Sir, why are all terrorists
By Firoz Bakht Ahmed
why is it that all terrorists are Muslims?" Prajvi Bagga
Malhotra, a Class 11 student of Modern School, asked me this
question during a discussion about current events. This was
a very timely, bold but sensible question and being a Muslim,
I was accountable to address the curiosity in the minds of
a class of 52 students.
isn't the only one to have alluded to the Western media coined
statement that all terrorists are Muslims but all Muslims
are not terrorists.
so many voices stating that the religion advocates violence,
Islam is today under the scanner. Not all of them can be wrong
- people judge by what they see and today these terrorists
speak and act violently in the name of Islam.
told Prajvi that the guiding themes of every religion are
the same. Islam too has the same theme and ideology as other
religions but a few people misled some of its followers in
the name of god.
(Mumbai), Kafeel in Glasgow, Mumbai blasts by the Memons and
others in India, the jehadis in Kashmir, 9/11, 7/7 (London),
13/12 (Delhi), 29/10 (Delhi) and the Al Qaeda at a global
level - all these make my head go down in shame.
so embarrassing that each time a Muslim name is found attached
with the inhuman and insane acts of terrorism.
that jehad is the most misunderstood and misconstrued concept
by our non-Muslim brethren and even Muslims. The true concept
of jehad in Islam is not to be against other communities,
groups or religions but to be against one's own selfish nature,
vices and shortcomings within Muslim society in order to fight
evil, injustice, inequity, illiteracy and ignorance. First
an individual fights jehad against himself to get cleansed.
After that he continues the efforts with his wife, family,
locality and the whole community. This is Jehad-e-Akbar, the
right meaning of jehad.
is a political process and religion or a religious community
has nothing to do with it. Neither does any religion teach
to kill innocents (that is what the terrorists do) nor are
the terrorists the people chosen by that religious community
to undertake such ghastly acts on their behalf.
an average Muslim's fears are hate crimes, difficulty in finding
jobs, admissions and residential accommodation, unwanted repercussions,
distrust and other such things that always get exacerbated
by such incidents. Muslims also fear a backlash like the 1984
Sikh riots against them. Terrorists should not be helped in
creating a rift between communities.
Mumbai attackers did try to create a cleavage between Hindus
and Muslims. However, though a tragic incident, it did have
a silver lining in that it cut across religious lines and
saw people uniting in their horror and outrage.
leaders of some parties have even begun to think that any
criticism of Pakistan would not be relished by this country's
still remember that during the last general elections in India,
to appease Muslims the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) boasted
of the Lahore bus and improving relations with Pakistan as
one of its major achievements. It's so sad that these people
still treat Indian Muslims as Pakistan's stooges.
all Indians know that a few terrorists do not tarnish a whole
community, the government for fear of losing votes will not
take the matter up with the Pakistani government seriously
and will just resort to rhetoric.
is quite clear now that Indian politicians of all shades were
somehow living under an illusion that if they were to turn
harsh against acts of terror, they would alienate the Muslims
of this country.
will they ever realize that by doing so they are clearly reflecting
their perverted psyche of labelling all Indian Muslims as
pro-Pakistanis, which is the worst abuse for any Indian Muslim.
soft on terror will not make Muslims happy as the perpetrators
of such acts do not segregate their targets by religion. If
the politicians of this country think that by shying away
from taking on terrorists directly and by going soft on terror
they will get kudos from Muslims, they are sadly mistaken.
public in general has now had enough of those who exploit
religious sentiment in order to gain electoral and political
mileage. The recent poll results in Delhi are an indication
rider is: let us save Islam from "the Muslims",
Hinduism from "the Hindus", Christianity from "the
Christians", Judaism from "the Jews" and Sikhism
from "the Sikhs" and other zealots as religion is
a very personal matter and as humans, we are all same.
Bakht Ahmed is a commentator on social and religious issues
and the grandnephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the freedom
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)