It is taken for granted that peace is the ultimate goal of all human societies. This is because peace is the environment that promotes security and serenity.
However, peace is neither a product nor a job practiced; it is an ambition and a goal among the most important goals of humanity. This goal, like any other goal, has prerequisites and causes leading to it. This leads us to the following question; "What are the prerequisites for, and the causes of, peace? What is the thing that, if achieved. will lead to a real peace?"
The answer to this question is that the only way to reach peace is through justice; fair practices between and among people. Fair practices mean not transgressing the rights of others and exerting all possible effort to carry out duties towards promoting them.
So, fairness is the behavior which leads to peace for humanity, and since the Qur'an is the book directed towards all humanity, the Qur'an urged people to take the path of justice. It urged people again and again to measure all their actions and relations against justice. God says, "O you who believe! Enter into peace", Surah Al-Baqarah: verse (208).
In this context, consider deeply the following verses that urge people to be Justin many ways:
õAnd let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just that is next to piety, and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that you doõSurah Al-Maidah: verse (8)
õWhenever you speak, speak justly, even if a near relative is concernedõSurah Al-Anaam :verse (152) õAllah does command you to render back your trusts to those to whom they are due; and when you judge between man and man, that you judge with justiceõ Surah Al Nisaa: verse (58)
õAllah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kinõ Surah Al-Nahl: verse (90)
All of these verses interpret and explain the word (enter) in ;"O you who believe! Enter into peace", Surah Al-Baqarah: verse (208).
They interpret and explain the prerequisite for, and the only entry point into, peace - which is justice. Justice means, in a nut shell, respect for rights and duties.
This leads us to the following conclusion: If justice is this, so extremism is the deviation from this respect. Justice is similar to the vast safe road were all humanity meets, and extremism is any deviation from that road to the right or left. So, any deviation which strays from this path is necessarily leading to injustice, which in its turn will lead to a turbulence where peace disappears. Justice/Injustice are contradictory and cannot exist simultaneously.
This means that whoever is seeking peace should do that by being just and by protecting the systems which lead to it. This is because whoever- whether a person or a group of people- does the opposite and sacrifices the rights of others for self interests is an enemy of peace who is knocking its structure down.
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According to the aforementioned, we can clarify the real meaning of "terrorism", a meaning which wasn't always used clearly. This is because those who surprised the world by using this term did not define it clearly despite the rest of the world demanding that.
According to the aforementioned, we can say that "terrorism" is any effort aiming to manipulate justice and its systems. It is any act of transgression over the rights of others to fulfill self interests by using power not held by others.
This leads us to the following questions: "What are the ways in which the peace that all societies seek may be protected?” And, “How can we stop those who wish to create a gap between humanity and its goal?"
Again, the answer is to apply the law that God taught us in the following verse: õ In the Law of Equality there is (saving of) life to you, O you men of understanding; that you may restrain yourselvesõ Surah Al- Baqarah; verse (179) In other words, the way to protect peace is to punish those transgressors with a punishment equal to their transgressions.
In this context come all the verses calling for Jihad and Fighting. All those verses are calling for Jihad and fighting against the transgressors until they stop their transgressions. The moment when those stop their transgression and go in the direction of peace is the moment when fighting should stop and cooperation with them should start, in order to reach this common goal.
This concept is clear in the following verses,
õ Fight in the Cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loves not transgressorsõSurah Al- Baqarah: verse (190)
õ Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them, for Allah loves those who are justõSurah Al-Mumtahinah verse(8)
However, those who wish to see and count only the words of fighting and Jihad in the Qur'an, and after that to isolate them from their context, will come to the conclusion that the Qur'an is a terrorist dictionary which orders people to kill and transgress. The problem with this person is that he/she only wants to see part of the truth and he/she is neglecting all the words of forgiveness, mercy and justice which are central to the Qur'an. If those were counted, it will be found that they are double or triple the number of words and verses describing Jihad and fighting. In addition, words are only potential meanings which exist in the dictionary, and if they are not used in a context to express an opinion and a judgment, they will remain a potential and a raw material which can be made into nearlyanything.
To go back to the subject of justice, it is clear that if justice disappears, injustice appears. And when injustice appears, it causes the feeling of injustice among people. This feeling leads the wronged to overreact sometimes and do wrong to innocent people by way of revenge. It's clear that the cause of this ‘revolt’ is injustice itself in the first place. However, the Qur'an forbids this overreaction, and demands that people remain within the boundaries of justice.God said : õ Nor take life which Allah has made sacred, except for just cause. And if anyone is slain wrongfully, We have given his heir authority (to demand qisas or to forgive); but let him not exceed bounds in the matter of taking life; for his helped (by the law)õSurah Al-Israa: verse (33)
This desire for revenge is part of human nature whenever injustice prevails and when the powerful replace laws with power. This language of power is common nowadays in the West where the powerful transgress logic, justice, and legislations to impose with power what they see as their right. This might lead the wronged in turn to transgress and overreact. The reaction this time is labeled as terrorism, and at the same time is used as a pretext to control other countries and to confiscate more rights. And there are a lot of examples about this in the archive of humanity.
Those transgressions exist to a lesser extent in Muslim societies because the Islamic Shariaa harness all those tendencies in a religious upbringing. This upbringing harnesses both the tyranny and the overreaction through stressing the fear of God and the complete submission to Him and His will.
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In closing, I would like to pose a question, for which I would sincerely like to receive an answer.
In 1976, William Clifford, the Head of the Institute of Criminal Studies in Australia was sent as a UN observer to a series of conferences held by the Arab Social Defense Organization against Crime, one of the Arab League's Organizations. He submitted a report after that which attracted the attention of some western countries to the possibility of "a serious Islamic awakening" in the Arab World. He mentioned that if this awakening was added to the power of the oil which exists in some of those countries, the result would be a real danger to western civilization. Finally, the report recommended that the western countries should control oil sources as soon as possible.
The word "terrorism" was not mentioned in this 30 page report, and the west at that time did not use this term at all in its strategies.
This directs us to the following question, "why was this word "terrorism" applied to Muslims after the issuance of this report, which recommends that western powers confiscate oil wells and work on the prevention of a soon-coming "Serious Islamic Awakening?"
Is it possible for the Arab and Islamic World to receive a comprehensive answer to this question, from those who received the report of William Clifford, studied it, and then began implementing it?