Only love can defeat terrorism-3 [Archives:2007/1088/Culture]

September 24 2007
Photo from archived article: photos/1088/culture1_1
Photo from archived article: photos/1088/culture1_1
Harun Yahya
Atheist Ideologies and the Rise of Terrorism

If a sick person is to be treated properly, an accurate diagnosis is essential. Whatever treatment follows that diagnosis must be followed meticulously and decisively, until the sickness is finally expelled from the body. If not, the illness will inevitably recur. The same applies to one of the most serious ills affecting society. One of the chief reasons why we can't find effective solutions to this century's social problems is that their causes aren't properly identified. When dealing with any social problem, the first thing to do is establish what causes give rise to it. Otherwise, whatever measures are taken can only be temporary.

The roots of terrorism are often sought in concrete matters; and thus the fight against it, aimed at these superficial targets, cannot provide lasting results. In order to free the world from terrorism, the principal factors behind it must be identified and eliminated.

The Tangled Web of Terrorists' Logic

It's not possible to defeat terrorism by security measures. By itself, military force is only likely to meet with increased violence, producing a vicious circle in which bloodshed continues to be answered with more bloodshed. When embarking on the fight against terrorists, we need to understand)and then combat)their way of thinking, the way they view life and other human beings, and how they justify their use of violence.

A terrorist believes that he can succeed only by using violence. He wants people around to fear him, and cloaks himself in pitilessness, ruthlessness and aggression to bring that fear about. Anyone opposing his ideas is an enemy, whom he regards as an object that needs to be eliminated. In his article, “Terrorists View us as Targets, not as Humans,” psychotherapist and Journal Sentinel writer Philip Chard examines the terrorist mindset and how they justify violent attacks aimed at defenseless people:

“Researchers have glimpsed aspects of [the terrorists'] psyches. Most prominent among these is their capacity to view their victims as things, as objects, as statistics that, they hope, will show up on a casualty list.

“They don't want to experience their victims as human beings, as they would a friend or loved one. Rather, they strive to view them as pawns on a political chessboard. Consequently, from their own vantage point, terrorists don't perceive themselves as killing 'people.' In order to slaughter with ease and callous indifference, they mentally dehumanize us into 'targets' … Their 'cause,' whatever it may be, is sufficiently sacred, noble or desperate that it justifies the carnage they instigate … For most terrorists, their chief interest resides in effects, not persons … They are after … the impact of the massacre, not the experience of the massacre itself. Terrorists want to murder hope, or a way of life, or the spirit of a group of people or an entire nation. They destroy human beings because they believe doing so is the fastest and most direct route to that goal.”i

Philip Chard draws our attention to a most important matter: that terrorists feel not the slightest pang of remorse at the death of others. On the contrary, the more they can kill, the more successful they consider themselves to be, and rejoice in that fact. Such minds can quite happily shoot innocent people and bomb small children. For them, shedding blood becomes a source of pleasure. They cease to be human and turn into savage monsters. If one of them does evidence the slightest remorse, he is immediately branded a traitor by his more radical comrades. Being more radical and more bloody is considered to be more devout in the cause, so the zeal to kill increases constantly. Since any dispute can easily be defined as treacher, terrorists invariably use guns against each other, and carry out attacks on other splinter groups within their own ranks.

This passionate attachment to violence goes deeper beyond political ideologies and in fact stems from an underlying misconception about human nature. The terrorist mindset finds its inspiration from the materialist philosophy and Darwinist thought. Darwinism regards human beings as animals and maintains that living things evolve through a struggle for survival in nature. Eliminating the weak, so that the strong can emerge victorious, forms the essence of any terrorist's twisted thinking.

Moderate Islam-In Other Words, True Islam

For half a century after the first verse was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and grant him peace), Islam underwent such an expansion as has seldom been seen. It spread from the Arabian Peninsula to the whole of the Middle East, North Africa and even Spain, drawing the attention of many in the West. In the words of the famous Islamic expert John L. Esposito, “What is most striking about the early expansion of Islam is its rapidity and success. Western scholars have marveled at it.”ii Over the next centuries, Islam reached all corners of the world, from Indonesia to Latin America. Today, Islam is accepted as the fastest growing religion, and its roughly one billion followers represent about one-fifth of the world's population. Interest in Islam particularly increased after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. (For more details, see The Rise of Islam by Harun Yahya).

Looking at today's Islamic world today, we see a wide range of religious practices, depending on societies' different customs and traditions, their cultural heritage, and world views. This has led some individuals researching or trying to understand Islam to form mistaken impressions. Those differences may symbolize only the traditional values of the society under examination, but Islam itself. The only way of arriving at an accurate opinion of Islam is to put aside these differences and turn to the Qur'an, where the essence of Islamic morality is set out, and to the actions of our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace).

Even if Muslims comprise the majority in a community, that does not mean that community's behavior, views and judgments will necessarily be Islamic, nor that they need be defended in the name of Islam. When evaluating an individual's)or community's)view of Islam, that must always be borne in mind. Differences may stem from prevailing conditions. The only way to ascertain whether those views are correct is by turning to the Qur'an, the most accurate source of truth about Islam, and to the actions of our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace).

It is most unfair to pass judgment on Islam and Muslims without studying the Qur'an to learn whether a particular practice appears in it. Examining the lifestyle of a single community only can seriously mislead anyone who tries to understand Islam and form opinions about it. First, what needs to be done is to learn about Islam from its true source. Then, once the various models in different parts of the world are considered in the light of those criteria, many who only imagined they knew about Islam will actually come to do so for the first time; and can free themselves from the errors they have been laboring under so far. (To be continued)

Quick grasp of faith

* Does Allah reward the believers in this world for their faith?

Allah provides great rewards to His sincere servants during their lives in this world. He guides them to the right path, provides them with ease in their affairs, sends down serenity and peace upon their hearts, multiplies His blessings to them many times over, and helps them in return for their services in His way. He may also send them some difficulties to test their faith. However, in addition to all of these, He provides them with a good life. Allah states that He will reward the believers' good deeds:

Anyone who acts rightly, male or female, being a believer, We will give them a good life and will recompense them according to the best of what they did. (Surat an-Nahl, 97)

Say: “O My servants who believe. Be in awe of your Lord. For those who do good in this world there is good, and Allah's Earth is spacious. The steadfast will be paid their wages in full, without any reckoning.” (Surat az-Zumar, 10)

So Allah gave them the reward of this world and the best reward of the Hereafter. Allah loves good-doers. (Surah Al `Imran, 148)

* Can any reward be expected from people in return for conveying the religion's message?

The believers convey this message in order to earn Allah's good pleasure and to fulfill the related Qur'anic command. In return, they expect no worldly wage, but only Allah's good pleasure and Paradise. All Prophets strove with this purpose in mind until the end of their lives; however, they never asked for any worldly recompense from the people and made it clear that they expected none. This greatness of spirit is exemplified in the Qur'an, as follows:

So heed Allah and obey me. I do not ask you for any wage for it. My wage is the responsibility of no one but the Lord of all the worlds. (Surat ash-Shu`ara', 179-180)

(For further reference, please see, Quick Grasp of Faith 1-3, by Harun Yahya)

Miracles of the qur'an

How the process of photosynthesis begins in the morning

And [I swear] by the night when it draws in, and by the dawn when it breathes in. (Qur'an, 81:17-18)

When plants undergo photosynthesis, they take in carbon dioxide, a harmful gas that human beings cannot consume, from the air, and give off oxygen instead. Oxygen, which we breathe and which is our basic source of life, is the main product of photosynthesis. Some 30% of the oxygen in the atmosphere is produced by plants on land, the remaining 70% being produced by plants and single-celled living things in the seas and oceans.

Photosynthesis is a complex process, and one which scientists have still not yet fully understood. This process cannot be observed with the naked eye, because the mechanism employs electrons, atoms and molecules. However, we can see the results of photosynthesis in the oxygen which enables us to breathe, and in the foodstuffs that keep us alive. Photosynthesis is a system which involves complicated chemical formulae and units of weight, and on very small scale, and consisting of the most sensitive equilibriums. There are trillions of chemical laboratories that carry out this process in all the green plants around us. Furthermore, plants have been meeting our oxygen, food and energy needs non-stop for millions of years.

The productivity of photosynthesis is measured by the level of oxygen output. The greatest point is in the morning, when the Sun's rays are most concentrated. At dawn, the leaves begin to sweat, and photosynthesis increases accordingly. In the afternoon, however, the opposite applies; in other words photosynthesis slows down, and respiration increases because as the temperature rises perspiration also increases. At night, as the temperature falls, perspiration declines and the plant rests.

The term “itha tanaffasa” in Surat at-Takwir, in reference to the morning hours, in other words, “when it breathes in,” is a metaphorical reference to breathing, respiration, or breathing deeply. This term particularly emphasises the way that the production of oxygen begins in the morning, and that the greatest levels of oxygen, essential for respiration, are given off at that time. The importance of the phenomena is also emphasised by the way that Allah swears upon it. The way that Allah indicates the action of photosynthesis, among the most important discoveries of the 20th century, in this verse, is another of the scientific miracles of the Qur'an. (For further reference, please see, Miracles of the Qur'an, by Harun Yahya)

To purchase the works of Harun Yahya, please visit

i Philip Chard, Journal Sentinel, 24 September 2001, (emphasis added)

ii John L. Esposito, Islam: The Straight Path, Oxford : Oxford University, England, 1991, p. 33