‘Jihad’, a term widely misinterpreted/misused by radicals to spread hatred, divide, and perpetrate violence, thus promoting terrorism/extremism, is required to be denounced by reinforcing the new theology of peace, pluralism and gender justice through religious/community leadership. It is evident that the war of terror could not defeat Islamic radicalisation/Jihadism, albeit continues to attract a section of Muslims especially youth. Although, Islam stands for opening a spiritual path to salvation through good work including harmony, mutual understanding and compassion to all, terrorists are despoiling it through supermacism, xenophobia, intolerance and gender discrimination. The targets of the mindless violence are both Muslims and non-Muslims while community had never come ahead to focus on the need of effective counter-narrative of Islam. Ulema and clergy are required to be reminded of their vital role in educating the society towards the contemporary needs including rightful portrayal of Islam.
Allah and the Prophet wanted a moderate, justly balanced community: ‘An ummat-e-wasta’ (2:143). Numerous verses from scriptures exhorted Muslims never to take extreme, not even in matters of religious obligations, the Prophet had actually refrained and chided a group of people wanted to pray all day and night. The community in general had remained committed to global peace although a minuscule section belonging to radical/terrorist mindset: Al-Queda, IS, Let, JeM and of their ilk had defamed/defaced the great religion. The adverse result of radicalisation leading the community towards a deep abyss of ignorance while the world is progressing by leap and bounds. The Quran directs the followers to be reasonable, tolerant and compassionate to other human beings i.e. :
a) ‘Surely the worst of beasts in God’s sight are those that are deaf and dumb and do not reason’. (8:22)
b) ‘And He lays abomination upon those who do not reason’. (10:100)
c) ‘A book We have sent down to thee, blessed, that men possessed of mind may ponder its signs and so remember.’ (38:29)
d) ‘That thou mayest bring forth your people from the darkness into the light…’ (14:5)
Muslim community in general and leadership in particular, are to take the issue of radicalisation/terrorism seriously and initiate efforts to evolve a new Ijtihad (consensus) of global peace, communal harmony and gender equality.