Feb 28, 2024
Feb 28, 2024
President Barack Obama has declared war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Reportedly he wants India’s support though he has not specified in what manner. However, India should have no hesitation in making a unique contribution. Despite horrendous ISIS violence many youths are being attracted to the movement. Beyond the military aspect there is a big ideological challenge. Every religious community has a fundamentalist fringe. When fundamentalists of one community provoke there is inevitably a fierce backlash from fundamentalists of other groups. The biggest threat posed by fundamentalists today is by the Jihad organizations which in the name of Islam have created global terrorism. Secularists have failed to counter fundamentalists. They fail because terrorists spread their venom by invoking the name of God. They can only be countered by opponents who also invoke the name of God. What then might be done to counter terrorists?
A simple solution is suggested.
Military force to destroy terrorists is not enough. The battle to win the minds of people remains. Terrorists distort religion to serve their evil instincts. The distortion with maximum damage is created by the flawed concept of Jihad invoked by Muslim terrorists to spread their so called Holy War. The Koran does not describe Jihad as a Holy War. During the Crusades in the medieval ages it was Christians who described their Muslim adversaries as waging a Holy War. The term stuck and was adopted by Muslim terrorists to describe terrorism, which violates teachings of the Koran, as Jihad or Holy War.
The Koran describes Jihad as a movement to spread teachings of the Prophet. There can be Jihad of the tongue to spread the message, of the pen to spread knowledge, of the hand to act charitably, and of the sword to rise in self defence against oppression. Strict discipline is imposed for fighting in self defence in the manner that Guru Gobind Singh prescribed for the Sikh Khalsa. All these branches of Jihad are described as lesser Jihad. Only the Jihad of the heart and soul is the Greater Jihad. In this by contemplation and introspection the soul is purified in the manner that Saints of the Bhakti, Sufi and other faiths prescribed.
How then might fundamentalists be countered? It could be attempted by invoking the name of God and the true meaning of all religions as interpreted by the Saints of the Bhakti and Sufi movements. These Saints considered founders of all religions to be conveying the same message. It is to merge the soul through meditation and introspection with the Ultimate Power called God. Christians described this Power as ‘Word’, Hindus as ‘Anahad Naad’, Sikhs as ‘Shabd’ and the Muslims as ‘Kalma’. All mean the same. The Bible says: “In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God. The Word was God.” It is propagating similarity of all religions by quoting from the sacred religious texts that fundamentalists can be isolated. To defeat fundamentalism make God an ally!
More by : Dr. Rajinder Puri
|Perhaps a clue to resolving the bewilderment expressed in the observation you make: 'Despite horrendous ISIS violence many youths are being attracted to the movement.' is that youth with its idealism has made a sound choice based on its experience of a decadent world that we ourselves recognise as such!
Also, it is forgotten that Mohammed financed his movement initially by caravan raiding, and worked himself up in the world through violent confrontation and eradication of his enemies. Was it not Mohammed who ordered the slaughter of a whole Jewish community because it had 'betrayed' him? It was not always a case of spiritual jihad - this concept was developed later once an Islamic state was established - but Mohammed is very much the conscious role model of IS who have the same aim of establishing an Islamic state, as the name suggests, under Allah.
All this talk of God somehow treats God as a third party on the sidelines who is utterly at the disposal of the methods and solutions of little men of all religious persuaions who claim to represent God. This betrays a complete lack of understanding of God Who is the foundation of existence, in control of all events as a manifestation of principle. IS is providentially in place. The evil identified in IS diminishes our own evil that has occasioned it to come into existence. It is that very evil that has compelled youth to join the IS movement.in the first place, even as Mohammed acted against the false gods of his day.
In fact, the fight against IS is solely justified as a fight for the principle of humanity it offends, and that its understanding of God manifestly overrides. This fatal flaw in Islam is from the beginning a denial of the human principle in God, of the second person of the Trinity, God made man, Jesus Christ, from whom man derives his nature and dignity, and whom Christ identifies with in those suffering indignity in all its forms. This Christ has risen from the dead and will judge all in the scale of the principle of humanity. Only in the divine principle of humanity.is the west justified in its attack on IS: you might say, Divine providence has given it the historical task to compensate for its own evils, and manifest the Divine principle of humanity that created the universe and is the end of creation, and that will prevail for all eternity.