King Abdullah’s message of moderates versus extremism is most relevant today

Binoo Joshi

Jordanian King Abdullah ‘s stunning message to  bring in harmony between the peoples and the religions  should serve as  a commandment to  all those who are expanding extremism in the name of Islam- the religion of peace .

Extremism is born out of ignorance or deliberate distortions of the teachings of Islam , which  essentially is a religion that promotes  peace and harmony  with the  founding principle of “ live thy neighbor.”

His assertion  during his speech  at Vigyan Bhvan on Thursday underlined  an important fact that “fight against terrorism is not against religions or people.”  This is significant because in the current situation the war on terrorism is being given a religious colour, whereas the fact is that terrorism has no religion . They are outlaws .

This was, in fact, reiteration , of  his speech delivered  at Arab –Islamic – American summit in May last year  that the  “ terrorist groups employ  a false religious identity . Their aim is to mislead and polarize our societies and peoples . Terrorist groups do not inhabit the fringes of Islam – they are altogether outside of Islam ; they are khawarej, outlaws of Islam . Arabs and Muslims  make up majority of their victims”

He had explained it further by saying that intolerance and ignorance  will only aid terror groups.

This is the message that he echoed  in New Delhi today.

For the Indian Muslims  who for centuries have followed their religion  in its true spirit , this was an endorsement of their long-held views . They know that the intolerance of some sections who claim to be  fighting for Islam have bred extremism an terrorism .

This is posing  problem for the whole of the community for it is suspected because of the misdeeds of few . They want to live in peace and harmony and that is what  King Abdullah  expected of his community. But at the same time, what is required is that the Muslim community in the country , should  be treated and  respected with love and compassion .

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done well by touching upon the virtues of the co-existence and the role that Islam ha played  in shaping the Indian values . These words also need to be translated into action by the  system that is suffering from certain cracks – a symptom of unhealthy shape  of things . This has to be averted and this requires combined  efforts of all religions  and political groups.

 

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