Commentary by James Turnage
Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Boko Haram are not true followers of Islam. Their pretended beliefs have no relation to the teachings of the Quran. The truth is that extremism defines the weakness of men; and extremism defiles the true followers of Islam.
When a deranged and evil group of men killed nearly 3,000 innocent people on September 11, 2001, they were not heroes, they were ignoring the teachings of Mohammad who was a prophet of peace. Murder can be committed for many reasons, none of them valid. Murder in the name of religion is blasphemy.
ISIS is not waging war to create an Islamic State; it is simply a group of vile men who want to control the lives of others, and use women as slaves. Although they claim to be followers of Islam, they do not believe in the teachings of the Quran. They are men who believe that extremism is acceptable and a means to an end.
Boko Haram is no more than a band of thugs who enjoy killing defenseless human beings. They enjoy the sense of power from taking life and creating fear among good people who have true faith in a Supreme Being. The pretenders of Boko Haram have no faith; only ambition.
Last Wednesday the world witnessed another cowardly terrorist attack on innocent men and women at Charlie Hebdo. Twelve people lost their lives as two villains emptied automatic weapons and ran away. What crime did these 12 non-threatening men and women commit; they were humorists.
An Islamic leader has come forward to condemn these criminals who kill in the name of Islam. Hasan Nasrallah is the leader of the military faction of Lebanese Hezbollah. He said in a speech that these extremists are more harmful to Islam than movies or cartoons about the Prophet Mohammad.
Islam has suffered the same fate which befell Christianity and Judaism. A small number of individuals have rewritten the rules and beliefs of their faith for their own purposes. The Inquisition and the damning of the new religion of Christianity was not universal within followers of either Christians or Jews. It was a group of men who were seeking ultimate power to control lives and events.
Violence has never been a solution. Violence simply creates more violence.
The truth is that the extremist groups who claim to be followers of Islam are more of a problem for true believers than for the western world.
In the 7th century, the Muslim world was considered the most peaceful and tolerant nation on the planet. The teachings of Mohammad were followed closely by the men and women who diligently read the Quran. What we see in the Muslim world today is not indicative of the true believers of Islam.
Hasan Nasrallah spoke not only the truth; his words are significant in the fact that the brutal actions committed by these extremist factions have created bigotry around the world.
I receive e-mails daily denouncing all Muslims. The majority of Americans believe that if you are not Christian, you are un-American.
I grew up in a nation that respected all people and believed their religion was a choice only relative to the individual. Today religious fanaticism is once again on the rise; and it is more dangerous than any other threat to the safety of the world’s people.
By James Turnage