Time and time again, I have reiterated the stance – and my staunch belief – that Islam absolutely condemns any and all violence against the innocent. I have reiterated the stance – and my staunch belief – that in no way, shape, or form does Islam condone the taking of innocent life. I have reiterated the stance – and my staunch belief – that Islam’s stance on the sanctity of life is unequivocal and drives my perpetual condemnation of all violence against the innocent.
It just could not be more clear than that.
The Qur’an can’t be more clear about the sanctity of life:
“And do not take a life that God has made sacred, except for just cause.” (17:33)
“And do not kill yourselves, for God has been merciful to you.” (4:29)
Yet, still, many detractors, including some who have commented on my past articles, intimate that I say so with a “virtual wink.” They have claimed to me that, when I say “innocent,” it is a loaded term, that it does not mean what people may think it means. They think that “innocent” does not really mean “innocent” that my definition of “innocent” is not their definition of “innocent.”
Let me say this and say this clearly: “Innocent” means just that.
So, when I say “innocent life,” I mean people walking the streets and riding the buses of Tel Aviv.
When I say “innocent life,” I mean the soldiers eating lunch at Fort Hood who were mercilessly gunned down by their fellow soldier Nidal Malik Hasan.
When I say “innocent life,” I mean my fellow Americans walking the streets, and sidewalks, and malls, and city centers, and town squares of this beautiful country of ours.
When I say “innocent life,” I mean the Muslims all across the world who go to worship at their respective mosques on Fridays, or shop at local markets, or stand in line at police recruiting centers and get blown apart by the barbarian neo-Kharijites.
When I say “innocent life,” I mean the Christians, and Jews, and Ismailis, and other religious minorities that live in Muslim majority societies.
When I say “innocent life,” I mean just that.
Indeed, perhaps the extremists equivocate when they say “innocent life,” but that’s just it: they are extremists, and their twisted version of reality is not to be taken seriously. It is to be resisted at every step and every turn. Wherever it occurs, the taking of innocent life is decried by my faith and abhorred by me and the overwhelming majority of Muslims like me. And when I say “innocent life,” I mean just that.
Source: Hesham Hassaballa for The Chicago Tribune. Dr. Hassaballa is author of the blog “God Faith and a Pen”