The new hermeneutic discourse based on pluralism, non-violence and peace. is much needed for building relations. Sachedina calls for the " rediscovery of Islamic common moral concern for peace and justice" (2000,6). A call for a new theological approach and narrative is based on pluralism and not exclusivity as well as on the consideration of history and the interaction of normative tradition as well as source with the socio-political reality of Muslims. A similar paradigm shift is perceived in international relations where Muslims states are sharing the same equal membership with

non-Muslims States in global settings. These circumstances require different theological and hermeneutical approaches.

A word of caution: The Muslim community cannot stand by as observers to the emerging sea of changes affecting the most critical issues facing the global community and influencing economic academic and political practices. Muslim responses can make a significant contribution to the challenging paradigm to move conflict resolution towards a global heritage: shaping and implementing peace-building strategies.

There is a daunting task ahead of us. But there is hope and hope lies in prevention. Intractable conflicts usually have a long history of escalation prior to reaching crises and entrenchment. Ways of intervention must be found earlier. Being pro-active would help monitor emerging disputes. Our greatest hope in resolving intractable conflicts is to avert them and to achieve such goals Muslims must explore and explain the message of conflict-resolution in the Qur'an and put it effectively into practice. This task must be taken seriously and conscientiously.

Muslim arguments do not liave to degenerate into aggressive polemics: To vent anger against innocent people or to seek revenge through acts of violence is in complete contradiction to Islam's call for peace and must be unequivocally condemned. There has to be a civilized way to deal with disagreements.

Among the intelligentsia there is a serious need to review the Islamic educational process in the current environment. Madrassa education systems should include the largest range of subjects including science and -technology to equip students to deal in a wider world. Women must be given opportunities and treated at par with their male counterparts. And finally Muslim intelligentsia must engage in releasing fresh energy to occupy a vantage point in the public domain. Stagnation in Muslim scholarship has led to intellectual sterility. Hence creating a new line of scholars is an imperative;  a line of scholars that can invigorate a movement non-violence and truth, for peace and justice.

Rhetoric is a powerful weapon in any conflii situation. Belligerent terminology such a "Islamic terrorism" and now "Islamic fascisrr coined by politicians and popularised by medi show nothing but contempt for Islam as religion. Quoting texts randomly and out on context is riot merely inaccurate but counter productive.

All religions have a share in texts that address aggression. While the Bible enshrines man teachings on peace it also includes the saying that "Do you suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth? I did not come to bring peace but the sword" (Mathew 10: 34-36)

Again in the Torah, the most sacred part of the Jewish Bible, the people of Israel are repeatedly urged to drive their enemies from the promised land, to destroy their sacred symbols, and to make no treaty with them Similarly when the BhagN,Avat Gita holds all length on passages on wisdom and ethics, is also contains passages from Shri Krishna where he asks Arjun to go ahead and fight for the right causeit is, however, obvious that such expressions are the exception and not the rule: Nearly everyone who understands religious scriptures realises that such passages are not representative of religion and realise that to use them out of context is illegitimate.

"We rarely. if ever, called the Irish Republican Army bombings "Catholic terrorism- because we knew that this was not essentially a religious campaign. Indeed, like the Irish Republican Army movement, many funda-mentalist movements worldwide are simply new forms of nationalism in a highly unorthodox religious guise. This is obviously the case with Zionist fundamentalism and the fervently patriotic Christian Right in the U.S." This quote is taken from an article by Karen Armstrong. 'Blame Politics Not Islam' in The Hindu, India. Tuesday, Jul 12, 2005.

Unfortunately today the image of Islam is transfixed as one of predation and aggression. The belligerent propagation of religious views depicting Islam as a violent religion is -inaccurate. We need a phrase that is more exact than " Islamic terrorism" These acts may be committed by people who call themselves Muslims but who violate all the essential principles of Islam. Such people have to be brought to court and punished. Marginalisation of people by design or default in order to gain political mileage, leads to alienation of Muslims in terms of opportunities and tragically in terms of quality of life.

Like all great religions, the main thrust. of Islam is towards kindliness and compassion. There are too many unexamined assumptions about Islam, which tend to regard it as an amorphous, monolithic entity. Few know or acknowledge that militant action is an assault on faith even though it is the product of social, economic and political factors. It can be categorically stated that violence can in no way seek justification through the religion of Islam. As an Indian Muslim, I say it is time for Muslims in India to set an example to the rest of the world.


Burns J. Patout 1996, "War and its Discontent: Pacifism and Quietism in the Abrahamic traditions. Washington DC, Georgetown University press ,1990 p.165

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