Bahai News - All religions point to the Golden Rule

All religions point to the Golden Rule:
Terrorists are irreligious people without conscience

MY thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and families of the tragedy of Sept. 11. Among the thousands presumed dead was an acquaintance of mine, a tenant of the World Trade Center, a precious soul; but others were as precious.

The souls of the innocent dead and their families are crying for justice, and not forgiveness, against the evildoers and state-sponsored group for their war against humanity.

These terrorist organizations do not represent religion. These are irreligious monsters who have no consciences. They can be found in Ireland, the Middle East, Europe and South America, each having their own agenda.

Though not a Muslim, it pains me when people and the press malign Islam and link these terrorists to this great religion.

Before the advent of Prophet Muhammad, the Arabs were among the most savage people on Earth. No traveler was safe from being sold into slavery, and some tribes even considered it virtuous to bury their daughters alive.

Yet, within 100 years of Muhammad's coming, these savages had founded the most advanced civilization the world had yet seen, whose foundation can be traced directly to Prophet Muhammad's teachings.

The advancement in medicine, chemistry, algebra and astronomy, Western Civilization owes to the great Muslim civilization of the Middle Ages.

Just as we cannot blame Christianity and its celestial teachings of love and brotherhood for the Spanish Inquisition and the horrors of the Holocaust against our Jewish brothers; or for acts of terrorism in Ireland, we cannot blame Islam for terrorist acts committed by a few misguided elements.

The true meaning of "Jihad" is a spiritual holy war against one's vices to overcome our evil nature, not a physical war.

Study of the great religions of Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Christianity or the Bahai faith shows that all teach love, justice, detachment, honesty, purity, selflessness, wisdom, faithfulness, humility, forgiveness, charity, respect for trustworthiness, sincerity, compassion, and a host of other virtues.

If you examine the principle of any religion, all point to the Golden Rule:

* Buddhism: "Hurt no others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful."

* Judaism: "What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow man. That is the entire law; all the rest is commentary."

* Christianity: "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."

* Islam: "No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself."

* Bahai faith: "Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself."

As Bahais, we believe that religion should "unite the hearts and cause wars or disputes to vanish. If religion becomes a cause of dislike, hatred and division, it would be better to be without it."

Bahais believe that all these acts and styles of hatred can be overcome only by spiritual renewal and that we should never underestimate the power of religion to unite mankind.

Bahaullah said: "Ye are all the fruits of one tree, the leaves of one branch, the flowers of one garden."

"Glory is not who loves his own country, but glory is his who loves mankind."

"The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens."

Let us hope and pray that when the dust clears from this great nation, America will emerge as the torchbearer of peace and brotherhood and will bring the Lord's Prayer to reality: "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven," in establishing world peace.

Mali, a urologist, lives in Charleston.

©Copyright 2001, Charleston Daily Mail

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