Religion of 2014-05-12

“RE: Boko haram reflects flaws in islam”

The Coalition of Concerned Muslims wishes to condemn the comments made by Mr. Casely-Hayford published on May 10, 2014 on citifmonline.com entitled ‘Boko Haram reflects flaws in Islam’. As a group dedicated to propagating Islam and ensuring peaceful co-existence between Muslims and followers of other faiths, we see this development as unfortunate. In as much as we preach tolerance and recognize his right to comment, we consider his statements to be fallacious and devoid of intellectualism that need to be refuted and condemned in no uncertain terms. Also, as it is part of our core mandate to educate the general public on matters of great importance, we wish to make the following clarifications and observations; 1. His allegation that there is silence from Muslims about the ‘Boko Haram’ menace and for that matter it is a “subtle” acceptance of the group is absurd and a blatant lie. Evidence on the media shows numerous publications and comments by Muslim Clerics and Muslims in general refuting the ‘Boko Haram’ ideology as un-Islamic long before the abduction of the over 200 school girls. The Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Grand Mufti of Al Azhar University in Egypt who are the two most authoritative and well revered Scholars of Islam issued statements condemning the abduction of the over 200 school girls by the Boko Haram and described it as un-Islamic. These statements were published on renowned media outlets such as the Reuters and BBC. Furthermore, there have been numerous publications by Muslim Intellectuals on both local and international media outlets condemning ‘Boko Haram’ and their actions. In addition, so many Muslim clerics have been killed by the ‘Boko Haram cult’ because they described their actions as un-Islamic. We therefore consider this allegation of his intellectually bankrupt and condemnable. 2. His assertion that the ‘Boko Haram’ projects the weakness of Islam as a religion is devoid of logic. It is sad and strange that he has chosen to use the actions of ‘Boko Haram’ as a yardstick in measuring the strength or otherwise weakness of Islam. It is intellectual dishonesty to judge Islam by way of the behavior of a few deviant followers. A majority of Muslims have conducted themselves well wherever they are located. Under no circumstance should the actions of a few deviant folks be used to describe Islam but rather it is sound and logical to use the actions of the majority of Muslims. Does he not see that the world would be in chaos if Muslims throughout the world were to unite upon violence and aggression? Would it be fair to say the Catholic Church projects the weakness/flaws in Christianity because its priests abuse children? Or the inhumane actions of the Lord’s resistance Army in Uganda show that Christianity has flaws? We Muslims have been thought to be just in our dealings and analysis and so we do not draw such flimsy conclusions as done by Mr. Casely Hayford. 3. For Mr. Casely-Hayford to say that “I cannot accept that there is such a religion that says women should not be educated” show how ignorant and intellectually bankrupt he is about Islam and the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammed (PBUH). Knowledge is one of the important pillars upon which the edifice of Islam has been raised. In fact our Holy Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) said “seeking knowledge is compulsory upon the Muslim male and female”. Islam therefore sees the acquisition of knowledge to be compulsory for both males and females. We advise him to take time off his financial analyst job to seek knowledge about Islam just like the notable French Professor of Medicine, Maurice Bucaile did and finally accepted Islam. 4. We consider the selection of persons like Mr. Casely Hayford without Muslim representatives to discuss matters of Islam as unfair on the part of media houses. It is only fair and logical to invite Muslim Clerics on the same platform to answer to the questions and doubts that may arise in the course of those discussions. 5. We wish to categorically state that Islam is a religion of peace, tranquility and order and a majority of Muslims throughout history have been shining examples. Islam abhors acts such as hostage taking, hijacking and planting of bombs in public places. It is for this reason that ‘Al-Qaeda’ and other violent groups are considered as terrorist groups and outlawed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries. Islam preaches the use of wisdom in calling to Allah. “Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching and argue with them in a way that is better” (Holy Quran: 16:125) 6. We also wish to categorically state that the ‘Boko Haram’ together with their abduction of over 200 school girls is un-Islamic. So many Islamic scholars have refuted their deviant ideology and we pray and hope that Allah returns the abducted girls alive and safely to their families. In conclusion, we urge people who have been affected by the comments of Mr. Casely- Hayford to discard them because they were factually empty and devoid of logic. We also urge media houses who wish to discuss issues about Islam to solicit the comments of well-grounded Islamic scholars but not ignoramuses who do not verify before speaking. Thank you. SIGNED Fauzan Shamsudeen Secretary Coalition of Concerned Muslims Fauzan@zangofm.com Phone: 00447930902028