EDITORIAL | There seemed to be something good in all the bad when Italian aid worker Silvia Romano arrived in Italy on May 9 after 18 months in captivity by Al-Shabaab in southern Somalia.
Silvia, who changed her name to Aisha after converting to Islam, had been working in the Kenyan county of Kilifi for an Italian NGO when Al-Shabaab militants attacked her residence in November 2018 and fled with her.
The details of what happened during the 532 days or so are sparse, and this has led to rumors that the Italian government paid a ransom of about $ 3 million to get her released. As is the case with ransom, the Italian Government also rejected the allegations.
What is clear, however, is that her conversion to Islam was out of a free will. Aisha herself has stated that she did so on the basis of an individual decision, after months of reading the Koran, the Muslim holy book.
When she touched in Italy, she wore a green Hijab, full Islamic clothing and was in a jovial mood. But it was disappointing that an enthusiastic public quickly turned to haters after she declared her new religion. A politician even asked to be hanged.
He later deleted the post after it became Irish.
Italy, one of the countries in the West that has witnessed a strong nationalist movement for the past five years, has a group of online and physical hate traders who often target Muslim migrants and blame them for all the diseases that affect society.
In fact, there are as yet no studies indicating that social diseases affecting Italy or other Western countries are due to these migrants or their religion. In fact, it was reassuring to see Mrs. Romano [Aisha] defends even its decision to convert to Islam.
There are lessons we can learn from Aish’s terrible captivity. This platform routinely defends freedom of worship and other civil liberties because of humanity. We abhor the use of religion for violence or other harm against a particular group of people in society.
That is why we condemn terrorist traffickers and their cowardly actions. But we believe that Islam is a religion of peace, as has been explained both in readings about the Prophet Muhammad and other scholars.
In fact, arguments that Muslims are violent have been misused in cases of studies closer to home: it turns out that violent people in nature are found in almost all religions. In the Republic of Central Africa, for example, an anti-Balaka terrorist group that declared itself Christian massacred thousands of Muslim selekas. In Myanmar, Buddhist nationalists targeted Rohingya Muslims and exported them as refugees to Bangladesh.
In general, there are rare cases where these violent incidents in Sri Lanka, Myanmar or Central Africa, where Muslims were targeted, were associated with other religions. Aside from the fact that commentators often quote the attackers simply for acting separately from their religions.
This rule should apply when we talk about Muslim terrorists, al-Qaeda or the Islamic State. Here’s how: Islam globally has about 1.5 to 2 billion faithful. Many of these people routinely and peacefully conduct their business without harming a fly after lessons of compassion and faith.
Clearly, if Islam were a violent religion, there would be just as many violent people globally, provided they have full consequences. However, this platform does not stick its head in the sand. We admit that there is violence among Muslims.
But this type of group focuses on a particular type of practice that researchers have already dismissed as illegal.
Focusing on religion rather than individual criminal groups, as bad, risks the danger of the world seeking solutions to terrorism in the wrong places.
There are further examples that show that Islam is for peace. For example, Muslims routinely greet each other by saying “peace be with you”, and there are lessons against anger and forgiveness.
There is an obvious shame in the fact that it was Somalia that hosted Aisha in captivity. But the fraudulent brand is mitigated by the fact that it was neither public order nor position for Muslims to kidnap her.
Somalia has borne the burden of terrorism just like other countries around the world. It is a constant reminder that we must avoid terrorists, but see Islam as a peaceful religion.