I was watching APEC coverage on tv on yet another lazy Saturday morning in Melbourne. As it was boring I switched the channel to another news channel, "Bin Laden’s new message to America -- embrace Islam" was flashed by the channel. Sooner all the news channels around the globe and all the newspapers covered the same news.
Since the attack on WTO in New York on 9/11, Al Qaeda and Bin Laden got more coverage around the globe. They said it is “Jihad” in the name of Allah for Islam. And sooner almost every non-Muslim country started treating Muslims as terrorists or terrorist sympathisers. And everyone started thinking Islam is bad or barbaric religion.
Is Islam that bad? No religion is wrong. All religions preach the same. It is people who interpret it differently made them look different. It is those wrong views of some people made some religions look bad. Every religion says “Let there be no compulsion in religion” meaning a religion cannot be imposed on anyone.
The revelation of divinity in Islam is specifically described as compassion: Allah is Rahman-ir-Rahim - the very acme of kindness and compassion. Although Allah has 99 names, depicting all his varied attributes, He is known in the Holy Koran mostly as Rahman and Rahim. Quaran emphasise forgiveness and compassion and not on killing innocent people. It preaches tolerance not intolerance as some obscurantist mullahs or Bin-laden preaches. They are preaching and practicing Islam as an intolerant religion. This is a total negation of all that Islam stands for.
Who are the present-day fundamentalists to try to impose their view of Islam even on a Muslim population? Obviously, they have no business behaving the way they are doing and need to be condemned by all, particularly Muslims, because they are giving such a bad name to Islam, apart from oppressing humanity in the name of a religion that came to the world as a blessing of Allah