A Question About The Killing of Infidels

Q A friend referred the following question from his Christian friend for response:

Sent: June 9, 2006
Subject: RE: Spiritual Curiosity

I hope you are well. With all of the terrorist issues in the news today I pray that you and your family are loved and safe. ...

...My uncertainty is the motivation of the Muslims that are fighting violently, not just in Iraq or Afghanistan. Is it for freedom or as stated in the question below that by killing an infidel, they are assured of a place in heaven? Do they really believe that by killing an infidel, they are assured of a place in heaven? If this is the case, is this a common understanding with all Muslims or just some radicals.

Again, I appreciate your response and assistance with my growth and understanding.

:) God Bless You, Rick

A Hello Rick, May God bless you for your efforts to know the facts and to understand. I wish more people would take this approach instead of spreading hearsay.

Let me first give you a brief answer to your question about killing infidels, and then I will elaborate.

The brief answer is: Absolutely not! There is no teaching in Islam that a Muslim can go around killing infidels to be assured a place in the heavens. Not only that it is not Islamic teaching, I am not aware of any faction or group of Muslims who holds that opinion.

In fact, Islam puts the greatest value on the respect, preservation and conservation of life whether it is human life, animal life or any life form. It regards killing of an innocent person, Muslim or non-Muslim, as one of the greatest sins, which if not properly punished in the world, will be punished in the hereafter. The Qur-aan also teaches that if a person kills an innocent person, it is as if he has killed the whole mankind. Here are two example from the holy Qur-aan:
…anyone who kills any person, unless executing a capital punishment{footnote}This verse exempts capital punishment ordered through due process of justice. Had this exception not been made, no Muslim court could have ever ordered capital punishment.{/footnote} for murder or for corruption in the land, it is as if he has killed the whole mankind; and who saves a life it is as if he has saved the whole mankind. We did indeed sent messengers (to implement peace and justice), but even then most of the people commit excesses on earth. The Qur-aan 5:32

And do not kill any soul whom God has sanctified, except through the legal right… The Qur-aan 17:33

The main objective of Islam is to establish lasting peace through justice on the earth. That is why it is called Islam (peace). That is one of the main objectives for which all prophets and messenger were sent – prophets and messengers such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. They were all sent to establish Islam – peace with justice.

Unfortunately powerful people do not let people live in peace. They have no shame or compunction to invade other countries and kill hundreds and thousands of innocent people, destroy their homes and means of sustenance and pollute their lands with radio-active materials. When people try to resist that cruelty and barbarianism, or when out of desperation and frustration they respond with whatever meagre means they have available, they are labelled terrorists. They are terrorized people reacting in desperation. That explains what is happening in Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan.

Now if there would have been justice and fairness in the world, this reign of terror would have been blamed on the Christians (US) and the Jews (Israel). Unfortunately and ironically, the holy name of Islam is viciously and unduly abused, because the terrorized victims happen to be Muslims.

As far as you comment about “fighting with prayer and godly diplomacy”, could you please explain how does this godly diplomacy work in front of “shock and awe” missions? How do you pray and engage in diplomacy when a superpower is bent upon destruction regardless of what the world says or does?

Now let us come to Canada. There is no rhyme, reason or justification for anyone to undertake any violent act that may endanger the well being of innocent people of Canada. You may be wondering why would then some youth in Toronto even harbour the idea of doing something bad here. The fact is that every community has some misguided souls who go off the track for one reason or the other. There are devout Christians going around killing prostitutes in different parts of Canada. There are those who attack abortion clinics, doctors and nurses or assault homosexuals. Every now and then someone walks into a school or university and kills many. There have been many serial killers both in US and Canada. There are youth gangs in many ethnic communities and there are skinheads and KKK gangs as well. The list can go on.

Muslim community is not immune from the social problems that every other community faces. It is quite possible, as has been alleged by police, that these youth were considering committing a crime. For that they should be apprehended and brought to justice, but no one has a right to smear the reputation of the law abiding Muslims of Canada. The alleged criminals may have justified in their minds that Canada’s army has become an occupation force in Afghanistan and is killing Afghani civilians unjustly. But that does not justify what they are alleged to be contemplating. There are legal and civil ways to make such feelings known and presented through democratic means. Thus, we must refute and condemn their line of reasoning and their inclinations.

But this should not be used to justify racist attitude that have been exhibited by some authorities and media in particular. If crimes of other criminals are not blamed on their religion or their whole community, why should Muslims be treated differently?

I hope this answers your question. I will be pleased to answers any other questions that you may have.

June 14, 2006
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