Before one can begin to take a stand on “Islam” and “Terrorism”, it is significant to understand the enomity of these two divergent terms, albeit we have to agree that these two terms have become inextricably interwoven in this zeitgeist, and the media has contributed enomoursly to the complexity of trying to understand the nature of the problem, but it is only fair for one to understand Islam’s stance on terrorism and inorder to do this one must refer to its original sources, the Quran and Hadiths (the teachings of Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him) which are explicit in their prohibition of any form of injustice and skull duggery including that of wanton violence which seeks to instill fear, injury or death to (innocent) civilians.
On that account the Quran clearly states in chapter 5 verse 32 that: “We ordained for the Children of Israel (Believers) that if any one slay a person – (unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land) – it would be as if he slayed the whole mankind: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole mankind” , the verse did not specify “Muslim” or “Christian” but Mankind, that is to say Allah (God) does not take delight in transgression against one another irrespective of Religion, Race or Ethnicity. Another verse reveals: “Whether We shall show thee (within thy life-time) part of what we promised them or take to ourselves thy soul (before it is all accomplished), – thy duty is to make (the Message) reach them: it is Our part to call them to account. Q 13:40
But if they turn away, thy duty is only to preach the clear Message. There are several verses that aligns to the above like: Q 88: 21-22, Q 17:54, Q:24:54 and so many others. These verses clearly points out that as a Muslim, it is only your duty to preach and remind and not to compel or coerce anyone to adopt your religion either by violence or by subjecting them to hypocritical kindness.
Another verse goes on to explain that if Allah so wish, He would have made the world one religion, but it is His will for us to be created this way. Q 10: 99-100
The reason for providing the background information here is to enable us come to grip with the sophisticated nature of the problem and understand what we are dealing with, it is also believed that this should help whoever that believes in the synonymity of these two morally opposite concepts to clear up their vague assertions.
First and foremost, it is very necessary to note that Islam is not a religion of sects, it is a religion that seeks to regulate lives from which values can be derived. Islam as a word means “peace” and Muslims are expected to uphold this virtue in all aspects of life, on that note we can clearly assert that the brutal killings and attacks on the lives and properties of innocent people in the northern part of Nigeria under the guise of Islam is unIslamic, unjustifiable, UnGodly and barbaric.
This sect tagged “Boko Haram” which literarily translates into “western education is a sin” have disguised political themes under the auspices of religion, they have come to cause mayhem and shake the very core of our economy and society, perpetrating all sorts of immoral acts claiming a propagandized war against Western Education and Christians of which a meticulous approach of the subject reveals that their cowardly acts are aimed at intimidating, dividing and causing despondency among Nigerians. It makes it very important for us to point out the several incontestable facts that these acts of cruelty is not justified by Islam and neither is it a northern course. One of the prayers of any true Muslim is written in Quran 20 Verse 114:”My Lord! Enrich me with knowledge. How is it that the same religion that ordained us to pray for knowledge counters its own self by telling us “Western Knowledge or Education is a sin”? of course there is an obvious contradiction here. One of the Hadiths of the Holy Prophet states “Wisdom and knowledge are things that the believer lacks. He should take them “wherever” he finds them.”(Tirmidhi, Al-Ilm) futhermore, the pursuit of knowledge and the use of reason, based on sense and observation is made obligatory on all believers because Islam is a religion that encourages research and constant acquisition of knowledge for us to fit into the society. However Islam only limits us on using our acquired knowledge for the good of humanity and to fulfil our salvation to our creator.
If Islam is against acquiring western Knowledge then one should sight examples of foremost Islamic scientists in the 14th century who colored the European civilization at a time when Europe was considered a dark continent: Muhammad Ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi considered in some cases to be the father of Algebra, Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Kathīr al-Farghānī who was said to be involved in measuring the diameter of the earth, these are few amongst many. To further crown this point, In this zeitgeist one of the most renown Islamic Orator in the world, Doctor Zakir Naik is a surgeon, sighting more examples from the north where this group of people claim to hail from, we have Prof. Attahiru Jega (Political Science), Prof. Ruqayatu Rufai (Education), Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha (pharmacy), Professor Sheikh Dangi (Accounting), Prof. Ango Abdullahi not to mention those in politics: Aminu Tambuwal (Law), Mallam Nasir El-Rufai (Quantity Survey, Law and Public Admin), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu (Law), Sanusi Lamido (Economics), Shamsudeen Usman (Economics) and not forgetting Mrs Aloma Maryam Mukhtar (Law). All these men and women of accolades are popular not for proclaiming Islamic Knowledge alone but for excelling in western education mostly from northern universities and standing in mainstream politics.
Let us also bring to our cognizance that Kaduna State alone houses Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State University, Kaduna State Polytechnic, Nuhu Bamali Polytechnic, College of Aviation, National Institute of Transport Technology amongst many and as far as education is concerned , these institutions are renowned for conventional education. If Boko was Haram, then how did all these institutions find their way to the north?.
The Governor of Kano, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has recently thrown it to the world that “Boko is not Haram” by introducing a free education project for the people of the state from the primary to tertiary level and it is important to note that this form of education is not only Islamic but conventional having realised that if we don’t educate ourselves, how do we understand that the bloody and tyrannous killings cloaked as Jihad is unIslamic and outdated and now is the era of contemporary Jihad that requires intellects and verbal jousting.
More so, the “heroic” acts of Boko Haram and Shekau will not in anyway contribute to a religion that has already been in existence for centuries and stood through the worst moments, his actions are as hysterical as trying to make an ocean sugary, He is only making the Islamophobia grow stronger amongst the ignorant and It is also glaring that some politicians use this as a bludgeoning point to serve their selfish interests and paint the image of Islam wrongly, while others focus on using terror as a profit making enterprise.
While the Media serves the news to the permeable minds of the ignorant, one cannot debunk the fact that radicalised muslims have been used to perpetrate heinous acts, but from a vantage point, radicalisation is a human thing and not a religious programming as it is often percieved. We can’t keep Judging religions by its followers just like we can’t Judge a car by its driver. If a driver knocks someone down with a car who will you blame, the car or the driver?
Nigerians should also know that these Terrorists view us all as Nigerians and worthy targets and they don’t discriminate. Our divisions will do nothing but reduce our bargaining power for a better country from our leaders because we speak in divided religious and ethnic voices.
At this juncture It is suffice to quote the President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan in which he clearly stated that “Boko Haram killings have no link with religion” on that note we seperate Islam from this cowardly act of destruction.
I’m a Muslim, I’m not a terrorist and I don’t support terrorism.