Istanbul, The World, and Peace

Istanbul, The World, and Peace


Professor Tariq Ramadan is a man of no need to introduction. He holds MA in Philosophy and French literature and PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Geneva. In Cairo, Egypt he received one-on-one intensive training in classic Islamic scholarship from Al-Azhar University scholars. Tariq Ramadan is Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University (Oriental Institute, St Antony’s College ). He is also teaching at the Faculty of Theology at Oxford. He is at the same time a Visiting Professor in Qatar (Faculty of Islamic Studies) and in Morocco (Mundiapolis) and a Senior Research Fellow at Doshisha University (Kyoto, Japan).[/symple_box]

Islam is not a religion of peace; Islam is a religion which calls for peace. There is a huge difference.

Islam requires the believer and the society to deal with the human condition and with all of its complexity and violence so as to spiritually reform it and achieve inner, social, and international peace. Islam, like other religions, must deal with man’s anger, hatred, violence, exploitation, corruption and killings. Islam requires us to use ethical means of resistance. However, it has never and will never ever condone the killing of innocent people, women, children, religious people or even to destroy nature.

We have to be truly aware and not be naïve about the powers which speak the language of peace but whose policies are in reality spreading exploitation, violence and killing. We all need to call for peace; however, to call for peace we need to know our responsibility and hold those accountable, accountable. We strongly and unequivocally condemn the horrible violence committed against the innocent people of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and around the world. This must be clear and with no exceptions.

A call for peace must be equivalent to a call for resistance of the policies of powers of invasion, neocolonialism, exploitation, dictatorship, and terror. Resistance exists and should exist. One that has nothing to do with “terrorism”; one that resists in an ethical manner. They don’t target innocent people; they target the oppressors with the means imposed by them.

Religious scholars that require the oppressed only pray for the betterment of their conditions are not in fact making the world a more peaceful place. Quite the opposite: they are implicitly, and explicitly, at the service of the oppressors. By talking about peace, without a minimum concern for the dignity and justice to the oppressed, they call for more corruption.

“Had not God set a group of people to resist another group, the world would have been corrupt.” (Qur’an)