Islam means Peace. However, in its 14-century long history it has rarely promoted peace. Violence in all its forms has been its hallmark The turbulent times that its founder, Prophet Mohammed, peace be on him, saw and experienced convinced promoters of new religion that violence was the panacea of all worldly ills. The Prophet was himself banished from his place of birth and work, Mecca to find refuge in Medina. It was indeed a result of an armed struggle that he regained Mecca. Thereafter, it was the sword of Islam which spread the new faith to many continents. The faithful followers indeed reaped what they sowed.
Prophet Mohammed breathed his last in 632 AD. The war of succession followed. The great divide took place followed by violence and war of great magnitude. The Shiite and the Sunni sects parted ways for ever. The Sunnis almost imposed their will on Shiites regarding succession through violence and slaughter. The Shiites have been mourning their losses ever since. Violence as a creed to give effect to political plans took firm roots in Islam. Perhaps , the terrorists of today have inherited this philosophy of life and a conviction that ends can be achieved by terrorising opponents. A terrorist snatches away from the terrorised individuals the most precious right, namely, the right to life. Obviously a civilised society cannot afford to find excuses to condone an act of terror, be it in the name of religion, faith or whatever.
Islam, as it is interpreted and practised in Madarsas, the archaic schools of religious teachings, breeds hatred for non-believers who are contemptuously called, Kafirs. The maulvis and imams ,in their post-Friday prayer sermons ,preach violence and contempt for those who do not believe in Islam. Exceptions may be there but these are few and far between. Those who did not believe in Islam were terrorised to embrace it. With the result, terror is promoted as a part of belief in Islam in Madarsas and mosques. Moderate elements in Islam turn Nelson’s eye to the spread of what Tony Blair termed as perverted form of Islam. Terror is the tactics to subjugate those men and women who do not toe the line of promoters of belief that the world revolved around Muslims and others had no right to live in it.
The archaic form of laws applied by Muslim countries are far removed from modern jurisprudence. The teachings by archaic schools of Islamic thought adopt the psychological method of brain washing and convert young recruits ready to die for all wrong reasons. The term "fidayeen"is an offshoot of archaic and misplaced belief that an Islamic terrorist who kills others and is in turn killed goes to Heaven. Terror takes roots in minds of men who discover this short cut to Heaven. It will be relevant to add that the concept of Heaven in Islam is aplace where a ghazi or a martyr receives in abundance all that is forbidden in this mortal world. Wine and women find a place of prominence among comforts offered to a martyr in an Islamic heaven.
Where do we go from here? All sane persons should encourage moderate elements in Islam not only to oppose archaic thoughts by word of mouth but by action. Ideas have to be combated with ideas. The obscurantist preachers in mosques should be singled out and put through reformatory schools. Only modern jurusprudence and progressive laws of the land , both civil and criminal, should be compulsorily applied to Muslims too. China has done it with success. In China Muslim males are not permitted to take four living wives at a time.
The principle followed in China is " Nan nyu ping deng" that is equality between men and women. In Islam women are not allowed to have four living husbands at any given time, likewise men should not be permitted to have four ling wives at a given time. It is worth emulating. It should be strictly enforced all over the world. It will make Muslims realise that they cannot be beneficiaries of an archaic system prevalent in medieval times in the middle-east society. This will in turn promote modern social thinking and wean away the misguided youth from maulvies. The youth will indeed like to merge with the mainstream of social life.
The Islamic terrorism of today is a global problem. It has to be tackled globally by men and women of all creeds and castes, region and religion. No one, an individual or a nation, should look for excuses to condone terrorism. Indeed ideas have to be fought with ideas and likewise terror of a sect or a religious group has to be fought with all might at the command of a country or a group of countries. The rule of law is fine but it should be borne in mind that Islamic terrorism ha to be eliminated at all costs. One should not hesitate in putting into practice the primitive law ," eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth" This was put to practical use by the Police in the Punjab, India against sikh terrorists and separatists and by the british army in Malaysia to put down terrorism ruthlessly. Of course, new laws may have to be enactec banning preaching of religious terrorism in mosques and eulogising slain terrorists or honoring them as martyrs. Active support of moderate muslims should be forthcoming in rooting out Islamic terrorism.
Muslim women, if and when liberated from the clutches of obscurantist males, will have a major role to play. They are oppressed souls now. Many muslim priests are opposed to allowing women inside mosques to say prayers. Women have no role in decision making. The system of Triple Talaq gives Muslim males right to divorce their wives at will by just pronouncing "talaq, talaq. talaq" These triple pronouncements spell doom for the marital life of a muslim female. When they are liberated, they will have a sobering influence on society and discourage irresponsible thought and action of their loved ones. A fine example of liberated muslim women playing a responsible role in society is that of Turkey. With the result, the government, specially the armed forces, ensure that turkey does not revert to archaic form of Islam. The modernisation of Islamic society by Kemal Ataturk showed them the path to prosperity and peace of mind.
It is for others to follow suit and help curb terror through liberalisation of Islamic concepts. A country which does not wish to liberalise its archaic dogmas will only be promoting concepts conducive to Terrorism. Besides Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and even the much maligned Iraq gave varying degrees of freedom to their women. May be, Muslim women come forward and raise the flag of liberation, liberation from bigotry and fanaticism so that their children and children’s children live in peace and prosperity along with their brothers and sisters of other faiths all over the world. All will walk on the path of righteousness and eliminate the very concept of terror.
Women form half of the human society. The Chinese say "PAN TIAN" , that is they are half of universe. If our women join the war on terrorism, no Osama will dare promote it in any part of the world. The 9/11 in New York, the 7/7 in London and thae dastardly terrorist attack on the Hindu temple of Ayodhya will indeed become history. We will indeed await that glorious sunrise.
Let all sections of society move together for improving the quality of life in the civil society, irrespective of personal beliefs of a section. As the Vedas, the most ancient book in Man’s library, says "SANGACCHDHWAM SAMVADADHWAM SAMVO MANASI JANTAM", that is "Let us walk together, let us talk together, let us shape our thoughts together for the good of one and all. Let all sections of a civil society know that we must swim or sink together. This change of mind and heart will sound the deathknell of terrorism.