Qasim Rashid is an attorney, author of Extremist, and national spokesperson for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA.
An understanding of true Islam can help stop terrorist acts
This week’s Brussels attacks—like those in Ankara over the weekend, Paris in November and Kenya last April—are a scourge on humanity. They also represent the greatest possible misrepresentation of true Islam.
ISIS extremists and anti-Islam activists fundamentally ignore and misrepresent the Qur’an. It should come as no surprise that after suffering beatings for nearly a year as a ISIS hostage, freed French journalist Didier Francois reported:
There was never really discussion about texts or — it was not a religious discussion. It was a political discussion. It was more hammering what they were believing than teaching us about the Qur’an. Because it has nothing to do with the Qur’an. We didn’t even have the Qur’an; they didn’t want even to give us a Qur’an.
The Qur’an presents the most humanitarian and advanced rules of war that the world has ever known. Yet extremists and anti-Islam activists resort to cherry picking and censorship.
For example, extremists and anti-Islam activists often argue the “progression theory”—which suggests that because the Qur’an begins with peaceful verses and apparently ends with violent verses, Muslims, therefore “progressively” become violent to their neighbors. Unfortunately, this bizarre theory finds no merit either in the Qur’an or in Prophet Muhammad’s practical example.
During the first dozen years of Prophet Muhammad’s ministry in Mecca, Muslims faced brutal persecution, boycott and murder at the hands of Meccan society and government. Muhammad forbade any form of violence or retaliation—even in self-defense. Instead, he ordered Muslims to maintain patience and dialogue or to leave Mecca.