Beheading of innocent is clearly against
the teachings of Islam
By Khalid Saeed
It started with Nick Berg and unfortunately it seems that the beheading of the innocent civilians have become a routine in Iraq. They are not just beheadings of these foreign civilian workers, but the killers are also blowing up innocent Iraqi’s who stand in lines to join Iraqi police or army.
I know that there is a misconception out there that Islam condones the killings of the non Muslims. And irony is that even these misguided killers proclaim some times that these acts are performed in the name of Islam and for the sake of Islam. But the fact is that nothing could be further from the truth than what they claim.
Whenever I need to see a stand of my religion on an issue I always go to the divine and holy Quran for guidance and the truth. A murder of a human being is haram or forbidden in the Quran and to kill civilians is murder. Here is verse number 32 from chapter 5 of the holy Quran:
“Whoever kills a human soul it shall be as if he killed all mankind, and who-so-ever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he saved the life of all mankind".
IIn addition to the holy Quran, a Muslim takes guidance from the life of Muhammad the holy prophet of Islam. Prophet Muhammad said, 'Do not kill women or children or non-combatants and do not kill old people or religious people....”
The Prophet also said that there are people who kill in the name of Islam and go to hell. And when he was asked why, he said, 'Because they weren't fighting truly for the sake of God.”
Here is a message of tolerance and acceptance which Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) sent to the monks of Saint Catherine in Mount Sinai:
"This is a message written by Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, far and near, we are behind them. Verily, I defend them by myself, the servants, the helpers, and my followers, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them. No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be changed from their jobs, nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims' houses. Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God's covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they (Christians) are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate. No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, this is not to take place without her own wish. She is not to be prevented from going to her church to pray. Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the nation is to disobey this covenant till the Day of Judgment and the end of the world."
Above references from Quran and the life of the prophet clearly show the sanctity of life in Islam and tolerance of the others regardless of their race, sex or religion.
Not just here in USA but through out the Islamic world not only individuals like me but Muslim organization have condemned these beheadings and killings.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), while condemning these executions called for the immediate release of all hostages currently held in that country. It is being reported that more than 130 foreigners have been kidnapped recently in Iraq. In its statement CAIR said: "We condemn this latest act of murder in Iraq and repudiate those who would commit such atrocities. We also call for the immediate release of all hostages currently held in Iraq, whatever their nation of origin or faith." "As American Muslims and people of conscience, we unequivocally reject the claim that any cause could possibly be advanced by the killing of civilians.” CAIR recently launched an online petition drive, called "Not in the Name of Islam," designed to disassociate Islam from the violent acts of a few Muslims.
Other major Muslim organizations in USA like, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), The American Muslim Counci l(AMC), The American Muslim Voice (AMV), The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) have also unequivocally condemned these acts of terrorism and killings of the innocent civilians.
And as an individual, when I condemn these horrific acts, I do so because Islam clearly prohibits these acts. Islam prohibits a Muslim from attacking innocent civilians.
If any Muslim engages in such killings and terrorism, he is not following Islam. He may be wrongly using the name of Islam for political or financial gain.
Khalid Saeed is the Northern California Director of the American Muslim Voice and Member of the Board of Directors and Secretary of the American Civil Liberties Union, Sacramento Chapter.
September 23, 2004