What do you think about the tragedy of September 11 and the consequent attempt of associating other terrorist attacks in the world with the religion of Islam?

A Muslim cannot be a terrorist; a terrorist cannot be a real Muslim

Islam is a religion of tolerance; it regards Islam as the most valuable being; it regards transgressions and attacks against innocent people as major sins.  As a matter of fact, the Quranic verse that we have mentioned declares it loudly:

‘If anyone slew a person― unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land― it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our Messengers with clear Signs, yet even after that many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.’ (5: 32).

In fact, a Muslim serves to life only not to death. Therefore, we must never forget two basic principles of law that Islam has imposed:

The first one:The Quranic verse: No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another’ (6: 164). That is, another man cannot be punished because of a murderer. In law, crimes and punishments are personal.

The second one: one is considered innocent until proven guilty. That is, nobody can be accused unless they are proved to be guilty. It is not regarded as justice to punish somebody without evidence.  A person is regarded as innocent unless he is proved to be guilty. The following is reported from Hazrat Prophet: ‘A believer can protect himself within the frame of the religion unless he kills an innocent person illegitimately.’

Lexically, Islam means peace. This shows that the real peace of the body and the mind can only be possible through obeying Allah and surrendering to Him. A Muslim becomes a perfect Muslim only if he lives in peace and harmony in the community. A life in obedience to Allah and worshipping Him will bring about heart satisfaction and real peace will be achieved in the community. ( 13:28-29).

All of the prophets of Allah conveyed people that truth when they called people to the right path. It is necessary to remind the following hadith of the Prophet here: There are three things which are principal elements including belief: to help people even when one is in economic difficulty; to pray for the peace of the mankind enthusiastically; to treat people justly as he wants himself to be treated justly.

Hazrat Prophet also said:

People are like a herd; each member of this herd should be like the guard and shepherd of the other members and should undertake the responsibility of the whole herd.’

‘Live together; ally with each other; do not conflict; make things easy; do not hamper each other and do not cause difficulties to each other.’

‘A person who sleeps at night with a full stomach while his neighbors are hungry is not a real believer.’

‘A Muslim is person who believes in Allah and who does not harm the lives and properties of others.’

To sum up, Islam does not neglect the individuals or the community. In fact, it aims to maintain harmony and equilibrium between them. The message of Islam is for the whole mankind. According to Islam, Allahis the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds ( 1:1). Hazrat Prophet is a messenger sent to the whole mankind. ‘O men! I am sent unto you all, as the Messenger of Allah “ (7: 158). ‘We sent thee not, but as a mercy for all creatures.” (21: 107).

In Islam, all people are regarded equal irrespective of their color, language, race or country. We cannot deny, in the age that is called the age of enlightenment today, that there are still obstacles, discriminations and differential treatments among people due to the reasons we have mentioned. Islam eliminates all of those discriminations and privileges, and declares to the world that everybody is equal due to the fact that they are all the creatures of Allah.  Islam has a real international standpoint; it rejects privileges based on color, clans, race, blood and territory. We condemn all kinds of attacks against mankind. We feel sorry for all kinds of transgressions that target innocent people. Islam prohibits the massacres in which innocent people are killed along with the oppressors. According to Islam, no one can be held responsible for the mistakes of others.

Islam never allows innocent and unprotected people to be killed. If those massacres are committed by some Muslim individuals as the biased media claim, we will declare those oppressors as criminals and sinners on behalf of Islam. We want to emphasize that it is absolutely necessary to punish the oppressors in a deterrent way without making any discriminations in terms of religion, race and gender.

When we face those events, we must not forget about this truth as states and individuals: If you were on a ship or in a house and there were nine innocent people and one murderer with you, you would definitely know how cruel a man who wanted to sink that ship or burn down that house would be. You would shout to make everybody hear about his cruelty. Even if there were only one innocent person and nine murderers, it would be against justice to sink that ship or to burn down that house. The same thing is valid for these kinds of events, too. We condemn these bloody and remorseless deeds and want to remind everybody that it is more dangerous to do similar deeds.

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