سید نظام الدین طاهر
Islamic scholars worldwide have forbidden suicide attacks and stated clearly that anyone who commits suicide will go to hell, but some people still do it – in the name of Islam. Why is this?
All religions have a history of their leaders misusing the teachings of their professed religion for their own ends, in a manner that has nothing to do with God / Allah and the original teachings; and unfortunately, this also applies to Islam. Those influenced by the false teachings are often ignorant of the true teachings and not infrequently have difficult inner and / or external challenges and conflicts that make them susceptible to the promise of simple solutions. It needs to be said, also, that the mass media, in all countries, tends to favour reports on extremist views and dramatic events: in the West there is often the criticism that Muslim leaders do not oppose extremist views on terrorist actions, but the media (in the West, as well as elsewhere) is also guilty of not reporting on the voices of calm and reason.
In the recent years, in some countries, particularly Afghanistan, there has been an increase in such suicide attacks, resulting in an increasing number of atrocities and corresponding pain and tragedy for the general populace.
The most basic goal of these attacks is intimidation. In Afghanistan, this has resulted in a large “brain drain”, and the flight of capital (money) and other riches to other countries in the region, or even further afield; also, the destruction of the people’s confidence in the security services and the national police, and the extinguishing of any bright hope for the future of the country.
Close observation reveals that the situation has deteriorated in recent weeks and months, getting worse rather than better as the peace loving majority brace themselves for the departure of the United States and its allies in 2014. It is probable that this is connected with the Afghanistan government criticising the policies and actions of Pakistan regarding Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is understandably unhappy with Pakistan’s policies, which have brought suffering and pain to its close neighbour, and the growing close relationship and partnership between India and Afghanistan will probably result in Afghanistan being for a time even more burned by the fire of suicide attacks by the Taliban – aided by, probably even initiated by, Pakistan, angered by this Afghanistan India rapprochement.
More than a decade of experience has shown that President Karzai’s personal tastes and hasty decisions, taken without consultation or any discernible specific strategy, causes confusion about the nation’s interests in the region and world, so that the people of Afghanistan are not be able to know which countries are their friends and which countries are enemies.
However, if the new Afghanistan policy, of building stronger relations with India, is not changed, I believe that it will bring benefits in the long term, and we will see a reduction in suicide attacks.
= 1. Re. teaching about the sin of suicide attacks: the previous official president (before and during the time of the Taliban, deposed by the US and its allies in favour of Hamid Karzai in 2001), "Academician" and Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani spoke out clearly and strongly, and “just days before he died, Rabbani was trying to persuade Islamic scholars to issue a religious edict banning suicide bombings which happened in the year 2011. The former president's 29-year-old daughter said in an interview that her father died shortly after he spoke at a conference on "Islamic Awakening" in Tehran. "Right before he was assassinated, he talked about the suicide bombing issue," Fatima Rabbani told Reuters. "He called on all Islamic scholars in the conference to release a fatwa" against the tactic.” – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burhanuddin_Rabbani. Most of the world’s media merely mentioned his death, not Rabbani’s important statement. This is but one example of how the media tends to report the sensational, but not the sincere initiatives of peace loving Muslim leaders, who risk their lives in their efforts – and Pres. Rabbani is but one of many who are killed because of the words of peace.
= 2. Afghanistani academics who might prefer to educate their fellow countrymen and women in Afghanistan include Prof. Lalzad in London, and Prof. Bashier Ahmad Ansari in Texas.
= 3. It is possible that the Taliban will also be further helped by Iran, because of help being given by the US to the Syrian opposition fighting to oust Pres. Assad, a fellow Shia Muslim.
Saturday 25 may 2013
Sayed Nizam Taheri
author and political commentator
Director of Nasr Welfare Foundation, Universal Peace Federation Ambassador for Peace
Amsterdam – The Netherlands