Why are most of the Muslims fundamentalists and terrorists? 


This question is often hurled at Muslims, either directly or indirectly, during any 
discussion on religion or world affairs. Muslim stereotypes are perpetuated in 
every form of the media accompanied by gross misinformation about Islam and 
Muslims. In fact, such misinformation and false propaganda often leads to 
discrimination and acts of violence against Muslims. A case in point is the anti- 
Muslim campaign in the American media following the Oklahoma bomb blast, 
where the press was quick to declare a 'Middle Eastern conspiracy' behind the 
attack. The culprit was later identified as a soldier from the American Armed 

Let us analyze this allegation of 'fundamentalism' and 'terrorism': 

1. Definition of the word 'fundamentalist' 

A fundamentalist is a person who follows and adheres to the fundamentals of the 
doctrine or theory he is following. For a person to be a good doctor, he should 
know, follow, and practise the fundamentals of medicine. In other words, he 
should be a fundamentalist in the field of medicine. For a person to be a good 
mathematician, he should know, follow and practise the fundamentals of 
mathematics. He should be a fundamentalist in the field of mathematics. For a 
person to be a good scientist, he should know, follow and practise the 
fundamentals of science. He should be a fundamentalist in the field of science. 

2. Not all 'fundamentalists' are the same 

One cannot paint all fundamentalists with the same brush. One cannot 
categorize all fundamentalists as either good or bad. Such a categorization of 
any fund amentalist will depend upon the field or activity in which he is a 
fundamentalist. A fundamentalist robber or thief causes harm to society and is 
therefore undesirable. A fundamentalist doctor, on the other hand, benefits 

society and earns much respect. 

3. 1 am proud to be a Muslim fundamentalist 

I am a fundamentalist Muslim who, by the grace of Allah, knows, follows and 
strives to practise the fundamentals of Islam. A true Muslim does not shy away 
from being a fundamentalist. I am proud to be a fundamentalist Muslim because, 
I know that the fundamentals of Islam are beneficial to humanity and the whole 
world. There is not a single fundamental of Islam that causes harm or is against 
the interests of the human race as a whole. Many people harbour 
misconceptions about Islam and consider several teachings of Islam to be unfair 
or improper. This is due to insufficient and incorrect knowledge of Islam. If one 
critically analyzes the teachings of Islam with an open mind, one cannot escape 
the fact that Islam is full of benefits both at the individual and collective levels. 

4. Dictionary meaning of the word 'fundamentalist' 

According to Webster's dictionary 'fundamentalism' was a movement in 
American Protestanism that arose in the earlier part of the 20th century. It was a 
reaction to modernism, and stressed the infallibility of the Bible, not only in 
matters of faith and morals but also as a literal historical record. It stressed on 
belief in the Bible as the literal word of God. Thus fundamentalism was a word 
initially used for a group of Christians who believed that the Bible was the 
verbatim word of God without any errors and mistakes. 

According to the Oxford dictionary 'fundamentalism' means 'strict maintenance of 
ancient or fundamental doctrines of any religion, especially Islam'. 

Today the moment a person uses the word fundamentalist he thinks of a Muslim 
who is a terrorist. 

5. Every Muslim should be a terrorist 

Every Muslim should be a terrorist. A terrorist is a person who causes terror. The 
moment a robber sees a policeman he is terrified. A policeman is a terrorist for 
the robber. Similarly every Muslim should be a terrorist for the antisocial 
elements of society, such as thieves, dacoits and rapists. Whenever such an 
anti-social element sees a Muslim, he should be terrified. It is true that the word 
'terrorist' is generally used for a person who causes terror among the common 
people. But a true Muslim should only be a terrorist to selective people i.e. anti- 
social elements, and not to the common innocent people. In fact a Muslim should 
be a source of peace for innocent people. 

6. Different labels given to the same individual for the same action, i.e. 
'terrorist' and 'patriot' 

Before India achieved independence from British rule, some freedom fighters of 
India who did not subscribe to non-violence were labeled as terrorists by the 
British government. The same individuals have been lauded by Indians for the 
same activities and hailed as 'patriots'. Thus two different labels have been given 
to the same people for the same set of actions. One is calling him a terrorist 
while the other is calling him a patriot. Those who believed that Britain had a right 

to rule over India called these people terrorists, while those who were of the view 
that Britain had no right to rule India called them patriots and freedom fighters. 

It is therefore important that before a person is judged, he is given a fair hearing. 
Both sides of the argument should be heard, the situation should be analyzed, 
and the reason and the intention of the person should be taken into account, and 
then the person can be judged accordingly. 

7. Islam means peace 

Islam is derived from the word 'salaam' which means peace. It is a religion of 
peace whose fundamentals teach its followers to maintain and promote peace 
throughout the world. 

Thus every Muslim should be a fundamentalist i.e. he should follow the 
fundamentals of the Religion of Peace: Islam. He should be a terrorist only 
towards the antisocial elements in order to promote peace and justice in the 



How can Islam be called the religion of peace when it was spread by the sword? 

It is a common complaint among some non-Muslims that Islam would not have 
millions of adherents all over the world, if it had not been spread by the use of 
force. The following points will make it clear, that far from being spread by the 
sword, it was the inherent force of truth, reason and logic that was responsible for 
the rapid spread of Islam. 

1 . Islam means peace. 

Islam comes from the root word 'salaam', which means peace. It also means 
submitting one's will to Allah (swt). Thus Islam is a religion of peace, which is 
acquired by submitting one's will to the will of the Supreme Creator, Allah (swt). 

2. Sometimes force has to be used to maintain peace. 

Each and every human being in this world is not in favour of maintaining peace 
and harmony. There are many, who would disrupt it for their own vested 
interests. Sometimes force has to be used to maintain peace. It is precisely for 
this reason that we have the police who use force against criminals and anti- 
social elements to maintain peace in the country. Islam promotes peace. At the 
same time, Islam exhorts it followers to fight where there is oppression. The fight 
against oppression may, at times, require the use of force. In Islam force can 
only be used to promote peace and justice. 

3. Opinion of historian De Lacy O'Leary. 

The best reply to the misconception that Islam was spread by the sword is given 
by the noted historian De Lacy O'Leary in the book 'Islam at the cross road' 
(Page 8): 

'History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping 
through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered 
races is one of the most fantastically absurd myth that historians have ever 

4. Muslims ruled Spain for 800 years. 

Muslims ruled Spain for about 800 years. The Muslims in Spain never used the 
sword to force the people to convert. Later the Christian Crusaders came to 
Spain and wiped out the Muslims. There was not a single Muslim in Spain who 
could openly give the adhan, that is the call for prayers. 

5. 14 million Arabs are Coptic Christians. 

Muslims were the lords of Arabia for 1400 years. For a few years the British 
ruled, and for a few years the French ruled. Overall, the Muslims ruled Arabia for 
1400 years. Yet today, there are 14 million Arabs who are Coptic Christians i.e. 
Christians since generations. If the Muslims had used the sword there would not 
have been a single Arab who would have remained a Christian. 

6. More than 80% non-Muslims in India. 

The Muslims ruled India for about a thousand years. If they wanted, they had the 
power of converting each and every non-Muslim of India to Islam. Today more 
than 80% of the population of India are non-Muslims. All these non-Muslim 
Indians are bearing witness today that Islam was not spread by the sword. 

7. Indonesia and Malaysia. 

Indonesia is a country that has the maximum number of Muslims in the world. 
The majority of people in Malaysia are Muslims. May one ask, 'Which Muslim 
army went to Indonesia and Malaysia?' 

8. East Coast of Africa. 

Similarly, Islam has spread rapidly on the East Coast of Africa. One may again 
ask, if Islam was spread by the sword, 'Which Muslim army went to the East 
Coast of Africa?' 

9. Thomas Carlyle. 

The famous historian, Thomas Carlyle, in his book 'Heroes and Hero worship', 
refers to this misconception about the spread of Islam: 'The sword indeed, but 
where will you get your sword? Every new opinion, at its starting is precisely in a 
minority of one. In one man's head alone. There it dwells as yet. One man alone 
of the whole world believes it, there is one man against all men. That he takes a 

sword and try to propagate with that, will do little for him. You must get your 
sword! On the whole, a thing will propagate itself as it can.' 

10. No compulsion in religion. 

With which sword was Islam spread? Even if Muslims had it they could not use it 
to spread Islam because the Qur'an says in the following verse: 

'Let there be no compulsion in religion: 
Truth stands out clear from error' 
[Al-Qur'an 2:256] 

11. Sword of the Intellect. 

It is the sword of intellect. The sword that conquers the hearts and minds of 
people. The Qur'an says in Surah Nahl, chapter 16 verse 125: 

'Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord 
with wisdom and beautiful preaching; 
and argue with them in ways that are 
best and most gracious.' 
[Al-Qur'an 16:125] 

12. Increase in the world religions from 1934 to 1984. 

An article in Reader's Digest 'Almanac', year book 1986, gave the statistics of the 
increase of percentage of the major religions of the world in half a century from 
1934 to 1984. This article also appeared in 'The Plain Truth' magazine. At the top 
was Islam, which increased by 235%, and Christianity had increased only by 
47%. May one ask, which war took place in this century which converted millions 
of people to Islam? 

13. Islam is the fastest growing religion in America and Europe. 

Today the fastest growing religion in America is Islam. The fastest growing 
religion in Europe in Islam. Which sword is forcing people in the West to accept 
Islam in such large numbers? 

14. Dr. Joseph Adam Pearson. 

Dr. Joseph Adam Pearson rightly says, 'People who worry that nuclear weaponry 
will one day fall in the hands of the Arabs, fail to realize that the Islamic bomb 
has been dropped already, it fell the day MUHAMMED (pbuh) was born'