Just when I thought this year's anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US were going to be marked without incidence, the news wires went buzzing with images and stories of violent anti-US protests in over 20 countries across the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the world beyond.
On Tuesday, US Ambassador to Libya, J.
Christopher Stevens and three other US Embassy staff were killed in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, while the death toll and injuries are mounting among protestors because of an alleged anti-Islam film.
One wonders how many of these protestors even saw the video before rushing out to burn flags, destroy lives and property.
What is the world of Islam coming to?
Why has Islam become so synonymous with hot-hotheadedness, destruction, pain, mayhem and divisiveness?
Is the God of Islam a violent, unforgiving, warmongering and bloodthirsty God?
Is he a God that sanctions the senseless spilling of blood in the name of making Islam the only religion, or in the name of vengeance, honour killings, keeping the peace and all manner of things that just do not make sense anymore?
If it isn't the so called Muslim Clerics or, twisted and hate-filled individuals inciting people to cause mayhem the world over, then it is the Al-Shababs, Boko Harams, Ansar Dines, brainwashing young men into carrying out heinous acts in Africa, or the Al-Qaedas, the Talibans and the Hezbollahs carrying out suicide bombings, tribal and sect cleansings, hijackings, kidnappings, beheadings and all manner of gut-wrenching antisocial activities the world over.
How will the world be if Buddhists, Christians, Taoists, Hindus, Sikhs, Jainists, Pagans...all take to the streets to kill, plunder and organize terrorist activities each time something blasphemous is said about their respective leaders, beliefs and practices?
Allah through his Holy Prophet (Peace be upon Him) encourages all Muslims to be peaceful, tolerant and forgiving as seen in the following verses from the Qur'an...
"They should rather pardon and overlook.
Would you not love Allah to forgive you?
Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Qur’an, 24:22]
"....For that reason, believers are forgiving, compassionate and tolerant people who, control their rage and pardon other people.” [Qur’an, 3:134]
But if you pardon and exonerate and forgive, Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Qur’an, 64: 14]
"The repayment of a bad action is one equivalent to it.
But if someone pardons and puts things right, his reward is with Allah…” [Qur’an, 42:40]
So why are a few misguided individuals dragging the name of this wonderful religion into disrepute?
I have very fond memories of holidays in a Muslim community in Cape Coast.
Many were the adoptive Muslim aunts and uncles I had, who doted on me and I basked in their love, acceptance and generosity towards a child born of Christian parents.
I thought the Muslim God wonderful and I still maintain that Allah is all loving, forgiving and all tolerant.
Allah does not sanction violence and bloodshed.
Islam does not encourage hate campaigns and senseless jihads.
We shouldn't allow the activities of some misguided individuals and groups pursuing their hateful and evil agenda to colour our view of this wonderful religion and its people.
These are not true followers of Allah.
Contrary to assertions, Islam is not a violent religion.
The religions we profess or associate with have pasts and presents that we are not proud of and it is important that we all make an effort to understand each other’s religious beliefs and not pick on one other.
By Esinam Femensah