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    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 5, 2004
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      Why are most of the Muslims fundamentalists and terrorists?


      This question is often hurled at Muslims, either directly or
      indirectly, during any discussion on religion or world affairs.
      Muslim stereotypes are perpetuated in every form of the media
      accompanied by gross misinformation about Islam and Muslims. In
      fact, such misinformation and false propaganda often leads to
      discrimination and acts of violence against Muslims. A case in point
      is the anti-Muslim campaign in the American media following the
      Oklahoma bomb blast, where the press was quick to declare a `Middle
      Eastern conspiracy' behind the attack. The culprit was later
      identified as a soldier from the American Armed Forces.

      Let us analyze this allegation of `fundamentalism' and `terrorism':

      1. Definition of the word `fundamentalist'

      A fundamentalist is a person who follows and adheres to the
      fundamentals of the doctrine or theory he is following. For a person
      to be a good doctor, he should know, follow, and practise the
      fundamentals of medicine. In other words, he should be a
      fundamentalist in the field of medicine. For a person to be a good
      mathematician, he should know, follow and practise the fundamentals
      of mathematics. He should be a fundamentalist in the field of
      mathematics. For a person to be a good scientist, he should know,
      follow and practise the fundamentals of science. He should be a
      fundamentalist in the field of science.

      2. Not all `fundamentalists' are the same

      One cannot paint all fundamentalists with the same brush. One cannot
      categorize all fundamentalists as either good or bad. Such a
      categorization of any fund amentalist will depend upon the field or
      activity in which he is a fundamentalist. A fundamentalist robber or
      thief causes harm to society and is therefore undesirable. A
      fundamentalist doctor, on the other hand, benefits society and earns
      much respect.

      3. I am proud to be a Muslim fundamentalist

      I am a fundamentalist Muslim who, by the grace of Allah, knows,
      follows and strives to practise the fundamentals of Islam. A true
      Muslim does not shy away from being a fundamentalist. I am proud to
      be a fundamentalist Muslim because, I know that the fundamentals of
      Islam are beneficial to humanity and the whole world. There is not a
      single fundamental of Islam that causes harm or is against the
      interests of the human race as a whole. Many people harbour
      misconceptions about Islam and consider several teachings of Islam
      to be unfair or improper. This is due to insufficient and incorrect
      knowledge of Islam. If one critically analyzes the teachings of
      Islam with an open mind, one cannot escape the fact that Islam is
      full of benefits both at the individual and collective levels.

      4. Dictionary meaning of the word `fundamentalist'

      According to Webster's dictionary `fundamentalism' was a movement in
      American Protestanism that arose in the earlier part of the 20th
      century. It was a reaction to modernism, and stressed the
      infallibility of the Bible, not only in matters of faith and morals
      but also as a literal historical record. It stressed on belief in
      the Bible as the literal word of God. Thus fundamentalism was a word
      initially used for a group of Christians who believed that the Bible
      was the verbatim word of God without any errors and mistakes.

      According to the Oxford dictionary `fundamentalism' means `strict
      maintenance of ancient or fundamental doctrines of any religion,
      especially Islam'.

      Today the moment a person uses the word fundamentalist he thinks of
      a Muslim who is a terrorist.

      5. Every Muslim should be a terrorist

      Every Muslim should be a terrorist. A terrorist is a person who
      causes terror. The moment a robber sees a policeman he is terrified.
      A policeman is a terrorist for the robber. Similarly every Muslim
      should be a terrorist for the antisocial elements of society, such
      as thieves, dacoits and rapists. Whenever such an anti-social
      element sees a Muslim, he should be terrified. It is true that the
      word `terrorist' is generally used for a person who causes terror
      among the common people. But a true Muslim should only be a
      terrorist to selective people i.e. anti-social elements, and not to
      the common innocent people. In fact a Muslim should be a source of
      peace for innocent people.

      6. Different labels given to the same individual for the same
      action, i.e. `terrorist' and `patriot'

      Before India achieved independence from British rule, some freedom
      fighters of India who did not subscribe to non-violence were labeled
      as terrorists by the British government. The same individuals have
      been lauded by Indians for the same activities and hailed
      as `patriots'. Thus two different labels have been given to the same
      people for the same set of actions. One is calling him a terrorist
      while the other is calling him a patriot. Those who believed that
      Britain had a right to rule over India called these people
      terrorists, while those who were of the view that Britain had no
      right to rule India called them patriots and freedom fighters.

      It is therefore important that before a person is judged, he is
      given a fair hearing. Both sides of the argument should be heard,
      the situation should be analyzed, and the reason and the intention
      of the person should be taken into account, and then the person can
      be judged accordingly.

      7. Islam means peace

      Islam is derived from the word `salaam' which means peace. It is a
      religion of peace whose fundamentals teach its followers to maintain
      and promote peace throughout the world.

      Thus every Muslim should be a fundamentalist i.e. he should follow
      the fundamentals of the Religion of Peace: Islam. He should be a
      terrorist only towards the antisocial elements in order to promote
      peace and justice in the society.



      How can Islam be called the religion of peace when it was spread by
      the sword?


      It is a common complaint among some non-Muslims that Islam would not
      have millions of adherents all over the world, if it had not been
      spread by the use of force. The following points will make it clear,
      that far from being spread by the sword, it was the inherent force
      of truth, reason and logic that was responsible for the rapid spread
      of Islam.

      1. Islam means peace.

      Islam comes from the root word `salaam', which means peace. It also
      means submitting one's will to Allah (swt). Thus Islam is a religion
      of peace, which is acquired by submitting one's will to the will of
      the Supreme Creator, Allah (swt).

      2. Sometimes force has to be used to maintain peace.

      Each and every human being in this world is not in favour of
      maintaining peace and harmony. There are many, who would disrupt it
      for their own vested interests. Sometimes force has to be used to
      maintain peace. It is precisely for this reason that we have the
      police who use force against criminals and anti-social elements to
      maintain peace in the country. Islam promotes peace. At the same
      time, Islam exhorts it followers to fight where there is oppression.
      The fight against oppression may, at times, require the use of
      force. In Islam force can only be used to promote peace and justice.

      3. Opinion of historian De Lacy O'Leary.

      The best reply to the misconception that Islam was spread by the
      sword is given by the noted historian De Lacy O'Leary in the
      book 'Islam at the cross road' (Page 8):

      'History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical
      Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of
      the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically
      absurd myth that historians have ever repeated.'

      4. Muslims ruled Spain for 800 years.

      Muslims ruled Spain for about 800 years. The Muslims in Spain never
      used the sword to force the people to convert. Later the Christian
      Crusaders came to Spain and wiped out the Muslims. There was not a
      single Muslim in Spain who could openly give the adhan, that is the
      call for prayers.

      5. 14 million Arabs are Coptic Christians.

      Muslims were the lords of Arabia for 1400 years. For a few years the
      British ruled, and for a few years the French ruled. Overall, the
      Muslims ruled Arabia for 1400 years. Yet today, there are 14 million
      Arabs who are Coptic Christians i.e. Christians since generations.
      If the Muslims had used the sword there would not have been a single
      Arab who would have remained a Christian.

      6. More than 80% non-Muslims in India.

      The Muslims ruled India for about a thousand years. If they wanted,
      they had the power of converting each and every non-Muslim of India
      to Islam. Today more than 80% of the population of India are non-
      Muslims. All these non-Muslim Indians are bearing witness today that
      Islam was not spread by the sword.

      7. Indonesia and Malaysia.

      Indonesia is a country that has the maximum number of Muslims in the
      world. The majority of people in Malaysia are Muslims. May one
      ask, 'Which Muslim army went to Indonesia and Malaysia?'

      8. East Coast of Africa.

      Similarly, Islam has spread rapidly on the East Coast of Africa. One
      may again ask, if Islam was spread by the sword, 'Which Muslim army
      went to the East Coast of Africa?'

      9. Thomas Carlyle.

      The famous historian, Thomas Carlyle, in his book 'Heroes and Hero
      worship', refers to this misconception about the spread of
      Islam: 'The sword indeed, but where will you get your sword? Every
      new opinion, at its starting is precisely in a minority of one. In
      one man's head alone. There it dwells as yet. One man alone of the
      whole world believes it, there is one man against all men. That he
      takes a sword and try to propagate with that, will do little for
      him. You must get your sword! On the whole, a thing will propagate
      itself as it can.'

      10. No compulsion in religion.

      With which sword was Islam spread? Even if Muslims had it they could
      not use it to spread Islam because the Qur'an says in the following

      'Let there be no compulsion in religion:
      Truth stands out clear from error'
      [Al-Qur'an 2:256]

      11. Sword of the Intellect.

      It is the sword of intellect. The sword that conquers the hearts and
      minds of people. The Qur'an says in Surah Nahl, chapter 16 verse

      'Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord
      with wisdom and beautiful preaching;
      and argue with them in ways that are
      best and most gracious.'
      [Al-Qur'an 16:125]

      12. Increase in the world religions from 1934 to 1984.

      An article in Reader's Digest `Almanac', year book 1986, gave the
      statistics of the increase of percentage of the major religions of
      the world in half a century from 1934 to 1984. This article also
      appeared in `The Plain Truth' magazine. At the top was Islam, which
      increased by 235%, and Christianity had increased only by 47%. May
      one ask, which war took place in this century which converted
      millions of people to Islam?

      13. Islam is the fastest growing religion in America and Europe.

      Today the fastest growing religion in America is Islam. The fastest
      growing religion in Europe in Islam. Which sword is forcing people
      in the West to accept Islam in such large numbers?

      14. Dr. Joseph Adam Pearson.

      Dr. Joseph Adam Pearson rightly says, 'People who worry that nuclear
      weaponry will one day fall in the hands of the Arabs, fail to
      realize that the Islamic bomb has been dropped already, it fell the
      day MUHAMMED (pbuh) was born'
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