Issue No: 74
8th April 2011
4th Jamadiul Ula 1432 AH
Holy Quran on trial:
Last week Pastor Terry Jones presided as the Judge, Jury and Executioner over a trial where the Holy Quran was found “guilty of crimes” and sentenced to execution. Later he oversaw the burning of Holy Quran carried out by Pastor Wayne Sapp.
Pastor Terry Jones, head of a small Church, The Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville city, Florida U.S.A, hit the headlines in July 2010, by announcing that the church would hold an "International Burn a Koran Day", on 11th September 2010 in remembrance of victims of the September 11th 2001 (9/11) event. He did not carry out his plan then. This proposal by the church received worldwide condemnation from a diversity of political and religious leaders and organizations including the Office of the Grand Marja, the Vatican, US National Association of Evangelicals and Jewish faith.
The cost of burning the Quran:
This deed is clearly designed to provoke the Muslims.In 2010 the outrageous proposal sparked fury worldwide and hurt the feelings of 1.5 billion Muslims around the world. It intensified tensions between Christians and Muslims throughout the world leading to increased Islamophobia.
This year such a reckless and irresponsible action of Pastor Terry and group to burn the Holy Quran sparked widespread protests in Afghanistan. A United Nations Compound in Afghan city, Mazare Sharif, was set alight by protestors resulting to the death of several U.N. workers. Several demonstrators too were killed by guards.
Pastor Terry and the Mob:- What is common?
Apart from anger, both parties are acting in the name of religion. Each of them share the belief that their action is justified by religion.
Though the actions of both the sides are materially different they are lacking in reasoning and self control. They have turned their backs on morality and are separated from reason. One can see the face of shaytan in this action of preaching hatred and discord. The condemnation by spectrum of religious leaders is evidence that such amoral deeds are against belief. Religion without reason and morals is like an empty shell.
The revelation of the holy Quran commenced with the command ‘Iqra’ meaning: to read. By commencement of the revelation of the Quran with this word ‘Iqra’, Allah SWT places the faculty of Reasoning and Intellect as the leading command in religion to carry out the A’maal -actions of Islam.
Islam commands that all actions be done with justice and reasoning as wonderfully amplified in the following verse:
"O you who believe! Be upright for Allah, bearers of witness with justice, and let not hatred of a people incite you not to act equitably;
Act equitably, that is nearer to piety, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; surely Allah is Aware of what you do." (Sura Al Maaida 5:8)
The Message of Islam, as taught by the holy Quran and the Ahlul Bayt a.s., teaches us religious tolerance.
We must neither resort to violent or aggressive reactions. Muslims should not even think about reciprocating in the same manner neither for the Bible nor for any other religions text. The baseline is that irrational and amoral actions are not justified by religion.
Wa ma tawfiqi illa billah.
Fazle Abbas Datoo
Wessex Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat