by Safeer Ahmad
It has happened again. A brutal terrorist attack in Afghanistan has occurred, with all signs of it being in the name of the so called Islamic state. On Saturday, three savages, not men, attacked a peaceful demonstration, two of them detonating their suicide belts and a third being killed by security officials. Right now there are 80 dead and hundreds of others injured.
As a Muslim American, speaking on behalf of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, my deepest condolences and prayers go out to the families of the victims who will be forever changed by this cruel attack. Terrorism is nowhere justified in the Qur’an or by the teachings of Prophet Muhammad. The Qur’an even states in Chapter 5 Verse 33 “…Whosoever killed a person…it shall be as if he had killed all mankind”, in Chapter 2 Verse 16, “Create not disorder in the earth”, and a plethora of other verses denouncing all type of violence. The next time someone tells you that violence is taught by the Muslims in the Qur’an and by Muhammad, I challenge you to ask then where. I guarantee they won’t have a reasonable answer because there simply isn’t one they can give.
While I could give many examples as to why the “Islamic State” has nothing to do with Islam, I thought the example of Ramadan would carry a lot of weight. Just this past week President Obama held an Eid Reception at the White House to celebrate the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. During this month, Muslims all over the world have been abstaining from all food and drink from sunrise to sunset to become closer to God, focusing and amending for the year’s sins. A Muslim is even told to abstain from arguing on the smallest of matters. The last 10 days of Ramadan, which we are currently in, have even more significance, in which Muslim’s intently pray for forgiveness. Even with this in mind, ISIS suicide bombers went out and killed themselves and a multitude of others attacked the Ataturk Airport in Turkey, for no other reason than to create disorder and damage the Muslim majority country of Turkey in the name of their wicked ideology. These people are the farthest thing from Muslims, and they’re barbaric in their actions.
These innocent people were just like you and me; they were traveling for work, education, or maybe vacation. They were innocent men, women, and children, all with futures that could have shaped the world around us. Why have they not been remembered like the people of San Bernadino, Paris, Orlando, and Brussels? Why have people not changed their profile pictures to a picture of the Turkish flag or Afghan flag or tweeted things like Je Suis Turkey or Afghan like they did with Je Suis Hebdo? Do the lives not matter as much in this case? Bigoted people might say Islam is at war with the West, but did you know that between 82-97% of people who are killed by these terrorists are Muslims? Did you know that a terrorist attack last month by the “Islamic State” in Yemen killed 43 people at a military checkpoint, 24 being civilians? Are you aware of the chilling fact that the number of dead Iraqis who have been killed by suicide attacks in June alone is 1,087? Just because it’s in Iraq does not take anything away from it. On top of being murdered these same Muslims are blamed for the actions of the few that have no link to Islam and are forced to suffer backlash when there is a terror attack in a Western country. This disparity is something we all need to feel ashamed of. Are Christians blamed for the actions of the KKK, Neo Nazis, the Lord’s Resistance Army, or the CAR militia? Christians aren’t even associated with these terror organizations because they don’t represent Christianity. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?
It’s finally time to condemn terrorism in all parts of the world, not just our own. It’s time to stand up together as one, not divided. It is time for us to all recognize that terrorism has no religion, and more importantly, recognize that terrorists do not discriminate, they attack all of mankind. We need to open our hearts and work together to defeat this dangerous ideology.