There have been 68 great massacres around the world since the end of the Second World War and about 85mn people have lost their lives in these massacres.
Out of the 85mn people who lost their lives, 11mn were Muslims. Furthermore, nine out of 10 Muslims who died in these conflicts were killed by other Muslims.
The majority of the Muslim massacres occurred during conflicts that reached civil war proportions.
The second significant cause of these massacres is regional power struggles between neighbouring countries.
In the Chinese civil wars, 40mn; in the Stalin Era and the post-Stalin Soviet Union, 10mn; in the Ethiopian Civil War, 8mn; in the Zaire-Congo Wars, 4mn; in the Korean War, 2.5mn; in the Sudanese Civil Wars, 2mn; in the Khmer Rouge Cambodian Genocide, 1.8mn; in the Vietnam War, 1.8mn; in the Afghan Civil Wars – both during and after the Soviet occupation, 1.8mn; and in the Pakistani civil war and the Bangladesh liberation war, 1.7mn people lost their lives.
Religion was certainly not the reason behind Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and its going to war against Iran. The Libyan-Egyptian Wars broke out in an attempt to seize the control of the oil fields in the region and the Suez Canal.
The Afghan, Sudanese and Algerian civil wars were waged over who would hold power. Many conflicts purported as Shia-Sunni disputes actually stemmed from economic or ethnic reasons.
When Hafez al-Assad perpetrated the Hama massacre and when Saddam Hussain slaughtered Kurdish Muslims in Halabja with chemical weapons, their sole purpose was to strengthen their rule.
None of the wars in the Middle East were waged on religious grounds, yet during these wars, religious motives were cynically exploited as leverage and many elements that served to whip up war fever came into play. These elements mostly consisted of religious fanatics.
It was the US that occupied Iraq; there is no doubt that the Iraqi people suffered enormously because of this occupation. However, during the civil war that followed the occupation, the suicide bombers who detonated themselves inside the mosques were Muslims.
The Afghan civil War erupted years before the USA’s invasion and occupation. It was none other than Muslims who fired upon each other in the Syrian, Yemeni, Sudanese, Algerian and Libyan civil wars.
Because the ideology of bigotry cultivated violence it paved the way for conflicts to flourish. Holding sway over the majority of the Islamic countries, the ideology of bigotry has had a hold on certain masses for quite some time and estranged many Muslims from fundamental human values such as compassion, mercy, love and respect.
The groups in question have always regarded the requirements of modern society such as democracy, human rights and freedom of speech as utterly insignificant.
It should not be forgotten that having most of the Islamic world under its influence, the ideology of bigotry poses the greatest obstacle for prosperity, progress and welfare to blossom, and of course, it gives rise to the most ruthless radicalism.
If sincere and rational Muslims want to develop a solution to the issue of radicalism, they must absolutely realise the danger it poses and tackle it through knowledge and wisdom.
This is a vital struggle because being a religion of peace, Islam is wrongfully and constantly associated with violence, and although Islam condemns it, transnational terrorism is continuously correlated with the religion of Islam.
So much so that, in 2015, 2,863 attacks were carried out by so-called radical groups in 53 countries: 27,618 people lost their lives in these attacks, while 26,143 people were injured.
The death toll was 32,658 in 2014 and 18,111 in 2013. A total of 80% of these deaths occurred in five countries alone. They are Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan, the populations of which consist almost entirely of Muslims.
According to a report by the US government organisation, National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), 97% of the victims of terrorism were Muslims.
The number of those martyred in the Iraqi and Afghani civil Wars is well over 1mn. To date, this number has reached 500,000 in Syrian Civil War.
Of this number, 400,000 died directly due to acts of violence, while 100,000 lost their lives as a result of the lack of health care services or epidemics caused by the war.
More than 20,000 Muslims perished in the Libyan Civil war and over the last 50 years, Yemen has witnessed more than 10 rebellions and civil wars of varying intensity.
In the currently ongoing Muslim-on-Muslim conflicts, nearly 200,000 people have lost their lives.
If we count Somalia, Nigeria, Sudan, and Pakistan among these countries, nine of the 11 ongoing full-scale civil wars across the globe are within Islamic countries and when these civil wars will come to an end is a matter of considerable uncertainty.
It appears that with every passing year, more and more Muslims die at the hands of other Muslims. Both the murderers and the murdered are prayer-performing, God-worshiping, mosque-going Muslims.
Abolishing the current atmosphere of discord is the first and foremost duty of Muslims around the world.
Muslims are seeking refuge in the West in an attempt to avoid being killed by other Muslims.
The gates, borders and harbours of Turkey - and the EU countries – are overflowing with innocent Muslim men, women and children who are desperately trying to escape the horrific violence being perpetrated by certain Muslim groups.
In order to survive, millions of Muslim immigrants have resigned themselves to a life away from their homes and countries. As for those who lost their lives on the road to safety, it is impossible to give a tally of the casualties.
Today, those who claim to work for the benefit of Islam and defend the rights of Muslims have become responsible for the Muslim bloodshed in a relatively short period of less than a decade.
However, Islam is based on solidarity among Muslims. Muslims are obliged to unite through Islam, peace and love. Likewise, in his last sermon - which in a way was his last will and testament to all Muslims - our Prophet (Saas) reminded the whole Islamic community that all Muslims are brethren.
“O believers! Listen to what I am saying to you very carefully. Every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly.”
This is the path all Muslims should follow.
In sum, the real problem the world is faced with is the trap of violence and the ideologies that give rise to it.
Having emerged as a grave consequence of certain Muslims straying from the way of the Qur’an, bigotry is a fallacious belief system that stems from a grave misconception of Islam, and it is nurtured by superstitions.
This grave misconception is causing the death of millions of Muslims, and it is growing at an alarming rate. The only possible cure lies in a rationalistic education based on the Qur’an.
This should be the path followed by every person, be they a Muslim or not, who wants to strive against radicalism. None of the methods that do not aim to change the mentality of bigotry will be able to put an end to this ongoing calamity.
An Iraqi policeman comforting a man at a cafe, that was popular with local fans of Spain’s Real Madrid football club, in the Balad area, north of the capital Baghdad, yesterday, following a deadly raid claimed by the Islamic State group. At least 16 people were killed and 30 wounded, including several members of the security forces, in the attack in the town of Balad and the ensuing chase, officials said.