August 2017

Your cause and actions are galaxies away from Islam.

You don’t represent Muslims, anywhere.

By Siddiq Bazarwala

I am not sure where to begin, considering how ISIS as an entity is about to come to an end.

Yet, in one of your last grasp for life, you are calling for revenge instead of learning from the example of a man whose wife was killed in the Christchurch mosque terror attack.

When asked if he forgave the 28-year old white supremacist, Farid Ahmad said: “Of course. The best thing is forgiveness, generosity, loving and caring, positivity”, in line with the true teachings of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him (PBUH).

New Zealand meanwhile has come together beautifully too. Its people from across all walks of life have set the bar so high, it almost appears alien to this planet. Prime Minister Jacinda Adern has shown utmost courage, kindness, strength, clarity, honesty and much more in equal measure, key traits sorely missing in far too many state leaders and countries today, let alone misguided individuals bent on slaughter and mayhem.

Your aim, like your far-right supremacist brethren is to divide Muslims from non-Muslims but given the resounding unity the people of New Zealand have shown, “verily, Allah may support this religion at the hands of a wicked man”, yet another quote from the narrated sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that you will likely waste little time to misconstrue among your de-moralised soldiers.

In your audio statement, you claim the need for “taking vengeance for their religion” or Islam, which I do wonder if you realise in Arabic means submission to peace. Therefore, I urge you to learn from the example of the many New Zealanders who have voluntarily given up their semi-automatic rifles, while the country debates it gun reform laws, all for the sake of peace and co-existence.

Truly, the country New Zealand is often known as the farthest corner of the world but has instead proven to be the center or heart of this earth.

While we should be hurt and disappointed by the Christchurch Masjid terror attack, we equally condemn when you and the equally irrelevant Al-Qaeda claim to be a Sunni force and attack Shia shrines or places of worship in Pakistan, Iraq and elsewhere.

In fact, we are just as shocked, saddened and outraged when your kindred spirits white supremacist attacked Jews at the Pittsburg’s Tree of Life Synagogue in Oct 2018 or when Black Christians were gunned down at Charleston Church in July 2015 by Dylan Roof, just as much as we were heartbroken when  Canadian Alexandre Bissonnette shot and killed 6 Muslim worshippers and injured 19 others including a few who now have life-long disabilities, most frighteningly inspiring others to do the same.

Violence begets violence and this cycle needs to stop.

Paraphrasing a few verses from the Quran, ironically titled “the disbelievers” quite possibly not only referring to those who do not believe but also those individuals who have deviated, true Muslims “do not worship what you worship. Nor are you worshippers of what I worship. Nor will I be a worshipper of what you worship. Nor will you be worshippers of what I worship.”

Therefore, if you can’t offer help, speak a kind word, spare a moment in reflection and do however much or little, in full public view or behind the scenes like the people of New Zealand and elsewhere to help those in need, you have to question which religion you truly belong to, as your actions are galaxies away from Islam.