over anything by intimidation & violence, indulges in terrorism.

However, the terrorism that is most decried and condemned nowadays is only the one that is apparently perpetrated by those who are themselves subjected to injustices by powerful nations. The terrorism resorted to by, or on behalf of, the Palestinian people is one such example.

And the most conspicuous act of such terrorism has been the one popularly known as 9/11. On 9th September, a few years ago, some young men hijacked commercially run planes and flew them into two huge Trade Center buidings in New York and into the high-security defence establishment of the Pentagon in Washington. The thousands of people who died in this attack included innocent civilians, working at the Trade Center buildings or travelling in the planes hijacked. The materials destroyed were worth millions and millions of dollars.

The persons actually involved in a number of such recent attacks, around the world, happen to be Muslims. Such attacks have therefore come to be categorised as 'Islamic Terrorism'. The terrorist attacks being suicidal in nature, the attackers themselves, in most cases, died during the course of the attacks.

It is pertinent here to reflect on the possible motivation of such attackers. Why do they undertake missions wherein they are almost certain to be killed? They being Muslims, we may surmise that they had been strongly brainwashed to believe that their acts would gain them Allah's pleasure and a sure place in Jannah, in the Hereafter.

Now, my question is: are they right? Would Allah be pleased with their suicidal acts that cause anarchy and widespread destruction of life & property on earth?

In order to get the Qur'aanic answer to any query, we have to understand properly the genesis of that query.

As we all know, the 9/11 attack has its origin in the Arab-Israeli conflict. This conflict arose because of a desire among a section of the Jews, scattered all around the world, to have an exclusive homeland of their own. They had their eyes on Palestine, which area was inhabited, late in the 19th century, overwhelmingly by Arab Muslims. Jews living there then were a minuscule minority.

A series of international political intrigues coupled with pogroms and holocausts brought about an exodus of the Jewish people from around the world into Palestine. So their ratio, with the ethnic Arab Muslims there, increased from 4:100 in 1878 to 48:100 in 1946. Although the Muslims were still more than double the number of Jews, the United Nations partitioned the area into Israel and Palestine, giving more space to Israel! In 1948, the Jews unilaterally proclaimed an independent state of Israel, and in subsequent wars against Arab states around, gained control not only of Arab Palestine but also of areas beyond. And they started establishing Jewish settlements in those occupied areas too!

These developments naturally generated immense resentment among the massively displaced Arabs, who had become refugees in their own country! And their resentment extended to the Western Nations, and particularly to the USA, because of these nations' moral and active military support to Israel. And the resentment culminated in 9/11!

From the above brief extract from recent history, it is apparent that the Arabs have been the victims of gross injustice and oppression. In the circumstances, some Muslims may wonder whether the Arabs were not justified in doing what they did. "What could they otherwise do? They didn't have the strength for an open military engagement with Israel and its ally, the mighty USA!"

What could the Arabs do, indeed, in the circumstances? Let us see what Allah says. "And, certainly, We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, and with loss of wealth, life and production. And gladden those who are patient, with prophecy of a good future. Those who, when any adversiity confronts them, say, 'We do indeed belong to Allah; and indeed are we to return to Him.' Those are the ones upon whom are the blessings from their Lord and His grace; and those are the ones that are rightly guided." [Verses 2.155 to 2.157] But the perpetrators of 9/11, and their mentors, had no patience. Seeing that they did not have the means at all to fight their oppressers openly, they sought soft targets: commercial aeroplanes, innocent passengers of those planes, huge Trade Center buildings and innocent officials, of all nationalities and religions, working in those buildings. They did not have the patience to wait for Allah to provide them with the right opportunity to hit back at the oppressers themselves and not at defenceless civilians. They did not follow the divine advice above and were therefore not rightly guided. Their deeds did not only fail to make any dent in their oppressers' armour and strength, but induced them to further oppressions. Remember what happened to Afghanistan, to Iraq and to Palestinians themselves living on the West Bank.

A school of thought, among Muslims, may argue that the terrorist attacks, like 9/11, are justified under the 'quisaas' law (the law of equality in punishment) sanctioned by Islam. Let us see what the Qur'aan says: "And if you should punish, then punish with the like of that with which you were afflicted. And if you exercise patience, then, certainly, that's better for the ones that are patient. And exercise patience! And your patience is not, but with Allah. And grieve not for them, and be not distressed because of what they conspire! Allah is indeed with those who fear Him and who do good deeds." [16.126 to 128]

Yes, Allah does permit retaliation - but only to the extent of the injury or hurt or loss etc. inflicted by the other party. And as regards the particular case under our study here, a section of Muslims may argue that since the USA has blatantly helped Israel in the latter's continued transgression and aggression, the Palestinians and the Arabs get the divine right to retaliate against the USA. To understand the divine right of retaliation properly, let us take one particular item of aggression. Israel has, with moral and material support from the USA, imputently occupied Arab territory. The Arabs therefore get the divine right to inflict a like punishment upon the USA. The like punishment would be to go and occupy USA territory! Could the Arabs do that!? They couldn't. They therefore ought to have exercised patience, and to have trust in Allah. The perpetrators of 9/11 didn't do that, but, instead, made illegal use of civilian property to destroy civilian property and to kill thousands of non-combatant civilians cruelly. They thus committed blatant disobedience of Allah's commandments contained in the above-quoted verses.

Some Muslims may yet argue that the USA had aided and abetted Israeli destruction of Arab property and cruel killings of thousands of Arab civilians, during the course of the illegal occupation of Arab land. 9/11 was just a retaliation of that destruction and killing.

But it is a fundamental principle of Islamic justice that 'no bearer of burdens shall bear another's burden' [Verses 35.18, 39.7, 53.38]. Under this principle, if A kills B's son, B can kill A, but not A's son. Likewise, if the USA Government has helped Israeli Government destroy Arab property and kill Arab civilians, the Arabs are theoretically entitled to the right to destroy equivalent USA/Israeli Government property and kill Government personnel responsible for the Arab losses. The Arabs are not entitled to destroy - as the perpetrators of 9/11 in fact did - civilian property and kill civilians of USA, and also of other nations, which were not involved at all in perpetrating the Arab losses.

Instead of resorting to the self-destructive terrorism, the Arabs, and the Muslims in general, would do well to heed divine advice: "And follow what has been revealed unto you, and be patient till Allah decrees. And He is the best of those who issue decrees." [10.109]

Mohammad Shafi
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Maryga
 
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Quote Maryga Replybullet Posted: 14 November 2005 at 7:39pm

Assalam-alaikum!

Good explanation brother. But do we know for sure who actually perpetrated S11? You may be right, but as there are so many theories of conspiracy and books written etc, Allah knows best. I completely agree with your reasoning. The kind of terrorism Muslims are resorting to is extremely shameful and misguided. The phenomenon of suicide bombings is spreading and I simply don't understand how such heinous acts are justified. These acts are bringing shame upon all Muslims and Islam is being frowned upon.

The leaders who instigate these acts would do well if they would only look at the numerous examples of nations that have come out of ruins and oppression. India with the largest population in the world gained independence in 1947 and within a little over 50 years is so highly industrialised and is forging ahead. Japan was destroyed during the second WW and now it is a top ranking nation. There are many such examples. It is education and hard work coupled with belief in Allah, faith and righteousness that gives results, not blaming others for ones poverty. It is high time Muslim nations took stock of their resources and put them to proper use.



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pauline35
 
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Quote pauline35 Replybullet Posted: 21 November 2005 at 8:10am
Hi! Mjaga,

I refer to :
It is pertinent here to reflect on the possible motivation of such attackers. Why do they undertake missions wherein they are almost certain to be killed?

In psychology study, there are three category of personality disorders such as cluster A, B and C. Approximately 1 percent of the population suffers from this disorder, the cluster C, especially the Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder which occurs more in men than in women. They are not very happy and don't quite know how to help themselves achieve happiness. Many people may have obsessive traits and function within the range of normal behavior without meriting the diagnosis of an "Obsessive-Compulsive disorder" or an "Obsessive-Compulsive personality disorder". Persons with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, in contrast, begin early in adulthood to be pre-occupied with orderliness, perfectionism and mental and interpersonal control, paying for this through a loss of flexibility, openness and efficiency. Only when something "threatens", does the seriousness of their disorder reveal itself. These people use the defense mechanisms of displacement, condensation and SYMBOLIZATION as well as isolation, reaction-formation and the mechanism of undoing.

Reseachers feel that these manifestations are frequently related to underlying conflicts about authority and external control and that the threatening impulses the person strives to keep under check are frequently hostile or sadistic ones. It have been suggested that the root conflict which such persons cannot consciously acknowledge is between being obedient and being defiant. It is an experience that rubs the psyche raw.

Also, they may suffer from Antisocial Personality Disorder. The prevalence for antisocial personality disorder is 3 percent for men and 1 percent for women. Although many theories attribute their lack of inner controls to the inability of these persons to make adequate attachments to their parents or to their lack of discipline and training early in life, the exact cause, or etiology, is really unknown.

This condition has been pondered and described for centuries and individuals suffering this personality disorder have been variously described as "moral imbeciles", "psychopaths", or "sociopaths". They live instead to meet their instinctual needs without making the needle jump on the seismograph of conscience, indeed without concern for its judgments or those levied by community standards. They persistently violate the laws, codes and common sense of interpersonal behavior and they keep on doing so even after they are caught, judged and severly punished. Their lives often end suddenly and tragically in murder, accidents or suicide.


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voiceoftawheed
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Quote voiceoftawheed Replybullet Posted: 21 November 2005 at 10:46am
'But it is a fundamental principle of Islamic justice that 'no bearer of burdens shall bear another's burden' [Verses 35.18, 39.7, 53.38]. Under this principle, if A kills B's son, B can kill A, but not A's son. Likewise, if the USA Government has helped Israeli Government destroy Arab property and kill Arab civilians, the Arabs are theoretically entitled to the right to destroy equivalent USA/Israeli Government property and kill Government personnel responsible for the Arab losses.'

If not all, but some Muslims should bear the right to retaliate according the permission of Holy Quran.

But I agree with you that:
'Instead of resorting to the self-destructive terrorism, the Arabs, and the Muslims in general, would do well to heed divine advice: "And follow what has been revealed unto you, and be patient till Allah decrees. And He is the best of those who issue decrees." [10.109]'

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Maryga
 
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Quote Maryga Replybullet Posted: 21 November 2005 at 4:01pm

 Voiceoftawaheed wrote: If not all, but some Muslims should bear the right to retaliate according the permission of Holy Quran.

Retaliate against whom? Directly against the perpetrators or against all and sundry where more often than not it is the innocent who is killed?

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Quote Skswsdom Replybullet Posted: 21 November 2005 at 11:02pm

In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful …

 

Whatever ye are given (here) is (but) a convenience of this life: but that which is with Allah is better and more lasting: (it is) for those who believe and put their trust in their Lord:

 

Those who avoid the greater crimes and shameful deeds, and, when they are angry even then forgive;

 

Those who hearken to their Lord, and establish regular Prayer; who (conduct) their affairs by mutual Consultation; who spend out of what We bestow on them for Sustenance;

 

And those who, when an oppressive wrong is inflicted on them, (are not cowed but) help and defend themselves.

 

The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree): but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah. for ((Allah)) loveth not those who do wrong.

 

But indeed if any do help and defend themselves after a wrong (done) to them, against such there is no cause of blame.

 

The blame is only against those who oppress men and wrong-doing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying right and justice: for such there will be a penalty grievous.

 

Surat  As-Shura The Council, The Consultation Versus 36-42

 

                 Salaamu Alaykum,  

 

I offer this by way of devil’s advocacy: People are not born terrorists ('insha Allah) but they are born desperate. Desperate people commit desperate acts. This is not a justification or an acceptance ... just a fact. They are, nevertheless, human beings, with all of the same wants, desires, goals, aspirations ... etc. As such, they are of a mind to accomplish those things I believe inherent in us all; to achieve some measure of peace in the world if not solace.

 

            Your statement that there exist universal rights and freedoms is true, but those rights are not necessarily Islamic nor do they apply equally to non-Muslims, far from it. I live in the United States of America; in this country, we have the right to choose. Yet, as human beings that choice is not necessarily governed by equal assumptions of morality. Everyone's morality, what is and is not acceptable is different and it is limiting if not wrong to assume that we can even begin to determine the freedoms of another without first examining our own. 

 

            We have the right to choose, for good or ill. If we are to call ourselves a just society, we must not impose our beliefs on others nor, of course, suffer those that impose them upon us.

 

            In the U.S., people believe in the freedom of speech, but can't yell fire in a crowded room. In this country, people believe in the right to choose, which includes the right to choose pornography due to freedom of the press. In this country, the freedom of expression is another right yet I don't believe we've evolved enough to let each other just be. My gist is this; I believe Freedom, true liberating Freedom comes at the cost of sacrifice, a sacrifice I believe too few of us want to make. I believe freedom should be governed by a consensual moral base grounded in, if not religion, then a philosophy that allows us those freedoms of speech, expression, and choice without limiting us to the whim of the mob. I believe true freedom takes strength and courage and must be challenged. It must not allow itself to be restricted, yet its constraints must be governed by something which we recognize as worthy, perhaps greater than ourselves; It is Hope for some, it may be necessity for others ... for me it's Allah Subhana wa T’Ala.

 

            This is why I choose not to hate. God and Hope don’t allow me the time.

 

            I've always considered myself fortunate to have been born in this country, having been raised in the tradition of there but for the grace of God go I. I do, however, realize that my fortune should not come at the expense of others, but through personal sacrifice and effort. Any one of us could have been born in Afghanistan, or Iraq, or Bosnia, or Herze'-Govinia, or Sarajevo, or Palestine or South Africa. There but for the grace of God go I. Next time you see the destruction on CNN you might want to consider this. Or maybe I'll hear another person say the typical kill 'em all let God sort 'em out. Dr. Phineas Johnson of the Berkeley School of Psychology fame said," ... He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man." I can't quite say that I'm comfortable with pain, but I'm uncomfortable with statements of the beast.

 

            A child is told what to question; a man questions what he is told. That's why I'm critical always and all ways. Case in point, there exists a disturbing tendency of many governments, including the US, to enact patterns of behavior that tend towards domination under the guise of freedom and human rights. The irony is this is the same method that terrorists use when they say they are implementing the Will of God when they falsely claim to serve the interest of Islam. Every zealot's anthem. Like Sotoyana the Indian Scholar said “... it is the fanatic that redoubles his efforts, all the while losing sight of his goal."

 

As far as bin Laden, he as well as the bulk of Afghanistan's rebel forces received training from my country, from sources provided by the War College off the Potomac River, across from the enlightened statue aptly and ironically name “The Awakening”. The CIA station chief of Afghanistan at the time was a gentleman by the name of Milt Bearden, who supplied contacts to weaponry, guerilla expertise and tactics and later personal assistance with the utilization of stinger missiles. By our own hand, they were given rudimentary intelligence, contacts, weapons etc, etc. Bin Laden, A prominent Saudi, established himself as a man of means willing to participate with the common man in accomplishing the goals of the rebellion against Russia. This gained him popular support amongst the Mujahidin and later the majority of the Afghani people. His reputation spread over the ten-year period of struggle. A rift ensued between the indigenous people who supported him, and the ousted official Afghani status quo. The genesis of the US problem started when the US supported him (bin Laden) AND the then current, if besieged, political structure (the king). This set up first a rivalry then an internal power struggle. Bin Laden was more charismatic, more influential and with his own resources succeeded, with support of his establish Taliban force, in ousting the king after thwarting several assassination attempts on his life ... in short bin Laden won. Bin Laden established the Taliban as the new government. The Taliban government asks the US for aid in solidifying their government, an ultra-conservative totalitarian state under the guise of Islam, and the US declines all but humanitarian aid. Feeling slighted, in part by the non-combatant Afghani people but mostly prejudicial towards the west (this due to the failure of the US to repatriate the rebels for their services against Russia), bin Laden decides “... I beat one superpower, I can beat another ...", or something to that effect. I believe his inspiration in this vein to be the Ayatollah Khomenei, from whose book he has taken many pages. He invites, recruits and trains terrorists across the globe. A fledgling construction company is his base of operations and it is this which becomes Al-Qaeda (literally The Base or The Foundation). From this, the goals of the Mujahidin change from a resistance group to a terrorist organization, seeing enemies everywhere in the world where western influence is present. For them the West is seen as a perversion, a cancer that must be rooted out, by force.

 

             The rest is unfortunately history.

 

              If we fail to follow the examples of history, we are doomed to repeat its failures. If we establish a pro US government in the Middle East, regardless of surrounding territories, ideologies, etc., we risk creating another Iran, another Syria (although the French did that one), another cold war Berlin ... another Israel.

 

            What I believe we should consider is the necessity to invite a World consensus, engender a universal mindset. There is an opportunity here to attempt a great experiment, albeit on the World stage, much like was done in the US with the founding fathers, not unlike Gandhi tried in India, not unlike what the Prophet Mohammed did not live to see in the Golden Age of Islam. A government will have to be established, yes, as governments are the communal and social vehicle for establishing law, economy and hopefully stability; the trick is the US should not and must not be the only ones to do it. Outside of this country, our popularity isn't the greatest, at least on the World stage, less so by individual opinion, more so engendered by the actions of this administration, other governments and the media. If we do this with the World's consent, we have the opportunity to change this. We have the capability and the technology. We even have precedents in the early Greek, Islamic and US history.

 

            We have the Will to Power. Do we have the will to implement it wisely? History, unfortunately, says no. The examples I've listed earlier and others I can provide show this. To do what I feel we must do, we must look beyond history, beyond its prejudices, convictions and emotion and try to achieve something we've never really attempted.  I don’t fear the days ahead. Having been in the Middle East I can understand the sentiments of some of my brothers, even if I can’t forgive them yet. I pray to God that I am forgiven this. The above notwithstanding, I didn’t become a Muslim because of a political agenda, or for a love of the Arab culture or because it was the black thing to do. ‘Insha Allah, I became a Muslim because I asked myself, what does God want? I pray that there are people in the world that believe as I and realize what it is God does want. Time will tell.

 

For you and yours, may Allah be with you and all my love.

               

 

We have a Destiny to fulfill and not a Fate to suffer ... A Salaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatu wa Bihamdihi
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Quote Maryga Replybullet Posted: 22 November 2005 at 6:22pm

Skswsdom wrote:  What I believe we should consider is the necessity to invite a World consensus, engender a universal mindset. There is an opportunity here to attempt a great experiment, albeit on the World stage, much like was done in the US with the founding fathers, not unlike Gandhi tried in India, not unlike what the Prophet Mohammed did not live to see in the Golden Age of Islam. A government will have to be established, yes, as governments are the communal and social vehicle for establishing law, economy and hopefully stability; the trick is the US should not and must not be the only ones to do it. Outside of this country, our popularity isn't the greatest, at least on the World stage, less so by individual opinion, more so engendered by the actions of this administration, other governments and the media. If we do this with the World's consent, we have the opportunity to change this. We have the capability and the technology. We even have precedents in the early Greek, Islamic and US history.

I am not sure if my understanding of what you have said is clear. Can you please expound. If we are talking about the Middle Eastern nations are you proposing something on the lines of the EU? I completely agree about what you have said regarding your country, though.

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Quote pauline35 Replybullet Posted: 26 November 2005 at 7:59pm
Me too, Maryga, I agreed with you. The United States of America is a super power. However, they need not police around the world. What's worst is that America used to be a free country with proper legislation; today America is worst than any other countries in the world especially after September 11. Had the Bush family not won the election, the September 11 attack may not have had happened!

The episode of "no freedom" is now imposed in America States. I used to go out of States with my check-in suitcase locked and secured. Today I have to unlock my suitcase and the ground security officer will search my bag without my presence. In any event, they may easily plant some bombs or any foreign object in my suitcase before checking it in the cargo. I have no chance at all to look through my suitcase after they searched it.

Now brother Skswsdom, how is America now still allowing FREEDOM? The ground security officer at the airport did not even allow me to look at them searching my bag. And this is what is American called FAIR AND FREE? I see it is the most racist country in the world. Look at how the President treated the Katrina Hurricane's victims especially majority of them is Black. What will be the reaction of the President if majority of them is White and Jews?

You may be lucky because you feel lucky for now as there is nothing happened to you yet. You won't be able to judge now as the future in store for you is unpredictable.

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