Mohammed Yousaf, the lone gunman who killed five US Service personnel in Tennessee, has shocked many American Muslims as well as his family, who wonders how their son, suffering from depression, changed into a criminal and a terrorist who committed this ‘heinous act of violence.’ It’s easy to say that they were not aware of his transformation but all this didn’t happen overnight. It’s reported that a night before the attack, Yousaf sent a text message to a friend, wherein he quoted excerpts from Hadith-38 —- “(from Allah) whosoever shows enmity to a friend (wali) of Mine, I have declared war against him.”

It’s a message from God how He deals with those who maltreat Muslims, but apparently Yousaf took its meanings out of context and went into action the very next day. Apparently it’s an issue of interpretation of religious scriptures, how an individual or a group twists to justify their acts of horror. Terrorists who attacked the Army Public School in Peshawar last December or those who beheaded Pakistani soldiers also came up with justification from scriptures.

Daesh is now running a full-fledged government, beheading its opponents and those taking up fight, enslaving women, enforcing a narrow interpretation of religion at gunpoint; no one is able to challenge them on ideological front. Here comes the much awaited role of religious scholars to come up with an alternate narrative to counter the terrorist outfit’s propaganda. If we fail to do so, such outfits will keep producing, despite military offensive against them, waves after waves of brainwashed zombies, ready to kill or be killed to please Allah and enter paradise, time is running out as fight against logic, peace, harmony, inclusiveness is becoming intense.

MASOOD KHAN,

Saudi Arab, July 20.