by Aylin Kocaman
In October, the Palestine Committee of the Arab Lawyers Union honored a suicide bomber. A law student who entered a restaurant in Israel in 2003 and blew herself up, killing herself and 21 people, was honored by the lawyers’ union. The 21 people she killed included a pregnant woman and three children.
This honor is thought-provoking. But before that, I want to consider the logic of a suicide bomber. Why does a person become a suicide bomber?
The majority of Arab countries were to some extent touched by post-World War II communism. The Ba’ath Party that became strong in Egypt, Syria and Iraq, the Shanghai bloc that was established under Chinese auspices and quietly placed Arab countries and Iran under its protection, and al-Fatah, which grew under Yasser Arafat’s leadership, never concealed their communist/socialist leanings. It is no secret that much blood was shed by Arab socialism mixed with extreme nationalism in Arab countries. Those who are unaware of that history should have a look at the situation in those countries now or how Hafez Assad’s legacy is preserved in Syria.
Such savagery is inevitable in the socialist or communist mindset. In that worldview, putting an end to one’s own life is as much a contribution to world progress and to the “cause” as putting an end to someone else’s life. Therefore, putting an end to one’s own life, regarded as valueless, in order to put an end to other lives also regarded as worthless, is an even greater contribution in the eyes of this savage system. This is an extraordinarily false logic, but the subject of separate criticism.
If a suicide bomber perpetrates his action in the name of Islam, then that is a disgrace. There are the most profound and terrible errors here. A Muslim cannot kill. This is a sin. God reveals in the Koran that “…if someone kills another person – unless it is in retaliation for someone else or for causing corruption in the earth – it is as if he had murdered all mankind.” (Koran, 5:32) The verse is explicit. Just like it is a sin and murder to kill someone else, it is also a sin and murder to kill oneself. It is not jihad, but a sin to blow oneself up in a restaurant. Those who honor and glorify such things and imagine that the person has become a martyr are applauding murder, not jihad.
I know this, because I am a Muslim. A Muslim with a passionate love of God. I love God, and I also love the people He creates. I learned how to love from my Lord, and I have a religion that tells me to keep love alive. My faith is written in the Koran. I did not learn my religion from nonsense, traditions and fabrications.
This is not the jihad in the religion I learned from the Koran. Jihad means to strive through knowledge and science to bring someone to the truth and to establish communication with love and respect; not to kill him.
This is not the martyrdom I learned about from the Koran. Martyrdom means death while striving on the path of God while seeking to spread the love, friendship and brotherhood demanded by Islam.
In the religion I learned from the Koran, killing is a murder and a sin. It is not a virtue to be honored.
I read in the Koran that as a Muslim I must love and protect Jews and Christians. But suicide bombers and their supporters spread the propaganda of a religion that commands others’ deaths. No, their faith is not mine. And their religion is not the religion of God, either. Very few of those who follow that faith may realize that. The representatives of that union that imagines it is right to honor that young girl, who may have been encouraged to become a suicide bomber by radicals, a suicide bomber who murdered innocent people, may be unaware of that fact, as well. There are many people who imagine this false religion to be true and who seek to adhere to it.
The problem is this : People who do not know their own religion are being diverted toward nonsense. And unless they learn their own religion and the true love in the Koran, there will continue to be suicide bombers and those who honor them. Bombs are not the way to teach them the truth. The only way is correct education. And in order to provide a true education, people of love from among Muslims, Christians and Jews must all come together. Once the power of unity has been established, then those people on the wrong path will begin to listen to us.
The writer is a commentator and religious and political analyst on Turkish TV and also a peace activist. She is a host on the Building Bridges Show (http://bit.ly/NYvG5V) She writes as an op-ed columnist for the Jerusalem Post, the Washington Post and several online newspapers in Turkey.