Who or What is responsible for Waged a War?
By Ali Unal
His enemies waged war on the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, many times and forced him to sometimes wage war on them. In all these wars, the casualties amounted to only around seven hundred on both sides. By contrast, let us ask: Is it religion which was responsible for the scores of millions of people killed in Communist Russia and China? Is it religion which caused the Russian massacre of Afghan and Chechen peoples and the brutal suppression of the freedom movements in Hungary and Czechoslovakia? Is it religion that caused the death of more than one million people while the French denied the Algerian people their freedom? Is it religion which urged the US to its adventure in Vietnam, which cost a million lives directly and many more indirectly since? Is it religion or modern civilization, which its founders vaunt as the most advanced and humane in history, which caused the death of more than 60 million people, the majority of them civilians, and countless millions to remain homeless, widowed and orphaned, in the two World Wars? Is it religion which is responsible for using scientific knowledge to make nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction with which to intimidate the poor and weak nations?
If the new world order which the world powers are trying to impose, in the name of world peace, democracy and human freedom, but in fact for their own political and economic advantage, gives them the right to commit atrocities in other countries, why may not those who claim to serve God in order to clear the world of such atrocities and to found true peace and realize true freedom in human life, why may not they also claim the same right? However, we do not claim, as ‘modern’ political cynicism does in practice, that atrocities and war-mongering can be justified for merely political ends. Only those actions sincerely undertaken in the Name of God, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate, without any other motive and without going beyond the limits God has placed on individual and collective action, can bring about a revival of truly humane values.
As an example of the level of sincerity of motive, we have in mind, we would recall this famous incident: during a battle, ‘Ali, a noble Companion of the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, and the fourth Caliph, threw his enemy to the ground and was about to kill him. However, at this moment the latter spat in ‘Ali’s face whereupon, to his enemy’s surprise, ‘Ali released the man. He later explained that the man’s spitting at him had made him suddenly angry and, therefore, fearing that his motive for slaying the man was now confused and sullied by that anger, he had released him. The man became a Muslim and was thus revived both spiritually and physically.