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Islam, Terrorism and Malaysia's Response

If Muslims commit acts of terror, it is because their countries are weak and incapable of fighting back, of waging formal wars on their enemies. And so terrorism by Muslims is more common than by others. If there are Muslim countries as powerful as their enemies, they would be bombing and rocketing regardless of what is now referred to as collateral damage.

Clearly Islam the religion is not the cause of terrorism. Islam, as I said, is a religion of peace. However through the centuries, deviations from the true teachings of Islam take place. And so Muslims kill despite the injunction of their religion against killing especially of innocent people.

If you look at Christianity you must admit that being thrown to the lions by the Romans did not prevent Christians when they achieved power from being totally intolerant of those who did not accept Christianity. During the Spanish Inquisition suspected apostates were burnt at the stake after mock trials. In fact many who are in America today are descended from Christians who had fled from terror perpetrated by other Christians. And the Jews in America are the descendants of the Jews who fled the regular pogroms in European countries, especially Russia, and of course the persecution by the Germans under Hitler.

Islam had in fact been more tolerant. The Jews chose to migrate to North Africa together with the defeated Muslims after Ferdinand and Isabella completed the reconquest of Spain. To stay back meant forced conversion to Christianity or pain of death. Even after conversion they remained suspects and were persecuted.

The Muslims were well disposed towards Christians in particular. When the early Muslims were persecuted by the heathen Arabs, they sought refuge in Abyssinia, a Christian country with a Christian king. They were well treated there because the Christians realised they worshipped the same God and recognised not only the prophets of the Christians but those of the Jews as well. The Muslims venerate Musa or Moses, and Isa or Jesus as their prophets along with Adam, Abraham, Jacob and others.

They differ from the Hebrews and the Christians because they believe that at the time of the Prophet Muhammad, the Jews and the Christians had deviated from the true teachings. But then you must remember that Martin Luther and others too accused the Christians of their times of deviation from the true teachings and founded their own creed or sect in protest. So the Muslims' attitude towards Christianity is not much different from that of the various Protestant sects. In the past Catholics and Protestants were violently intolerant of each other.