Terrorism needs a universal response

Terrorism is spreading every day and countries need to come together to find a solution for the menace, a top Iranian religious leader said here on Friday.

“There is ignorance about religion among people. You see the people of ISIS. They carry out suicide bombings and think they will go to heaven. This ignorance must end. Terrorists and terrorist groups like ISIS are the forces of Satan,” Hujjat al Islam Sayed Ali Qazi Askar, representative of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran for Haj and Ziyarah, said.

He was speaking at an inter-faith discussion on ‘International Brotherhood’ organised by the Institute of Dialogue with Culture and Religions (IDCR), Markaz-e-Faiz-e-Islam and the Islamic Forum for the Promotion of Moderate Thought. “The Quran says that if a person kills one human – it doesn’t say one Muslim; it says one human – then that person has killed the whole of mankind. The Quran is against the innocent killing of people,” he said.

Qazi Askar said ISIS was looting oil from Iraq and selling it in the black market. “Some countries buy this oil from the black market and then claim to the world that they are against terrorism and ISIS.” He also said the manufacture and use of nuclear bombs was forbidden in Islam but the nuclear peace programme was the right of every country.

‘Compassion is the key’

“When we look at all religions, they talk about the same thing – compassion. Even in scriptures, you will find God showing compassion even for animals. Gods see everybody as one,” Swami Srihariprasad, Managing Trustee, Sri Vishnu Mohan Foundation, said.

Swami Srihariprasad said all religions also teach individuals to change themselves to better human beings so that the society as a whole will change for the better. Rev. Dr. Michael Amaladoss, Director, IDCR, said the centre trains college students who in turn teach school children about the richness of various faiths so that they develop compassion towards all religions.

“All religions are basically united on values. Instead of focusing on rituals, if we focus on values, there will be unity. The Quran says ‘repel evil with goodness’. The Gita says something similar – ‘Do good to person who has done evil to you’. There is so much work to be done together,” Faizur Rahman, Secretary General, Islamic Forum for the Promotion of Moderate Thought, said.