Random acts of violence seeking to impose a different order get negative reactions, especially from nations with revealed religions such as Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.
When considering Islamic history beginning from the Shia-Sunni split to the emergence of the Kharijites and the Mu’tazilites, and ending with separatist movements under the caliphate of the Umayyads and Abbasids, we realise that there has always been a minority trying to impose its own understanding of Islam, distanced from the consensus as well as the control of the sultan.
These were movements considered by the Muslim public to be heretical and outside the realm of the Umma. In fact, the Umma requires a commitment to unanimous decisions and compliance with the directives of the caliph.
Muslim scholars often issued fatwas critical of salafist groups seeking to forcibly impose what they considered proper moral appearance. These groups are not authorised to apply Sharia because they are not in power and because Muslims are not living under a caliphate that would be unifying and uniform.
These militant salafist groups seeking to impose their agenda are living under the authority of a modern state. They are departing from Islam in principle in an attempt to take Muslims back fourteen centuries. They ignore facts and new data brought by the evolution of time and also ignore religious interpretations based on a reality-based jurisprudence.
Moreover, salafist groups reject freedom of expression, a right guaranteed by the principles of modern democracy and human rights. Salafists, who enjoy freedom of expression under modern states, simply ignore the principle that “your freedom ends where the freedom of others begins”, as well as the Qur’anic verse that states, “There is no compulsion in religion.”
One must be assured that individual actions carried out by any individual or any group to impose morality affect the course of justice. And that justice should be in the hands of only the ruler who will impart it evenly among his flock.
The ruler is the only person who has the right to punish, to stop the culture of revenge, and to prevent chaos and infighting. The ruler stops social tensions that threaten to undermine civil peace and the existence of the state.
As time goes by, signs of religiosity become more apparent… more
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Salafists’ use of violence to impose their ideas and opinions… more