Islam’s Internal Enemies

Unfortunately, Muslims who hold a twisted view of and approach to Islam are doing greater harm to their religion than their enemies.
By Abdülhamit Bilici

Caliph Omar, who is renowned for his attention to justice, paid a visit to the sacred sites after taking over control of Jerusalem from Governor Sophronius. He visited Masjid al Aqsa and later also wanted to see the Church of Resurrection where, according to Christian belief, Jesus was crucified and prepared for burial. Sophronius, who was walking with Omar, recalled that he performed prayers everywhere he visited and asked him to do the same at the church. Omar rejected the request saying, “If I perform prayer here, Muslims will build a mosque on this very spot.” Instead he found an empty area to the south of the church for prayer, upon which Muslims thereafter erected a mosque named after Omar.
Caliph Omar, before leaving the city, introduced guarantees for the local people so they could freely exercise their religious freedoms. The pact, undersigned by the Caliph and his commanders, guaranteed the properties and lives of all people regardless of whether Omar, the Caliph, was sick or healthy. He further assured the people that there would be no interference in their sacred places, symbols or religious beliefs; that churches would not be converted into residential homes; that the previous rights of the people would be preserved; and that there would be no pressure or repression. Overall, he assured that nobody would be harmed.
This approach, which has served as the basis of how Muslims should treat others, has been upheld from then until now. The Ottoman experience confirms this. A book entitled “Macedonia under the Ottoman Rule,” based on archive resources, provides a clear example of the approach in the Balkans. Yako, a Jewish man who was living in Skopje, addressed a petition to the Office of the Governor on Aug. 1, 1870 to sell alcoholic beverages in his store in Tahtakale. The petition was referred to the municipality for review the next day. The local assembly, in its reply six days later, stated that even though the location was suitable for launching such a business, it was necessary to seek the opinion of the administrative assembly as the store was facing a church. The administrative assembly in turn denied permission on the grounds that it was facing a church and there were a large number of people walking by the store.
This is part of our legacy of religious tolerance, but to understand our current status one must simply look around. Everybody talks about the idealized state of religious freedom and acceptance during the Ottoman era, but in reality, there is a state of savagery everywhere which is intolerant of other religions and even dissenting Muslim views. The radical and extremist movements, including the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and its derivatives, who convert sectarian and ethnic identity into political fanaticism do the greatest harm to Muslims. Beheadings, the destruction and burning of educational institutions and places of worship, young people being killed violently while delivering meat to the poor, are all products of this mindset.
Unfortunately, Muslims who hold a twisted view of and approach to Islam are doing greater harm to their religion than their enemies.
http://(www.todayszaman.com)

Comments

be the first to comment on this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Go to TOP