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Fanning Fanaticism To Flame?

Husain Ibn Mansur Al-hallaj (858 – March 26, 922) – the Persian Mystic, Poet and Teacher of Sufism – used to view signs of the Almighty everywhere, even within himself! Once, the reigning Sultan, where he lived, had, reportedly, asked him who he was? To that, Al-hallaj had replied: “I am Truth… I am God!” The reply irked the Sultan, who had promptly ordered beheading of the Saint. Perhaps, this is one of the first instances of the tradition of decapitation of people as per strict Islamic Laws.

Rūmī – the 13th Century Persian Poet, Faqih, Islamic Scholar, Theologian and Sufi Mystic – dedicated his verse ‘The Sunrise‘ to Al-hallaj. Rūmī wrote: “He says, “There’s nothing left of me./I’m like a ruby held up to the sunrise./Is it still a stone, or a world made of redness? It has no resistance to sunlight./This is how Hallaj said, I am God, and told the truth!/The ruby and the sunrise are one( and the same?)./Be courageous and discipline yourself…

Al-hallaj

Fanatics, in all probability, are not ready to accept the fact that “Religious Ideas, like Truth, can often be Multidimensional”. Fanatics, who promote violence, consider everything, except their ideology, as Evil. It may be said that they are the proponents of Beheading! Their violent activities have rocked the world, and France has become the latest victim of this sort of terrorist activity. The extremists have killed one after another, because, in their judgment, those people were Anti-Islam.

Samuel Patty (47) was a French middle-school teacher. The secular-minded teacher showed some controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to his pupils in September 2020, while explaining the concept of Freedom of Speech. Since then, he had been facing scathing abuses on the Social Media. On October 16, 2020, an 18-year-old Chechen man beheaded Patty in broad daylight in the Conflans Sainte-Honorine suburb of Paris.

Samuel Patty

Muslims, living in France or elsewhere in the world, have not unequivocally condemned the heinous crime. Although majority of them have admitted that beheading is a crime, they are of the opinion that it was Patty, who had provoked his assassin by insulting the Prophet! Muslim outrage has since erupted, as French President Emmanuel Macron stressed on the importance of Secularism at Patty’s memorial service. Even, Heads of the State of two Islamic Nations – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan – have accused the French President of fuelling Islamophobia!

A couple of days later, another Muslim youth beheaded a woman at a church in Nice, and also killed another woman and a man. During interrogations, the man revealed that he had arrived in France from Tunisia. The Mayor of Nice has termed the incident as Islamic Fascism, saying that the deranged person attacked people with a knife while repeatedly chanting religious slogans. At the same time, a guard at the French Embassy in Saudi Arabia was shot and seriously injured. In France, the Police shot a potential assassin dead, before he opened fire at them.

Incidents of these beheadings and assassinations, in short killings, have been going on in France since early 2015, when two Islamist gunmen entered the office of Charlie Hebdo and started firing at random after the magazine published cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). They gunned down 12 journalists in January 2015. Since then, there have been repeated attacks by fanatics in France. The most horrific terror attack rocked the European country in November 2015, as fanatics attacked a theatre in Paris, a stadium, and several bars and restaurants; where around 130 people were killed, and hundreds were seriously injured.

It seems that fanatics are trying to attack the Liberal French Life-style! The hatred of hard-line Islamists for the French Liberals has led to the activities of these assassins. Different Islamic and Social Media groups have sought Revenge to these, and the outcome is: an ugly clash!

The latest series of attacks may have turned the tide in France and other countries in Europe, as regards to Catholic behaviour! Even the Liberals in Europe are quite angry and upset, this time. Indian Psychologist Rajat Mitra has said: “The French people no longer consider the incident of beheading as an act of a particular individual, but as part of a well-planned venture. Its purpose was to give a blow to the very foundations of the French identity, race and ego. It is the duty and responsibility of all French nationals to stand up against this evil.” The French President has said in an interview that he could understand why controversial caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) angered many Muslims, but that he could never tolerate Violence in response.

One should not hesitate to condemn the recent terror attacks in the name of Islam! There is a tendency in some Muslim Countries to blame the French for what has happened in France. It will, in essence, increase the Islamophobia only! The fact is that Islamists continue to behead people in different parts of the globe, and poor Muslims are the victims, in many cases. Countless Yazidi, Kurdish, Shiite and other people, who opposed to Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq, have been killed by fanatics. The Islamists have killed many in Bangladesh, too, after they refused to accept an Extremist Ideology. People have also been killed in Pakistan on charges of Sedition. Even, high-ranking Government officials, like influential Governor of Pakistan’s Punjab Province Salman Taseer, had died after being shot by one of his bodyguards in January 2011 because of his opposition to the South Asian Nation’s Blasphemy Law. The Global Community believes that radical Muslims are completely intolerant as far as religion is concerned. This has triggered anger against Islam, and the French people are not responsible for it. As long as the radical Islamists do not respect the religious or ideological sentiments of others, others might not respect their religious beliefs, as well…

In past, the Muslim rulers in India were well aware of the fact that peace could be maintained only by respecting all communities and their religious beliefs. There should not be Unconditional Freedom in a civilised country. The aim should be to reconcile Democratic Freedom, with deep Public Trust and Social Values. The people of France, as well as those of the Muslim World, need to be aware of this…

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