Almost everyone is now trying to understand what the young jihadists achieved by killing some innocent people and themselves embracing death in such violent manner. The young jihadists who carried out the carnage in Gulshan on 1st July in the name of Islam told everyone towards the end of their massacre that they were about to enter heaven, as they knew they would be killed soon, which in their language was martyrdom. They said all these quite confidently, even smilingly, as we gather from the survivors’ account.
Now the questions that cloud our minds are: Who gave them the guarantee of heaven for killing some non-Muslims when the latter had not declared a holy war against the Muslims or Islam? Is it clearly mentioned anywhere in the precept of Islam that one can simply walk up to a non-Muslim during peace time (as opposed to during a holy war or Crusade) and kill him/her to earn a ticket to heaven? We have not found such proclamation or decree or edict in Islamic Jurisprudence (Usul al-fiqh) or the Sunnah. We know from our study of the holy books of Islam that no mortal can guarantee another mortal a sure place in heaven no matter how devout the former may be. There is none whatsoever empowered on earth to do that.
In fact, if one could send another to heaven then that would negate the very tenet of Islam wherein it is codified that finally there will be a Day of Judgement when Allah will declare who will go to Jannat and who will go to Dojokh, on the basis of each person’s conduct during his or her lifetime. Verily that is God’s prerogative and no one else can enjoy that. Yes, our study of the holy books tells us that the Prophet of Islam had announced a sure place in heaven for some persons for different reasons. But he was the Prophet of Islam and thereby had that discretion. Therefore, on this point of ‘going to heaven’ and ‘waging a jihad’ against unarmed Muslims and non-Muslims during peace time, some clarification from the ISIS spokespersons would be highly appreciated by ignorant mortals like this writer.
The second thing that struck this writer is the declaration by the young jihadists upon taking everyone hostage at the Gulshan cafe that they were there to kill only non-Muslims and that they were doing so for Islam. Many survivors have corroborated this announcement. Now, our question to the ISIS spokespersons is, has it been officially declared by the ISIS central command that while establishing the Islamic Caliphate they would be killing all non-Muslims of this world? If so, they would have to kill over 5 billion non-Muslims across the continents! Will it be possible to accomplish this huge task? What will happen if in retaliation the 5 billion or more non-Muslims take up arms against less than 2 billion Muslims?
If it is not the command of ISIS, that is, if it does not propagate or preach killing of non-Muslims during peace time, why did the jihadists at Gulshan cafe take some non-Muslims hostage and slaughtered them? What was the purpose of this bloodshed? What did ISIS gain by this mayhem? Does the organisation want to wage war against the entire world or preach their philosophy in a peaceful manner and try to win the hearts of the fellow Muslims so that someday they can attain their goal?
Can they win the hearts of the Muslims? Have the brutal acts of the Gulshan jihadists been hailed by the majority of Muslims in Bangladesh (except for a few may be)? Why did the jihadists have to kill a Muslim boy of 20 only and two Muslim women? They killed a 40 plus Muslim lady for not wearing a hijab. Did they announce earlier through mass media that they would kill any Muslim woman for not wearing a hijab from such and such a date? No, there was no such declaration. What percentage of women wear hijab in the world? Can the jihadists go and kill the millions who do not wear it?
Another thing that people like us fail to fathom is, if jihadists think they are doing the right thing for Islam and if they are convinced they are on the right track then why do they operate under cover of darkness? Why do they cover their faces? They should rather be proud to show their faces and declare openly that they are going to sacrifice their life for Islam. Why don’t they come out in the open in broad daylight and preach it loudly so that people may know exactly what they are saying and doing and what they want from us? Why don’t we all sit together and listen to each other? That way they will be able to know why their Muslim brothers do not accept their philosophy and style. Frankly, we are in the dark about their diktats and modus operandi. There is unnecessary bloodshed because of this gap of communication.
ISIS central command has to ask themselves whether such motiveless, reckless and sporadic killing of Muslims and non-Muslims in various countries can carry forward their mission for establishing a separate state as they desire. Rule of law, justice, love, sympathy, human rights and value for human life are the basic foundations of any state. What kind of a human habitat will it be if these go missing?