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Days Before the Brussels Attacks, This Muslim Leader Issued a Call for Peace and Justice

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 28/03/2016 Atif Rashid

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Airport terminal (Photo by RudyMareelPhotography)
Airports are notoriously known for their high levels of security checks and precautions. It makes an attack at an airport all the more shocking, frightening and inscrutable. If a place so heavily guarded can be attacked, are we safe anywhere? What people forget though is that security at airports is primarily meant to safeguard planes and their passengers onboard, not airport terminals necessarily. Don't be surprised then if we see more security at airport entrances forthcoming.
No matter how much precaution we take or security measures we make, if we don't look while we cross the road or poison ourselves with an unhealthy diet or drive recklessly, we're bound to be hurt. Let alone giving our enemy the means to attack us. The point being, we can be as careful at our airports, train stations and public buildings as we like but until we stop handing our enemies the means to attack us, until we stop letting our own youth be contaminated with exaggerated images in the media and calls to join the pseudo caliphate online, until we look to the core reasons for the problems and stop blaming the religion of 1.6 billion peaceful adherents, the situation will only continue to be exasperated.
That's not to say we shouldn't take precautions or heighten security. Of course we should, it's the only logical, albeit short term but necessary response to an attack. All viable steps need to be taken to protect the innocent and disrupt plans of extremists. But if we really wish to stop these attacks from happening, all across the globe, in Turkey, Belgium, Paris or Nigeria, and God knows where else, a long term plan and accurate, considered action is essential.
Daesh would love to claim responsibility for every terror attack, the opportunists will strike fear by attributing such terrorist attacks to themselves heightening anxiety of their enemies and increasing legitimacy amongst their supporters. Ironically they're the illegitimate issue of Western intervention and hardline rebel extremists.
They're so far removed from Islam that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (on whom be peace) disassociated himself from Daesh and the like 1400 years ago. He prophesized such heinous people calling themselves Muslims will be born and warned the Muslims not to estrange themselves from him by killing others. But that won't stop power-hungry Daesh in using Islam to gain power, wealth and influence. Studies have shown not religion but anger at foreign occupation and revenge as the real motivations for suicide attacks. The media has its part to play in all this as well.
It's always striking, the double standards of the news. Paris and Brussels are attacked and we have grandiose displays of solidarity and outpours of sympathy, rightly so I may add. But where is that same unity and goodwill when Ankara or Beirut are bombed? In the global village we live in, such apathy and duality is unacceptable.
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Ankara, Turkey (Photo by Jorge Franganillo)
No doubt we feel more grief and shock when those near us geographically or culturally are hurt. Every undue loss of life through terrorism, wherever in the world it happens, casts a dark shadow over humanity and makes one reel in horror at the depths of human depravity. So if we must condemn one attack, we must condemn all attacks and show solidarity with all countries since it's the only way to defeat the germ that is ISIS.
And why all this anti-Islamic rhetoric only when a European country is attacked? Don't people realise that Muslims and Muslim countries are also victims of Daesh who purposely misconstrue teachings of Islam? There are steps we can take to stop such attacks though.
It's quite easy for us to place sanctions on Iran and Russia in a heartbeat but when it comes to shutting off the supply lines and funding of Daesh, our MPs lazily rather vote to bomb cities and towns as if macho men looking to come to the rescue. Perhaps applying pressure on the 40 countries in business with Daesh to cease trade would help. Putin knows who they are but apparently we don't like talking to him much.
We can attack countries on the pretext of liberation, we can support murderers and exporters of terror with the excuse of keeping diplomatic relations (I'm talking about Saudi Arabia) and we can pay billions to countries to keep refugees out of our own backyard. When it all comes back to bite us on our doorstep though, suddenly we're left wondering, analysing as to what just happened and why.
A few days ago one prominent Muslim leader in London addressed dignitaries including Dominic Grieve, Zac Goldsmith and Justine Greening who were in attendance. The annual Peace Symposium was hosted by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK and their Caliph, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad made a call for all leaders to exercise justice in world affairs since it's the only way to maintain peace.
2016-03-26-1459032601-7732897-ScreenShot20160108at22.16.08.png © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-26-1459032601-7732897-ScreenShot20160108at22.16.08.png National Peace Symposium at the Baitul Futuh Mosque, London
Justice is being abandoned for worldly, materialistic desires, even by those pretending otherwise or using religion (which is the antithesis of materialism, vanity and avarice) as a cover for their illegitimate conquests. On the one hand, when oil is at stake, all sense of humanity, decency and justice goes out the window in blind thirst for black gold.
On the other hand, all teachings of religion regarding honesty, truth, equality and fairness are ignored when it comes to land, power and influence. Instead Daesh cherry pick violent verses outside of their context to further their own motives disregarding all verses of peace, justice and goodness which constitutes the majority of the Muslim holy book.
It was further stated by the aforementioned Muslim leader that the media shouldn't give excessive coverage to extremists or sensationalise stories. The fact is that news companies have a vital responsibility in reporting the news in a fair, balanced and truthful way. Despite this important obligation, most prefer to gain viewing figures and sales over contributing to maintaining a peaceful society free from hype and sensationalism.
The case and point is right before our eyes. While many criticise Muslims for not doing enough, Muslims speaking out against these atrocities are as if non-existent to the media. No wonder many think Muslims are silent and don't condemn these terrorists.
There are perhaps millions of Muslims ready to speak out against Daesh and in the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association for example, thousands gather every year to pledge loyalty and allegiance to this very country. When a handful go to join Daesh though, suddenly we have the news story of the year. It won't be fair to say the media is completely biased though. Many do interview peaceful Muslims and present both sides of the story.
However, unless we stop giving terrorists free publicity and stop overly prolonging coverage of their heinous crimes while overlooking all the good Muslims out there, it's not likely these attacks will stop any time soon.

NAMUR © Hans-Peter Merten via Getty Images NAMUR

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