By Aiman Reyaz
There is a sharp contrast between what Islam is and what Islamists do. Islam is that spiritual path which any person can achieve by submitting his will to God; while Islamists are those so-called devout Muslims who believe that their spirituality is to convert other non-Muslims and “deviant” Muslims into their version of Islam and they act upon this belief, mostly by using terror tactics.
I believe that anyone can be a Muslim. A person becomes Muslim by his deeds and not by dress or words. The Quran is filled with verses which say that those who submitted themselves to God attained felicity and their destination is Heaven. Doing is more important than saying; similarly if you say that there is but one God and Muhammad is His Prophet, you then enter into the religion of Islam, but if your actions belie your words, then you are still not a Muslim.
Islam talks about: purifying oneself internally, Hijab of the soul is more important than the Hijab of the body, and “inviting all to the ways of God with beautiful preaching”; but the Islamists act upon: external purification, focus is more on the external Hijab and instead of “beautiful preaching”, they terrorise people into accepting their version of Islam, which is totally exclusive, superior and individualistic (i.e., non-pluralistic).
The biggest threat to Islam is not from the West and their “conspiracies” but it is from these Islamists, who not only malign the face of Islam, but they also make life miserable for the common Muslims, who face the reaction of the non-Muslims.
Although the Quran clearly is against terrorism, yet the number of Islamic terrorist attacks is on the rise.
Since 2010 till current times, there have been over 35 deadly terrorist attacks perpetrated by militant Islamists. Pakistan, India, USA, Egypt, Russia, Philippines, Germany, Thailand, Nigeria, Morocco, Iraq, UK, Israel, Bangladesh, Libya, Mali, France, China and many more countries have faced these terrorist attacks. And if we take into account only the numbers of terrorist attacks since 2001, then it is way over 300. Around 5000 (and way over 10,000 if we take into account terrorist attacks since 1970) people have been killed only because these innocent people did not believe what the militant Islamists wanted them to believe. And these are official reports; unofficial ones are almost just double.
I believe there are two types of Islamists: first, are those who sincerely believe that Islam is the best religion and it is superior to other ways of life; second are those Islamists who believe the same, but they go a step beyond, they can and will kill others those who do not subscribe to this ideology. While the former merely says and believes; the latter not only says and believes, but they also act upon their twisted belief. Both are dangerous!
By Aiman Reyaz