Not a doorway to heaven
By Jamil Abdul Razzak Hajoo, The Seattle Times, 22 September 2001
Unfortunately, today in this country and other countries, there is a tendency to identify Islam with terrorism. This false accusation is generated by either ignorance or animosity toward Islam.

The truth of the matter is that Islam stands for peace with justice for all. Islam condemns terrorism against human beings, regardless of their faith, race or nationalities. Terrorism is antithesis to Islam. Terrorism is barbarism.

Sadly, there have been cases of violating the Islamic tenets by zealous and deviant Muslims who refuse to pattern their conducts and behaviors after the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Their behavior did not originate from the teaching of true Islam. Rather, they are the result of human failure and shortcoming.

The airplane terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing thousands of innocent human beings, is repugnant and sinful in the Islamic standard. While it is still not clear who carried out this crime, it must be stated no right-minded follower of true Islam could possibly condone such a horrific act. The teachings of the Qur'an and the Prophet forbid Muslim soldiers, in time of war, from killing innocent people or destroying a building.

The terrorists, whoever they are, could not be worthy Muslims. The Islamic message is a message of justice, peace and mercy to all mankind. A cowardly act of terrorism against innocent people is not a doorway to heaven but a gateway to hell. Islam rejects aggression and self-serving retribution. Islam holds the human soul in high regard and considers the attack against one human being a grave sin.

The Holy Qur'an warns: "Whoever killed a person not in retaliation of murder or in spreading mischief in the land it would be as if he killed all mankind and if anyone saved one life it would be as if he saved all mankind" (Qur'an 5: 32). Prophet Muhammad said "Whoever hurts a dhimee (a Jew or a Christian protected by Islamic state) he would be like hurting me and who hurts me, he hurts God."

The act of terrorism is a dirty political act and cannot be a religious act. Many American Muslims have been killed in this tragedy and many Muslim firefighters have died trying to rescue people. We pray to God to help the victims and their families and join the nation to have the perpetrators be brought swiftly to justice.

Jamil Abdul Razzak Hajoo is the spokesman for Idriss Mosque in Seattle.

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