Dr. Ali S. Awadh Asseri
(Former Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon)
It is unfortunate that while the theory of religion preaches peace, its practice by a handful of deviants and heretics preaches violence. It is only by forging unity in their ranks that the Muslim people of the world can bridge this gap between theory that is subscribed to by a majority of them, and its practice that denotes only a tiny minority of miscreants. Terrorism is anti-Islam because intolerant and violent conduct vis-à-vis fellow Muslims and non-Muslims, especially the ‘People of the Book’, has never been a predominant tradition throughout Islamic history. It was essentially through a benevolent approach of love and peace and an effective campaign of winning the ‘hearts and minds’ that Muslims were able to make their mark on history in the West during the Dark Ages, extending their governance beyond the Arabian peninsula and the Middle East to regions as far away as Central Asia, South and South-East Asia, vast regions of the African continent, and even parts of Europe, including the Balkans and the Mediterranean.
(To be continued)