(A note of grief, sympathy and support written by Ahmed and circulated among the students, teachers and staff of IB program at the Eastside High School, following the 911 terrorist attacks on America).
Senior, Eastside High School (IB Program)
My dear friends,
A tragedy that ranks with the Mongol sacking of Damascus, the firing of Rome by Nero, and the bombing of Pearl Harbor occurred on the 11th. The obvious culprits seem at present to be Muslim extremists with grudges against America.
You mourn, and I mourn with you. I have the good fortune of knowing you, me as a Muslim, and I present to you the view of the majority of Muslims around the world. Acts of terrorism are among the most vicious possible in the world. Violence against a people simply because a few of them have grieved you is immoral and unjust.
The Qur’an tells Muslims: "Come, I will rehearse what Allah has really prohibited you from: take not life, which God has made sacred, except by the way of justice and law; thus does He command you that you may learn wisdom" (4:151).
Life is holy in all religions; it takes a person of ignoble misunderstanding and instability to advocate or perform violence against it. The morality and integrity of a people as a whole are vital in dealing with all people. The precepts of my religion, my way of life uphold this. Abu Bakr, the successor to Muhammad in rule of the Muslim Empire ordered his military commanders of many things that helped make the Empire the largest in the world.
He said however: "I advise you ten things: Do not kill women or children or an aged, infirm person. Do not cut down fruit-bearing trees. Do not destroy an inhabited place. Do not slaughter sheep or camels except for food. Do not burn bees and do not scatter them. Do not steal from the booty, and do not be cowardly." (Al Muwatta 21.3.10).
The precepts of religion forbid Muslims from taking life in a cowardly and unjust way, their own or those of others. Some "Muslims" praise the courage of suicide bombers, and others quote modern-day "scholars" in justifying suicidal war with Paradise. However, in one of the most honored books of Islamic tradition, Muhammad is quoted as observing: "He who took deliberately a false oath on a religion other than Islam would become that which he had professed. *And he who killed himself with anything, God would torment him with that in the Fire of Hell.*" (Muslim 001.203).
From a Muslim, who embraces the sanctity of life and the integrity of the human soul, I apologize to all those people who have been harmed by the terror of some "Muslims." These people have discarded the noble past of the Arab way of life, and others seek to capitalize of their lack of knowledge.
I ask all people, Muslims who are outraged by the evil acts of other "Muslims," and all those who are effected by their deeds, to know that anger blinds, and gates to hell ride on the shoulders of hate. The pain one feels today is the same as that felt throughout the ages, when the laws of man and God have been ignored. A country where "liberty and justice" are promised for all should not forsake that great pledge for revenge. A nation that consists of Muslims as much as any other group should not seek reprisal against them because of acts committed by others.
In the 1936 Olympics, Hitler ordered a sign to be put up on the stadium that said, "No dogs." Above that was a bigger sign of "No Jews." I ask all people to remember that anger leads to nowhere, hate leads to nowhere good. I urge the elimination of evil in the world, but in a way that the misdeeds of events from Nero to Auschwitz can never be repeated. The innocent should be spared, and the murderers claimed by the people they most harmed. Please, remember the past and embrace the future. Don’t allow those innocents to come to harm, and never allow the guilty to escape. And never judge a people from the acts of a few of them. The American people have the resiliency of several cultures bound together, like twigs into a bunch.
We all have knowledge, we will all understand.
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