Almost six months have passed since
that fateful morning of September 11 when several thousand innocent civilians
of the United States were mercilessly massacred by a team of suicide pilots.
The ghastly incident landed like a bolt from the blue and left the world
shell-shocked. This time it was not the ‘Japs’. A band of ‘aggrieved’ Muslims
had gone on rampage. Besmeared with the blood of peaceful citizens, these
pilots or the masterminds behind them could never have imagined the extent
of the carnage they were ultimately able to pull off.
The affects produced by this incident
are far reaching and have influenced almost every domain of life. One such
domain is the sphere of international relations. Of particular mention
in this regard, is the question of Islam’s relationship with other religions
and polities of the world. This question assumes great significance when
it is taken into account that the perpetrators of this terrorist activity
have put forth religious arguments for the mass murder they committed.
In my opinion, when we look at the
arguments presented by these diehards and at the general Muslim stance
regarding Islam and its relationship with other religions of the world,
we find that there is something desperately wrong with the Muslim approach.
As a student of Islam, I have tried
to ascertain in my humble capacity what exactly is ‘that wrong’. In the
following pages, my findings appear in the form of a research article that
spans the whole of this journal. I would request the serious reader to
critically and carefully go through this work and send me his/her observations.
I would specifically ask activists engaged in interfaith-dialogue to spare
some time for this article.