Monday, 11 January 2010
Islam and terrorism
by Aba Saheed
This morning I am going to step on toes. Powerful toes for that matter.
Dogmatic toes. Fanatical toes. And self conceited toes. I hardly write on
religious matters especially in a country where virtually everybody is mad
about religious dogmas; dogmas whose history they hardly know
and dogmas that were rammed in largely through brain washing and mostly idiotic
But today I must talk, especially in the face of wrong assumptions giving birth
to wrong deductions and extremely biased conclusions. For too long, a section of
the world population had set itself against other people’s cherished religions
and cultural values, and they do it with reckless relish as if they have all
once gone to heaven, eaten eba or salad with their own concept of God and
returned to earth.
And since the arrest of young Mutallab at the Detroit airport, all sorts of
comments and innuendoes have littered the streets, with some calling for
Mutallab’s father’s head, and some demonising Islam as if it was the religion
founded by Prophet Mohammed that sent Mutallab undetected through the airport in
Amsterdam. And to make matters worse, the young man has not even been tried lest
convicted of any offence. And media judges have jumped to the conclusion that
the young man should be executed.
Let me make one point clear: I support public execution for anybody who attempts
to blow up an aircraft. Any evil minded individual who callously decides to
terminate other people’s lives; especially innocent people’s, has forfeited his
or her right to live.
But the point at issue here is the undeserved demonization of Islam. An example
of that narrow-minded demonization is the hurried criminalisation of Nigerians
just because one young man, one out of 150 million Nigerians was caught with
burnt underpants trying to do what is yet to be established in the court of law.
Even if Mutallab was eventually found guilty and convicted of a suicide bombing
attempt, would that qualify ALL Nigerians for the same guilt? Did America
condemn ALL American people because of McVeigh’s atrocious terrorist act; the
worst that was ever committed by an American on American soil?
Now let us go to the kernel of today’s treatise. A lot of people who hold
religious views opposed to Islam tend to equate Islam with terrorism. And any
time there is a suicide bombing or suicide murder, such biased individuals jump
to the conclusion that the perpetrator or perpetrators must be Muslims.
And when Catholics or Protestants blow each other up either in Northern Ireland
or in the streets of London , the so-called Euro-American media will never call
them terrorists nor would they say Protestant bombers or Catholic bombers. But
if any group opposed to some politics in Somalia or Iran or Iraq should engage
in self-determination fight, the jaundiced media would be quick to call them
`extremist Islamists’ [whatever that means].
Now let us look at the reality on ground. Suicide of any shape or manner has
nothing to do with any religious persuasion. I used to argue, and still do that
there was no single case of suicide bombing in Israel before 1948. And yet Islam
had existed before 632 AD. Islam did not begin in 1948. If therefore there had
been suicide bombings after the 1967 War, the cause must be located somewhere.
The people who killed Indra Ghandi were not Muslims. The suicide bomber that
killed Prime Minister Rajiv Ghandi was not a Muslim. And several suicide bombers
in the long-drawn Tamil Tigers campaign were not Muslims.
The reality on ground shows that suicide does not know any colour, racial or
religious profiling. And there are statistics to back up this claim. And
psychology teaches us that anybody who can take his own life can take any other
Japan is NOT a Muslim country and yet it has the reputation of being dubbed `a
suicide nation.’ [Reference J Epidemiology Community health January 1, 2009]
According to K Inove, Japan recorded 344,483 suicides in 2009 alone! Secular
suicides are also on the rise in Japan .
But the real master of murder suicides or homicide suicide as it is called is
the country that is always quick to call other nations `mass murderers’.
According to Google Search , America alone in the year 2009 recorded 119,000
total number of homicide suicides. That is a whopping 326 murder suicides per
day! That is people killing other people before turning the lethal weapon on
themselves. And America is NOT an Islamic country. And all these suicide
murderers are NOT Muslims!
America’s National Centre for Health Statistics also recorded additional 33,300
deaths from suicide in the same year 2009. Free Frank Warner says that New York
alone records two murders every 24 hours! The US Army data show that in January
2009 alone 24 suicides were recorded, while MOX News says that US military
suicides `outnumber soldiers killed by Enemy!’
We have gone this length to show that when it comes to mindless murders or
people taking other people’s lives to settle a score, America , a non-Islamist
nation has no master on planet earth.
The world must begin to address its mind to the real causes of murders and
suicides. Never in the history of mankind has suicide risen to this height.
There must be several underlying causes for people to decide to take their own
lives, or take other people’s lives before shooting or bombing themselves. The
cause or causes must be laid squarely outside the confines of one religion or
And we do not help matters if we left leprosy to grow wings while expending
energy on mere irritating craw-craw.
My views have nothing to do with sympathy for any religion. This writer does not
believe dogmatically on any organised commercialised religion. And it is not out
of ignorance, having graduated from Quranic School at 10, had an A in Bible
Studies, performed pilgrimage to Mecca and Jerusalem . Besides, if a man
believes that mixing sand with saliva can open a blind eye, why should any one
quarrel with some one who says he can cure blindness with mere words of
incantation? If some one believes that the symbol of Roman crucifixion is all he
needs to be saved from danger, why should any one quarrel with some one who
carries an effigy of the axe used to silence John the Baptist? If some one
believes running round the black stone in Kaaba will bring him luck why should
any one quarrel with the man who puts letters in cracked walls in Israel in the
hope that such letters will be read by god?
Religious tolerance should allow a man who believes that sacred pots hanging in
his door way will prevent armed robbers from invading his house, just as it
allows a man who puts a huge wooden crufix under his pillow.
I submit that Islam or any religion for that matter cannot and should not be
made scape goat for the world on the brink of collapse. There is too much anger
in the air. There is too much frustration. There is a frightening hopelessness.
There is hunger. Mankind has lost its soul. Scapegoatism will not restore it.
Solution or part thereof is in Justice, Fairness and Equity. At all levels: in
the home, locally, nationally and globally.