Not All Muslims Are Terrorists Essay Contest

Notes:

[1] Stephen E. Lammers, Approaches to Limits on War in Western Just War Discourse, in Cross, Crescent and Sword: The Justification of War in Western and Islamic Traditions, 58 (John Kelsay & James Turner Johnson, eds.,1990).

[2] Id. at 57.

[3] ScienceDaily.com, Operation Downfall.

[4] The Avalon Project at Yale Law School, The Avalon Project.

[5] Sohail Hashmi, Interpreting the Islamic Ethics of War and Peace, Princeton University Press.

[6] John Kelsay, Islam and War: A Study in Comparative Ethics 39 (1993). One example of justification for expansionism came from Iran in 1985; “We, [Iran] have repeatedly shown in our foreign and international policy that we have been and are intent on expanding the influence of Islam in the world and lessening the domination of the world devourers. Now, if the servants of the United States cite this policy as being expansionist and motivated to establish a great empire, we will not fear it but welcome it…We are intent on tearing out the roots of corrupting Zionism, Capitalism, and Communism in the world. We have decided to rely on God Almighty to destroy the regimes which are based on these three pillars, in order to spread the regime of the messenger of God.” Harfiyah abdel haleem, Oliver Ramsbotham, Saba Risaluddin & Brian Wicker, ed., The Crescent and The Cross: Muslim and Christian Approaches to War and Peace 112 (1998). See Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall, The Meaning of the Glorious Koran 2:251 (1956). “War becomes a necessity to stop evil from triumphing in a way that would corrupt the earth.”

[7] John Kelsay, Islam and War: A Study in Comparative Ethics 35 (1993). See Yasir S. Ibrahim, M.A. thesis, A Translation of Al-Tabari’s Book of the Disagreement Among Muslim Jurists: The Book of Jihad, at 9 (1998). Ibrahim points out: “There is unanimous agreement [among Muslim jurists (fuqaha’) that the Messenger of God did not wage warfare with his enemies from among the disbelievers before [first] making the call [to embrace Islam]…”

[8] Id. at 35.

[9] Id. at 36.

[10] Harfiyah abdel haleem, Oliver Ramsbotham, Saba Risaluddin & Brian Wicker, ed., The Crescent and The Cross: Muslim and Christian Approaches to War and Peace 113 (1998). Fighting is to be “fi sabil illah” (in the way of God). War cannot be waged for personal glory or the simple expansion of territory (though if expanding geographic boundaries of Islam is the purpose of conquering territory it is acceptable.) War that is under taken without a clear calculation of the measure of success is in violation of this precept. Last resort is problematic, because of the implications of waiting till the last possible moment to defend the faith. Haleem et al. link last resort to Kelsay’s requirement that an “adversary be given the chance to accept Islam or pay a tax.” Jus ad bellum requirements of proportionality differ from jus in bello. Here proportionality means that the harm done by war is proportionate to the good achieved.

[11] Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall, The Meaning of the Glorious Koran 2:190 (1956).

[12] Harfiyah abdel haleem, Oliver Ramsbotham, Saba Risaluddin & Brian Wicker, ed., The Crescent and The Cross: Muslim and Christian Approaches to War and Peace 116 (1998).

[13] Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall, The Meaning of the Glorious Koran 2:190 (1956). See Harfiyah abdel haleem, Oliver Ramsbotham, Saba Risaluddin & Brian Wicker, ed., The Crescent and The Cross: Muslim and Christian Approaches to War and Peace 117 (1998). The Qu’ran specifies that only combatants may be attacked. Mohammed himself proscribed the killing of women, children, the elderly, and animals or the destruction of an enemy’s crop. Furthermore, Muslims are not to fight those who are not fighting or to attack non-combatants at all. Haleem et al. explain that “…wars and weapons of destruction that destroy civilians and their towns are excluded by the Qu’ran and the word and the deed of the Prophet, these being the only binding authority in Islamic law.” Id. at 2:194. The Qu’ran directs believers “whoever attacks you, attack him just as he has attacked you. Be conscious of Allah and know that he is with those who are conscious of him.” In more modern times, Iran has submitted an opinion to the International Court of Justice maintaining that “the right to self-defense as provided by Article 51 of the Charter, cannot be invoked to justify the use of nuclear weapons. The right to self-defense is limited by the general principles of necessity and proportionality”

[14] Robert Jeffrey Williams, Ph. D. Thesis, A Socio-Historical Analysis of Warfare (Jihad and Qital) In Primitive Islam, (1994).

[15] Id. at 157.

[16] Yasir S. Ibrahim, M.A. thesis, A Translation of Al-Tabari’s Book of the Disagreement Among Muslim Jurists: The Book of Jihad, at 9 (1998). Some advocated killing anyone able to fight, to include those who may someday be able to fight, such as wounded young men. Other jurists recommended killing any and all non-believers. Still other jurists were proponents of sparing women and children, though in early Islam sparing could mean enslavement.

[17] Harfiyah abdel haleem, Oliver Ramsbotham, Saba Risaluddin & Brian Wicker, ed., The Crescent and The Cross: Muslim and Christian Approaches to War and Peace 117 (1998).

[18] Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall, The Meaning of the Glorious Koran 2:60 (1956). Id. at 2:19. Suicide is prohibited by the Qu’ran.

[19] Harfiyah abdel haleem, Oliver Ramsbotham, Saba Risaluddin & Brian Wicker, ed., The Crescent and the Cross: Muslim and Christian Approaches to War and Peace 121 (1998).

[20] Steve Coll, Ghost Wars 113 (2004).

[21] Harfiyah abdel haleem, Oliver Ramsbotham, Saba Risaluddin & Brian Wicker, ed., The Crescent and the Cross: Muslim and Christian Approaches to War and Peace (1998).

[22] Id. at 125.

[23] Mohammed Bazzi, Bin Laden uses 19th Century Ideas to Justify Killing Infidels, Sun-Sentinel.com (2001).

[24] Frontline, Osama Bin Laden v. The U.S.: Edicts and Statements.

[25] Id.

[26] John Kelsay, Islam and War: A Study in Comparative Ethics (1993).

[27] Abdulaziz Sachedina, Justifications for Violence in Islam, J. Lutheran of Ethics (2003), at .

[28] D. J. Harris, Cases and Materials on International Law 1060 (5th ed. 2003).

[29] Nida’ul Islam, Interview With Mujahid Usamah Bin Laden.

[30] Harfiyah abdel haleem, Oliver Ramsbotham, Saba Risaluddin & Brian Wicker, ed., The Crescent and the Cross: Muslim and Christian Approaches to War and Peace (1998).

[31] James Turner Johnson, The Holy War Idea in Western and Islamic Traditions 165 (1997).

[32] John L. Esposito, Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam 48 (2002).

[33] Frontline, Osama Bin Laden v. The U.S.: Edicts and Statements.

[34] Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall, The Meaning of the Glorious Koran 4:75 (1956).

[35] Harfiyah abdel haleem, Oliver Ramsbotham, Saba Risaluddin & Brian Wicker, ed., The Crescent and the Cross: Muslim and Christian Approaches to War and Peace 115 (1998).

[36] Harfiyah abdel haleem, Oliver Ramsbotham, Saba Risaluddin & Brian Wicker, ed., The Crescent and the Cross: Muslim and Christian Approaches to War and Peace 123 (1998).

[37] John Kelsay, Islam and War: A Study in Comparative Ethics 78 (1993).

[38] Id. at 79.

[39] Id. at 79.

[40] Harfiyah abdel haleem, Oliver Ramsbotham, Saba Risaluddin & Brian Wicker, ed., The Crescent and the Cross: Muslim and Christian Approaches to War and Peace 125 (1998). The same scholars continue and say “Neither the Charter of Hamas, nor the Neglected Duty, which represents the thinking of Islamic Jihad, has much to say on the subject, though they have given much attention to ad bellum considerations. Perhaps this is only to be expected of all such organizations wherever they are. After all, their leaders and ideologues are not normally scholars of theology or ethics, although they often deploy religious texts to very persuasive effect. Yet surely such discussion of the means used is crucial, given the publicity given in the media and elsewhere to the atrocities allegedly perpetrated by such organizations, especially against innocent non-combatants.”

[41] Frontline, Osama Bin Laden v. The U.S.: Edicts and Statements.

[42] Hilmi M. Zawati, is Jihad a Just War? War, Peace, and Human Rights under Islamic and Public International Law 42 (2001).

[42] Peter L. Bergen, Holy War, Inc. 83 (2001).

[44] Frontline, Osama Bin Laden v. The U.S.: Edicts and Statements.

“Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” –Martin Luther King Jr.

There have been three major violent attacks in the United States in the past six weeks. A shooter in Las Vegas killed 58 people and injured 546 others attending a music festival. In another attack, in New York City, a man murdered eight people and injured 12 using a rented truck from Home Depot to plow into them. Last Sunday, a man killed 26 and injured 20 people attending Sunday services at a church in a small town in Texas. As humans sharing the world, it is hard to believe how commonplace violence is, whether in the form of a “lone shooter” or as an “act of terrorism.” Instead of feeling the shock and horror we should, we have almost become numb in reaction to these outrageous and revolting events.

As a 17-year-old, I have never known a time in America where there wasn’t violence. I was just 1 year old when the 9/11 attacks happened. I have lived through many acts of violence, such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in 2012. That same year, Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African- American from Florida, was fatally shot, ironically, by a neighborhood watch volunteer. Whether it’s a mass attack, mass shooting or the killing of one person, the action is violence and the result is the same—death. And we are left asking ourselves, “Why?” What can we do about it?

As teens, we don’t have to feel powerless. There are things we can do. One thing we can do is to raise awareness about religion and racism. Interfaith programs at our churches, synagogues, mosques and temples can help promote goodwill and understanding through diversity. By seeing that we share faith in a higher power and working together for the greater good, we promote understanding. Programs like Harvard University’s The Pluralism Project runs the Interfaith Youth Leadership Coalition in the St. Paul, Minn., area, where “teens work together to nurture interfaith understanding, reduce prejudice and misunderstanding, and act together on common values through service and justice to transform their worlds. In the process, these young people are empowered to be capable interfaith leaders, both within their own communities and beyond.” This program includes many community-based events like a gardening service as well as leadership workshops for the teens. Having more programs like this one, throughout the United States and the world, will help cultivate more understanding leadership and promote greater understanding among different religions.

Teens can also raise awareness of gun violence. Events such as Seattle, Washington’s “Teens Against Guns Youth Summit,” hosted by the Atlantic Street Center, are a way to bring teens together to actively support the anti-gun movement at a grassroots level. Programs like these can help empower teens to help them realize they can be proactive in ending the cycle of violence.

Another way teens can use their voice to denounce violence and terror is through social media. When she was challenged by another student to prove there were Muslims who condemned violence in the name of Islam, Heraa Hashmi, a 19-year-old college student at the University of Colorado Boulder, decided to make a list of all the Muslim groups that did. According to a November 2016 Teen Vogue article, “ The result was Worldwide Muslims Condemn List — a spreadsheet with 5,720 instances of Muslim groups and leaders denouncing various acts of terrorism.” Her Twitter account generated 12,000 re-tweets and the list has been made into an interactive website called www.muslimscondemn.com. Her idea led to a resource for anyone to access the information.

Whether coming together in an interfaith group, rallying at an anti-gun youth summit or using social media to create awareness against violence, teens have a voice. Gun violence and terror attacks need to end in my generation. Maybe Mr. Rogers (Fred Rogers), said it best: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ ” We, as teens, need to be those helpers.

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