Murder in the name of Islam has been a recent trend in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Recently, two activists were hacked to death in a savage attack. The Ansar al-Islam group has taken responsibility for this brutality. The murderers need to be punished and they need to understand that they cannot hide behind the curtain of Islam to defend such acts. One wonders what Islamic authority they rely on when Islam does not allow one to kill. Murder in Islam is never justified. The Holy Qur’an declares, “ … whosoever killed a person … it shall be as if he had killed all mankind” (5:33). Islam advocates for universal human rights and freedom of conscience, speech, and religion. Those who choose to kill innocent lives only tarnish the name of the faith they believe they are defending.
Islam stresses on universal human rights. The loss of these two lives are a loss to the whole of humanity. No one has the right to take another’s right to live. God created us all equal. The Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him(pbuh), was attacked and persecuted many times but his response was patience and peace. The Holy Qur’an states, “O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female; and we have made you tribes and subtribes that you may know one another. Verily the most honorable among you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most righteous among you. Surely Allah is All Knowing, All Aware” (49:14). This verse displays that Islam believes in equality. Every human is the same and only God can judge according to individual’s hearts and righteousness. Righteousness cannot be achieved by violence. Therefore, extremists have no right to take another’s life just because they do not like the other person or do not agree with his/her actions.
The Holy Qur’an states, “And worship Allah and associate naught with Him and show kindness to parents, and to kindred, and orphans, and the needy, and to the neighbor who is a kinsman, and the neighbor who is strange, and the companion by your side and the wayfarer and those from whom your right hand possess. Surely Allah loves not the arrogant and the boastful” (4:37). True Islam clearly tells everyone to take care of each other and live in peace without any violence. This is the true teachings of Islam that the extremists need to follow and accept.
Extremist ideologies must be challenged head-on. Efforts such as the True Islam and the Extremists campaign are necessary around the world to educate both Muslims and non-Muslims to help understand that Islam is not the cause of extremist ideas. I encourage everyone to visit TrueIslam.com and learn the real teachings of Islam so that the mentality of extremism can be won with education. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) stated, “You are as brothers, one to another, so let no one transgress another nor leave one another to endure transgression unaided.” (Trimidhi)
The Bangladesh’s government needs to step up in protecting its people and fight the extremists who are targeting and attacking innocent people. It is the government’s inactiveness that gives rise to such violence and encourages extremists to kill people as there are no consequences. Murder in the name of Islam must be condemned not only by us but also the passive governments that sit idle when it occurs.
Ramlah Malhi-Saifi is a social media associate team member of the True Islam and the Extremists campaign and can be followed @RamlahMalhi and can be reached at email@example.com.