On Thursday, 4 May, local Hong Kong news broadcaster South China Morning Post published an article which shook not only the people of Hong Kong but the international public as it said Hong Kong police on alert for terror threat from lone wolves inspired by Islamic State.
Muslim Council of Hong Kong decided to scrutinise and refute this reporting by writing a detailed article Hong Kong Muslims deeply upset as fear of ISIS being instilled in the city without any solid evidence. This was followed by getting in touch with the SCMP editor to put forward our concerns and worries. The result of that was SCMP doing a follow-up article Hong Kong Muslim community critical of police report warning of Islamic State-inspired attack. Moreover, a video was also released:
To top it all off, Muslim Council of Hong Kong decided to do the Letter of Peace campaign once again. Yet again, the Council got in touch with a number of Muslim organisations in Hong Kong to collaborate with in order to show a strong stance against such reporting as well as to portray the correct teachings of Islam.
More than 15 organisations came on board and the letter was printed which was then distributed to the local people of Hong Kong.
Here is the letter in full and the organisations that supported the campaign:
Dear People of Hong Kong,
We, the Muslims in Hong Kong, firstly greet you all with the Islāmic greeting of ‘Peace be upon you’.
In light of the latest irresponsible articles published over this past week by SCMP and other media outlets regarding ‘potential ISIS and Muslim extremism threat in Hong Kong’, we again felt the vital need to write this letter of peace to you all. Though the articles published were baseless and only based upon assumptions without any solid evidence or intelligence, we still hope through this letter, we can clear misconceptions by portraying the true teachings of Islām in relation to extremism of any kind in any form of society, including a multicultural society like Hong Kong’s.
However, firstly, we would earnestly like to request those within the media, government and law enforcement positions to be extremely careful in handling such a sensitive issue. Unfounded reporting and statements not only cause unnecessary fear within the society, but they also affect the ethnic minority of Hong Kong on the large in regards to their overall safety, job and education prospects.
Now, along with human life being made sacred in Islām, the property, wealth, family and dignity of all individuals in society are likewise to be respected and protected. We present to you just some of these teachings but do bear in mind that there’s plenty more of such gems:
- Repelling evil with goodness to remove or diffuse hatred [Qur’ān 41:34];
- Judging matters with justice whether it’s with one’s family or even enemies [Qur’ān 4:135];
- Getting to know people of different backgrounds to eliminate despising [Qur’ān 49:13];
- Killing one innocent life unjustly is equal to killing mankind entirely [Qur’ān 5:32];
- Forcing anyone to change their beliefs is not permitted [Qur’ān 2:256];
- Mocking or degrading other people’s beliefs is not encouraged [Qur’ān 49:11];
- Making things easy for people and making people happy [Muhammad PBUH – Abu Dawud];
- No mercy to people will mean no mercy from God Almighty [Muhammad PBUH – Bukhari];
- Loving for others what you love for yourselves [Muhammad PBUH – Bukhari];
- No person is better than another person except in piety [Muhammad PBUH – Ahmed]
Any human being who endeavors to follow such beautiful teachings will naturally strive to be a citizen who is law-abiding. The Muslims in Hong Kong have lived side by side with their fellow Non-Muslims for the best part of the last 175 years, and we certainly desire nothing else but to continue this peaceful coexistence. We appeal to everyone not to judge the religion by the actions of a few, rather evaluate it by its original scriptures and sources.
We humbly urge all communities to compassionately stand firm against all acts of oppression and injustices upon innocents in every single land. We must not let these terrorists, warmongers and bigots (Muslims and Non-Muslims alike) divide us. Let us not play into their evil narrative, and instead show them that people of all faiths and backgrounds can live peacefully together.
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