ISLAM AND VIOLENCE

Trinidadian Islamic leader Moulana Mustapha Hydal said the idea that Islam is a religion associated with terrorism has been fostered by Muslim themselves, “their behaviour and attitude”, and he has raised concerns about the culture of training children to take up arms in the name of religion.

Moulana Mustapha Hydal

The wrong concept of violence is being propagated within Islam, he said, which has led to its negative branding in the western societies. He rejected the concept of extremism in the religion saying the Quran speaks of “guiding us to the middle path” and of peace.

“…suicide bombers believe in this concept about dying and going to heaven as part of some holy war, a foolish concept which is based on nothing in our teachings”, Moulana Hydal said on Monday night during a lecture on ‘Islam and Terrorism’ at the Masjid Darus Salaam on Brickdam. The Guyana Ahmadiyya Anjuman organized the lecture which is part of a series the Islamic leader is expected to conduct across the country over the next few days.

Moulana Hydal openly addressed the bitter opposition the Ahmadiyya movement has endured since its initiation decades ago saying they are not considered Muslims in some places. He faces even greater oppression because of his association with another section of the movement, the Isha’at Islam (Lahore). He said their rejection of terrorism and Jihad as holy war has resulted in the movement being sidelined, but “not silenced”.

He said Jihad does not mean war or “fighting and violence”, but instead to abide in peaceful ways. This definition, he said, has angered many Muslims who continue to accuse the Ahmadiyya movement of changing the religion by taking away a right Muslims have to fight under Islam. However, he argues that Muslims never had that right. “Nothing in Islam, not a single verse of the Quran promotes any forms of violence”. He said even in the Caribbean including here and his native, Trinidad and Tobago members of the movement are rejected and that people are prepared to be violent against them.

Jihad is a struggle, not “war and terrorism”, he said, adding that the Muslim community can wage a Jihad against terrorism and that it “should”. Muslims, he asserted, need to stop preaching extremism and “behaving like terrorists” because the Quran does not support this. Peace is entrenched in their teachings and has been the fundamental message, Moulana Hydal said, noting that Islamic superiors in his movement have long argued with Muslims across the world to end the war they are fighting. According to him, the Ahmadiyya movement believes in repelling evil with good.

By engaging in terrorists acts, he said, Muslims has provided opponents of terrorism with a reason to counter with terrorism of their own. “This is all wrong, none of it should be happening, which is why people before me have said it and I am saying it now that we need to stop this”, he stressed. He denounced all forms of terrorism saying the term is broad and includes a variety of acting.

Moulana Hydal wrapped up his lecture by speaking at length on peace and what the concept means in Islam. He recounted a story of a friend he severed ties with saying the man passionately believed that all Muslim families should have at least two children in the household who are raised to someday fight for Islam. The fight he referred to is taking up arms against western forces. Of the friend, he said, “I no longer call him my friend, what nonsense!”

Jihad as terrorism is wrong, he stressed, saying the confusion arises because people have strayed away from the teaching and “from God”. He contended that the breakaway from God is a reason why terrorist acts persist.

Moulana Hydal also decried what he said is the millions being spent to fight wars across the globe when “children are going hungry” in many countries. He said in some countries there are no funds for food, but money is there to purchase weapons. His lectures, which are open to the public, will conclude in Essequibo on Friday.

Read original article here: www.stabroeknews.com
http://www.stabroeknews.com/2010/stories/01/13/%E2%80%98nothing-in-islam-not-a-single-verse-of-the-quran-promotes-any-forms-of-violence%E2%80%99-%E2%80%93-moulana-hydal/

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