There is not a place in paradise awaiting terrorists – but there are abusive hate preachers who exploit vulnerable young Muslims in this life

There are no violent, extremist or provocative verses in the Quran, only distorted, misquoted and purposefully misinterpreted ones

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The Independent Online

The anti-Islam bandwagon has resurfaced in the wake of the Manchester attack, led by extremist commentators and a whole host of Islamophobes on social media. They reaffirm false ideologies spouted by Muslim radicals. The most popular of these false beliefs is that murdering innocents will take you to Heaven.

It won’t; according to the Quran, calling yourself a Muslim does not, in itself, make you worthy of paradise. Neither does killing people. After all, it was the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who said, "a Muslim is one from whose hands and tongue people are safe."

Isis, an opportunist group as well as a terrorist organisation, has claimed responsibility for the attack at Manchester Arena last week. That should immediately tell you how anti-Islamic this wicked deed was. Muslims the world over have long disassociated themselves from this terrorist organisation, which doesn't appear to even possess a copy of the Muslim holy book.

It isn’t easy to be a proper Muslim. It requires a disciplined, clean and unsullied life. Reports reveal that members of Isis, by contrast, rarely pray to schedule or attend the mosque, take intoxicants, and are involved in petty crime. Sound familiar? That’s because it's a mirror image of the personal background of the Manchester bomber, Salman Abedi.

It’s easy for hate preachers to prey on the vulnerable, those who know little or nothing about the faith they follow and are already struggling with difficult behaviour or addiction. Extremists will use whatever ideology they can to influence the impressionable to further their own motives. Abedi wasn’t inspired by any Islamic principle, only by hate and divisive evil.

Isis and other radical Islamist groups quote verses to justify their radical views, conveniently cherry-picking texts and sections that are taken out of context. There are no violent, extremist or provocative verses in the Quran, only distorted, misquoted and purposefully misinterpreted ones.

Islam doesn’t permit violence against anyone, let alone innocent children and civilians. It teaches unity despite diversity, and peace even toward those who wish you ill. It permits self-defence only when no other option is left to you. And it teaches respect for even those you disagree with. That's the reason the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) stood up for a Jewish funeral procession, allowed Christians to pray in his Mosque and told his followers to respond to abuse with patience and prayer.

The Holy Quran is clear on those who are paradise-bound: anyone who is a Muslim merely in name, and not in deed, is not among them. “Believe and do good works” it says. A Muslim’s very duty is to serve the rest of creation with compassion and selflessness.

Five-year-old boy called Messi kidnapped by Isis and forced to change 'infidel' name

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught: “He who shows no mercy to others will not be shown mercy by God.” 

It’s time we stop seeing these attacks as motivated by religion or any scripture. They are motivated by radical extremism, whether Muslim and non-Muslim. . 

Every religion teaches the same core principles of love, peace and charity. To associate terrorist acts with Islam is only playing into the hands of extremists making it easier for them to radicalise others.