Since Islam and violence seem to be a popular topic for interreligious dialogue, I thought it might be good to get back to the root sources of Islam by posting an interview with an American Sheikh. news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/talking_point/3087728.stm
Here are some highlights from his comments on Islam and questions about violence in Islam:
But who’s innocent? Because al-Qaeda would say - and I’m not in any way trying to justify their actions - but al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden and those around him, would say that they have a God-given right to defend Muslims - that all their actions are merely in defence of they faith - that’s what they would say. Now to most people, those who died on 9/ll were completely innocent people - to al-Qaeda they are a part of a guilty party - that’s their view. How would you answer that?
Well I would say first that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said in a very clear Hadith which is considered multiply transmitted - which means that it’s at the same level of the Koran - it’s prohibited to kill women and children in warfare. So I’m sorry the taking of lives of women and children is prohibited and that’s been accepted practise by Muslims. Muslims are chivalrous. All of what’s going on now is resentment - it’s the slave morality that Nietzche described the modern age as being engrossed in - it’s the morality of people that have lost the sense of human dignity. One of the things about the Koran is it’s very clear that when tribulations happen to you, the first thing that you have to do is rectify yourselves. That’s very clear in the Koran [Arabic] - when you were afflicted by a calamity you had afflicted the like of it on others before - you said where did this come from - say it’s from your own selves.
That’s basically the Koran doctrine and to reject that and to begin to see these people as some kind of demons - they’re bad therefore we are good - this is what’s going to destroy the world. We’ve got idiots in the West that are claiming that the Muslims are demons and then we have idiots in the Muslim that are claiming the West are demons. I’m sorry, human beings each one of us has within us good and evil.
And my favorite:
To return to the central theme of this discussion that we’re having Sheikh Hamza, do you think that the violence which is carried out in the name of Islamist extremism is essentially secular in nature?
I think it’s secular - you know terrorism to jihad is what adultery is to marriage.