Shehla Ahmad Brussels

An Ahmadi Muslim denounces the Brussels attacks and backs the “True Islam and the Extremists” campaign.

Like many of us, I woke up reading about the Brussels terrorist attack stunned by the horrifying and heartbreaking video clips of yet another brutal assault. Trying to imagine innocent people violently murdered for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time sent shivers down my spine. All I could do at that moment and the hours that passed was to pray for the victims and their friends and families. And of course, also, ponder at the series of events around the world in which humanity continues to suffer at the hands of terrorists and wonder why terrorists lack empathy towards the preciousness of human life.

What guides terrorists or vulnerable youth in not realizing that these actions are deplorable, inhumane and even unforgivable in the sight of God? What is a solution to stop future attacks?

Many assume that it is the religion of Islam that radicalizes minds, yet no scripture within Islam justifies the carnage these terrorists create. Numerous Quranic verses condemn disorder such as, "commit not iniquity in the earth, creating disorder" (2:61) and "seek not to make mischief in the earth” (28:78). Verses throughout the Quran continually state this message, making it hard to grasp why anyone would think terrorism in the name of Islam is permissible.

If the Belgian terrorists had read the Holy Quran with purity of heart, they would recognize the inherent peaceful teachings of Islam. The Quranic verses are abundant and definite in the denunciation of terrorism, yet unfortunately, these youth were led astray not by Islam but by the failed leadership of a so-called Caliphate that leads ISIS.  Clearly they were misguided by false leaders who shape young minds to the path of destruction rather than leading them to build peace, begging the need for solid Muslim leadership.

Such leadership exists today in His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Khalifa of Islam, an apolitical Muslim leader with followers spanning over 207 nations.  His leadership is desperately needed by the misguided Muslim youth of today. His weekly sermons guide people to act in accordance with true Islam. Within hours of the attack, His Holiness stated that "under no circumstances does Islam permit terrorism of any kind or the murder of innocent people. The Holy Quran has said that to kill even one innocent person is akin to killing all of mankind. Therefore, those who commit such atrocities in the name of Islam can never find any justification. They are defaming Islam and destroying the peace of the world." His Holiness believes that in-depth education is the key to helping eradicate youth radicalization in the name of Islam.

His Holiness has launched many educational efforts with the most recent one called the True Islam and the Extremists campaign. This campaign aims to dispel the 11 myths that radicalize susceptible youth, by highlighting the words of Quran “follow not the way of those who cause disorder” (7:143). While the True Islam campaign's message is being spread on various platforms, we can help build its momentum by uniting to endorse this effort. Educating each other is a step all of us can take by joining to defeat extremist ideology. Together we can ensure to shape the young minds of today against extremism by dispelling any false religious appeal the extremist try to create by reinforcing that “Allah loves not those who create disorder” (5:65).

Hopefully, we will build a peaceful world for all of our tomorrows.

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