Do not let injustice lead to injustice
Do not let the injustice of others lead you into an injustice, says the Koran. Now there is only incoherence. Coverage of the London blasts saturates every newspaper, every television and radio station. The images of chaos and destruction roll in and the words of journalists and politicians pour out. Endlessly, repetitively.
For all the words, nothing is said. What is there to say? For how long can you repeat the obvious that this is a criminal act to be condemned, that innocent people are sacrosanct?
Hours of news coverage pass and the story barely changes. The incessant babble numbs my mind, yet I am compelled to stay tuned. There is something simultaneously aggravating and cathartic about letting the news wash over me in helpless despair.
And so the press release is written and the interview requests flood in. This is all now tragically familiar to me. The words are always the same: we condemn this act in the strongest possible terms; we pray the perpetrators are brought swiftly to justice; our hearts are with the victims and their loved ones.
These words are true. I mean them. But as the dust from the bombings still settles, all the words in the world are empty because those saying them are themselves empty inside.
Stunned, we reach for our own responses, our minds in mayhem as we struggle to make sense of the senseless. And so we babble on. There is nothing more we can do. Thoughts and emotions circulate wildly in an incoherent cyclone, while at the core, there is nothing.
This incoherent chaos is not only terrorism's legacy, but its purpose. It is not about killing: compared with poverty or even road accidents it claims few lives. Terrorism is a language. The symbolic message is the point, the panic and fear of the aftermath is what matters.
Reason and coherence are products of distinction and discernment rather than crude generalization. But terrorism is about the most sinister of generalizations, where a whole nation, a people, a planet is essentialised and deemed indiscriminately unfit for human existence. There are no people any more. There are only causes.
In this way, terrorism is itself what it begets: the suspension of reason, the annihilation of coherence. And without reason, we become like cattle. My mind numbs further as motivations are attributed to those responsible.
A fight against Crusader countries with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan? Perhaps superficially. I have heard this kind of rhetoric before. Where are the tears of the world for the thousands of slaughtered innocents in Chechnya? Is an Iraqi life not worth an American or British one? We must resist the imperialism of Western godlessness, immorality and consumerism. The cultural hegemony of America and its allies must be fought. They are oppressors. Muslims were also slaughtered in most terrorist attacks since September 11. Most hostages executed in Iraq are Muslims.
I wonder quietly if, in this mental model, their co-religionist executioners are also oppressors who must be fought too. But even in the fringe that advance such arguments, most stop short of advocating terrorism. Some clearly don't. How often it is that oppression comes from those claiming to be oppressed.
Welcome to the battle inside the Muslim collective consciousness, where one side has the overwhelming majority of hearts and minds, and the other has the weapons.
How absurd is this argument! Can terrorism be the response to perceived Western cultural and imperial hegemony? Terrorism is hegemony. The solution cannot be to replace one hegemony with another.
Yes, I too oppose the war in Iraq. I too have my qualms with aspects of the Western treatment of the Muslim world. I too grieve for the slaughtered innocents of Chechnya. But my morality must never be derived from the transgressions of others. Surely then, terrorism is a frank, violent admission of moral defeat. It wins no hearts.
With every terrorist attack attributed to Muslims over the past four years, I have witnessed a community shifting more and more into outrage at the barbarism done in its name. With every desperate act of terrorism comes an intellectual, rhetorical downfall.
For now, waves of questions keep coming. Analysts talk of "sleeper cells" in Britain and Spain. Do I know of any in Australia? No, and if they exist I'm sure they'd be secret from me. Is it a matter of time before Australia is hit? Intelligence agencies say they know of no imminent attack and as an ordinary Australian citizen, neither do I.
My numbed senses perceive these questions are more incoherent babble. I'm busy thinking that my daughter could have been a victim. She is at the age of repeating all she hears and she has learnt a new word: "Bomb." Now is for grief.
Lost in a sea of words, one Koranic passage emerges to hit me between the eyes: "Do not let the injustice of others lead you into injustice," it thunders. Finally, I think. Something coherent.
Melbourne lawyer Waleed Aly is on the executive of the Islamic Council of Victoria
Topics: Conflicts And War, Terrorism
You need to wake, not me. Just by asking Allah for help nothing is going to change. Allah helps those who help themselves. Allah has sent lakhs of Prophets on the face of this earth to save human kind from ignorance.
He declared that the last Prophet will be our beloved Rasul Allah, you cannot change that, can you.So now who is there to show us the right path, both by logic and Islamic Hadith it should be the Imam, so I ask Imam of this 'Zaman' for help.
Today majority of Muslims are Sunni's having thousands of Imam's, hardly any of them capable of interpreting Islam in the right way.
So what do the young generation do now ?
Make people like Osama bin Laden their idols, who is just a bloody terrorist, there is a complete lack of knowledge, ignorance and hatred is what constitues the Islamic youth today.
Remember the Hadith from Prophet said,
'If I am the city of knowledge Ali is the gate to it'.
You say the state of Muslims have improved in the last two decades, which world are you living in. Hundreds dying in Iraq everyday, what is happenong in Palestine, what is happening in Afganistan, what is happening in parts of Africa, Muslims are starving. What is happening in Pakistan instead of improving their own state, they waste time and energy in fighting for Kashmir, youths are being transformed into terrorists. Youth instead of having books in their hands have guns.
Arab countries inspite of having so much oil wealth, have people begging and dying of hunger.
There are many other places like Syria, Lebannon, Jordon, Russia and the list goes on where Muslims are suffering and still in ignorance, what they can only do is kill innocent people.
If they are real fighters come out in the battle field and fight the nations which hurt you, instead of this cowardly act of bombing innocent people trying to spread terror in the name Islam, cowards.
You declared:"And I am a Pro-US, Pro-Bush, Pro-"War on Terror" American" We know that, tell us something we don't know.
Wow,"I disagree with the idea of so-called Western terror on Muslims being as great as so-called Islamic terror on the West. But again, I am from the American side of the world". You might disagree with the fact that the earth is spheroid, fact of the matter stays in both cases. You or your retarded government is not the measuring stick for truth, nay, rather hypocracy, I'd say.
Of the rest of your blabbering I have to say this, Muslims are a relity of thre Western countries. There is no one Western country not to have a Muslim presence, some a considerable one, like USA, UK and Canada from the Anglo-Saxon ones. Any terroristic action on the soil of this countries would affect Muslim lives as it did at 9/11, Madrid, and London. It is your choice to make terrorism an act of Islamic extremism
Maybe the truth of the matter is that Islam needs to win the hearts and minds of the backwards West. Then we can move on together, maybe not always believing the same, but surely believing we are brothers in humaninty on this rock called Earth.
And I am a Pro-US, Pro-Bush, Pro-"War on Terror" American.
Wake up, stop crying, Islam and Muslims are more stronger and know what they are doing than a decade or two ago. The enemy did relize the new emergence of Islam and doing its best to unsuccessfylly to stop it.
Brother ask Allah for help.
I haven't seen candle vigils for the innocent civilians killed in Iraq and Afganhistan...The war is the making of their own hands...
It is better not to waste any time on these people...They are all hypocrites and lost...have no credibility in the civilized world...
After all, civilized people don't start war in the name of resoruces...
I hesitate to respond to your posting as I truly have better things to do, but I can't let your distortions of history go unresponded. Your passion is getting in the way of your intellect.
La Resistance fought the Nazis. They didn't purposely attack innocent civilians with no military objective.
Both the IRA and the hard-line Orangemen who attack innocent civilians are very much terrorists in the same sense as the criminals you try so hard to defend.
McVeigh was a terrorist with the same mentality as the worst Islamist terrorist. The attitude is that my opinion is correct and I have the right to extinguish innocent lives in order to advertise my psychotic rantings.
It sounds like the US aren't the only morons in the world if the Arabs were so easily tricked by the Brits. The goal; to establish a Jewish homeland? A bit paranoid, I'd say. If that was their plan, it took over twenty years to accomplish it. More long range planning than I would say any country is capable of.
Yes, we had a common enemy in the USSR with the Afghani resistance. Are you saying we should have put our own army in after the USSR withdrawl and put in a government more to our liking? I don't think even the "moronic" US population would have thought that a good idea. I thought you said we were anti-Muslim. Why would we even help the Afghani reisistance? We didn't compel them to fight, we assisted them in the fight that they were already engaged in. What thanks did we get for that? We were shelled by the same mortars we had given them.
It is not games we are playing and it is not I or the US government that is bringing Islam into it. It is ME politicians/mullahs who are making political issues into Islamic issues.
This is by far the MOST criminal administration in the history of the US. But we dont really that need as a point of reference, look at US history and their wars of terrorism.
Lost in a sea of words, one Koranic passage emerges to hit me between the eyes:
I do understand the frustration of Muslim youth against the western oppression of Muslims, and I feel a lot about their ultimate scarification, may Allah grand them Jannah. But brothers you worth a lot more than giving your life so cheaply, you don't need to attack civilians, even when you are weak.
There is more can be done, by other means, by aming much higher, you don't need to give away life so easily, its you, the Muslims youth Inshallah will be saving the world from the western monster, brother spend your time on research and development. Technology and science is not some once property, we need dedication and firm believe and Allah will help, I am sure there is abundant talent in Ummah, what needed is patient, dedication and time, and make better defensive (small) weapons, defeat the enemy in what they have advantage over us, they oppress people, because they have technology, fighter jets, tanks and aircraft carriers and can attack any city full of civilians any were on earth, but technology it not the slave of west, something can me made so simple and handy which can defeat the enemy in its own field.
Finally, even though they enemy is as active as ever in oppressing the Muslims, its glad to see Muslims answering back, its no more a one way street.
Allah Hu Akbar
Each society writes their history from their own perspective. I have some work to do to understand history from the ME perspective. The US has made many decisions that in retrospect seem to be blunders. Most of those decisions were made by intelligent people in consultation with other bright people but in the context of local, national, and global politics, and with the blind eye all societies have to others. We are not able to predict the future affects of decisions or for that matter their alternatives. It is difficult to unequivocally call any decision a blunder until we know what the result of the alternatives would be. It is in this sense that I say "though not of our choice". Which decision was it that warranted 9/11? Do you tally decisions that benefit Muslim countries? Do only negative decisions count?
I do feel that it is wrong to conclude that the US is waging a war on Islam just because US policy may have an ultimate effect of harming a Muslim country. My point is that framing the US as being at war with Islam changes this into a religious war. Religion is by definition a matter of faith and as such does not lend itself to rational discussion among people of different beliefs.
I would be interested in your favorite websites in English with a summary of US policy toward the ME that seems balanced from your perspective.
It cannot stop, until the United States stops its terrorist slaughter of innocent humans all over the planet. Instead of preaching to Muslims from your high horse get down - and immediately get your government to stop its slaughter policies -
Such preachings are nothing more than hypocritical rants from Muslims living in comfortable lands.
Your continued repetion that the US and its media are at war with Islam does not make it so. We are at war with terrorists, although not of our choice. Let me quote myself from a previous post. The same people who say that the terrorists can't be Islamists are the same people who say America is at war with Islam because we fight terrorists. Now tell me, which is it?