By Irha Nadeem
LAHORE, Pakistan – Last week, when I was watching the news, a wave of horror struck me. I could see that there was going to be a new wave of horror, a new wave of retaliation and hatred against Islam.
Knowing that almost 50 people died in a mass shooting in Orlando got me thinking about the Islamic perspective on it.
As a Muslim, I know my religion doesn't allow me to kill someone just because they follow a different religion or have a different way of living – or any other difference.
No, I don't support LGBT people and Islam doesn't support LGBT people. But does that mean I'd walk up anywhere and kill gay people? No, never in my life.
Islam taught me, “Whoever has killed an innocent person has killed the whole humanity, and whoever has saved a person, has though saved the whole humanity (5:32).”
Thus the killing was UNJUSTIFIED on every basis.
Muslims are taught that in the past, when nations used to slaughter each other during wars, Islam emerged as the first religion which prohibited it. War prisoners were given rights. Their properties, lands and lives were protected.
Our religion also teaches us that in Arabia, before Islam, girls were buried alive when they were born. Islam was the religion that gave women their rights. Then how can we actually blame this religion for terrorism? How has this religion become an association for terrorism?
Why is terrorism often labeled as Islamic terrorism? When a girl is beaten or killed in the UK because she is wearing a hijab, it isn't even called terrorism, it's called retaliation.
The problem is not with the religion, it's with the people. Just because a person is born a Muslim doesn't mean that he is actually going to be a true Muslim. If a person is called a Muslim, but doesn't follow Islamic teachings, how can he be an actual Muslim?
There are places where people from different communities live in peace. Schools in some cities in the UK and America, for example, close for certain religious holidays, including Islamic ones.
I wish there could be more places like these so this world could become a better place.
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