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Australian Muslims:

How to face Terrorism

Najeeb Siddiqui

An essay written by a Sydney high school student.

"Turbulence is a life force. It is opportunity. Let's love turbulence and use it for change."

Ramsay Clark

There are different points of view about the march of human history. The one conveyed to us by religious sources seems more logical and bears testimony.

Humans are caught between commandments and temptations thus committing virtues and vices. Peace and harmony is brought about and maintained by the virtuous people. Then, because of temptations, vices replace or dominate virtues and hence exploitation and ultimately chaos takes place.

Need prompts humans to make efforts towards the fulfillment of those needs without exploitation and aggression. Justice prevails but then greed dominates over needs and thus vices overlap the virtues. History hence moves forward. The vices create turbulence in different forms and when this crosses the limit, the virtues emerge and replace turbulence with calmness, exploitation with justice and chaos with harmony. Change moves forward and backward.

The present situation of terrorism around the world is the outcome of the gradual dominance of vices over virtues. World events clearly indicate that terrorism is not diminishing in spite of the 'war on terrorism'. Observing the countries around the world unbiasedly, we find that comparatively Australia is the best country at the moment still under the domain of peace and prosperity. The multicultural society of Australia having many religions has the unique characteristic by virtue of which it is expected that Australia would lead the world towards peace and prosperity by first eliminating terrorism totally from Australia.

How should Australian Muslims face terrorism? Let us first explore the mode of operation. Nowadays the general trend is to make a quick response by reaction. Reaction is the normal practice of the aggrieved group. Reaction makes the situation worse as it further triggers another reaction in response to the first. Terrorism is a long chain of actions and reactions over many decades throughout the world between the exploiters and the exploited ones, the aggressors and the aggressed ones.

There is another response of action, called proactivity. In reaction persons are conditioned to respond in a particular way to a particular stimulus, whereas proactivity is the response after considering doctrines and values.

"In Islam human beings are responsible for their own thinking and actions. A Muslim's behaviour should be a function of his/her decisions, not enslaved by the stimuli. The follower of Islam should subordinate his/her feelings to recognition of values. Muslims should have the initiative and the responsibility to make things happen."

Q.A. Ahmad, "Towards the New Policy" Radiance Weekly India July 2003

"Reactive people are driven by feelings, by circumstances, by conditions and by their environment. Proactive people are driven by values - carefully mingled about, selected and international values."

Franklin Covey, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People"

We have the example of the Jewish community. In response to the barbaric treatment against them, they didn't react but adapted the principle of proactivity. Undergoing all the sufferings, bearing all the tortures and discrimination, they just concentrated upon themselves and avoided confrontation in order to build themselves up. The result is in front of us. They have emerged as the intelligent and high-tech experts in all walks of life. Alas! Now after being strong on top position in most countries, they are demonstrating high-handedness and cruelty against the suffering Palestinians.

The first and foremost strategy for Australians Muslims in the present situation is to completely ignore all the bad behaviours and bad actions against them by the ignorant and ill-mannered persons. Gross discriminations and physical assaults must be reported to the authorities in a unagitated manner to let the Australian Law deal with them. To get panicked and agitated and to take the law in one's own hand is not allowed in Islam. Such actions tend to stir racial feelings. Any bad remark and abuse should not be publicised much. Rather, such things should be ignored.

Before looking into other faces, every Muslim should look into the mirror to scrutinise oneself. Every Muslim should understand the Islamic behaviour as taught by Allah and His Prophet and then check whether he/she is following that or not. For example Islam never allows the vices done by human beings - exploitation, injustice, aggression, killing innocent people, attacking a country, bonding upon population, suicide bombings, etc. Allah, the only one God, the Creator, the Controller and the Master of the universe is in knowledge of all the thinking, ideas and planning of human beings and is also watching their every action. Every person is answerable to God for all the deeds, ideas and planning performed in this world.

With the above beliefs, Islam commands it followers also to believe in the life after death. Reward and punishment will be given to each individual in the next life. The true followers of Islam should take all these beliefs very seriously and hence it should be impossible for them to act as terrorists.

Next thing, which is very important in Islam, is another commandment of Allah that every follower has to promote goodness and eradicate evil. For a Muslim, it is not enough to be good and virtuous. Rather it is incumbent upon a Muslim that the family members, the neighbour and the colleagues all should also become good and virtuous. So a Muslim has to see that no terrorism prevails in the surroundings. First of all this stopping of terrorism by others should be done by persuasion, not by compulsion and then if still terrorism continues on, it must be reported to authorities to get it stopped through Australian Laws.

Brothers and Sisters in Islam! It should be clear now that the responsibility of maintaining a non-terrorist Australia rests mostly upon us Muslims much more than others as we have already committed to Allah to work for and maintain peace at least in the society where we live. So instead of being silent observers and being at the mercy of circumstances we should first adhere sincerely to the teachings of Islam and demonstrate high character before the public. Then we should come forward and offer services (for the eradication of terrorism) to the government and semi-government agencies.

May Allah accept our services and give us reward in this world and the Hereafter.

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