Just last week, the world witnessed the amazing character of Muhammad Ali on full display in Louisville, Kentucky. People from all walks of life and faith paid glowing tribute at his memorial service for his boxing skills, humility and service to mankind. Ali’s great accomplishments and his Muslim faith were beamed across TV screens and streamed over the internet for the world to see.
Fast forward to Sunday at an Orlando nightclub, with 50 people dead and scores more injured due to someone who also claimed to be a Muslim. This is an absolute tragedy and in complete contrast to the beliefs Ali subscribed and practiced in his lifetime.
One thing that doesn’t make sense in the latest carnage at Orlando is that this terrorist proclaimed to be inspired by the same religion that Ali followed. Taking Muhammad Ali’s life as an example, if he read the same Quran and understood Islamic teachings to be nonviolent and was prepared to pay the price of risking his career by going to prison for this principle of peace and justice, then what sort of Quran are the terrorist organizations peddling? I truly wonder how many of these terrorists are even familiar with the Muslim holy book, which is known to have inspired Ali toward inner and outer peace.
Another disturbing aspect of this massacre in Orlando is that it has happened in the holiest month of Ramadan in which Muslims are expected to refrain from immoral behavior in order to win the favors of God. How could this senseless killing of innocent ones and maiming of countless more draw one closer to God almighty?
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Islam is clear in stating that judgment on the moral character of a person and punishment are the exclusive territory of God. Nothing in the Quran or the teachings of Prophet Muhammad gives individuals or organizations such as ISIS the right to play judge, jury and executioner. Clearly, unless some one is prejudiced or is less informed of the teachings of Islam, he can observe that the actions of these terrorist organizations contradict the very basic principles of the Quran.
Last year it was the Paris, Istanbul and San Bernardino massacres, just to mention a few attributable to lunatics with ties to ISIS. When are we Muslims going to come together as one community under a single leadership to confront the growing monster called ISIS and al-Qaida? Too many innocent people have lost their lives in both the Muslim world and Western countries due to a lack of leadership in the Muslim world to boldly proclaim that ISIS actions are antithesis to true Islamic teachings.
This is why the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the single largest Muslim organization united under one imam, Mirza Masoor Ahmad, has drawn the world’s attention to satanic influences leading to brutality and murder. That is, according to him, innocent people are being slaughtered and the perpetrators claim they will be rewarded with a place in heaven. Yet the Muslim world at large seems helpless to provide any alternative solutions to the effect that ISIS propaganda is having on already deranged individuals. It is about time that the rest of the Muslim world come together to denounce all acts of terror in the unified manner exemplified by the head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
The world has become a dangerous place for everyone due to the actions of terrorist organizations and, certainly, the great Muhammad Ali would not have subscribed to this form of “Islam” but would have condemned it as utterly un-Islamic terrorism.
Seidu Malik of Chapel Hill is a member of RTP Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.