Yesterday, the Daily ran an article about terror suspects on trial that made my heart sad (9/11 suspects on trial defend terror attacks, 3/11/09). The story described the suspects as “terrorists to the bone” who used a “violent interpretation of Islam.”

Islam is a religion of peace and never condones violence against innocent people. The Quran says, “God does not love the aggressors” (2:190). The concept of a violent interpretation of Islam is contradictory. You might as well say a vegetarian is a meat lover or a Christian is an atheist. These individuals used the religion of Islam as a means to rally people to their political cause. There is nothing in the prophet Muhammad’s behavior that set an example for what these terrorists have committed.

I was always taught the stories of when the prophet Solomon and his army came across an anthill and the great pains they took not to step on it. If a Muslim is to show such great compassion for an ant, then imagine how we should treat people. Possibly the most important lesson I ever learned from the prophet came during his return to Mecca, his birthplace. He returned triumphantly with many companions and believers to the city where he and his family were tortured, starved and exiled. He could have taken revenge upon all the people who hurt him in the past, but instead, he prayed for them — the same way the Prophet Jesus prayed for the people attempting to kill him.

Muslims around the world will never forget those lessons of peace and respect for man. Fortunately, I will soon forget yesterday’s story.

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