BY

DR. ZAKIR NAIK

MUSLIMS ARE FUNDAMENTALISTS AND TERRORISTS

Question:

Why are most of the Muslims fundamentalists and terrorists?

Answer:

This question is often hurled at Muslims, either directly or
indirectly, during any discussion on religion or world affairs. Muslim
stereotypes are perpetuated in every form of the media accompanied by
gross misinformation about Islam and Muslims. In fact, such
misinformation and false propaganda often leads to discrimination and
acts of violence against Muslims. A case in point is the anti-Muslim
campaign in the American media following the Oklahoma bomb blast,
where the press was quick to declare a 'Middle Eastern conspiracy'
behind the attack. The culprit was later identified as a soldier from
the American Armed Forces.

Let us analyze this allegation of 'fundamentalism' and 'terrorism':

1. Definition of the word 'fundamentalist'

A fundamentalist is a person who follows and adheres to the
fundamentals of the doctrine or theory he is following. For a person
to be a good doctor, he should know, follow, and practise the
fundamentals of medicine. In other words, he should be a
fundamentalist in the field of medicine. For a person to be a good
mathematician, he should know, follow and practise the fundamentals of
mathematics. He should be a fundamentalist in the field of
mathematics. For a person to be a good scientist, he should know,
follow and practise the fundamentals of science. He should be a
fundamentalist in the field of science.

2. Not all 'fundamentalists' are the same

One cannot paint all fundamentalists with the same brush. One cannot
categorize all fundamentalists as either good or bad. Such a
categorization of any fund amentalist will depend upon the field or
activity in which he is a fundamentalist. A fundamentalist robber or
thief causes harm to society and is therefore undesirable. A
fundamentalist doctor, on the other hand, benefits society and earns
much respect.

3. I am proud to be a Muslim fundamentalist

I am a fundamentalist Muslim who, by the grace of Allah, knows,
follows and strives to practice the fundamentals of Islam. A true
Muslim does not shy away from being a fundamentalist. I am proud to be
a fundamentalist Muslim because; I know that the fundamentals of Islam
are beneficial to humanity and the whole world. There is not a single
fundamental of Islam that causes harm or is against the interests of
the human race as a whole. Many people harbor misconceptions about
Islam and consider several teachings of Islam to be unfair or
improper. This is due to insufficient and incorrect knowledge of
Islam. If one critically analyzes the teachings of Islam with an open
mind, one cannot escape the fact that Islam is full of benefits both
at the individual and collective levels.

4. Dictionary meaning of the word 'fundamentalist'

According to Webster's dictionary 'fundamentalism' was a movement in
American Protestantism that arose in the earlier part of the 20th
century. It was a reaction to modernism, and stressed the
infallibility of the Bible, not only in matters of faith and morals
but also as a literal historical record. It stressed on belief in the
Bible as the literal word of God. Thus fundamentalism was a word
initially used for a group of Christians who believed that the Bible
was the verbatim word of God without any errors and mistakes.

According to the Oxford dictionary 'fundamentalism' means 'strict
maintenance of ancient or fundamental doctrines of any religion,
especially Islam'.

Today the moment a person uses the word fundamentalist he thinks of a
Muslim who is a terrorist.

5. Every Muslim should be a terrorist

Every Muslim should be a terrorist. A terrorist is a person who causes
terror. The moment a robber sees a policeman he is terrified. A
policeman is a terrorist for the robber. Similarly every Muslim should
be a terrorist for the antisocial elements of society, such as
thieves, dacoits and rapists. Whenever such an anti-social element
sees a Muslim, he should be terrified. It is true that the word
'terrorist' is generally used for a person who causes terror among the
common people. But a true Muslim should only be a terrorist to
selective people i.e. anti-social elements, and not to the common
innocent people. In fact a Muslim should be a source of peace for
innocent people.

6. Different labels given to the same individual for the same action,
i.e. 'terrorist' and 'patriot'

Before India achieved independence from British rule, some freedom
fighters of India who did not subscribe to non-violence were labeled
as terrorists by the British government. The same individuals have
been lauded by Indians for the same activities and hailed as
'patriots'. Thus two different labels have been given to the same
people for the same set of actions. One is calling him a terrorist
while the other is calling him a patriot. Those who believed that
Britain had a right to rule over India called these people terrorists,
while those who were of the view that Britain had no right to rule
India called them patriots and freedom fighters.

It is therefore important that before a person is judged, he is given
a fair hearing. Both sides of the argument should be heard, the
situation should be analyzed, and the reason and the intention of the
person should be taken into account, and then the person can be judged
accordingly.

7. Islam means peace


Islam is derived from the word 'salaam' which means peace. It is a
religion of peace whose fundamentals teach its followers to maintain
and promote peace throughout the world.

Thus every Muslim should be a fundamentalist i.e. he should follow the
fundamentals of the Religion of Peace: Islam. He should be a terrorist
only towards the antisocial elements in order to promote peace and
justice in the society.


WAS ISLAM SPREAD BY THE SWORD?

Question:

How can Islam be called the religion of peace when it was spread by
the sword?

Answer:

It is a common complaint among some non-Muslims that Islam would not
have millions of adherents all over the world, if it had not been
spread by the use of force. The following points will make it clear,
that far from being spread by the sword, it was the inherent force of
truth, reason and logic that was responsible for the rapid spread of
Islam.

1. Islam means peace.

Islam comes from the root word 'salaam', which means peace. It also
means submitting one's will to Allah (swt). Thus Islam is a religion
of peace, which is acquired by submitting one's will to the will of
the Supreme Creator, Allah (swt).

2. Sometimes force has to be used to maintain peace.


Each and every human being in this world is not in favour of
maintaining peace and harmony. There are many, who would disrupt it
for their own vested interests. Sometimes force has to be used to
maintain peace. It is precisely for this reason that we have the
police who use force against criminals and anti-social elements to
maintain peace in the country. Islam promotes peace. At the same time,
Islam exhorts it followers to fight where there is oppression. The
fight against oppression may, at times, require the use of force. In
Islam force can only be used to promote peace and justice.

3. Opinion of historian De Lacy O'Leary.


The best reply to the misconception that Islam was spread by the sword
is given by the noted historian De Lacy O'Leary in the book 'Islam at
the cross road' (Page 8):

'History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims
sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword
upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myth that
historians have ever repeated.'


4. Muslims ruled Spain for 800 years.


Muslims ruled Spain for about 800 years. The Muslims in Spain never
used the sword to force the people to convert. Later the Christian
Crusaders came to Spain and wiped out the Muslims. There was not a
single Muslim in Spain who could openly give the adhan, that is the
call for prayers.

5. 14 million Arabs are Coptic Christians.


Muslims were the lords of Arabia for 1400 years. For a few years the
British ruled, and for a few years the French ruled. Overall, the
Muslims ruled Arabia for 1400 years. Yet today, there are 14 million
Arabs who are Coptic Christians i.e. Christians since generations. If
the Muslims had used the sword there would not have been a single Arab
who would have remained a Christian.

6. More than 80% non-Muslims in India.


The Muslims ruled India for about a thousand years. If they wanted,
they had the power of converting each and every non-Muslim of India to
Islam. Today more than 80% of the population of India are non-Muslims.
All these non-Muslim Indians are bearing witness today that Islam was
not spread by the sword.

7. Indonesia and Malaysia.


Indonesia is a country that has the maximum number of Muslims in the
world. The majority of people in Malaysia are Muslims. May one ask,
'Which Muslim army went to Indonesia and Malaysia?'

8. East Coast of Africa.


Similarly, Islam has spread rapidly on the East Coast of Africa. One
may again ask, if Islam was spread by the sword, 'Which Muslim army
went to the East Coast of Africa?'

9. Thomas Carlyle.


The famous historian, Thomas Carlyle, in his book 'Heroes and Hero
worship', refers to this misconception about the spread of Islam: 'The
sword indeed, but where will you get your sword? Every new opinion, at
its starting is precisely in a minority of one. In one man's head
alone. There it dwells as yet. One man alone of the whole world
believes it, there is one man against all men. That he takes a sword
and try to propagate with that, will do little for him. You must get
your sword! On the whole, a thing will propagate itself as it can.'

10. No compulsion in religion.


With which sword was Islam spread? Even if Muslims had it they could
not use it to spread Islam because the Qur'an says in the following
verse:

'Let there be no compulsion in religion:
Truth stands out clear from error'
[Al-Qur'an 2:256]

11. Sword of the Intellect.


It is the sword of intellect. The sword that conquers the hearts and
minds of people. The Qur'an says in Surah Nahl, chapter 16 verse 125:

'Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord
with wisdom and beautiful preaching;
and argue with them in ways that are
best and most gracious.'
[Al-Qur'an 16:125]

12. Increase in the world religions from 1934 to 1984.


An article in Reader's Digest 'Almanac', year book 1986, gave the
statistics of the increase of percentage of the major religions of the
world in half a century from 1934 to 1984. This article also appeared
in 'The Plain Truth' magazine. At the top was Islam, which increased
by 235%, and Christianity had increased only by 47%. May one ask,
which war took place in this century which converted millions of
people to Islam?

13. Islam is the fastest growing religion in America and Europe.


Today the fastest growing religion in America is Islam. The fastest
growing religion in Europe in Islam. Which sword is forcing people in
the West to accept Islam in such large numbers?

14. Dr. Joseph Adam Pearson.


Dr. Joseph Adam Pearson rightly says, 'People who worry that nuclear
weaponry will one day fall in the hands of the Arabs, fail to realize
that the Islamic bomb has been dropped already, it fell the day
MUHAMMED (pbuh) was born'