Everyone is talking about how ISIS developed, where it has taken over and how it can be stopped. The prevailing view is that the power vacuum in the Middle East has given birth to organizations such as ISIS. There are even people who want to see Syria return to rule by the bloodthirsty dictator Assad. The way that young people coming from a Western lifestyle are joining ISIS is creating astonishment in Western countries.
The reason for this amazing strengthening of ISIS is that a fanaticism that has no place in the Qur’an has spread globally, from Europe to the Far East. Some Muslims even make the error of thinking that what ISIS is doing is commanded by the Qur’an.
The fact is, however, that in the view of the Qur’an, violence, terror and the slaughter of non-Muslims have no place in Islam. According to the Qur’an, war is only permissible for defensive purposes, when life, property or honor are threatened; even in such situations, Muslims have a duty to behave reasonably, moderately, fairly and to treat any captives they take kindly. In the view of the Qur’an, Muslims must feed their prisoners before they feed themselves, must strive to establish peace as quickly as possible and must protect civilians and the innocent.
Yet most people are unaware of these truths. That is why people with little knowledge of the Qur’an fall into the error of thinking that being a Muslim means being a fanatic.
The fanatical mindset denies the right to life of everyone else
Everything that organizations such as ISIS and al-Qaeda do actually stems from innovations that have no link to true religion. The members of such organizations wrongly imagine that nonsense, fabricated commandments and a state of mind consisting of violence and hatred in fact are required by Islam.
When we look at those places in which the fanatical mindset is dominant, we see that instead of art being made, large numbers of works of art are destroyed because the fanatical mindset regards music, sculpture and painting as sinful. It is impossible in such places to perform almost any kind of scientific activity, or to even mention women’s rights. Women are regarded as supposedly worthless entities with no place in social life. Those who share that mentality never recognize the right to existence of people with different lifestyles or beliefs. There is no room in their lives for eating at table, using a knife and fork, brushing one’s teeth, shaving every day, wearing cologne, laughing out loud, listening to music or dancing, and they believe that anyone doing so must be punished.
So how can this mentality, which resorts to violence and threatens not only the West but the entire Islamic world be prevented?
How can terror organizations such as ISIS be stopped?
People must first be told that this repressive and atavistic mindset that threatens all mankind is in fact fanaticism, and that it conflicts with Islam and the Qur’an. In order for misperceptions of Muslims to be eliminated, Western societies need to be shown that there is a difference between Islam and the fanatical mindset. They must therefore be told that it is not Islam and Muslims they need to be wary of, but fanaticism; otherwise, Muslims in European countries and the USA and the members of ISIS and al-Qaeda will start being regarded as one and the same and that means the targeting of Muslims.
The subject of “the need for an armed reaction” to put a stop to ISIS has come up in the last few weeks. People are saying that the spread of the organization can be stopped with limited U.S. air strikes turning into a wide-ranging operation. But it is not the solution.
The USA faced a similar problem in Vietnam, and rained tons of bombs down on communists who were threatening the entire world. Yet that got them nowhere, and communism continued to spread at full speed across the world. Efforts were subsequently made to eliminate the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan through armed interventions. Yet that also failed to produce results, and al-Qaeda-like organizations have today spread across a wide region from Nigeria to Yemen. The position in Iraq, despite the passage of several years and the expenditure of billions of dollars, is plain to see.
These examples plainly show that it is pointless to resort to force against the fanatical mindset. No results can be achieved unless the fanatical mindset is opposed through culture. If ISIS is destroyed with bombs today, another bloody organization representing the same mentality will spring up in another country. Therefore, the important thing is to expose the erroneous nature of the fanatical mindset through evidence from the Qur’an.
Describing the difference between fanaticism and Islam
The main reasons for the problems being laid at the door of Islam are ignorance and fanaticism and the only solution to these sicknesses is education. People who seek to express their rights through violence need to be told that violence is the diametric opposite of Islam, and that they will do little else but harming Muslims and all mankind. The supporters of such organizations have to be educated to rid them of this inhuman savagery. It is of the greatest importance for such a policy of education to be initiated at once. Sincere Muslims across the world can assist with such work. They can help put an end to ignorance by writing books and articles, through various educational initiatives and by teaching Islam's cultural heritage. They can show everyone the difference between fanaticism and Islam by living by the moral virtues of the Qur’an and encouraging others to do so.
Once the compassion, peace and well-being commanded by God prevail across the world, terror will vanish from the scene, never to return.
The whole world must know that Islam is not the cause of terror, but rather the essential and only solution to it. Islam is a religion filled with love and based on compassion and forgiveness.
Adnan Oktar's article on Urdu Times