The world has nothing to fear from true Muslims - by Eric Neal

Article Published in the Botany and Ormiston Times - November 26, 2015

I detest the term ‘moderate Muslims’. Why do we use it? Do we feel we have to differentiate between true Muslims and those so called Muslims who are bringing terror to the world?  No. These terrorists should not be associated with Islam. They say they are Islamic, but they cannot claim their actions have anything to do with the teachings of Muhammad.

You can take the teachings from any religion, and twist the meaning to justify violence, but the atrocities being committed by the terrorists cannot be justified. If they were, why is it that an overwhelming majority of Muslims are peace-loving people? It is good to see that at last true Muslims are speaking up against these acts of terrorism, as this will be crucial if we are to end this reign of terror.

Terrorist have been brainwashed (some almost from birth) to believe that what they are doing is God’s work. But every member of the human race has the capacity to figure things out for himself or herself, and those who choose to blindly follow what they have been told without questioning it, are responsible for their actions and must bear the consequences. They are not martyrs, and won’t get the rewards in the next world they are expecting. Logic tells us that a loving God would not condone the wilful killing of a fellow human being. We are all part of God’s creation.

Christians never refer to themselves as ‘moderate Christians’, despite the fact that there have been many atrocities committed in the name of Christianity, so why do we use the phrase ‘moderate Muslims’?  Anyone who truly follows God’s teachings is a good person regardless of their religion, be they Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Zoroastrian, Jew or Baha’i.

We must have faith that terrorism will be defeated; that good will triumph over evil; that justice and unity will enable us to achieve a peaceful world. The huge worldwide support for the French, following the recent horrific events in their country, shows the world can be united for a common cause.  

Our prayers go out to all those who are suffering at the hands of evil doers. Let us ensure that those who recently lost their lives in France did not die in vain. Let our memorial to them be our continuing struggle to achieve peace, wellbeing and security for all.

- Eric Neal is a member of the Baha'i Faith Community and author of the book 'A Beginner's Guide to God'

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