Frequently Asked Questions
Extremism & Terrorism
1.What are your views on terrorism?
What’s surprising about terrorism, is that it doesn’t have a definition in the United Nations’ literature. In 2005, one hundred and fifty Monarchs and Presidents met in a two days’ summit at the U.N. to define terrorism, after two days the summit ended without a definition and most of them said that there is no need for a definition because everyone knows what terrorism is.
Political scientists and international law professors have already defined terrorism, I spoke to Dr Robert Pape of Chicago university as well as Dr Philippe Sands of UCL and both of them agreed that terrorism is “targeting non combatants to push a political agenda”.
Terrorism has been practiced by individuals, organizations and by governments too-may be this explains why world leaders did not come with a definition in their summit-as soon as non combatants are targeted in any political disagreement, then what we are seeing is terrorism, which is totally prohibited by Islam. Islam does not permit the killing of innocent civilians under any circumstances
For more elaboration on the topic please watch:
*Jihad on Terrorism documentary (15 languages)
*Jihad & Terrorism Part 1
*Jihad & Terrorism Part 2
2. What are your views on extremism?
Extremism is not extra religion, but rather the phase just before apostasy from religion. It is very easy to go extreme whether to the right or to the left but the challenge of every Muslim is to always stay in the middle, a moderate Muslim, as one of the members of the moderate nation. God says in the Quran:
وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا
“Thus We have made you a middle nation” (Qur’an 2:143) which is the verse exactly in the middle of Chapter2 from the Qur’an which consists of 286 verses.
The prophet Muhammad peace be upon him foretold the appearance of extremists after his death and described them as people who will get out of the religion despite their good recitation and their humbleness in prayers.
3. Is going frequently to a mosque a sign of extremism?
Most extremists do not go frequently to the mosques, because an extremist is a very judgmental person, and he judges his fellow Muslims as apostates and/or hypocrites, many recent terrorist attacks were carried by people who weren’t practicing and were drinking and fornicating. Going frequently to pray in mosques develops patience and peacefulness in one’s personality.
Is oppression the root cause of extremism?
Definitely, oppression is one of the main causes of extremism, according to surveys held by political scientists and and anthropologists, but still it doesn’t justify it.
God said in the Qur’an
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ لِلَّهِ شُهَدَاءَ بِالْقِسْطِ وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآَنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَى أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا اعْدِلُوا هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَى وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ
“do not let hatred of others lead you away from justice, but adhere to justice, for that is closer to piety.” (Qur’an 5:8)
In Islam, no one can be punished except the perpetrator himself and his punishment should be proportionate to the crime he committed, but targeting innocent people to put pressure on an enemy is terrorism.
4. Do you have ties with the Muslim brotherhood?
I accepted nearly every invitation to talk, I got from Muslims and non Muslims, as long as I was available at the time of the event. My acceptance never depended on the background of the invitees or the organizers. Whether they are moderates or extremists, all types of young Muslims are my target audience. The last event I attended with the Muslim brotherhood was in Egypt in the year 2000, then after the revolution of the 25th of January 2011, and during the short period in which Egypt enjoyed democracy before the coup on 2013, some of their youths got in touch with me asking for some advise which I always gave to them as well as to others sincerely.
5. What is your relationship to Dr. Yusuf Qaradawi?
The first thing I learnt, when I started to study Islamic studies, is that: No one is infallible except the prophets of God, all others, including scholars, are not safe from falling in error no matter how knowledgeable they are.
I studied Dr Yusuf Al-Qaradawy as I studied other multi faith scholars, I definitely benefitted from him, like I benefitted from others as well, but that doesn’t mean that I am a copy of any of them. I agreed with them and differed too
6. What are your views on women’s political rights?
Islam liberated women, from being abused by men. Islam gave the women the right to vote 14 centuries before they got it in the USA in 1920, or in France in 1945 or in Switzerland in 1971. Women were granted their rights in Islam with any need for struggling to get them, like they did in Europe and the USA, and the suffragettes were jailed and pushed to act violently in order to increase awareness of their struggle.
In Islam men and women are equal
and it is very unfortunate that they are not granted their Islamic rights today in some Muslim countries.
The prophet had lady Um Salama as his political consultant and he applied her advice in a very serious matter which turned to be a very wise advice.
7. Do you think women should drive in Saudi Arabia?
Prohibiting women from driving has no basis in Islam. I personally believe that it is more appropriate to let women drive their cars than put them in a car for several hours every day with a foreign driver who hasn’t seen his wife whom he left back home in India for several years. I think it is safer and more honorable if women drive their own cars.
3. What are your views on domestic violence towards women?
Islam doesn’t allow violence against spouses, those who thought that the Qur’an allows it are wrong, and it all comes from interpreting a verse in the Quran wrongly by assuming that the hitting mentioned in it is for disciplining, this whole topic is explained in details in this episode
to conclude, Islam doesn’t allow any violence against spouses, and if a woman is beaten by her husband, then she should complain to the judge, who may in turn punish her husband severely according to Islam.
4. Do women have a right to education?
Women do not only have the right to education, but rather they are obliged to seek knowledge exactly like men are obliged to seek it.
I suggest watching this episode for further information