Furthermore, in order to combat terrorism, terrorists, and not Muslims, must be addressed. As a matter of fact, terror and violence have no place in Islam and Muslim community.
This is according to Imran Khan from the UK, who took part in the 29th edition of the International Islamic Unity Conference held in the Iranian capital a few weeks ago, with the theme of "Muslim World’s Current Crises”.
Below is a rough transcription of what told IQNA in an interview.
IQNA: Would you please introduce yourself and talk a little about your career and background?
Imran khan: My name is Imran Khan. I am from London, the UK. We are part of an Islamic organization which helps to bring change to people’s hearts and minds through education, and to make them good people with the ultimate aim of promoting peace and tranquility to the world Insha’Allah.
IQNA: So let’s begin with the UK policy towards Islam and Muslims living all across the country. The British Prime Minister David Cameron has recently proposed a bill called anti-terrorism plan to fight allegedly what is called terrorism and extremism. This is while, according to the latest statistics and figures, the plan has not been welcome by the majority of British Muslims as they deem it biased and discriminatory. Only less than 10 percent of Muslims in the UK expressed their agreement upon the proposal. What is your impression on the issue?
Imran khan: Well, I am not politically inclined. But I think that problems in Muslim community can only be solved by Muslims themselves. That is the biggest challenge. If the British government allows Muslims to deal with their own problems, it will result in far more success than trying to impose a solution which is not only far from being practical, but also may add fuel to the fire.
IQNA: You said Muslims’ problems should be solved by Muslims. Practically speaking, what do you exactly mean by that? Are there ways to put the solution into action?
Imran khan: I think Muslims need above all to be freely engaged and truly respected. They should be allowed to discuss and take charge of their own communities. The British government should think twice about the legislation, which does not really impact the Muslim community because it can not positively impact everyday life of a Muslim since the lifestyle of a true Muslim is peaceful and has no link with terrorism.
So fighting against terrorism and extremism necessitates primarily profound understanding of such ideologies. Furthermore, in order to combat terrorism, terrorists, and not Muslims, must be addressed. As a matter of fact, terror and violence have no place in Islam and Muslim community. That distinction is needed to be made.
IQNA: The question that can be raised is that some terrorist groups claim to be Muslim while they have not studied a single verse of the Quran. Unfortunately, the issue has brought about serious consequences to the honor and dignity of the Muslim world. What do you think about that?
Imran khan: It is common sense to realize that only around 0.2 percent of global Muslim population do these barbaric acts. It is even more common sense to realize that the majority of Muslim population actually concentrates on what they do every day as they are pretty aware of what Islam is. But this does not exempt Muslims from their individual duties and responsibilities. On the contrary, it puts more emphasis on concerted efforts to be done by Muslims to help erase the stain of terrorism from the Islamic Ummah. It's up to Muslims to remove Islam's negative image from today's cyber and real space.
IQNA: You have attended the 29th International Islamic Unity Conference, initiated and hosted by the Islamic Republic of Iran. What added value do you think the event can bring to peace, unity, and fraternity within the Islamic world?
Imran khan: I think the conference is a good starting point to bring together different
Muslim leaders, scholars and experts from all around the globe in the present critical time. However, there
is a lot of work to be done in understanding each other so that they can have
some practical change. In fact, talk is plenty and theory is abundant. I think we
just need to create more practical solutions and I am sure together we can do
that in the long run.