CREDOS: Islam and terror — I

It is natural for someone with very little familiarity with Islam and Muslims to make the connection between Islam and terrorism. It is very easy to conclude that Islam calls for murder when they hear tapes by Osama bin Laden or Aiman Al Zawahiri calling upon

all Muslims to “kill an infidel.” Then there are those who make it their mission to smear the religion by selectively quoting from Islamic texts to bolster the fallacious argument that Islam itself is the reason for the terrorism.

Thus, when non-Muslims hear Muslims say, “Terrorism has nothing to do with Islam,” they either think we are in denial or lying. But we Muslims mean it when we say, “Terrorism has nothing to do with Islam.” And here’s why: There is a disconnect between Islam and terrorism that can be traced to the mind of a terrorist — even if that terrorist believes the complete opposite. At his very essence, a terrorist is a criminal. When a criminal commits a crime, he or she has a rationale in his mind.

If someone robs you at gun point for your iPod, his rationale may be that he wants one and doesn’t have the money to pay for one. So he will steal it from someone who has it. This justification makes absolutely no sense to you and me, but in the mind of the thief, it makes perfect sense.

Cho Sueng Hui, the Virginia Tech shooter, had some sort of his own sick justification in his mind for his massacre of 32 fellow students. In the mind of Cho, it made perfect sense. —