THE prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, taught us that the best of people is he who benefits people.
In an age of mistrust, misunderstanding, and miscommunication, action in service of others is the best way to build bonds of friendship between communities.
About two weeks ago, a mosque in the north of London was burnt down and vandalised with the words “EDL”, which itself was preceded by the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich. Both were the acts of criminals and both were seriously damaging to our society.
In such a volatile context, it is vital that we, as a community, take hold of the agenda for ourselves and dictate it in the way we want it to be.
We don’t want more hatred, nor do we want more violence. We want to make friends.
“Islamic extremism” is a problematic term and one we should be wary of using.
Extremism implies an idea that lies within the bounds of a belief, but at its polar end.
Murdering innocent people does not fall within the bounds of Islam.
How can it, therefore, be categorised as “Islamic extremism”? Words can build a community, so we must choose them carefully.
The prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was a mercy to all living creatures during his life. After 23 years, he forgave the very people who killed his uncle and mutilated his body.
This mercy is what we must all hold on to during these times.
We must listen to one another and understand each other’s beliefs.
In York, the Muslim community invited the participants of an EDL protest into their mosque for tea.
Just by having a chance to speak, they were able to diffuse the tension. The protest never took place.
This is, therefore, what we must do: build a Solihull that bridges together all segments of society. Together, we are stronger.
Dr. Obadah Ghannam, MBBS, Bsc
Chairman, Centre of Islamic Medicine