We are living very sad times in the holy month of Ramadan. After the tragic attacks on civilians in Egypt and Manchester, the chain of bloody violence against innocent people continues. We are seeing more and more sad news on civilian casualties in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Philippines and Afghanistan.
I was shocked to hear about the recent two blasts that hit the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, killing at least 27 innocent people and wounding more than 100. A friend in Iraq sent me heartbreaking video footage of the last terror attack in Baghdad. Words cannot express how sad I am; this is the holy month of Ramadan, the month of blessings, mercy and forgiveness. Attacks during Ramadan are the greatest offence, the greatest affront to the teachings of Islam. Terrorists choose Ramadan as fasting Muslims least expect an attack during a time of spiritual renewal. It is time to address the issue of killing innocent people from the sources that extremists use. We must stand up for justice: Allah warns in surah al-Mai’da, “O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.” [05:08]
They just cannot do it in the name of Islam any longer. Islam prohibits the killing of women, children, monks, rabbis, the elderly, or any other noncombatant even in a state of war and hostility. Similarly, it prohibits the torture of prisoners of war; the mutilation of the dead; rape, molestation, or any kind of sexual violence during combat; the killing of diplomats, the wanton destruction of property, and the demolition of religious institutions, some of which have eventually been incorporated into the modern international laws of war.
There are several proofs from the Qur’an that condemn such acts. For example: God (Allha), in surah al-Baqarah, restricts fighting to only those who fight you and not to transgress limits. “And fight in the Way of Allah those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors.” [2:190]
Allah prohibits the killing of innocent people. He says, “And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden, except by right.” The phrase “by right” refers to crimes someone commits against individual or society which requires due process in an established reputable court of law; not this wanton killing that is done in the name of Islam. [17:33]
I woke up on another sad news from Kabul; a truck bomb ripped through the heart of Kabul city of Afghanistan, killing at least 80 people and wounding hundreds.
URI family will not give up hope, pain makes us stronger and reinforces our commitment to building peace across the globe to make our word better place for all.
Please join us in our prayers for innocent victims of violence everywhere on this earth. May peace prevail on earth.
In love and peace,
URI RC for MENA region