Adjective to terrorism

Enough has been written about the Mumbai blasts and I do not want to write yet another ceremonial condemnation. This piece is not about the Mumbai blasts.

Many muslims are uncomfortable with the term ‘Islamic Terrorism’. In this blog itself, I had a visitor who objected to my using this term.

Some schools say terrorism has no language, religion or nationality. This school suits our secular media and the politicos. They say that terrorists who kill in the name of religion do not understand the religious teachings and hence the religion itself cannot be blamed for the deeds of a few misled youth. The term ‘Jihad’ means totally different and the extremists misunderstand this word.

Here’s what I feel. I refute the claim made by our politicos and media. Terrorism indeed has a religion when the religion itself is used as the cause for their actions. And it is especially applicable for the Al-Ummas, Al-Quedas and various outfits. They use religion and religious teachings to justify every one of their actions. And more often than not, they are correct. When Taliban banned music in Afghanistan, people raised their eyebrows. I myself was surprised and questions whether Islam is against music. Later, I read a few essays that elaborately discussed some aspects of Islam that indeed banned using musical instruments. Bernard Lewis, a noted historian and an expert on Middle East, quotes that in an Islamic society, non-muslims should be made to pay a special tax. Precisely what Aurangzeb, the Mogul emperor did to Hindus. Though these clauses can be interpreted differently, one can’t deny that what Taliban or Aurangzeb did also was one form of interpretation.
Ditto with the term Jihad.

These terrorists use Islam as the means and cause for their fight. Those whom they fight against are called ‘Kafirs’, the unbelievers. And they claim that, when they succeed, they will install a ‘pure’ islamic society. That’s what happened in Afghanistan, in Iran, Bangaladesh, and currently, in Somalia. Even the extremists in
Kahsmir often ‘instruct’ their women to wear veil, or pass a fatwa or two.

I feel the Islamic society cannot go on deny the fact that these terrorists come from ‘elsewhere’. A mere scoff at the term ‘Islamic Terrorism’ is not going to solve problems when every one of their community breeds organisations such as Al Jihad, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi or Jaish-e-Mohammed. I’m particularly curious about the last name. The entire Islamic community erupted in anger when Prophet Mohammed was depicted in a cartoon. But the same Prophet’s name is being used to kill innocent people and I haven’t heard the Islamic community object to that.

The moderates within the community must direct their anger at the small group of people who ruin their reputation. Any modern and reforming government in an Islamic nation gets booted out. The moderates and the majority must ask questions. They must ask why no Islamic country could show successful democracy, does not have a home-grown terrorist outfit or is not secular. When Nepal could turn secular when democracy is enforced, when the Federal Government in US can use ‘Happy Holidays’ instead of ‘Merry Christmas’ (much to many ridicule), why is it difficult for a single Islamic Nation to become or remain secular. Even the Secular Republic of Pakistan has turned an Islamic Republic.

In a magazine, post-Mumbai blasts, a muslim said that he struggles to overcome the look of suspicion when people see his beard or the rozen expression that engulfs when they hear his name. The moderates have a resposibility towards this gentleman.

And a billion other innocent Moselmans the world over.