There should be no compulsion in religion. Surely, the right way has become distinct from error.” (Holy Qur’an, Chapter 2, Verse 257). What has happened to these statements of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) Further the Holy Qu’ran also says in Chapter 10, Verse 100 of the Qur’an, “And if your Lord had enforced His will, surely, all who are on the earth would have believed together. Will you, then, force men to become believers?” In other words, the Holy Qu’ran appears to be saying to Muslims not to take over the role of God. Clearly God in His wisdom has allowed all the different faiths to flourish. Why has Islamic State decided to undo what God has allowed to permit! Is IS above Allah? In the Sura Al-Kafirun (109) the verses end with “For you your religion and for me my religion.” So what religion is IS fighting for? The killings of the people of other religion is surely not sanctioned in the way that IS has encouraged? Further their violence shows no respect or boundaries even for Islamic institutions and sacred texts. The bombings in Medina, at a site where the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) is buried seems completely irrational. Why would Muslims, of any sectarian persuasion, blow up one of their own holiest shrines. In India, there are still tensions around the Babri Masjid issue. Muslim organisations accuse Hindu organisations of blasphemous activity. Yet in the Middle East and even in Pakistan, historic mosques are being blown gingerly as if there is nothing sacred about them. To a non Muslim, this is not only confusing, but raises question about the very words sacred and blasphemy in Islam. If the Masjid is a place of prostration to Allah, does it matter whether the people prostrating to Allah are Sunni or Shia at that instance? In blowing up people and buildings in Medina, a question non-Muslims ask is, what is more important, the belief of the people around this sacred place or the sacredness of the place? Clearly it seems that the new form of violence sees targeting people to be more important than the sacredness of the place, the significance of the place and even the reverential history of the place. It is time that Muslim scholars raised their voices and IS to explain how Islam supports indiscriminate war waged by IS and its franchisees around the world, respecting no sacred boundaries and no ethics. Targeting children and women as in Nice is hardly the Islam that many say is a religion of peace. Killing non-believers, many scholars claim, is not sanctioned by Islam. So where do these violent attackers get their inspiration and interpretations from? Isn’t it time that a global conference of leading Islamic scholars addresses the issue of what constitutes a just war in Islam and what are the ethics of war in Islam. Are suicides, targeting ‘non-believers’, killing people of different schismatic persuasion, blowing up mosques, destroying institutions of great historic reverence such as burial place of the Prophet, mowing down unarmed believers in the middle of prayers justified by the Qu’ran? The voice of the Muslims who say Islam is a religion of peace and ethics is not loud enough to get to these new waves of indiscriminate violence that recognize no boundaries. They need to be raised by a few decibels. As violence engulfs the countries in South Asia and Far East, these voices are needed now more than ever //

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