I Guds namn, Den Barmhärtigaste, Den Nådigaste
Muhammad The Terrorist!
Notis: Det följande är en reproduktion av artiklen “Muhammad The Terrorist!!” i December-upplagan 2002 av Submitters Perspective, den månatliga bulletinen av United Submitters International.
“I think Mohammed was a terrorist…he was a violent man, a man of war.”
(Jerry Falwell interview on 60 Minutes, October 6, 2002)
I’m not sure what’s worse, this statement or the fact that a reputable prime time program would broadcast such views. It’s a disturbing commentary at a time when our world is crying to heal, understand and reconcile.
Five days after this interview, I turn to the internet, surfing religious web sites for enlightenment. The Power that be leads me to the following site which has daily devotionals and thoughts.
I hope we can all draw comfort from the words of wisdom I found that day:
October 11th 2002
Old Testament Reading:
Jeremiah 7:1-8:22, Psalm 118:1-4, Proverbs 27:5-6
New Testament Reading:
There are few if any sins more loathsome in God’s sight than hypocrisy. To disregard the King of the universe in one’s heart is a great evil, but to outwardly disguise it with religious cosmetics is intolerable…Just why is religious hypocrisy so abominable? …it dares to presume that the all-knowing and all-seeing God of the universe can be deceived by mere formal piety…it utterly blinds its victims so that they not only are incapable of rightly judging themselves, but also become vicious accusers of others.
Flee to God for deliverance from every evil that would threaten to separate you from Him. Particularly pray for deliverance from the blindness of hypocrisy which has its roots in pride.
October 11th 2002
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. (James 4:10 )
This web site I happened to visit was www.falwell.com – yes, Jerry Falwell, who belongs to a denomination of 70 million members and who graces his own ministry with the following Mission Statement:
“To act as both salt and light… reaching the world with the gospel, teaching and training believers, reviving the hearts of God’s people and healing the wounds of immorality and godlessness in our nation.”
I then turn to the Quran for inspiration and read:
“Subsequent to them, we sent our messengers. We sent Jesus the son of Mary, and we gave him the Gospel, and we placed in the hearts of his followers kindness and mercy…but they did not uphold the message as they should have.” (57:27)
This verse is not meant to denigrate Christians but rather to remind us that the message of Jesus can lead each one of us to God as long as we truly understand and practice it.
About 70 years earlier, a prominent Muslim leader made a similar remark as Falwell, claiming that Muhammad used a weapon against which no army could fight. I guess Falwell does have a point then. You be the judge as you read the words of this leader addressing his followers:
“I am going to give you such a weapon that the police and the army will not be able to stand against it. It is the weapon of the Prophet, but you are not aware of it. That weapon is patience and righteousness. No power on earth can stand against it…Endure all hardships. If you exercise patience, victory will be yours.” (Badshah Khanfrom the book Nonviolent Soldier of Islam by Eknath Easwaran)
Badshah Khan was known as the Frontier Gandhi and lived in the North West Frontier Province of India. At the same time Ghandi was leading one of the most inspirational movements in modern history, Badshah Khan was raising the first and only non-violent army in history. Khan awakened 100,000 of the most violent and vengeful people – the Pathans of the Khyber Pass – to resist British rule through non-violence.
Astounded by this non-violent movement, Ghandi visited Khan in 1938. There, Ghandi was asked by a villager, “what does it mean to remove violence from one’s heart?” To which he replied, “It is not just the ability to control one’s anger…it is the complete eradication of anger from the heart. To realize non-violence means to feel within you its strength – soul force – to know God. A person who has known God will be incapable of harboring anger or fear within, no matter how overpowering the cause may be.”
Thousands of non-violent soldiers were killed by the British who were stunned that such strong and resolute warriors did not resist. Badshah Khan exposes the myth that nonviolence has no place in Islam, that only the gentle are capable of it, and that it is useless against powerful oppressors.
This weapon of Muhammad, Badshah Khan, and Ghandi is found in the Quran:
You shall resort to pardon, advocate tolerance…(7:199)
…if you resort to patience (instead of revenge), it would be better for the patient ones. You shall resort to patience – and your patience is attainable only with GOD’s help. Do not grieve over them, and do not be annoyed by their schemes. GOD is with those who lead a righteous life, and those who are charitable. (16:126-128)
They avoid wrongdoing and vice, and when angered they forgive. (42:37)
…those who pardon and maintain righteousness are rewarded by GOD. He does not love the unjust. (42:40)
Resorting to patience and forgiveness reflects a true strength of character. (42:43)
Therefore, be patient like the messengers before you who possessed strength and resorted to patience…(46:35)
O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of GOD is the most righteous. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant. (49:13)
In 1947, Pakistan and India were granted independence by the British. In 1985, Bashah Khan was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Proving to us today that, “if you resort to patience (instead of revenge), it would be better for the patient ones. (16:126)
The word terrorist and terrorism is fresh on our minds. We are terrified as we remember ruthless aggression and remain in fear as we anticipate the unknown. In fact, the word terror means to fill with fear; a sense of uneasiness we feel from possible danger.
Danger from what? Clearly, we face external dangers over which we have no control. But, there is another danger that we often overlook. A danger to which “terrorists” like Muhammad, Jesus, Moses and all great prophets expose us.
This fear or sense of uneasiness surfaces when we are challenged by such prophets and their scriptures to cleanse our inner prejudice, ego, resentment, anger, insecurities, and pride. It is this purification of the soul that brings us closer to God and, in the words of Ghandi, leads us to truly know God.
You are what you feel. When you feel resentment towards another human being, your fear and anxiety will come from practicing compassion and kindness. If you are angry or upset, the danger in your life will be to experience quiet patience and peace. If you are intolerant of others, your “terror” will be to open yourself to the tension, difference, and diversity in your life. When you find yourself being judgmental and impatient, you will sense danger and uneasiness from having to practice tolerance.
Hatred, bitterness, revenge, and having the final word will put you against the frightening demons of love and forgiveness. Just when you think you have figured someone out, are fully aware of their intentions, have labeled them, cut them away, and begin your fight, you just may hear the knock of understanding and patience at your door. Don’t be surprised if you feel uncomfortable and edgy. Don’t be surprised if you prefer to ignore the call. But, before you do, realize that this knock is coming from God. Your soul is being called to trust God and open the door. Your soul is being invited to overcome these fears that limit a wholehearted submission to God. Perhaps, this is why Muslim in English means one who submits fully to God alone; be it a Christian Muslim, Jewish Muslim, Buddhist Muslim or a Muslim Muslim.
We need more “terrorists” today —compassionate leaders with “soul force” who are in love with God and passionate in their service to others. We need their passion and openness to light fires inside us. Such fires shed light and lead us to confront the fears that define our character and the way we engage with others. Only then can our heart fully experience God everyday. Only then can we change from being pretenders, for which Greeks invented the word hypocrite, to leaders. And, only then can ordinary people like you, me, and Badshah Khan reach millions of people with our extraordinary message.
I leave you with the words of another great “terrorist” who changed the world 2000 years ago:
You have heard that it hath been said, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy.” But I say unto you, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44)