Islam stands for peace, harmony and understanding. It does not preach hatred or condones acts of violence. Unfortunately the message of Islam has been distorted by the enemies of Islam.
The word “Islam” in addition to meaning submission (to God) is derived from the Arabic word “Salam” (peace). The Muslims greet others by saying ‘Salam’.
The Quran says 4913) “0 People, we created you from the same male and female, and gave you a distinct identity so that you may recognise one another. The best among you in the eyes of God is the ‘mightious person.’”
Islam advocates freedom, peace and mutual agreement and admonishes aggression. (Quran 567)…. And do not aggress; God dislikes the aggressors. (Quran 7 199) you shall resort to pardon, advocate tolerance, and disregard the ignorant. The relations of Muslims with others are based primarily on peace, mutual respect and trust. The theme in the Quran is peace as long as there is no oppression or injustice that cannot be resolved by peaceful means.
Islam forbids the killing of innocent people, irrespective of the causes, religious, political or social beliefs. (Quran 6 151) “….You shall not kill anyone. God has made life sacred-except in the course of justice. These are His commandments to you that you may understand.
The laws of the previous scriptures that applied to earlier generations are repeated and emphasised for the Muslims in the Quran. Muslims are commanded to follow such laws. The Quran reiterates, “… we decreed for the children of Israel that anyone who murders any person who had not committed murder or horrendous crimes, it shall be as if he has murdered all the people. And anyone who spares a life shall be as if he spared the lives of all human beings.
Islam condemns the killing or even the persecution of people merely because they embrace a different religion. The Quran mandates absolute freedom of religion in society. It does not allow Muslims to fight except in self-defence and to enforce peace. It does not allow restrictions on those who disagree on religions matters. It urges the Muslims to treat such people kindly and equitably. (Quran 2:256).
“There shall be no compulsion in religion….” (Quran 60 8) “God does not enjoin you from befriending those who do not evict you from your homes. You may befriend them and be equitable towards them. God loves the equitable.” (Quran 861) “If they resort to peace, so shall you and put your trust in God. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient.” (Quran 490) “… Therefore, if they leave you alone, refrain from fighting you and offer you peace, then God gives you no excuse to fight them.”
Regrettably, many terrorist groups have used the name of Islam to promote their cause. This gave many non-Muslims an opportunity to label the Muslims as terrorists deliberately ignoring the fact that there are many terrorists who happen to be non-Muslims. This does not make these laws evil but rather brings to light the evil nature of the criminals.
Terrorism is an act of violence committed by people belonging to all religions. Terrorists who happened to be non-Muslims raised their religious beliefs to claim legitimacy for the violence and terrorism that they commit on thousands of men, women, and children in attempts to achieve special interests – political, social or religious. Those who do not comprehend Islam and those who have an interest in distorting the truth about Islam have been trying to make terrorism synonymous to Islam.A mistaken notion has been common in the western media. Several groups have used terrorism to implement their own agenda, issues or beliefs. None of them represent true religion. Attacks on civilians around the world by such groups cannot be justified by any religion. It is strongly condemned in all religions including Islam as clarified by the words of God in the Quran, and the final Testament.
Some terrorist groups which massacre innocent people consider themselves as martyrs. Those who kill the innocent people in the name of their religion or in the name of God and who consider themselves as martyrs should think twice. Their act is strongly condemned by God in the verses of the Quran. These people are disobeying God’s commandments and the truth in the Quran. Instead they blindly follow the views of their corrupt leaders and ill-informed scholars. Quran is very clear on this issue the believers must defend themselves but never aggress. It is true that Islam advocates use of strength to secure peace, but never to aggress unless aggressed upon. God of the Muslims is the same as is God of the Jews and the Christians and all the other religions. God does not permit any group to kill innocent people belonging to other religions. The blame lies with the terrorists and not the religion they claim to follow. Not everyone who calls himself a Muslim is a Muslim as much as not everyone who thinks of himself as a Jew or a Christian is one. Islam should not be confused with what the so-called Muslims have done. They actually, by the definition of the Quran, are not Muslims in true sense of the term. We should not let our emotions overcome logic and understanding.