The heinous killing of innocent Ethiopian Christians in Libya shocks our conscience and must be repudiated by those of every faith and background worldwide. The perpetrators of such monstrous acts place themselves outside any faith or ideology.
As we condemn the killings in Libya, we also condemn the attacks on innocent immigrants in the Republic of South Africa. These violent and inexcusable actions demonstrate once again that mainstream followers of all faiths must join together in challenging extremism and hate.
Islam considers all life forms as sacred. However, the sanctity of human life is accorded a special place. The first and the foremost basic right of a human being is the right to live. The Glorious Quran says:
“…if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.”
Such is the value of a single human life, that the Quran equates the taking of even one human life unjustly, with killing all of humanity. Thus, the Quran prohibits homicide in clear terms. The taking of a criminal’s life by the state in order to administer justice is required to uphold the rule of law, and the peace and security of the society. Only a proper and competent court can decide whether an individual has forfeited his right to life by disregarding the right to life and peace of other human beings.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) sent the following message to the monks of Saint Catherine in Mount Sinai saying:
“This is a message written by Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, far and near, we are behind them. Verily, I defend them by myself, the servants, the helpers, and my followers, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them. No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be changed from their jobs, nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses. Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they (Christians) are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate. No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, this is not to take place without her own wish. She is not to be prevented from going to her church to pray. Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the nation is to disobey this covenant till the Day of Judgment and the end of the world.”
ISIS or ISIL does not represent Islam or Muslims. Its violent acts of terrorism are in sharp contrast to the teaching of Qura’n and the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and have nothing to do with Islam and its principles that call for justice, kindness, fairness, freedom of faith and coexistence.
The murder of innocent civilians is immoral, illegal, barbaric, and in direct contravention of the major tenets of Islam and Islamic law. No cause or purpose is served by this heinous act other than a clear manifestation of this group’s cruel and un-Islamic nature.
We therefore, condemn in the strongest terms the killings of our fellow Ethiopian brethren in Libya and we ask justice be served to the perpetrators of these crimes.
Our heartfelt condolence goes to the families of the victims both in Libya and South Africa.
The First Hijrah Foundation