The religion of Islam is at the crossroads at present. As is evident from the history of the religion, the biggest threat to it since the last 1450 years has been from none other than the people who call themselves ‘Muslims’. But unfortunately their thoughts and actions were never in tandem with the true Islamic teachings. This was the reason that Islam, since its inception, started to break down into two major groupings- one that of the Prophet and his family members’ teaching spirituality, peace, forgiveness, love and harmony, the other one represented by the power, kingdom, arrogance, cruelty, injustice and exploitation, but still vowing to symbolize Islam. With the passage of time, the Islam of the Prophet continued its spread by way of liberal and humane teachings whereas the ‘Islam’ of the kings and monarchs undertook coercion and violence to continue its forceful spread. Consequently, today the true Muslim seems helpless whereas the bigots are busy degrading the Islam in front of the world.
Either it is the battlefield of Karbala 1400 years ago or medieval invasions of the Mughals or the Taliban and Al Qaeda of present, these “Muslims” have dented the image of Islam to such an extent that today it is being debated what are the actual Islamic teachings- Is it what the progressive Muslims follow across the world or is it the bloodbath that has been happening since last 1400 years in the name of Islam in different parts of the world. Such a debate becomes an imperative when we witness that a woman like Benazir Bhutto is killed in a bomb blast. Here the killers call themselves the representatives of Islam, and their act- Jihad. All this notwithstanding that Islam prohibits assault on women and the Quranic verses say that the killing of a innocent human being tantamounts to the killing of entire humanity.
Similarly, Salmaan Taseer, the governor of Punjab province of Pakistan was killed by his own security guard. The assassin Mumtaz Qadri acknowledged that he decided to kill Taseer after listening to a Maulvi. According to him Taseer was involving in Blasphemy. And ultimately, he killed the man whose security and protection was his responsibility. Here the question is whether the bigot Qadri was following Islam by killing Taseer or was Taseer following Islam by standing for the cause of an innocent Christian woman Asia bibi? Does the Islam of Qadri and his patron Mullahs teach them to kill that very person whose protection is his duty?
More unfortunate aspect of this incident is that the killer Qadri was treated as an ideal man, hero and a victor for carrying on such a stupid and non-Islamic act of killing Taseer. He was welcomed to the court with rose petals. A big procession was organised in his support. His quick release has been demanded. Even the Mullahs refused to perform the last rites of Salmaan Taseer. While the entire world, disturbed by the killing of Taseer by his own guard, was condoling his assassination, a bunch of few crazy bigots was seen supporting and endorsing the mindless act of Qadri.
Islam belongs to whom? To Taseer who questioned the nonsensical Blasphemy law or to the jerk that killed the person whose security was his duty? No doubt, worried and scared by the terrorist acts of the Talibani “Muslims”, liberal and progressive Muslims are presently silent but even today they are in majority. This was evident when some of the extremist Mullahs were busy boycotting the last rites ceremony of Taseer, at the same time Maulana Mufti Sheikh-Ul-Islam Mohammad Idris Usmani of the famous Pakistani seminary Darul-Ifta issued a fatwa condemning the insane act of Mumtaz Qadri in the light of Islam. In his fatwa, Mufti Usmani also indicted the supporters of Qadri in the light of the holy Quran. He was asked about the view of clerics on the killing of Taseer and the point made by the killer Qadri regarding alleged blasphemy by Taseer.
In reply to the above query, Mufti Idris Usmani said that he has “carefully read the whole issue and also read various news reports and articles related to this (issue).” He had also “spoken to the jayyad ulema (eminent scholars) in Pakistan and India.” In the light of available evidence, he made the following points: 1. Malik Mumtaz Qadri has committed gunah-e-azeem (great sin) by killing an innocent soul. By taking law into his own hand, by killing an innocent man, and by bringing disgrace to the name of Islam, Malik Mumtaz Qadri has created fasad fil arz (mischief on earth) and committed tauheen-e-risalat (blasphemy to the Prophet). Same applies to those who are creating further mischief (fasad) by praising or justifying this heinous crime in the name of Islam. The killer of Salman Taseer is a real blasphemer to Islam and the holy Prophet (peace be upon him). 2. Those individuals and groups including the ignorant ulema, misguided journalists, politicians, lawyers wa deegar (etc), who are celebrating or justifying in any manner this heinous crime must be treated as accomplice in this crime. Those who endorsed a fatwa of Salman Taseer’s murder too must be treated as mufsid fil arz and must be punished according to the Shariah. 3. While the state of Pakistan will pursue a legal case against the killer and his abettors according to their national laws, the verses 32 and 33 of Sura Maida from the Quran clearly specify the punishment for Malik Mumtaz Qadri and his supporters and cheerers.
The above decree, issued in the light of Islamic teachings and Quranic verses, itself is a proof that there is no scope in Islam of either killing innocents or praising/supporting such killer. The time has come when the liberal and progressive Muslims of all the sects must close ranks together against these terror forces and launch a non-violent Jihad against them with enlightened clerics in the forefront of such Jihad. Otherwise, these anti-Islamic and inhuman forces will succeed in denigrating Islam and establishing it as a synonym for mindless violence.