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Terror Does Not Represent Islam

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 30/03/2016 Rameza Bhatti
GERMANY MUSLIMS © JOHN MACDOUGALL via Getty Images GERMANY MUSLIMS

The attack in Brussels left many people dead or injured. It was followed by the killing of a Muslim in the Scottish city of Glasgow, because he wished his fellow townsmen a Happy Easter.
Then, there was a suicide attack in Lahore, in a park, where Christian families were celebrating Easter. And who was behind that attack? People who call themselves Muslims.
But do these people really practice Islam? Are these people religious at all?
Often, there is confusion between the teachings of a religion and its followers.
Because of a few black sheep, or people who deliberately exploit a religion and abuse its teachings, an entire religion is dragged through the mud.
Why must Islam be blamed for a gruesome act of terror? Must we, as Muslims, answer for acts of murder?
No. These acts were committed by men without morals, and possibly, with psychological issues. The only thing we have in common with these people is that, like them, we have two eyes, two hands, and two feet.

Their only goal is to spread terror. It doesn't even matter to them what the Quraan says or doesn't say, because these people are not Muslims.

Why, then, must I be blamed for the actions of a Muslim who does not follow the teachings of my peaceful religion? Just because this man calls himself a Muslim, and probably has a beard, doesn't mean that he is practicing Islam. Just because he cries "Allah is great" before committing a bloody attack, doesn't mean he represents my religion.
By committing these acts, he forgets the other attributes of this great God: grace and mercy.
This God has said in his holy scripture, the Quraan: "Whoever kills one person, kills all mankind, whoever saves one person, saves all of mankind," (5:32).
The prophet of this religion endured pain and suffering. This man was insulted, stoned, and beaten bloody, but he never committed violence. He had a lot of respect for other religions. He cried all night long, mourning humanity. When God allowed him to defend himself, that's when he started to fight in defense of his religion.
And it is on this particular case that his famous verse: "Kill the infidels..." is based. The verse applies to this particular defensive situation.
Not a single verse in the Quraan calls for his followers to spread hatred. On the contrary, Islam is a means to restore peace to the world.
The so-called Islamic State kills innocent people on the grounds that they are unbelievers. They do so because they are sick, and have brutal and perverse intentions. But they do not do so because they are Muslims.
The Koran states, "Your faith is for you, my faith is for me," (109:6; 18:29; 10:41; 2:256). There must be no compulsion in religion, because the matter of faith is an affair between man and his God.
Every practicing Muslim feels pain at the thought of Paris, Belgium and now, Pakistan.

Even if someone doesn't believe in any God, God himself says: "And do not insult those whom they worship instead of Allah, lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge," (6:108).
Allah forbids insults, and yet these "Muslims" go so much further: they kill.
I'm often asked, why some Muslims drink alcohol or why women wear headscarves and at the same time, smoke.
This is often my first answer: There are Muslims who treat their wives badly, and then there are other men who do not let their wives out of the house. There are women who do not speak to other men, and Muslim men who sexually assault women in the subway. Islam does not teach the oppression of women and, in equal measure, it does not teach the killing of people!
In a park in the Pakistani capital of Lahore, approximately 50 people were torn to death by a bomb. This terrorist group dubbed "Taliban" was sending the following message: We see Christians as the target.
But most of the people killed were Muslims. There were 29 children among them. Recently, in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, a school was attacked. These terrorists kill children.
They murder children who have just started school. These were not predominantly Christian, not Jews, and not students of different nationalities. These were Pakistani Muslims. How can the killers justify their actions now?
Does the Quraan command the murder of little children? No! Do you see how these people take advantage of our religion? They spread terror regardless of the "who and "how." They do not care who dies and what these people believe. Their only goal is to spread terror. It doesn't even matter to them what the Quraan says or doesn't say, because these people are not Muslims.
Western society is not the only victim of terror: Muslims are too. We suffer together, and what binds us is not religion or nationality. We are united by humanity, love and loyalty.

They are a disgrace to the name of Islam! They are cold-hearted killers who only seek to divide humanity. Each act of hatred and hostility brings them one step closer to that goal. These are people who are proud to kill others. They are proud when they succeed in suppressing any voice that fights for freedom and equality.
To profess it is Islamic to kill people in the name of Islam is barbaric. Every practicing Muslim feels pain at the thought of Paris, Belgium and now, Pakistan.
What these people represent is not, and will never be, our religion!
Western society is not the only victim of terror: Muslims are too. We suffer together, and what binds us is not religion or nationality. We are united by humanity, love and loyalty.
Why would we want to support these terrorists, who we completely disagree with? Let us rise together against this terror! We Muslims stand with you in your sorrow and pain, and we will fight against this terror to our last breath. We will spread the peace until, finally, it trumps hatred. Love for all, hate for none.
This post first appeared on HuffPost Germany. It has been translated into English and edited for clarity.

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