By Bilal Ahmed Homran
As I was growing up and studying, Islam became an important aspect in my life. As I turned ten, I began to pray, fast and memorize verses from the Koran. Islam is the religion of the Muslim, as set forth in the Koran, which teaches that there is only one god, Allah, and that Muhammad is his prophet. Being a Muslim is who I am, and it is part of what defines me as an inhabitant of this world. As a Muslim I have been taught that the answers to problems can be dealt with by looking at the issue from a different perspective. And on the other hand we can also solve the issues of our time by communicating and addressing the root cause that leads to conflict.
Many Muslims and non-Muslims are unaware that for one to be a good Muslim, one must first need to be a good Christian and a good Jew. As I grew into Islam, I have begun to question the world, to champion the rights of others. Islam has instilled in me compassion for the inhabitants of this world. Islam, in my point of view, has taught me to be aware of my surroundings and to help those around me. I truly believe that we are all human and we must all survive together until we awake from this dream that we have not yet awoken from.
Islam has defined me as a person of peace and understanding. Islam has also given me rules and guidelines on how to live my daily life in a moral and ethical way. Unfortunately, this may not be the case for many in our community.
You see, one extraordinary value unknown to many about Islam is that the Almighty declares that killing an innocent person is like killing all of mankind. This is summed up In Surah 5, verse 32 of the Holy Quran. Yet many don’t know that verses such as this exist in the Quran. And unfortunately I must ask, who is to be blame? In my humble opinion it is us – Muslims.
Atrocities around the world have sadly become routine; People killing people for various reasons and causes. After each terror attack, I assume that radical Muslims carried out the crime. I apologize if I’ve offended anyone, but we have to honest with ourselves.
8 year-old Martin Richard was one of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. An innocent child has left our world because of a Muslim. No, the entire Muslim world is not responsible for the crime, but we as Muslims must begin the journey to define and discover what leads so many from our people to resort to evil.
Islamist militants have also attacked and murdered many Muslims around the world; evil knows no limits. Our Islamic scholars and elders must lead an open discussion on terrorism and radicalism in our communities. If we don’t commit to rooting out terror during this dark period in our collective history, we will lose our identity. The identity of Muslims was born out of a struggling against injustice, sent to us by the Almighty.
Our beloved Prophet Mohammed knew no evil and felt no hate towards others. His life represented the purity of mankind. His teachings have united a region and inspired equality and respect for all beings. Muslims benefited culturally and intellectually. It’s Muslim leaders who have failed the people.
While Muslims are victims, we are the victims of our silence. We must end this dark chapter in our lives and address radicalism in our society openly and respectfully. I am sorry if I’ve offended anyone, but it doesn’t matter if you’re angry over what I have stated. Because of our silence about extremism, many innocent people have lost their lives. This is why it doesn’t matter if this will anger you.
May those who’ve departed because of evil rest in peace. I hope for nothing less than peace and understanding.