As a student of Islam I am doing all I can to show the true message of Islam to those around me, yet, stupid, savage and inhumane behaviour like this ruins all that I am doing in a matter of seconds, and to top it off, it makes me a target for some of those who are upset by this outrageous event.
To be honest, I do not care much about being a target and being harassed by those who, based on my appearance, may associate me with these murderers. This is nothing compared to the atrocity that took place in Woolwich yesterday.
I am also not after proving that this is NOT Islam. I feel stupid trying to prove what I consider obvious and I don’t want this writing to be an academic or scholarly one.
What I really care about is first and foremost the innocent soldier who was murdered, and his family and friends. As a fellow human being my thoughts and prayers are with them and I share their grief.
On a more personal level what I care about is to make my stance as a writer, preacher and a student of Islam very clear. I will try to do this by the following eight statements:
1. I have many reservations and objections about British foreign policy; however, I do not believe that Britain or British soldiers are in war with Islam or Muslims.
2. As a Muslim who is now living in Britain, I am grateful to the British people and the British government for their hospitality. I think all Muslims in my situation should have the same attitude.
3. As a proud British Muslim, I can see many things in both Eastern and Western cultures that are very much in line with the teachings of Islam.
4. I believe that even a shallow adherence to the true message of Islam, which is heavily based on purification of the soul and good morals, can make a human being among the most decent, law obedient and valuable citizens of his/her country of residence.
5. As a Muslim I believe that at present our worse enemy is within our own community, that is, ignorance and arrogance.
6. As a Muslim and a student of Islam, I believe the only way that killing a person could be justified is if it is a judgment passed down through the judicial system of the state or on the battlefield. Anything less than this is, as in the words of the Qur'an, tantamount to killing all humanity.
7. As one who has studied the penal law of Islam for a long time, I can say that by the rules of Islam, those machete attackers should be punished in the most exemplary way, within the British legal framework.
8. As one who loves the message of Islam, I announce: I am in war with those attackers and anyone who may in any way try to justify their actions or any similar actions. My weapon is nothing but my writings and my only ammunition is my knowledge.
I appreciate that no one may care what a humble student of Islam thinks about this whole thing. However this is what prompted me to write this:
"Whoever among you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand; if he cannot, then with his tongue; and if he cannot, then with his heart, and that is the weakest of faith". (Narrated from Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, peace be upon him)