Appeared in Washington Post on September 12th, 2001
I would like to stress that any terrorist activity, no matter who does it and for what purpose, is the greatest blow to peace, democracy, humanity, and all religious values. For this reason, no one—and certainly no Muslims – can approve of any terrorist activity. Terror has no place in one’s quest to achieve independence or salvation. It costs the lives of innocent people.
Even though at first sight such acts seem to harm the target, all terrorist activities eventually do more harm to the terrorists and their supporters. This latest terrorist activity, which is a most bloody and condemnable one, is far more than an attack on the United States of America – it is an assault against world peace as well as universal democratic, humanistic, and religious values. Those who perpetrated this atrocity can only be considered the most brutal people in the world.
The world should be assured that, although there may always be some who exploit any religion for their interests, Islam does not approve of terrorism in any form. Terrorism cannot be used to achieve any Islamic goal. No terrorist can be a Muslim, and no true Muslim can be a terrorist. Islam orders peace, and the Qur’an demands from each true Muslim that he or she be a symbol of peace and support the maintenance of basic human rights. If a ship is carrying nine criminals and one innocent person, Islam does not allow the ship to be sunk to punish the nine criminals, for doing so would violate the innocent person’s rights.
Islam respects all individual rights and states clearly that none of them can be violated, even if doing so would be in the community’s interest. The Qur’an declares that one who takes a life unjustly has, in effect, taken the lives of humanity as a whole, and that one who saves a life has, in effect, saved the lives of humanity as a whole. Also, our Prophet Muhammad says that a Muslim is one who does no harm with either his or her hand or tongue.
I strongly condemn this latest terrorist attack on the United States. It only deserves condemnation and contempt, and it must be condemned by every person in the world. I believe that before America’s leaders and people respond to this heinous assault, I would like to express that they surely understand why such a terrible event occurred and how similar tragedies can be avoided in the future.
I feel the pain of the American people from my heart, and assure everybody that I pray to God Almighty for the victims and that He may equip their sorrowful beloved ones and all other American people with patience.