Prominent British Muslim, Dr Hasanat Husain, depicts the Islamic State as “composed of people who have vowed to establish a blood-drenched caliphate in which only their distorted version of Islam – a fusion of misogyny, intolerance and mayhem – will hold sway." We have an obligation,” he writes in the London Daily Telegraph on September 18, “to snatch our faith from the clutches of these killers. These so-called Muslims are damaging Islam and dishonoring the Prophet.” He calls on Muslims “in particular” to stop the Islamic State (IS) from the pursuit of its unacceptable objective.
Dr Husain is surely correct in maintaining that the bloodthirsty activities of IS are damaging Islam – certainly so in the eyes of the non-Islamic world. He does not, however, go quite as far as British Prime Minister David Cameron, who a few days earlier in his televised address utterly deplored the beheading by IS of its third victim, aid worker David Haines. “Islam,” declared Cameron, “is a religion of peace.”
There is a widespread belief that the word “Islam” is derived from “al-Salaam” (which is “peace”). However, Lissan al-Arab, perhaps the most authoritative lexicon of the Arabic language, states that it is derived from the root verb istaslama, which means 'to submit' or ‘to surrender' (meaning, of course, submission to the will of Allah).