The Islamic Post Blog


Mumbai Massacre: All Should Cease Becoming Pawns of Extremist Elements by Khalida
January 2, 2009, 7:49 am
Filed under: January Volume I- 2009, World | Tags: ,

By Raheemah Atif

Islamic Post Staff Writer

Along with other organizations and peace ministries, Muslims of the Americas and the International Quranic Open University decry the murderous attacks which took place in Mumbai, and petition the governments of India and Pakistan to continue exercising diplomacy and a demeanor of forbearance and dignity in refraining from inflammatory accusations or taking premature or misdirected reprisals, and to remain firm in the pursuit of all facts. The role of the media must also be underscored in its crucial obligation to provide truthful and objective information to the public. In the instance of the Mumbai attacks, inflammatory press reports flared, citing unconfirmed, unproven accounts and statements that could easily be taken as indictments of individuals who have not yet been officially connected to the crimes.
The Islamic Post endeavours instead to present an accurate depiction of the extremism adopted by criminals, highlighting those who adopt and cloak the name of Muslims. It will be emphasized as much as it needs to be in order to clarify beyond any doubt: Islam is a religion, civilization, and culture of peace, justice, understanding and broad-mindedness. Nowhere in Islamic tenets are its adherents, Muslims, taught to bomb, kill and maim innocents to make some obscure political or social point. Although Muslims are allowed to defend themselves, we are a civilization of tolerant peoples, with no need for revolutionaries, rebels or bandits within our midst.
Yet current affairs seem to disagree. It was all too recent that Mumbai, India suffered the shock of bloodshed. Not much time has passed since yet another group of extremists, ignorant of their religion and culture, engaged in three day “battle” with authorities, inside a hundred-year old landmark, built in honor of an Islamic shrine, the Taj Mahal.
Although the purpose of the killing of innocents remains outside the grasp of understanding of truly religious peoples, one thing was clearly achieved: Besides launching the families of the victims into unending grief and every day Muslims behind a bulls-eye of blame, the peace talks between India and Pakistan were also disrupted.
More than sixty representatives and officials of Indian and Pakistani organizations and peace ministries came to the same conclusion in a joint statement released to the press on December 2. While expressing horror and shock at the maniacal violence and bloodshed, along with sincere condolences to the families, the coalition wondered at the timing of the attacks as more than simple coincidence. The massacre occurred just as the home secretaries of Pakistan and India concluded very productive peace talks, which included inroads to ease trade and travel restrictions as well as positive dialog on other important issues. But the fatal hand struck. “The enemies of peace and friendship between (our) two countries, whatever be the label under which they operate, are unnerved by these healthy developments and are hell bent on torpedoing them,” the statement declared. In short, the Mumbai violence superimposed the ugliness of criminal acts upon an international landscape colored with new intentions for peace.
But peace is not a consideration for those who employ terror to ‘shake up the consciousness’ of others. It is a faulty argument, indeed, and found nowhere in Islam. It is the duty of Muslims worldwide to make this fact well known.
One person who does this consistently is Stephen Suleiman Schwartz, the prominent Muslim historian on Wahhabism, author of Two Faces of Islam and founder of the Center for Islamic Pluralism in Washington, D.C. Mr. Schwartz, a Muslim convert with both Christian and Jewish ancestry, has written extensively on the origins of Wahhabis and their goals to “reform” a peaceful religion into an intolerant one, the pursuit of which has resulted in the murder and oppression of hundreds of thousands of mainstream Muslims, true scholars, and descendants of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad, who are the guides of this ummah –or worldwide Islamic community, peace be upon them. A quote from Mr. Schwartz in a Middle East Forum briefing called “Saudi Arabia and the Rise of the Wahhabi Threat,” published in February 2003, reads:
“Contrary to prevalent Western beliefs, Wahhabism is not an old Islamic tradition and the House of Saud does not enjoy a credible historic claim to rule over Arabia. Indeed, Wahhabism emerged only 250 years ago under the guidance of an obscure fanatic known as Muhammad Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab who later formed an alliance with a group of desert bandits, the Sauds. From the time they established their covenant to the creation of the modern Saudi state, the Saudi-Wahhabi movement spread across the peninsula brutally defeating and enslaving non-Wahhabi elements. […]
“The theological and political pact between the Saud clan and the Wahhabists resulted in the fall of Mecca [out of Ottoman rule] for the second and last time in 1924, solidifying their grip on power. After the conquest of Mecca, the vast oil wealth of the kingdom would be used to export a radical Wahhabist ideology across the globe.”
Clearly the aims of this ideology do not cease with the murder of Muslims. These extremists, as with all fanatics, are mere pawns in a Satanic plot. The objective in this case is to create between the adherents to truly pluralistic and strongly religious populations, particularly between Muslims and Christians, which have much in common, and hold the largest religious populations in the world. .
People who have been misled by Wahhabist indoctrination should reflect on what Ibn Abbas, the honorable cousin of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (may the peace of Allah be upon him and his family), said regarding that which is found in Surah Maidah in Holy Qur’an regarding murder: “Whoever kills one soul that Allah has forbidden killing, is just like he who kills all mankind.”

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