Penang, 17 Sya’ban 1437/26 May 2016 (MINA) – Islam and the Muslim image are being maligned internationally as a result of the nefarious activities of organisations such as the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and their splinter groups operating in Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
These groups are identified with terrorism.
They use Islam and its concept of jihad to recruit members and to justify their violence against moderate regimes, which they categorise as infidels.
Their actions do not reflect the teachings of Islam. Islam does not condone, or more aptly, the religion abhors the destruction of lives and property, irrespective of religious creeds.
Islam has established the highest code of conduct, as exemplified by the lifestyle of Prophet Muhammad, to be emulated by believers, nst.com was quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
It is a religion of peace embodied in the Islamic greeting of “Assalamualaikum”, meaning peace be upon you.
Jihad is nothing more than terrorist activities that have hijacked and polluted the good name of Islam with their ideological beliefs that run contrary to Islamic teachings.
As a result, non-Muslims regard Islam as a religion of violence and its adherents as proponents of extremist ideas and actions.
Nothing could be further from the truth
The bad name and evil image of Islam have provided political fodder to many politicians, especially US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
He has vowed to bar Muslims from entering the United States of America if he becomes president.
Surprisingly, many Republicans favour this extreme stance, enabling Trump to win the primaries.
In all probability, he will be the Republican candidate for president
What happens then to Muslims who are American citizens? Will their citizenships be revoked and will they be deported and classified as persona non grata?
If they are allowed to stay, will they be treated as second- or third-class citizens? What about the thousands of Muslim students studying in schools, colleges and universities in the US?
Will they be forced to leave without completing their studies? This is diabolical to even contemplate, what more execute.
If Trump is elected and he carries out his promise, the world will face discrimination against one-third of the world population. Any recourse to the United Nations to mediate or solve this problem will result in mere rhetoric.
Promote true Islamic teachings and practices
It is time Islamic countries, through the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states and other regional bodies, promote the true teachings and practice of Islam.
First on the agenda is that Islamic countries must denounce terrorist groups masquerading as warriors fighting for Islam.
Secondly, warring Arab and Middle-Eastern countries must end their feud and present a civilised front to the world.
Thirdly, leaders of Islamic countries must be models of good behaviour and conduct and be free from selfish and corrupt practices. They should emulate the just governance and simple lifestyle of Prophet Muhammad, who prioritised the welfare and prosperity of the ummah over himself.
Fourthly, Islamic countries should conduct their international engagements in a forthright manner, placing integrity, honesty and sincerity at the forefront of their deliberations.
Fifthly, Islamic countries should pool their resources to advance their economies and use their resources as leverage in economic and security engagements to benefit the ummah, with the rich helping the poor.
This way, we can salvage and boost the image of Muslim countries and transform them into economic powerhouses that lead rather than be led. (T/R07/R01)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)