Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Direct and indirect responsibility for violence in the name of religion

 Nasir Khan, April 26, 2017

Some much-needed words of wisdom, especially for Pakistani Muslims: 

Not all Muslims become involved in acts of violence. Yet all might be held culpable. This is because that section of Muslim--in fact, the majority--who are not personally involved, neither disown those members of their community who are engaged in violence, nor even condemn them. In such a case, according to the Islamic Shariah itself, if the involved Muslims are directly responsible, the uninvolved Muslims are also indirectly responsible. (p. 91)
― Famous Indian Islamic scholar and peace activist Maulana Wahiduddin Khan (b: 1925), The True Jihad: The Concept of Peace, Tolerance and Non Violence in Islam
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Even thought Maulana Wahiduddin Khan addresses only Muslims, but what he says can also be applied to Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Christians, etc. Just like Muslims, when some people from other religious community or denomination commit violent crimes for their religion, their religious dogmas and victimise the followers of any other faith under some flimsy pretext, the vast majority of the people of that religious community remains neutral and indifferent as if nothing had happened. This state of affairs dehumanises all. 

As a result, a phoney nationalist or religious fanatic may feel proud for his violent crime or even a violent murder for the sake of his community or co-religionists! The lack of response to condemn and stand against such crimes and criminals by the vast majority only encourages such people.

Let's keep in mind that, in 2003, former US president George W Bush attacked Iraq without any just cause or excuse. But he tried to justify his genocidal war of aggression by claiming to have sought God's guidance. He received the message from God; God told him to go ahead and invade Iraq! 

G W Bush was and is a Christian. His criminal war of aggression led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and the destruction of Iraq. But he did all that to comply with the commands of God! And many people believe him. 

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