Although it is one of the most commonly heard terms in the world today, there is still no definition of terrorism that all can agree on. One of the main reasons for this is that people, who are regarded as terrorists by some, are regarded by others as those engaged in a just struggle. Whatever the aim may be, it is never possible to regard any group that resorts to violence and targets innocent people, as just. Individuals or societies may desire different things, and these aspirations may be entirely valid. Yet, violence is not the way to bring them about. Force can only be used in self-defense. So, any act of violence aimed at innocent people may be regarded as an act of terrorism.
The fundamental strategy of terrorism is the spreading of fear, and by it to gain influence. Instead of working for their aspirations through more reasonable means, terrorist groups turn to violence, which they regard is far more effective. According to them, the more ruthless and destructive an act of terrorism is, the nearer it will have come to achieving its aim.
One of the most dreadful aspects of terrorism is the fact that it is devoid of all moral values and recognizes no rules. People who turn to terrorism lack all love, compassion and tolerance, and are governed by feelings of hatred, anger and revenge. Unconsciously, such people's intention is to relieve their anger and take revenge, without considering the result of their actions. Conscience of the kind of person who regards terrorism as any kind of solution is obstructed, as well as his reason, foresight and understanding is.
According to the morality of the Qur'an, however, there is no room for anger. God has revealed that so long as people act in the light of individual emotions, such as anger, there will be corruption and chaos in the world. He has commanded us for all time to behave with a tolerant, peaceful and brotherly spirit. When people abide by that morality, however, the system of the Antichrist, based as it is in violence, will completely collapse, terror and anarchy will disappear, and the climate of chaos that currently prevails in the world will come to an end. This is how God recommends that morality in one verse;
Make allowances for people, command what is right, and turn away from the ignorant. (Surat al-A’raf, 199)
The morality of religion forbids all kinds of terrorist acts, but a number of terrorist groups still claim that they are acting in its name. When we look closely at the world-views of those who carry out massacres or employ violence as a method, it is quite clear that such people are deviant. They have no idea of truth of religion, and are unable to live by or comprehend its morality. Anyone who genuinely believes in God, who truly fears Him and abides by the book revealed by Him, would never be able to take any kind of action that might harm innocent and defenseless people. Those who carry out acts of terrorism and violence in the name of Islam, therefore, cannot possibly be called religious groups.
The true message of a religion or other system of ideas may sometimes be twisted by its so-called supporters, or interpreted incorrectly. That applies to Judaism as well as Christianity. The Crusaders, for instance, were European Christians who set out from Europe at the end of the 11th century with the aim of liberating the Holy Land. They may have set out with an alleged religious agenda, but they spread fear and barbarity wherever they went.
The savagery of these barbarians who misinterpreted Christianity, which is a religion of love and certainly has no room for violence, clearly had nothing to do with genuine religion at all.
Most of those who resort to terror in the name of religion are fanatical groups linked to pagan beliefs or newly developed mystical teachings, not the divine religions at all. These groups, and especially those in America and Japan, carry out terrible acts of violence against their own members as well as other people. These include the groups that burned themselves to death on a farm, or committed mass suicide in their beds, or the people who harmed others by releasing poison gas in the Japanese underground system. The attacks perpetrated against Turks in Germany a few years ago, the abuse and assaults aimed at people of Asian and African origin in other European countries, and the acts of violence against Blacks and Arabs that still take place in the United States even today, can all be included among the range of methods employed by such groups.
It must not be forgotten that, at the basis of all deviant movements lies the fact that people have turned their backs on the morality of religion. The common religious morality of Islam, Christianity and Judaism is opposed to the system of the Antichrist. At the root of religion lies love, affection and compassion. God has commanded us to treat one another with justice, tolerance, understanding, compassion and respect. For that reason, it is impossible in a society where the morality of religion prevails, for violence to exist. The morality of religion is the only system that can lead people to peace and security. God reveals in one verse:
You who believe! Enter absolutely into peace (Islam). Do not follow in the footsteps of the Devil. He is an outright enemy to you. (Surat al-Baqara, 208)