A disturbing video has been posted online recently. In the video, alleged members of the Maute Group and Abu Sayyaf are seen burning parts of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Marawi City, destroying images of Jesus Christ and Mary, and desecrating our Catholic brothers and sisters’ place of worship.
This is inhumane and unacceptable — their acts mirror that of the Khawarij and their belief betrays those of our faith. These terrorists are nothing but hypocrites who undermine the true essence of Islam.
They are un-Islamic.
The acts of the Maute Group, the Abu Sayyaf, and their ilk show that they are unfortunate reincarnations of the Khawarij — they who recite the Quran but the words do not pass beyond their throats, and who leave the religion as an arrow leaves its target and do not return as the arrow does not return to its bow.
They are the worst of the creation.
They are immature and reckless, quoting the Qu’ran and Hadith in perverse ways that fit their equally perverse cause. These infidels who represent the Khawarij of our time must be condemned and shunned away from the Muslim ummah, for they are unworthy of the promises of Allah and the pleasures of jannah (paradise).
The Prophet himself (peace be upon him) did not come to deprive those who did not follow him. Instead, he upheld their dignity and honor, and reminded us to treat others fairly regardless of faith, status, or ancestry. When the Christians of Narjan arrived in Medina during the time of the Prophet, they were not shunned away nor were they humiliated. Instead, they were allowed to pray in the mosques where Muslims also prayed. They were given a place to stay near the home of the prophet, and Muslims themselves helped the Christians pitch their tent.
Covenants of the Prophet with Christians from various places show kindness and compassion towards Christians, offering them protection and aid. The Prophet forbids desecration of churches, much more destroying them. Instead, he said that his horsemen and armies will protect Christians, as well as their churches and other places Christians deem sacred.
It is our responsibility as Muslims to denounce the actions of the members of the Maute Group and Abu Sayyaf, and all other local groups whose actions are a disservice to Islam — a faith that promotes compassion, kindness and peace.
Let us not allow these terrorists to hijack and destroy Islam. We cannot and must not tolerate them, and we must make sure that they are brought to justice.