Many questions are of course being asked the world over on whether out Muslim brothers and sisters are practicing a genuine faith; or whether their key doctrines advocate for the massacre of fellow-men in the name of Allah. This comes in the wake of the killings in Mandera in which 28 people were allegedly shot dead for their inability to ‘recite the Qur’an. This coupled with a series of similar killings that rocked the nation over the past few months and most notably the Westgate Mall attack; the Matatu bombings in Nairobi as well as the unsolved Mpeketoni Massacre in Lamu are issues that point towards the need for a comprehensive solution to the root problems that are currently threatening to destabilize the very foundations upon which this great republic is anchored on.
First, it is my belief that Islam is NOT a terrorist religion. In fact, NO religion advocates for the killing of the very people the faith purports to protect. Islam is an Arabic word that literally means “surrender” or “submission”. As a faith, it calls upon total and sincere surrender to God, Allah, so that one can live in peace and tranquility. Islam is in fact derived from the word “Salaam” meaning peace. It is therefore apparent from these deductions that the founding father of Islam had other ideas for this faith that was far from what the fundamentalists are trying to make us believe.
It is a common phenomena to have “extremes” in every religion. These people come in the form of radicals and call for a complete societal overhaul to be in tandem to their faith. Such people are called Fundamentalists and they exist in every religion. The history of Christianity will present a not so surprising face of this extent of fundamentalism. These group of adherents take it upon themselves to interpret portions of their “holy” scriptures to propagate violence and justify it on their faith. This however does not make it right.
Just because Mohammed in the historical context had to fight against those curtailing the spread of his new found religion; or the Israelites had to fight the inhabitants of Canaan, their promised land does not make us justify our selfish ignoramus interpretations to the detriment of innocent populations. Those who propagate religious hatred and intolerance are not adherents but terrorists out to quench their blood-lust.
It also has to be noted that the main underlying issue in any acts of violence will revolve around resource distribution; government discrimination and the pursuit of attention from the government of the day. It is vital that policies are formulated and enforced to iron out these inadequacies. It is also the responsibility of these communities who opt to harbor these heartless man-slaughters in the name of blood relations to revert to their pure faiths and flush out these destructive elements who hide and thrive amongst them.
Security is not only the responsibility of the state, but the individuals and societies that make up the state. When all societal components work in tandem; embracing good faith, then there is no need to keep looking over our shoulders.