By: Dr. Ahmad al- Haj Ali
This might be the right time, as dictated by circumstances and on-going transformations in the Syrian homeland, to declare to the world the awaited good news of the ultimate defeat of terrorist organizations. Therefore, the story starts here.
Because it is not enough to get rid of the terrorists as individuals, groups and/or organizations. Terrorism itself as an intellectual mindset and as a toxic culture should be fully uprooted.
Such a culture should not be allowed to take root, because it reflects negatively in the behavior of its followers and it grows into a basic substance to fuel hatred and incitement.
If left unhandled, the followers of such a toxic culture might embrace such a toxicity as a sort of “sacred teachings”. Such an alarming trend may, unfortunately, get contagious and threatens to spread around on an epidemic level just as flames of fire might devour heaps of straw.
That is why we say that the imperative “headline” should be the following: To differentiate between Islam as a religion and religiosity.
I mean, to differentiate between the noble facts and values of the religion and the manner with which these values were robbed and manipulated to destroy the religion itself, by means of killing, death, incitement and other similar negative trends.
Here we observe a huge schism in the Islamic life between the noble and humanitarian Islam on the one hand and the patterns of behavior that manipulated the scriptures, turning thus by the good into a bad.
Religion is on the decline, while religious people are on the rise and are multiplying in as much as TV programs, pseudo-gurus, and pseudo-disciples are mushrooming.
These nascent factors have in fact defaced the facts of the religion and opened up boundless gates-ways to deviatory applications, extremisms and bigotry.
Some auxiliary matters were wrongly given prominence at the expense of the true essence of Islam. As a derivative of these headers concerning the need to differentiate between pure Islam, as the message of God and as the intuitive nature of sound individual, we get the second header, namely the need to bridge this deep gap between Islam and the homeland.
This is one of the most important sources of the sound Islamic jurisprudence. No one is entitled to use the religion as a tool to destroy the homeland, to kill its children or to block any meaningful discourse highlighting the nationalistic posture and calling for the building up of the homeland by means of constructive contribution and innovation.
More so, no one should be entitled to block the call for the protection of the homeland by martyrs and martyrdom.
What value do religion have if receded away from the homeland and turned into an exclusive ownership of hypocrites, strangers or those self-reclusive individuals who see in Islam a way to spread the epidemic of death, to exclude others or to freeze the vitality and the reason.
Islam and the homeland should be subject to a lot of meticulous efforts and reasoning. Any potential marginalization of this key principle would destroy both Islam and the homeland.
Next comes the third dimension, which is equally significant, namely the relationship between Islam and universal humanitarian values.
This issue derives its significance from the wide-spread phenomenon we observe in reality, namely the deviation by so many religion-practitioners away from the true values of the religion allegedly to be more committed to its rituals.
While in fact, there is a huge difference between the rituals and the real sense of the religious duties for which these duties are being performed to start with.
These are mere key notions that should be contemplated deeper and researched further and in depth, lest we lose both Islam and the homeland.
We know that the Syrian homeland is the trust-worthy guardian of the true faith, whether it was Islamic or Christian.
Translated from Arabic into English by Syrianfacts