We are facing a storm on the east coast of the United States, today. Washington, DC area is poised to have potentially two feet of snow overnight. In our greater struggles we have other kinds of storms. The winds of change are blowing but we must not face the violence wind by striking it with our swords or weapon systems. We must take the moral high ground and stand firmly with peace in our hearts and patiently march through the wind and the rain to a brighter day.
Three Responses to Oppression, Violence and Occupation
One could respond to oppression, violence and occupation as a people in many ways and with many means. The response contain an overall strategy for victory employing a variety of tactics. I believe that often we confuse strategy with tactics. Within these considerations scholars have asked people to weigh the concepts of the potential benefit (Maslahah) and the potential harms (Mufsadah).
I believe that the Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, did this. He applied different tactics at different times to achieve the strategic victory. That victory was to establish a society that was peaceful and just for all of its people.
He deployed the tactic of non-violence in the treaty of Hudaibiyyah and this tactical move allowed the message of his PEACE to prevail and brought to his way dignity even from enemies.
Once moving beyond complacency, people will say that the responses to the assault on a people of faith (i.e.. Muslims) is the following:
- All members of the faith worldwide rally to the aid for their brother.
- In the West organize, protest and vote to change the foreign policy, while saying that oppressed in their country have the right to self-defense.
- Worldwide movement of Non-violent Resistance.
I am in favor of a worldwide movement toward non-violent resistance to establish justice.
A young man was asked the other night in our focus group on radicalization and when asked, ‘what do think about young people going overseas to fight?’, he responded with a question, ‘what would you do if some people killed your family?’. This response is a nature human reaction. It is not the highest human response either and this is not jihad, this is revenge. Revenge is not the method of the Prophet Muhammad, pbuh.
This is what is happening in Nigeria as we speak, rioting and vigilante behavior. This is what we saw in Rwanda (Hutu – Tutsi). This is what we see in Darfur.
The idea that it is okay for Muslims in other parts of the world to engage in warfare as we know it today is not acceptable to me in Islamic terms. Nuclear and conventional weapons are all weapons of mass destruction – which are not allowed by my understanding of warfare of the Prophet Muhammad, pbuh.
We must go another way – the way of non-violent resistance.