(A letter by Shaik Kadir published in “Letters on the Web” of The Straits Times Forum, with a remark of the writer on the murderer placed separately at the end of this letter.)
Orlando gunman acted against Islam
PUBLISHED: JUN 24, 2016
The massacre at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, is against the teachings of Islam.
Indeed, Muslims the world over would be ashamed of gunman Omar Mateen, who murdered people in the holy month of Ramadan, the time when Muslims observe Islamic acts of righteousness such as improving oneself through restraint, endurance, charity, love and compassion.
While Omar was killing, another Muslim was helping people to safety – the club’s bouncer, Mr Imran Yousuf, who saved the lives of as many as 70 people (“Former US Marine may have saved 70“; June 17).
Although everyone would agree that saving lives is a natural, righteous act of any human being, it is difficult to know why a person would want to attack innocent people. It could be for any reason, ranging from revenge to radicalism or mental illness.
This inability to pinpoint the actual reason for an attack on civilians is why Singapore wants every adult in this country to look out for anyone in the family having an inclination towards radicalism or any other dangerous tendency.
People should also refrain from coffee shop chit-chat that hinges on Islamophobia, as this might result in a hate-filled notion of Islam and Muslims.
The community should not be blamed for the misdeeds of a few – for while the few wreak havoc, more people in the same community extend their hands in friendship, compassion and helpfulness.
Remark of the writer on the killer
Regarding the Orlando gunman, Omar Mateen, we are not exactly certain if he was really a Muslim.
A Muslim ought to be a person following the tenets of Islam closely – observing the daily prayers of five times a day, fasting in the month of Ramadan that includes no lying, no back-biting, no evil intention and enhancing patience, restraint, endurance, charity, love and compassion but definitely not indulging in harming people, what’s more killing one person; worse, in Omar’s case, killing 49 people.
The tragedy was not accidental but intentional as he (1) went to a nightclub in Ramadan when in Ramadan Muslims spend their time praying the extra Ramadan night prayers called terawih, reading the Qur’an and listening to Islamic lectures; and (2) carrying two guns. The intention was clearly to kill people in that nightclub.
The Arabic name “Omar Mateen” is not a fool-proof indication that the person bearing the name is a Muslim. For instance, Arab Christians have Arab names, too. But definitely he is not a Christian for a good Christian, too, would not kill innocent people as Omar had done.
Omar could be a person who belongs to no religion and does not believe in God at all – for, in Islam, murder is a crime, and mass-killing of innocent people for any reason is a heinous crime. In a verse in the Qur’an, God addresses all mankind, not Muslims only, thus: If any one slew an innocent person, it would be as if he slew the whole mankind; and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole mankind. (5:32)
In this case, the dead Omar, whether he was a Muslim or not, is heading straight to Hell for what he had done was like having killed “the whole of mankind” in a magnitude of 49 times. That is indeed indescribably horrible!
Allah knows best.