An Open Letter to Al-Qaeda

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I am writing to you under the assumption that our news media here in the United States is accurate in its insistence that you are indeed a Muslim group that considers itself an Islamic movement that is acting in the name of God and on behalf of the Muslim people of the world in pursuit of justice and Caliphate. I have never believed that you are actually Muslim men and women, since it seems impossible to me that people who know God and who claim piety could be so brutal in their extra judicial, and unjust murders of Muslim and non-Muslim civilians and non-combatants, including innocent women and children who are neither threatening, or attacking you. It is very hard, if not impossible to imagine that any Muslim whose heart is filled with such a zeal for justice, could be so blatantly and brutally unjust. No person of piety is capable of such an arrogant betrayal of the innocent, and his or her own people.

There are also other things that make it seem almost impossible for you to actually be Muslim, since you have undertaken one of the most serious and important duties of a believer, while simultaneously violating every law and tradition associated with such an undertaking. Even a Muslim with a very elementary understanding of Islam and Islamic law knows that only the Caliph or an Imam who is accepted by the people as their leader can call Muslims to war in the name of God. The authority of Caliphate and Imamate cannot be usurped by just anyone, regardless of how noble their intent, or their cause. No Muslim who fears God can move to the battlefield in violation of the very law under which he, or she claims legitimacy, for to do so would in any other circumstance, cause the believers to rally against you and to destroy you. Your battlefield has been the mosques, and schools, and street corners where Muslim children gather to play. Our prophet never ventured to such battlefields. Do you know that God said in the Qur’an that the mosques and houses of worship are sacred places and they are a sanctuary, a place of safety for those who go there to pray, or for any other reason? Only the Zionists in Palestine has shown less respect for the houses of God and the people who flee, or gather there, yet you want the world and the Muslim people to believe that you are acting in God’s name and on behalf of Muslim people. Your battlefields have been the training schools where brave young Muslim men are going to learn how to patrol their own streets, and defend their own country, so that no outsider need do that for them. You have killed thousands of Muslims, you have attempted to usurp the authority of the Imamate, and the Caliphate, and in the process you have caused Islam to be hated and condemned, and you have caused our prophet Muhammad to be slandered and vilified, and called terrorist, because you have claimed to act in his name, and you have acted like terrorists. Should we believe that you are Muslims? You have killed Muslim women and children, you have destroyed Muslim property, and you have rebelled against an authority established by consensus of the Muslim people. You have sought to ruin their means of livelihood, and to eliminate their source of revenue from which they must provide their needs. In so doing you have made an independent Muslim people, dependant upon non-Muslims. You have sought chaos instead of order, and injustice in place of justice.

Still the Muslim people have not condemned you, or gone to war against you, because we have sought to avoid civil wars, Muslims killing Muslims for the enjoyment, and convenience of our common enemy. This enemy is not just the enemy of Muslims, they are the enemy of mankind, and their objective is to destroy us by our own hands, with our own ignorance, hatreds, fears, impatience, and lack of faith in God and hypocrisy. You would have us destroy ourselves for the sake of your desire to achieve a victory that is not yours. You are not the one to reestablish Caliphate, and you are not Imams. The victory that you are greedily and brutally in pursuit of has been reserved for the righteous, and it has, for centuries until now, been denied the imposter and the usurpers of every era. You have two faces and two tongues. You have negotiated with the US while you murdered your supposed fellow Muslim countrymen, and called them collaborators. Who are the real oppressors, and the unjust tyrants and collaborators? When you negotiated with them, you negotiated for power, and not to achieve peace. Who are the rebels, and renegades against God that are seeking to establish themselves over the people as tyrants and powerful terrorizing men? Are you from God? Do you want us to believe that it is God in your heart that is compelling you to do what you have done? Are you proving your love for the people of Iraq, and the Muslim people of the world? You are like the snake in the garden, which said to our father Adam that you were his sincere advisor. The Qur’an says it was by deceit that Adam was tricked out of paradise. Are you tricking us?

In spite of everything, there might be a chance that you are Muslims, and that you don’t know what you are doing, or understand the terrible injustices you have committed against your own souls, and the price for the innocent blood you have spilled. In that case, we pity you, and pray that God will awaken you to the wrong that you are doing to yourselves, to Muslims, to Islam, and to the world, and we seek refuge in God from you. If you are Muslims, I appeal to you to seek God’s mercy, ask for his forgiveness and repent, and stop what you are doing. I pray that you will see that what you are doing is wrong, and that there is no way to justify what you have done. The Islamic law cannot be separated from the Holy Spirit that brought down that law, and that guards the law. When you attempt to separate the law from the spirit of the law as you have done, the result is gross violation and extremism. The spirit of God, who is the lawmaker, is a spirit of love and compassion, mercy and justice, and His law must be interpreted in that spirit. It is a spirit that seeks at every opportunity to protect and to preserve life, and not to take, or torture, terrorize or kill. It is a spirit that loves the weak and the oppressed, the rejected, and the meek. When the law is separated from the spirit of God, it is not Islamic law, it is an aberration of the law, a counterfeit deceit and it can only generate extremism and suffering, and bring God’s curse upon the one who corrupts it, and the one he seeks to impose his or her illegitimate authority upon if they accept it. The Qur’an teaches us that oppression is worse than slaughter. The Muslim people have not yet stood up to destroy you for your slaughtering of the innocent, yet, I don’t believe that they will continue to be oppressed by your violence and tyranny and terror. Turn back to God while you still can and still have time. I also pray that you will release any prisoners or hostages that you, or other groups under your influence, or that are working with, may be holding. I pray that you not harm them or kill them, and that you will let them go home. I am advising you as a Muslim, that unless you release these people unharmed, God will destroy you. I also ask that you convey a message to Saddam Hussein and tell him that he cannot possibly be impressing God with his arrogance, and God is the one to decide who lives and who dies. His performances in the courtrooms may cause the people to say that he is a brave man, yet God knows that he is a murderer. He should repent and ask the people for their forgiveness, and ask the families to exchange their right to his blood for monetary compensation so that God might spare him. His spilled blood cannot bring back the dead, but his money can feed millions of people, educate children who have been orphaned by his killing their parents, and provide medical care to those who have been wounded mentally and physically by his crimes. Tell him that being afraid to die has never saved a life, and that only fools don’t know what to fear. God tells us in the Qur’an that he teaches us what to fear. He said that we should fear Him, and if you believe that death is the pathway to God, fear death unless you are prepared to meet Him and to be judged by Him. Who is seeking torment in the grave and hellfire if they can avoid these things except a fool?

I pray that God will forgive all of mankind, and release us from our stumbles and pity us. Dear God, spare us the evil consequences of our acts, and save us. Teach us, and guide us to our good, and grant us peace through piety and your strength, and save us from those who have fallen into your trap, and have come to believe due to your patience, that their strength is equal to yours. And save us from the oppressors and the tyrants and the imposters and the renegades, and save us from ever being, or acting like them. Amen.

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The writer is the Founder and President of the National Association of Muslim American Women. The author is also head of the International Assoc. for Muslim Women and Children, an accredited NGO with the UN Division on the Rights of the Palestinians. She is a regular contributor to Media Monitors Network (MMN).

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