Islam as a Religion of Peace

Please forgive any errors that occur in this post because I wanted to quickly post it in response to the tragic current events.


Unfortunately, today I awoke to the very tragic news of Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar where the overwhelming majority of the victims were innocent children. First of all, I send my sincere condolences to the families of all of the innocent victims and Inshallah Allah s.w.t provides them with sabr jameel or beautiful patience. 

My heart breaks for the innocent victims and their families but I am also deeply angered that this cruel and inhumane act of terror is committed in the name of the peaceful religion of Islam. These so-called Muslim Taliban are going completely against the teachings of the holy Quran and the Prophet (p.b.u.h). 

The reality is that the term Islam comes from the root slm which is related to peace. The greeting shared by all Muslims As-Salaam-alaikum literally means “peace be with you”. Furthermore, the holy Quran, contrary to what many people believe, is a strong proponent of peace and it strongly emphasis the sanctity of human life. As it is often quoted the Quran teaches us that if you kill one person it is as if you have killed all of humanity and if you save the life of one person it is as if you have saved all of humanity. The only time the Quran allows any form of violence is only as an act of self-defense and as a final resort when all other options are blocked. The holy prophet (p.b.u.h) was a Mercy to all of mankind. One of the greatest examples of this is the conquest of Makkah. After decades of facing inhumane persecution and torture and being forced to leave their homeland the Prophet and his companions eventually became victorious and they returned to Makkah as the leading side. At that moment the Prophet had the opportunity to  punish all of those who had done wrong unto him and his family and companions. Yet, being the merciful prophet that he was he forgave all of his opponents. Not only did he pardon them but he appointed the house of Abu Sufyan (one of his strongest opponents) a safe haven for all those who desired to seek refuge in it.  

Perhaps what makes this particular act of terror especially tragic is that the majority of victims were innocent children. It is especially tragic that such a crime against children has been committed in the name of Islam. Whereas the reality is that the holy Prophet (p.b.u. h.) consistently emphasized and demonstrated his affection towards children. He enjoined his followers to respect their elders and to show kindness and love towards the children. He himself demonstrated his love towards his beloved grandchildren by taking an extra long time in prayer sujood (prostration) while they were on his back. In another instance he showed disapproval to a man who had ten children yet he had never kissed or showed affection to any one of them. 

As mentioned earlier the only time Islam allows any form of violence is during an act of self-defense. Even in such conflicts the Prophet (p.b.u.h) ordered his companions to avoid harming non-combatants such as the elderly, women, and children. It is even a sin to harm the nearby environment. 

The Taliban, ISIS, al-Qaeda, and all other terror groups acting in the name of Islam are not Muslims at all because they do not follow the core teachings of the Holy Quran and Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h). Being Muslim simply means to submit to the teachings of Allah as mentioned in the Quran and the authentic sunnah of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.). These are the teachings that promote belief in the One Almighty and Merciful creator. These are the teachings that promote goodness to all of mankind, the teachings that promote peace and serenity and the teachings that strongly prohibit acts of aggression and violence. 

New York Theme Park Bans Hijab

Muslims, police scuffle at Rye Playland over amusement park’s head scarf ban; 15 arrests made
Cross-posted from YAHOO! NEWS

NY Daily News

CORINNE LESTCH AND BILL HUTCHINSON, DAILY NEWS WRITERS
Police on the scene at Playland on Tuesday (Norman Y. Lono for NY Daily News)

Police on the scene at Playland on Tuesday (Norman Y. Lono for NY Daily News)

Rye Playland was shut down Tuesday after cops scuffled with Muslims upset that women wearing head scarves were barred from the rides, witnesses said.

Fifteen people, including three women, were charged with disorderly conduct and assault in the chaos, authorities said.

The Westchester Countypark was packed with Muslims celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr – the holiday marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

One woman, Entisai Ali, began arguing with cops over the amusement park’s head scarf, or hijab, rule, said Dena Meawad, 18, of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

The ban, which is not Muslim specific, was imposed about 3 years ago mostly to prevent hats from falling onto the tracks of roller coasters and other rides, park officials said.

“The cops started getting loud with her and she started getting loud, too. They pushed her on the ground and arrested her,” Meawad said.

Her cousin, Kareem Meawad, 17, went to try to protect the woman and was beaten by cops and also arrested, she added. Her brother, Issam Meawad, 20, was pushed to the ground and taken into custody when he tried to help his cousin, she said.

“She just wanted to get on a ride. That was it,” Dena Meawad said of the initial confrontation. “It’s clear, this all happened because we’re Muslim.”

John Hodges, chief inspector of Westchester County Public Safety, insisted that police did not use excessive force.

He said up to 100 cops from surrounding departments converged on the park.

Two park rangers were injured in the melee, prompting felony assault charges against two people arrested, officials said.

The ugly incident happened just after 1 p.m. The event was organized by the Muslim American Society of New York, and attracted 3,000 Muslims from Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Westchester County.

Ali’s sister, Ayman Alrabah, 24, of Brooklyn said her husband, brother and father were all tackled by cops and put into handcuffs when they tried to help her sister.

Alrabah said she was unaware of the head-scarf rule until she and her sister tried to get on the park’s Dragon Coasters.

“We requested a refund and all of a sudden an argument became a riot,” Alrabah said. “Cops came. They were hitting my brother, my dad. My husband was on the floor and they were handcuffing him.

She said her 4-year-old son was “traumatized” by seeing his father arrested.

“They treated us like animals, like we were nothing,” Alrabah said. “They came with their dogs and sticks. We came to have fun.”

‘It’s clear, this all happened because we’re Muslim,’ says Dena Meawad. (Norman Y. Lono for NY Daily News)

‘It’s clear, this all happened because we’re Muslim,’ says Dena Meawad. (Norman Y. Lono for NY Daily News)

The park was closed for about two hours because of the fracas. It reopened at about 6 p.m.

Peter Tartaglia, deputy commissioner of Westchester County Parks, said the Muslim American Society of New York was warned in advance of the rule barring head scarves on rides for safety reasons.

“Part of our rules and regulations, which we painstakingly told them over and over again, is that certain rides you cannot wear any sort of headgear,” Tartaglia said. “It’s a safety issue for us on rides, it could become a projectile.”

Many Muslims were given refunds as they left the park disappointed.

“In this heightened state of Islamaphobia, a woman wearing a hajib is an easy target these days,” said Zead Ramadan, president of the Council on American-Islamic RelationsNew York. “Unfortunately, this turned ugly due to a lot of miscommunication.”

Photos: Top: Police respond to Rye Playland on Tuesday (Norman Y. Lono for NY Daily News)

Bottom: ‘It’s clear, this all happened because we’re Muslim,’ says Dena Meawad. (Norman Y. Lono for NY Daily News)