‘The Peril of Insanity’ – The Vice-Principal’s statement on recent tragic events


Once again we find ourselves struggling to cope with our heartfelt pain, grief and deep sorrow at the unfolding terror and indiscriminate violence committed in numerous parts of the world. How quickly we forget that we are one human family. We have become so distanced from one another having fear of the other, despite us being in a world that resembles a small village though global in its nature. Knowledge, wisdom and intelligence seem to be in short supply with their importance meagerly felt, despite the information of millennia today being available at our very fingertips. The peril of insanity in our twenty-first century world is taking lives of people routinely and indiscriminately. What a sad state of affairs.

Only in the past week or so, the menace of terrorism has struck at Grand-Bassam in the Ivory Coast, at Ankara in Turkey, at Peshawar in Pakistan, at Maiduguri in Nigeria, at Iskanderia in Iraq, at Brussels in Belgium, at Istanbul in Turkey, and at Lahore in Pakistan. Hundreds of lives have been lost with many more injured, and hundreds of families destroyed. The image of a shattered mobile phone with an incoming call from a mother searching for her child after the deadly bombing in a playground in Lahore is enough to highlight the human suffering being caused repeatedly. Closer to home, the news of the death of David Dixon from Nottinghamshire in the Brussels bombings shows the global reach and impact of the insane maniacal beasts that have infiltrated the home of the human family. We strongly condemn these vile incidents and severely rebuff the evils of extremism, radicalisation and terrorism. We stand shoulder to shoulder with all sane human beings against this insane affront to humanity. We share the grief and pain of all those who have lost their loved ones; our thoughts and prayers remain with them. We pray for a better world, and our prayers will be answered by the grace of God.

Moreover, only last week, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague found the former Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadžić, guilty of genocide and other war crimes in living memory, during the worst single atrocity since the Second World War, which included the slaughter of more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica. Another stark reminder about the dangers of allowing hatred and Islamophobia to increase unchecked.

As a human family, we must stand together to remove hatred that lies at the very root of evil. Atrocities that seek to divide us and create chaos in our world can be countered by us seeking to unite ourselves and create harmony in our world. Extremism in all its forms and terrorism of every kind cannot be allowed to triumph. Evils need to be eradicated with the power of love and compassion. It is human greatness and a shared sense of humanity that can keep us all together and defeat the common enemy that is terrorism. Let us allow for sanity to prevail in order to remove the peril of insanity.

Let us remind ourselves of the Qur’anic decree that the murder of one soul equals the murder of all humanity and the rescue of one soul equals the rescue of all humanity. Let us further reflect on the Prophet Muhammad’s tradition that ‘all creation is the family of God and God most loves the one who is compassionate towards His family’. Moderation and love counters extremism and hatred. Let us look back and remind ourselves of the great people of faith, the Saints and mystics, such as the thirteenth century Sufi Saint who brought Islam to the land of India through moderation and love, Khwaja Gharib Nawaz Mu‘in al-Din Chishti, whose shrine in Ajmer stands tall today revered by people of all religions – Muslims, Hindus, Christians – who flock to it in their thousands on a daily basis even after eight centuries of his passing away. Extremists must not be allowed to distort the message of Islam.

Bakhtyar H Pirzada al-Azhari
Vice-Principal, Jamia Al-Karam