A Skulking One-eyed Mullah

January 25, 2015 at 1:30 pm

“ I do not know where Osama came from.    I do not understand ISIS.  They are not Muslims.  Islam is not violent.  We greet each other by wishing that God’s peace be with you.  The last revelation from God through the Prophet, may God’s peace be upon him,  was  effectively ‘To live and let live.’   We are to let others live in peace and ask to be left to live in peace.”

We were shopping in a handicraft shop with our good friends, John and Mary, just before their departure to the US two weeks ago.  The Muslim shop attendant was showing us a “Happy Buddha” statue of a 15th century laughing  Japanese Buddhist monk.  The Paris terrorist attack had just happened and he volunteered that the terrorists were not Muslims.  I said that they sure gave Islam a bad name. He then responded with the statement above.  We had also recently witnessed the celebration of the Prophet Muhammad’s birth anniversary.  My driver reinforced the retailer by saying that in ISIS territories,  Muslim faithful were afraid to go outside to celebrate the Prophet’s birthday.  “How,” he asked, “could these guys be Muslims?”

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan was quoted in the Times of India (November 4) long before Paris: “Terrorism has no place whatsoever in Islam; it is not acceptable or justifiable under any circumstance.  If an individual or group has a grouse or complaint, it can be addressed using peaceful means.”

Also in the same newspaper Aamir Raza Husain wrote “ It is regrettable that a religion of pacifism should be linked to violence.  That the perpetrators of violence carry it out in the name of religion is blasphemous…Islam stands for peace…it is a path of grace and harmony…The Muslim greets another with the salutation, ‘Salaam’—Peace.  He prays for peace, fasts for peace and gives in charity to gain ultimate peace.  He starts conversations with salaam and ends his prayers with ‘salaam.’”

I am reminded of our recent visit to Hamuyan’s Tomb in Delhi with John and Mary.   John was taking a picture of Mary in front of mammoth 16th century door.  6 Muslim men were walking side by side and they all looked at us at the same time.  It was like an “eyes right” command had been given.  I said “Salaam Aleikum.”  They responded in unison “Walekum Salaam”.  They stopped and gathered around John and I to learn who we were and from where we hailed.  There was much smiling as we parted.  John was amazed.

One of my partner buddies visited from Grand Rapids last November.  When he learned that Hyderabad is 50 percent Muslim and that my driver is Muslim, he commented on how  Islam  is not particularly popular in the states right now.   I commented that I have never met a finer human being than my driver and told him how when I read the Gulf news, the leaders of UAE, Saudi, etc. are trying to address the radicalization of their youth and other segments of the population.  They  are hoping that education may provide a key.  The leaders are hopeful that reinvigorating the system of education will both train their young in what the Koran teaches as well as prepare them so that they will not be  unemployed.  The Gulf states are also talking about joining together to enhance their military capability to fight ISIS.

I recently read ( in the local media I think)  how parents are shocked by questions from their children about misinterpretations of the Koran that they find on the web when they google certain questions.  Those who pervert Islam for their own ends have propaganda all over the web.  The religious leaders are talking about how to make sure that their young are educated in a manner to avert that influence.

Kathleen and I hear Muslims refer to some Muslims as “Bad Muslims.”  We have heard a few times that the terrorists will end up in hell.

Islam is not centralized.  There is no one central figure that can speak out against terrorism.  While many in the US, wonder why Muslim leaders are not speaking out, those that do speak out, do not  seem to get any attention.  Someone apparently decides that it is not newsworthy.  Aamir Raza Husain wrote in the Times of India last November:

“No imam of a mosque, no sheikh or head of an Islamic state and not the followers of the late and unlamented Osama bin Laden of the al-Qaida nor the skulking one-eyed Mullah Omar of the Taliban have ever had any universal religious sanction to lead Muslims into battle. Since the time of the Prophet, there have been saboteurs and hypocrites in the ranks of the Uslim Ummah.  These are the modern-day terrorists who have unleashed a reign of fear, tarnishing the name of Islam.”