Special Preface: The Real Ideological Root of Terrorism:
Darwin set out with one basic deception when developing his theory: "The development of living things depends on the fight for survival. The strong win the struggle. The weak are condemned to defeat and oblivion."
According to Darwin’s unscientific view, there is a ruthless struggle for survival and an eternal conflict in nature. The strong always overcome the weak, and this enables development to take place. The subtitle he gave to his book "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life", encapsulates that view.
Furthermore, Darwin proposed that the 'fight for survival' also applied between human racial groups. According to that fantastical claim, 'favoured races' were victorious in the struggle. Favoured races, in Darwin's view, were white Europeans. African or Asian races had lagged behind in the struggle for survival. Darwin went further, and suggested that these races would soon lose the "struggle for survival" entirely, and thus disappear:
At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes… will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.1
The Indian anthropologist Lalita Vidyarthi explains how Darwin's theory of evolution imposed racism on the social sciences:
His (Darwin's) theory of the survival of the fittest was warmly welcomed by the social scientists of the day, and they believed mankind had achieved various levels of evolution culminating in the white man's civilization. By the second half of the nineteenth century racism was accepted as fact by the vast majority of Western scientists. 2
Darwin's source of inspiration on this subject was the British economist Thomas Malthus's book An Essay on the Principle of Population. Left to their own devices, Malthus calculated that the human population increased rapidly. In his view, the main influences that kept populations under control were disasters such as war, famine and disease. In short, according to this brutal claim, some people had to die for others to live. Existence came to mean "permanent war."
In the 19th century, Malthus's ideas were widely accepted. European upper class intellectuals in particular supported his cruel ideas. In the article "The Scientific Background of the Nazi 'Race Purification' Programme", the importance 19th century Europe attached to Malthus's views on population is described in this way:
In the opening half of the nineteenth century, throughout Europe, members of the ruling classes gathered to discuss the newly discovered "Population problem" and to devise ways of implementing the Malthusian mandate, to increase the mortality rate of the poor: "Instead of recommending cleanliness to the poor, we should encourage contrary habits. In our towns we should make the streets narrower, crowd more people into the houses, and court the return of the plague. In the country we should build our villages near stagnant pools, and particularly encourage settlements in all marshy and unwholesome situations," and so forth and so on. 3
As a result of this cruel policy, the weak, and those who lost the struggle for survival would be eliminated, and as a result the rapid rise in population would be balanced out. This so-called "oppression of the poor" policy was actually carried out in 19th century Britain. An industrial order was set up in which children of eight and nine were made to work sixteen hours a day in the coal mines and thousands died from the terrible conditions. The "struggle for survival" demanded by Malthus's theory led to millions of Britons leading lives full of suffering.
Influenced by these deviant ideas, Darwin applied this concept of conflict to all of nature, and proposed that the strong and the fittest emerged victorious from this war of imaginary existence. Moreover, he claimed that the so-called struggle for survival was a justified and unchangeable law of nature. On the other hand, he invited people to abandon their religious beliefs by denying the Creation, and thus undermined at all ethical values that might prove to be obstacles to the ruthlessness of the "struggle for survival."
Humanity has paid a heavy price in the 20th century for the dissemination of these callous views which lead people to acts of ruthlessness and cruelty.
As Darwinism fed racism in the 19th century, it formed the basis of an ideology that would develop and drown the world in blood in the 20th century: Nazism.
A strong Darwinist influence can be seen in Nazi ideologues. When one examines this theory, which was given shape by Adolf Hitler and Alfred Rosenberg, one comes across such concepts as "natural selection", "selective mating", and "the struggle for survival between the races", which are repeated dozens of time in the works of Darwin. When calling his book Mein Kampf (My Struggle), Hitler was inspired by the Darwinist struggle for survival and the principle that victory went to the fittest. He particularly talks about the struggle between the races:
History would culminate in a new millennial empire of unparalleled splendour, based on a new racial hierarchy ordained by nature herself. 4
In the 1933 Nuremberg party rally, Hitler proclaimed that "a higher race subjects to itself a lower race… a right which we see in nature and which can be regarded as the sole conceivable right".
That the Nazis were influenced by Darwinism is a fact that almost all historians who are expert in the matter accept. The historian Hickman describes Darwinism's influence on Hitler as follows:
(Hitler) was a firm believer and preacher of evolution. Whatever the deeper, profound, complexities of his psychosis, it is certain that [the concept of struggle was important because]… his book, Mein Kampf, clearly set forth a number of evolutionary ideas, particularly those emphasizing struggle, survival of the fittest and the extermination of the weak to produce a better society. 5
Hitler, who emerged with these views, dragged the world to violence that had never before been seen. Many ethnic and political groups, and especially the Jews, were exposed to terrible cruelty and slaughter in the Nazi concentration camps. World War II, which began with the Nazi invasion, cost 55 million lives. What lay behind the greatest tragedy in world history was Darwinism's concept of the "struggle for survival."
While fascists are found on the right wing of Social Darwinism, the left wing is occupied by communists. Communists have always been among the fiercest defenders of Darwin's theory.
This relationship between Darwinism and communism goes right back to the founders of both these "isms". Marx and Engels, the founders of communism, read Darwin's The Origin of Species as soon as it came out, and were amazed at its 'dialectical materialist' attitude. The correspondence between Marx and Engels showed that they saw Darwin's theory as "containing the basis in natural history for communism". In his book The Dialectics of Nature, which he wrote under the influence of Darwin, Engels was full of praise for Darwin, and tried to make his own contribution to the theory in the chapter "The Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man".
Russian communists who followed in the footsteps of Marx and Engels, such as Plekhanov, Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin, all agreed with Darwin's theory of evolution. Plekhanov, who is seen as the founder of Russian communism, regarded marxism as "Darwinism in its application to social science". 6
Trotsky said, "Darwin's discovery is the highest triumph of the dialectic in the whole field of organic matter." 7
'Darwinist education' had a major role in the formation of communist cadres. For instance, historians note the fact that Stalin was religious in his youth, but became an atheist primarily because of Darwin's books.8
Mao, who established communist rule in China and killed millions of people, openly stated that "Chinese socialism is founded upon Darwin and the theory of evolution." 9
The Harvard University historian James Reeve Pusey goes into great detail regarding Darwinism's effect on Mao and Chinese communism in his research book China and Charles Darwin. 10
In short, there is an unbreakable link between the theory of evolution and communism. The theory claims that living things are the product of chance, and provides a so-called scientific support for atheism. Communism, an atheist ideology, is for that reason firmly tied to Darwinism. Moreover, the theory of evolution proposes that development in nature is possible thanks to conflict (in other words "the struggle for survival") and supports the concept of "dialectics" which is fundamental to communism.
If we think of the communist concept of "dialectical conflict", which killed some 120 million people during the 20th century, as a "killing machine" then we can better understand the dimensions of the disaster that Darwinism visited on the planet.
No matter what ideology they may espouse, those who perpetrate terror all over the world are, in reality, Darwinists. Darwinism is the only philosophy that places a value on—and thus encourages—conflict.
As we have so far seen, Darwinism is at the root of various ideologies of violence that have spelled disaster to mankind in the 20th century. The fundamental concept behind this understanding and method is "fighting whoever is not one of us."
We can explain this in the following way: There are different beliefs, worldviews and philosophies in the world. It is very natural that all these diverse ideas have traits opposing one another. However, these different stances can look at each other in one of two ways:
1) They can respect the existence of those who are not like them and try to establish dialogue with them, employing a humane method. Indeed, this method conforms with the morality of the Qur'an.
2) They can choose to fight others, and to try to secure an advantage by damaging them, in other words, to behave like a wild animal. This is a method employed by materialism, that is, irreligion.
The horror we call terrorism is nothing other than a statement of the second view.
When we consider the difference between these two approaches, we can see that the idea of "man as a fighting animal" which Darwinism has subconsciously imposed on people is particularly influential. Individuals and groups who choose the way of conflict may never have heard of Darwinism and the principles of that ideology. But at the end of the day they agree with a view whose philosophical basis rests on Darwinism. What leads them to believe in the rightness of this view is such Darwinism-based slogans as "In this world, the strong survive", "Big fish swallow little ones", "War is a virtue", and "Man advances by waging war". Take Darwinism away, and these are nothing but empty slogans.
Actually, when Darwinism is taken away, no philosophy of 'conflict' remains. The three divine religions that most people in the world believe in, Islam, Christianity and Judaism, all oppose violence. All three religions wish to bring peace and harmony to the world, and oppose innocent people being killed and suffering cruelty and torture. Conflict and violence violate the morality that Allah has set out for man, and are abnormal and unwanted concepts. However, Darwinism sees and portrays conflict and violence as natural, justified and correct concepts that have to exist.
For this reason, if some people commit terrorism using the concepts and symbols of Islam, Christianity or Judaism in the name of those religions, you can be sure that those people are not Muslims, Christians or Jews. They are real Social Darwinists. They hide under a cloak of religion, but they are not genuine believers. Even if they claim to be serving religion, they are actually opposed to religion and believers. That is because they are ruthlessly committing a crime that religion forbids.
For this reason, the root of the terrorism that plagues our planet is not any of the divine religions, but in atheism, and the expression of atheism in our times: "Darwinism" and "materialism."
Some people who say they are acting in the name of religion may misunderstand their religion or practice it wrongly. For that reason, it would be wrong to form ideas about that religion by taking these people as an example. The best way to understand a religion is to study its divine source.
The holy source of Islam is the Qur'an and the hadith of our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace); and the model of morality in the Qur'an-Islam-is completely different from the image of it formed in the minds of some westerners. The Qur'an is based on the concepts of morality, love, compassion, mercy, humility, sacrifice, tolerance and peace, and a Muslim who lives by that morality in its true sense will be most polite, considerate, understanding, trustworthy and accomodating. He will spread love, respect, harmony and the joy of living all around him.
The word Islam is derived from the word meaning "peace" in Arabic. Islam is a religion revealed to mankind with the intention of presenting a peacable life through which the infinite compassion and mercy of Allah manifest on earth. Allah calls all people to Islamic morals through through which mercy, compassion, tolerance and peace can be experienced all over the world. In Surat al-Baqara verse 208, Allah addresses the believers as follows:
You who believe! Enter absolutely into peace [Islam]. Do not follow in the footsteps of Satan. He is an outright enemy to you.
As the verse makes clear, security can only be ensured by 'entering into Islam', that is, living by the values of the Qur'an.
Allah calls people to peace and security, whereas irreligious ideologies encourage conflict and terror.
Allah has commanded people to avoid committing evil; He has forbidden disbelief, immorality, rebellion, cruelty, aggressiveness, murder and bloodshed. He describes those who fail to obey this command as "following in Satan's footsteps" and adopting a posture that is openly revealed to be sinful in the Qur'an. A few of the many verses on this matter in the Qur'an read:
But as for those who break Allah's contract after it has been agreed and sever what Allah has commanded to be joined, and cause corruption in the earth, the curse will be upon them. They will have the Evil Abode. (Surat ar-Ra'd: 25)
Seek the abode of the hereafter with what Allah has given you, without forgetting your portion of the world. And do good as Allah has been good to you. And do not seek to cause mischief on earth. Allah does not love mischief makers.' (Surat al-Qasas: 77)
As we can see, Allah has forbidden every kind of mischievous acts in the religion of Islam including terrorism and violence, and condemned those who commit such deeds. A Muslim lends beauty to the world and improves it.
Islam is a religion which provides and guarantees freedom of ideas, thought and life. It has issued commands to prevent and forbid tension, disputes, slander and even negative thinking among people.
In the same way that it is determinedly opposed to terrorism and all acts of violence, it has also forbidden even the slightest ideological pressure to be put on them:
There is no compulsion in religion. Right guidance has become clearly distinct from error. Anyone who rejects false gods and believes in Allah has grasped the Firmest Handhold, which will never give way. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. (Surat al-Baqara: 256)
So remind, you need only to remind. You cannot compel them to believe. (Surat al-Ghashiyah: 22)
Forcing people to believe in a religion or to adopt its forms of belief is completely contrary to the essence and spirit of Islam. According to Islam, true faith is only possible with free will and freedom of conscience. Of course, Muslims can advise and encourage each other about the features of Qur'anic morality, but they will never resort to compulsion, nor any kind of physical or psychological pressure. Neither will they use any worldly privilege to turn someone towards religion.
Let us imagine a completely opposite model of society. For example, a world in which people are forced by law to practice religion. Such a model of society is completely contrary to Islam because faith and worship are only of any value when they are directed to Allah by the free will of the individual. If a system imposes belief and worship on people, then they will become religious only out of fear of that system. From the religious point of view, what really counts is that religion should be lived for Allah's good pleasure in an environment where peopls' consciences are totally free.
According to the Qur'an, one of the greatest sins is to kill a human being who has committed no fault.
... If someone kills another person – unless it is in retaliation for someone else or for causing corruption in the earth – it is as if he had murdered all mankind. And if anyone gives life to another person, it is as if he had given life to all mankind. Our Messengers came to them with Clear Signs but even after that many of them committed outrages in the earth. (Surat al-Ma'ida: 32)
Those who do not call on any other deity together with Allah and do not kill anyone Allah has made inviolate, except with the right to do so, and do not fornicate; anyone who does that will receive an evil punishment. (Surat al-Furqan: 68)
As the verses suggest, a person who kills innocent people for no reason is threatened with a great torment. Allah has revealed that killing even a single person is as evil as murdering all mankind. A person who observes Allah's limits can do no harm to a single human, let alone massacre thousands of innocent people. Those who assume that they can avoid justice and thus punishment in this world will never succeed, for they will have to give an account of their deeds in the presence of Allah. That is why believers, who know that they will give an account of their deeds after death, are very meticulous to observe Allah's limits.
Islamic morality is described in the Qur’an as:
...To be one of those who believe and urge each other to steadfastness and urge each other to compassion. Those are the Companions of the Right. (Surat al-Balad: 17-18)
As we have seen in this verse, one of the most important moral precepts that Allah has sent down to His servants so that they may receive salvation and mercy and attain Paradise, is to "urge each other to compassion".
Islam as described in the Qur'an is a modern, enlightened, progressive religion. A Muslim is above all a person of peace; he is tolerant with a democratic spirit, cultured, enlightened, honest, knowledgeable about art and science and civilized.
A Muslim educated in the fine moral teaching of the Qur'an, approaches everyone with the love that Islam expects. He shows respect for every idea and he values art and aesthetics. He is conciliatory in the face of every event, diminishing tension and restoring amity. In societies composed of individuals such as this, there will be a more developed civilization, a higher social morality, more joy, happiness, justice, security, abundance and blessings than in the most modern nations of the world today.
The concept of forgiveness and being understanding, described in the words, 'Make allowaences for people' (Surat al-A'raf: 199), is one of the most fundamental tenets of Islam.
When we look at the history of Islam, the way that Muslims have translated this important feature of Qur'anic morality into the life of society can be seen quite clearly. Muslims have always brought with them an atmosphere of freedom and tolerance and destroyed unlawful practices wherever they have gone. They have enabled people whose religions, languages and cultures are completely different from one another to live together in peace and harmony under one roof, and provided peace and harmony for its own members. One of the most important reasons for the centuries-long existence of the Ottoman Empire, which spread over an enormous region, was the atmosphere of understanding that Islam brought with it. Muslims, who have been known for their tolerant and loving natures for centuries, have always been the most compassionate and just of people. Within this multi-national structure, all ethnic groups have been free to live according to their own religions, and their own rules.
True tolerance can only bring peace and well-being to the world when implemented along the lines set out in the Qur'an. Attention is drawn to this fact in a verse which reads:
A good action and a bad action 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. (Surat al-Fussilat: 34)
All of this shows that the morality that Islam recommends to mankind brings to the world the virtues of peace, harmony and justice. The barbarism known as terrorism, that is so preoccupying the world at present, is the work of ignorant and fanatical people, completely estranged fromQur'anic morality, and who have absolutely nothing to do with religion. The solution to these people and groups who try to carry out their savagery under the mask of religion is the teaching of true Qur'anic morality. In other words, Islam and Qur'anic morality are solutions to the scourge of terrorism, not supporters of it.