With the news of this morning's terrorist attacks in London streaming over the radio waves, my heart and prayers go out to those and their families who were injured or killed. As expected, speculations arising that the perpetrators might be from Al Qaida, it is hard not to link such acts with Islam and the Muslims.
I am a Muslim, and have chosen to be so. The word Islam in the Arabic language means "submission to God's commands", and Muslim means "a person or thing that is in that submission". Any Muslim you meet will tell you that the Quran prohibits killing innocent people, regardless of their creed, culture, or ethnicity. The Quran states, "Whoever takes an innocent life, it is as if he has killed all of humanity." Further the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, upon him peace, stated "Do no harm nor reciprocate harm." Being in submission to these commands is what being Muslim means.
And so, I ask that we all take a moment to understand that those who attacked the innocent people of London and for that matter anywhere in the world and claim to be Muslim should be ashamed of themselves as they drag a faith founded on justice and peace through the quagmire of violence and deceit. And to know that the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, except for a few misguided extreme maniacs, are peaceful and want just what we want; safety, security, and the peace of mind as we try to make our way through life caring and loving our spouses, parents, children, friends and neighbors. In fact, the Muslims who exemplify the high morals of Islam are never heard of or seen as our modern media is bent on sensationalism and one sidedness that points the finger at everybody else but fails to see what is in the mirror. The words Islam and Muslim are never seen associated with people like Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens), www.yusufislam.org.uk and my dear friend and fellow photographer, Peter Sanders www.petersanders.com or one of my teachers Hamza Yusuf Hanson, founder of the Zaytuna Institute www.zaytuna.org, which is dedicated to reviving the true teachings of the Islam. People like these show the beauty of the Muslims and the Islamic Faith.
I request that if we hear someone bad mouthing Muslims and Islam, that we kindly ask them to stop doing so, as it will only perpetuate the violence and hatred, and will benefit no one. This cycle of violence must stop. We cannot allow the violence to continue by harming and reciprocating harm to one another. It will only bring ruin to the world. In truth, the strongest of people is not the one who can lash out and pummel his or her opponent, but the strongest is the one who can restrain their anger, maintain their composer and show benevolence and act justly. Please, for the sake of God, help bring peace between people in the world and not war. Have we not seen enough?
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Islam and the Muslims
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Peace to you all!