Does Daesh or ISIS Represent True Islam?
Whenever a terrorist attack occurs or any targeted society or country experience any sort of atrocity committed by Daesh, also called ISIS, one immediately start hearing and reading statements such as "it has nothing to do with Islam", "Daesh are not muslims" or "those people have never read the Quran".
These arguments are often well-intentioned and sincere, but they are, unfortunately, false and intellectually dishonest. It is like living inside a bubble, refusing any type of cynical reality seen or experienced under the flag of Islam. Without any hesitation we see religious individuals react with hatred against anybody who discuss any sort of pessimistic influence or cultural habits practiced within the Islamic society. In fact, we reject any sort of real discussion or debate concerning any Islamic habit, belief or way of life, which in fact result into vulnerable and hard to overhaul societies, both culturally and socially. We blindly defend an existing concern of an historic impasse in the Muslim world, without engaging in any second thoughts, or conduct any conventional or established study on the matter.
Today the Muslim societies are deeply affected by all sort of taboos (haram), leaving an open opportunity for extremist to easily manipulate the poor and unfortunate minds of the young in muslim societies, as unfortunately, the fanatics of Daesh, who claim to speak and act within Islam, their convictions, their actions and worldview are sadly intended as a perfect replica of the original Islam. The same Islam that Quran and sunnah taught today in many islamic societies.
Truthfully speaking, followers of Daesh apply the Quran to the letter, making hadith the foundation of their daily lives, and desire to fully reproduce the first known political form of Islam, the caliphate. Their world is certainly fantasized and anachronistic, but it corresponds to a reality that existed 14 centuries ago, at least in the religious books and hadith. To deny or refuse to recognize it would be a delusion.
Religious texts are the alpha and omega of any soldier of Daesh. Like other jihadist groups (Al Qaeda, Egyptian groups 1980-1990), they massively justify their actions by reference to the Quran and Sunnah. Their documents, press releases and books are constructed as theological and religious demonstrations. They rely on verses and hadith which are a result of a particular context, marked by wars waged by the prophet Muhammad against his opponents resulting in the birth of the first Islamic state in Medina.
The Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule. these religious verses are used by extremists to easily manipulate other Muslims, as even if the interpretation may be unconventional, fundamentalist uses a deadly literal reading these religious texts to answer any sort of questions asked by the victim. It is a psychological game, played in perfection by extremists in different parts of the world, resulting in an infinite recruitment of jihadists worldwide.
The Quran is full of verses that can easily be understood in many different semblance.
Verses from Quran
- ...fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you.. (2.190).
- ...and kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers... (2.191)
When it comes to sunnah and hadith, we find an even more extensive collection of violence organized by Muhammad Ismail al-Bukhari, one of the most respected of the Hadith redactors,
Hadith of Bukhari
- Allah's Apostle said, "The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say."O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him." Bukhari (52:177)
- The Prophet... was asked whether it was permissible to attack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger. The Prophet replied, "They (i.e. women and children) are from them (i.e. pagans)." In this command, Muhammad establishes that it is permissible to kill non-combatants in the process of killing a perceived enemy. This provides justification for the many Islamic terror bombings. Bukhari (52:256)
Religion and terrorism
Many verses in the Quran and hadith such as " jihad is the highest peak of Islam " are abundantly cited repeatedly by the fundamentalists of Daesh. But in fact, they have not invented them or diverted from their literal meaning.
Without prevarication, the Quran, like any other religious book, contains violent and belligerent passages. They are the expression of their time and context of their revelation. The Caliph Ali, cousin and son in law of the Prophet, summed up the matter in a clear and farsighted message: "The Quran is two lines written in a book. It is men who interpret them", he said. The same Caliph Ali who was later murdered in the early years of Islam by a fanatical sectarian foreshadowed Daesh. Our refusal to see the truth upfront, and recognize the share of violence in Islam creates a double standard of morality in muslim societies, as in case anybody opens any sort of debate regarding any hadith or verse in the Quran, we quickly and desperately surpass it with beautiful verses in the Quran or hadith, otherwise it is pointed as Bidaa (innovation), kufr(concealing) or shirk (associating someone with God).
In modern societies debates and discussions are no longer needed in order to get all details about any information asked by anybody about Islam. The world have changed. Today young can easily get any information they need at their fingertips. With a quick search on google they can list any hadith or verse from the Quran (with translation and explanation), including violent and inordinate texts. We shall also take into account that kids in Muslim societies grow up with Islam being the only important truth in life, having no serious debate and explanations on these type of verses/hadith may end up confusing the young generation that easily can me manipulated by these literal religious verses and hadith, and later off course by a good experienced extremist preacher.
Education without taboo
Unfortunately, and with great disappointment that I add into my analysis the lack of proper education without any type of taboo or restrictions. I believe it would be beneficial conducting an intense study in Islam by international universities, and not only by traditional single-minded preachers, analyzing and explaining the different meaning of hadith and verses in the quran, as any denial of these violent religious texts takes us into a spiral of hypocrisy and confusion that makes our religious young more endangered, unprotected and easy manipulated by extremist groups.
By harping slogans like "no ijtihad in the presence of a religious text" and "the quran is valid at any place and any time," prevent us from having a rational and historical reading of religious texts, understanding the root meaning behind the verses and adapt the text to modern society.
In arabic there are many words which are polysemous and have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic field. It is thus usually regarded as distinct from homonymy, in which the multiple meanings of a word may be unconnected or unrelated.
We need to conduct a proper reading and a peaceful understanding of the Quran, as in the end of the day, Islam is a religion of love and peace justifies by clear verses from the quran. Islam according to the Quran teaches love and compassion for every human being, no matter their religion. Adnan Oktar (Harun Yahya), whose television show is watched by millions in Turkey and the Arab world believes the problem for the majority of Muslims is that some groups are following traditions and superstitions invented centuries after the Quran was first sent and the Prophet lived, and these have gotten more radical over time. read more here about his clear and peaceful reading of the one and same book as the one hold by extremists.
We should read the religious scripts with our hearts and not with our emotions. (Picture: Mohamed Azazy)