Originally Published in The Financial Times
From Dr Sohail Husain, Pittsburgh, PA, US
Sir, David J Critchley (Letters, March 31) suggests that the Koran is an inherently violent document. He takes exception to the reference from the Koran I had cited (Letters, March 28) that killing one innocent person is akin to killing all of humanity. He argues that a problematic caveat is that the Koran condones capital punishment under certain circumstances.
I believe that such objections arise from simply not knowing about the true Islam and instead falling prey to the rantings of extremists. It is interesting that I had quoted from both the Bible and the Koran, yet Mr Critchley spares the former and attacks the latter. Both books allow capital punishment for the most disruptive crimes in society, including premeditated murder and acts of treason against the state. Whether you agree with capital punishment or not, in my view it is unfair to equate the act of executing hardened criminals with the wanton murder of innocent civilians, for example recently in Westminster.
I had written in condemnation of the latter terror attack. Mr Critchley’s response has exposed the need to engage in greater civic dialogue. For this reason I cordially invite Mr Critchley to visit my Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and learn why we believe the Koran is actually a primer for peace.