ING Statement on Religious Extremism; 12/11/09

ING is saddened and disturbed to learn of the recent alleged attempt at terrorism on a flight to Detroit by a Nigerian national. This incident comes closely on the heels of the arrests of 5 missing young American Muslim students in Pakistan where they had allegedly traveled to join groups that promote a twisted ideology that sanctions indiscriminate violence and chaos. Ameena Jandali, founding member of ING stated in a recent forum, “we must all takes steps in our mosques and other organizations as well as in the greater society to counter the threat that extremist ideology poses to our youth, and take steps to address it by providing education on Islam’s teachings about moderation, mercy, the sanctity of innocent human lives and the primacy of skecurity in society.”

See: Against Terrorism and Religious Extremism: Muslim Position and Responsibilities

ING joins fellow Muslims in the U.S. and the world in rejecting the distortion of the Islamic faith to promote violence fear, and chaos both in the U.S. and in Pakistan, Iraq, and other places where terrorism against innocent civilians has become a daily occurrence. ING emphasizes the need more than ever for Muslim scholars and lay people alike to clearly delineate the authentic teachings of Islam that prohibit targeting innocent civilians and sowing fear, insecurity and chaos in society.

ING reiterates that such wanton, random and inhumane targeting of civilians totally contradicts all Islamic tenets relating to the sanctity of life and the primacy of security, as well as basic principles of justice. Justifying such actions using the Qur’an which clearly condemns taking an innocent life, or prophetic sayings, which include condemnations of even wanton killing of animals, is a distortion of a religion whose very name is rooted in peace, a religion that teaches that “taking an innocent life is like killing all of humanity.” There is nothing in the teachings of the Qur’an or the message of the Prophet Muhammad that allows sanctions or permits such heinous crimes and perverted actions. There is no justification in the wrong actions of others that legitimizes actions prohibited by Islam, which above all else is a moral system.

See: U.S. Religious Council’s Fatwa (Islamic Religious Ruling) Against Terrorism

Such actions and ideology do not reflect the sentiments of the majority of the world’s Muslims, who according to a recent world poll by Gallup overwhelmingly reject attacks on civilians as morally unjustified. A recent Pew study shows that “violent jihad is discordant with the values, outlook and attitudes of the vast majority of Muslim Americans, most of whom reject extremism.” Muslim scholars, organizations and individuals worldwide have repeatedly condemned terrorism, both following the 9/11 attacks, and in subsequent years following attacks in Europe and elsewhere.

See: Islamic Statements Against Terrorism and Muslim Voices Against Extremism & Terrorism