A Call To All People Of Conscience...
What people come across frequently, they tend to eventually grow used to. This familiarity can so develop over time that things which elicit violent surprise or protest when first witnessed become routine matters just a short while later.
The wars and conflicts taking place in our world are a case in point. When a country is first occupied and a slaughter or genocide first begins, this can lead to violent protests worldwide. Let us, for instance, consider the first days of the Bosnian conflict, or Chechnya, or Palestine… The image of a Palestinian child on his father's lap who will be a target for the bullets of Israeli soldiers, Chechen babies murdered in their nappies, women, the elderly and children alike subjected to a terrible genocide in Bosnia…
When people first see such images, they often talk about their feelings of outrage and say they want to do something. However, over time the never-ending stream of horrific reports ceases to attract their attention anymore. More people die every day, women are raped, and children are shot or lose a foot after stepping on mines… However, people's reactions in the early days are replaced by an odd insensitivity. When they buy a newspaper, they are often more interested in celebrity gossip than stories of war. That is because the deaths of a few people in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq,, Kashmir or East Turkestan have become more or less "routine news."
Moreover, propaganda at the same time portrays all this savagery as political developments. Thus it is that many people see the slaughter experienced in Chechnya as an internal Russian affair, what is going on in Palestine as a struggle for land between Israel and Palestine, and the Hindu oppression of the people of Kashmir as a problem rooted in the region's strategic position. Among others, it is true that historical and economic factors do play a role in the emergence of conflict. However, internal or economic problems have not been the only cause of the oppression visited on the Chechen people in recent years by some Russians, nor the conflicts that go on in the Middle East, nor the violence that Muslim peoples in Africa are subjected to, nor the violent cruelty and ethnic cleansing suffered before the eyes of the whole world by Muslims in the Balkans. As we shall see in later chapters of this book, these people's being Muslim is one of the main reasons for these conflicts.
Since these people believe in Allah and want to live their lives according to the demands of their religion, and want to raise their children to be believers too, they are subjected to various forms of oppression. The existence of strong states upholding spiritual values or a strong union of Islamic nations that would protect the rights of Muslims within a legal framework of justice gives rise to grave concerns among certain circles in the West and poses a threat to the interests of certain others. The fact is, however, that a country or union that fully abides by Qur'anic moral values is the protector of everyone, no matter what their religion or beliefs, and not just of Muslims. The existence of such a union is no threat to anyone. On the contrary, it guarantees the peace and security of all countries and peoples in the world.
Another aspect of the matter is that some people know nothing about the people who live in these countries, and often have never even heard of the countries themselves. The situation of someone who has no idea of the difficulties, oppression and acts of violence, hunger and poverty suffered by Muslims living in Sudan, Algeria, Indonesia, Patani, Myanmar, Djibouti, Tunisia and Bangladesh is certainly food for thought. It is impossible for such a person to extend a helping hand to believers whom he does not know even exist. Other people are aware of this cruelty and injustice. Yet it does not even occur to them that they might be able to help or try to put an end to the oppression. Furthermore, they so convince themselves that they are unable to do anything about it that neither the reports they read nor the images they see on the television screen trouble their consciences in the slightest.
A true believer, however, is responsible for all that he hears and sees. Allah calls on Muslims in the Qur'an:
What reason could you have for not striving in the Way of Allah – for those men, women and children who are oppressed and say, "Our Lord, take us out of this city whose inhabitants are wrongdoers! Give us a protector from You! Give us a helper from You!" (Surat an-Nisa': 75)
There is no question, of course, of people of conscience who obey the command contained in that verse closing their eyes and ignoring what is going on. It is impossible for a Muslim to sleep irresponsibly in his comfortable bed, fritter away his time, and think only about his own pleasure and interests when such violent cruelty is going on in the world. That is because a believer knows that the fundamental solution to unjust wars, massacres, cruelty, hunger and moral degeneration, in short to all of the world's problems, lies in spreading the morality of the Qur'an. That knowledge places a great responsibility on his shoulders: that of explaining the religion of Islam and the beautiful things it brings with it, propagating the morality of the Qur'an, and waging a war of ideas against atheism…
Those who take on that honorable duty will free all those who are oppressed in the world by the guidance of the Qur'an:
... A Light has come to you from Allah and a Clear Book. By it, Allah guides those who follow what pleases Him to the ways of Peace. He will bring them from the darkness to the light by His permission, and guide them to a straight path. (Surat al-Ma'ida: 15-16)
The intention behind this book is to lay bare the plight of innocent Muslims all over the world, and to invite people of conscience to consider this situation and seek a solution. This is not a time to remain silent, behave uncaringly, dedicate ourselves to the petty benefits of this world and kill time with pointless debates and squabbles. At a time when millions of Muslims are suffering such terrible cruelty, it could be an act of the greatest heedlessness to refuse to shoulder any burden for Islam. There is also no doubt but that it will bring with it the gravest consequences in the hereafter.
Muslims Must Struggle through Knowledge and Ideas
REPORTER: Yes, could you talk about terror a bit? There are suicide attacks taking place in Afghanistan. Is that acceptable in Islam? Can one wage jihad by killing oneself?
ADNAN OKTAR: What need is there for suicide? For one thing, suicide is a sin. To kill an innocent person for no reason is something deserving a punishment of eternal hell. Someone who kills himself has killed a human being and thus committed a terrible sin, and since he departs without repenting he risks spending eternity in hell. That is why a Muslim should educate, rather than kill himself, and increase his knowledge, love, affection, compassion and strength, and should go and preach to people. There is no need to go and bomb people. Go and preach to them, tell them about Islam. There was a period, as you know, in the early years of our Prophet's (saas) coming when he did not reveal himself. They began preaching in secret, and only later openly. They were insulted, oppressed, beaten and sworn at, they were alienated and subjected to sanctions, and they even abandoned their country and migrated to another. They preached amid all these many difficulties, and Müslüman kendini öldüreceMuslims must preach in the same way, preaching and explaining. But they cannot be of any use by bombing and hanging people. That is wrong. It is incompatible with the Qur'an, with the moral values of the Qur'an and with logic and reason. .
If they open madrassas, that is great, masha'Allah. Let them explain faith and the religion and talk about science. They can work against Darwinism and demolish its philosophies and engage in serious intellectual activities against Marxism, Leninism, communism and fascism.Let them raise their levels of culture, wear spotless clothes and spread moral virtues all around. That is how to spread Islam. But there is no room in Islam for shedding the blood of innocent people with nothing to do with anything, bombing them and tearing them to bits. These are things our Prophet (saas) never encouraged, that have no place in the Qur'an, were introduced subsequently are horribly ugly. And they are sinning through these ugly actions. The right thing to do is to make those madrassas into gardens of peace. To establish fine, modern madrassas, to teach and enlighten people there, isn't it? To spread love, peace, brotherhood, lovableness, humanity, eagerness to help others, in short, to teach and spread moral virtues. You cannot spread the faith by bombing people, that has the exact opposite effect. Terror is totally harmful. But the faith will snowball through activities of the kind I have described and these will cause Islam to rule the whole world, insha'Allah. (From Mr. Adnan Oktar's interview with Afghanistan Ayna, December 12, 2008)
Muslims' Struggle Should Be Consistent with the Moral Values of the Qur'an
All Muslims should live according to the ethics Allah revealed in the Qur'an. However fair and just Muslims are in their everyday life, their business affairs, or in their personal relationships, they must demonstrate the same values during times of war, while defending themselves, or even while being driven from their lands. They must still put their trust in Allah, obey His laws, and adhere strictly to His instructions.
The word "Islam" has the same meaning as the word "peace" in Arabic. The Qur'an calls people to the ethics of Islam, through which the world can be made a haven for peace, love and compassion. Allah commands us to rule justly and without discriminating among people, to preserve people's rights, oppose cruelty, support the oppressed in the face of cruelty, and help those in need. This justice requires each Muslim to protect the rights of both parties, evaluate events objectively, and think without bias. It requires justice, honesty, mercy, and compassion.
As the Qur'an states: "O you who believe! Show integrity for the sake of Allah, bearing witness with justice. Do not let hatred for a people incite you into not being just. Be just, for that is closer to heedfulness. Have fear of Allah. Allah is aware of what you do." (Surat Al-Ma'ida:8), true Muslims must not let their decisions or practices be tainted by such feelings as resentment, hatred, and rage. Muslims must always conduct themselves according to the Qur'an, behave with patience and restraint, and avoid exaggerated responses. As Allah reminds us: "We will test you with a certain amount of fear and hunger and loss of wealth and life and fruits. But give good news to the steadfast." (Surat al-Baqara: 155). Thus, this life on Earth is merely a trial. Allah has forbidden the killing of guiltless and defenseless women, children and the elderly in verses from the Qur'an.
A closer examination of the Prophet Muhammad's (saas) life reveals that war was a method resorted to for defensive purposes only in unavoidable situations.
The revelation of the Qur'an to the Prophet Muhammad (saas) continued for a period of 23 years. During the first 13 years of this period, Muslims lived as a minority under a pagan order in Mecca and faced much oppression. Many Muslims were harassed, abused, tortured, and even murdered, their houses and possessions plundered. Despite this, however, Muslims led their lives without resorting to violence and always called the pagans to peace.
When the oppression of the pagans escalated unbearably, the Muslims emigrated to the town of Yathrib, which was later to be renamed Medina, where they could establish their own order in a freer and more friendly environment. Even establishing their own system did not prompt them to take up weapons against the aggressive pagans of Mecca.
Furthermore, the Prophet Muhammad (saas) established a secure and peaceful social environment for Muslims and pagans alike by signing the peace agreement of Hudaybiya which conceded to the pagans most of their requests. The party who violated the terms of the agreement and started hostilities once again were the pagans. With rapid conversions into Islam, the Islamic armies mustered a great force against the pagan Arabs. However, Muhammad (saas) conquered Mecca without bloodshed and in a spirit of tolerance. Our Prophet (saas) did no harm to any one of the pagans who had so persecuted and tortured him and other Muslims in the past. He forgave them and treated them with the utmost tolerance. In the words of John Esposito, a Western expert on Islam, "eschewing vengeance and the plunder of conquest, the Prophet instead accepted a settlement, granting amnesty rather than wielding the sword toward his former enemies."
Pagans, who would later convert to Islam of their own free will, could not help admiring such nobility of character in the Prophet (saas).
Not only during Mecca's conquest, but also in the course of all the battles and conquests made in the time of the Prophet Muhammad (saas), the rights of innocent and defenseless people were meticulously protected. The Prophet Muhammad (saas) reminded believers numerous times about this subject and by his own practice became a role model for others to follow. Indeed, he addressed believers who were about to go to war in the following terms: "Go to war in adherence to the religion of Allah. Never touch the elderly, women or children. Always improve their situation and be kind to them. Allah loves those who are sincere."3 The Messenger of Allah (saas) also clarified the attitude Muslims must adopt even when they are in the middle of a raging battle:
Do not kill children. Avoid touching people who devote themselves to worship in churches! Never murder women and the elderly. Do not set trees on fire or cut them down. Never destroy houses!
Suicide is Forbidden in Islam
Some people are gravely misinformed about Islam, believing that this religion of peace permits suicide bombings; nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Islam forbids a Muslim from taking his or her life, just as it forbids taking somebody else's life. Allah explicitly condemns suicide: "do not kill yourselves" (Surat an-Nisa':29), regardless of the reason. The Prophet also told his Companions that suicide leads one to eternal damnation:
Whoever purposely throws himself from a mountain and kills himself will be in the (Hell) Fire falling down into it and abiding therein perpetually forever. Whoever drinks poison and kills himself with it, he will be carrying his poison in his hand and drinking it in the (Hell) Fire, wherein he will abide eternally forever. Whoever kills himself with an iron weapon will be carrying that weapon in his hand and stabbing his abdomen with it in the (Hell) Fire, wherein he will abide eternally forever. (Sahih Bukhari Hadiths)
As explained in the hadith, committing suicide and engaging in suicide bombings – not to mention killing innocent people thereby – violates the moral values in Qur'an.
There is No Terror in Islam
Those who emerge today and carry out acts of terrorism in the name of Islam and those who back such acts, representing a tiny minority in the world of Islam, stem from Darwinist, atheist and materialist ideologies, not from Islam itself. Failing to understand the essence of Islam, which is essentially a religion of peace and justice, they foolishly make it a tool of barbarism, which is simply an outcome of their social and cultural structure. The origin of this barbarism is Darwinism and materialism, and is the benighted initiatives of people who are devoid of love for their fellow human-beings.
It is a fact that, for the last few centuries, Muslims in all corners of the Islamic world, have been subjected to violence by some Western forces and their allies. The colonialist European states, local oppressive regimes or colonialists backed by certain Western circles have caused great suffering to Muslims at large. However, for Muslims, this is a situation that has to be approached and responded to from a purely Qur'anic stance.
In no part of the Qur'an does Allah command believers to respond to violence with violence. On the contrary, Allah commands Muslims to "respond to evil with goodness":
A good deed and a bad deed are not the same. Repel the bad with something better and, if there is enmity between you and someone else, he will be like a bosom friend. (Surah Fussilat: 34)
It is no doubt a legitimate right of Muslims to react against this cruelty. However, these reactions should never turn into a blind hatred, an unjust enmity. Allah warns about this in the following verse:
... Let not the hatred of a people [who once] obstructed you from the Sacred Mosque lead you to transgress. Help one another in benevolence and piety, and help not one another in sin and transgression… (Surat Al-Ma'ida: 2)
Consequently, carrying out terrorist acts against the innocent people of other nations under the pretence of "representing the innocent nations in the world", is by no means compatible with Islam.
Another point that deserves a special mention here is that all Western nations and communities cannot be held responsible for the aforementioned violence and oppression by certain circles in the West against Muslims. Actually, the materialist, irreligious philosophies and ideologies that prevailed in the 19th century are in the main responsible for these dismal acts. European colonialism did not originate from Christianity. On the contrary, anti-religious movements opposing the values of Christianity led the way to colonialism. At the roots of the greatest brutalities of the 19th century lies the Social Darwinist ideology. In the Western world today, there are still cruel, mischievous and opposing factors, as well as a culture dominated by peaceful and just elements that have its roots in Christianity. As a matter of fact, the main disagreement is not between the West and Islam. Contrary to the general opinion, it is between the devout people of the West and of the Muslim world on the one hand, and the people opposing religion (materialists, atheists, Darwinists etc.) on the other.
Another indication that those who resort to terror in the name of Islam, at least in their own eyes, have nothing to do with Islam is that, until recently, such actions were identified with communist ideology. As is well-known, similar anti-Western acts of terror were carried out in 1960s and 1970s by Soviet-backed communist organizations. As the impact of the communist ideology faded, some of the social structures which gave birth to communist organizations claimed to have appeared in the name of Islam, at least in their own eyes. This "brutality presented under the guise of religion", which is formulated by the incorporation of some Islamic concepts and symbols into the former communist literature is entirely against the moral values which constitute the essence of Islam.
A last remark about this issue is that Islam is not peculiar to a particular nation or geographical region. Contrary to the dominant Western perception, Islam is not an "eastern culture". Islam is the last religion revealed to mankind as a guide to the true path that recommends itself to all humanity. Muslims are responsible for communicating the true religion they believe in to all people of all nations and cultures and making them feel closer to Islam.
Consequently, there is a unique solution for people and groups who, in the name of Islam, resort to terror, form oppressive regimes and turn this world into a dreadful place instead of beautifying it: revealing the Islamic morality and communicating it so that the masses can understand and live by it.
Darwinism is the Source of Terror, But Islam is the Solution to Terror
ADNAN OKTAR: All those who perpetrated the September 11 attacks were people who had received a Darwinist, materialist and atheist education, who had been educated in Europe and who held materialist views. Their identity papers may describe them as Muslims, but that is irrelevant. There used to be communists in Palestine, there used to be communists in Syria and there used to be communists in Iraq, but Alhamdulillah these countries have now all become very devout. But it makes no difference whether someone who has been raised as a Marxist and who has received a left-wing, Darwinist, materialist education is called Hassan or Mehmet. A materialist is a materialist. An action carried out by a Darwinist, a materialist, is a Darwinist, materialist action. It is a Marxist action. There is therefore no sense in ascribing it to Muslims. In other words, when we look at the people who perpetrate terrorist actions of all kinds, we inevitably see they have had a Darwinist education. We see they have had a materialist education. Can someone who fears Allah, who loves Allah with all his heart, who believes in the Hereafter and who believes in Paradise and Hell possibly bomb innocent women and children? What kind of courage is that? Could someone who fears Allah have the strength to do that? They could not even conceive of such a thing. It would never enter their minds, let alone actually carrying it out. The people who do these things are generally of the kind I have described, people who have had a religious education but who hold Darwinist, materialist views. We cannot put this down to Islam. The cause of terror is Darwinism and materialism. There is Marxism-Leninism. Terror is a precondition in Leninist thinking. Marxism is theoretical communism and Leninism is applied communism. It is communist thought in action. Lenin says the way to put it into practice is through terror. Lenin cannot imagine a communism without terror. Terror is essential in classical Marxist and Leninist thinking. These people just do what is necessary.
Look, they are former members of the Baath Party and people trained by them. Iraqi and Syrian Baathists all received a Marxist-Leninist and Stalinist education. Iraq in particular is riddled with Stalinists. Violence is one of the main elements of Stalinism. There is no Stalinism without violence. Iraqi head of state Saddam tried to model himself on Stalin and was a great fan of Stalin. He had Marxist-Leninist views. He expressed his admiration for Stalin many times. And his practices were those of Stalinism. Mass slaughter, killing vast numbers of people, is one of Stalin's methods. Because of his admiration for him, he did the same things. Baathist troops, some Baathist people, were dispersed among the public. They are still carrying out these attacks. Saying that they will go to Paradise is a superficial addition. Nobody who fears Allah and believes in Paradise and Hell can kill young children and the like. He cannot kill innocent people. There is a law regarding war in Islam. And this is set out in the Qur'an. It is enshrined in the Sunnah of our Prophet (saas). Wars are defensive and women and children are not to be touched. Never... War to a country has to be declared. War has to be legal, a struggle in a legal framework. Peace agreements with a country one has signed peace treaties with are inviolable; it is unacceptable for three or four people to announce that they have declared war. And attacks on children and the like are particularly unacceptable. Islam can be spread through people's minds with culture, knowledge, love, affection and art. Not through outrages. Not through bloodshed. Our Prophet (saas) would go to the market of 'Ukaz, and people would insult that lovely, radiant individual. They would throw thorns in his path. They threw camel entrails at him. But he still preached the word. He described Islam and the Qur'an. He did it with love, tirelessly and for years. Eventually, as you know, he was unable to withstand the pressure and went on the Hegira. He continued to preach in the places he visited on the Hegira. All the Prophet's (saas) wars were defensive wars. Wars of self-defense. He never went anywhere and took control of it by force of arms. He always fought defensive wars.