Last weekend the deadly attack using an explosive-laden ambulance resulted in more than 100 people killed and many more wounded in Kabul, Afghanistan.

This kind of mind-boggling violence continues unabated not only in Afghanistan but in a number of Muslim countries in particular and other parts of the world in general.

Violence begets violence. State-sponsored violence and oppression generates reactive violence leading to a tsunami of violence that consumes not only combatants but innocent bystanders.

Afghanistan and Iraq are still suffering from mindless violent attacks in places of worship and other public areas.

Saudi coalition continues to bomb Yemen with recent flare-up among three group of Yemenis with foreign backers inflaming the situation with their own vested interests in particular UAE, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The Syrian Baathist regime backed by Russia continues to kill civilians in various conflict zones within Syria including the capital Damascus with indiscriminate bombings. Syrians are living in extremely miserable conditions.

The latest flare-up is the conflict between Kurds and Turkish armed forces on the borders between Syria and Turkey with Russian and US meddling.

Islamophobes propagate these conflicts as evidence that Islam itself promotes violence and that Muslims are inherently prone to violence.

The fact is that it is the context of the social-political situation amongst Muslims that leads to this apparent spiral of violence. Reaction to injustice, oppression, subjugation and absence of avenues to protest against these in a peaceful way.

Last year Gallup conducted 50,000 interviews with residents of 35 nations that are predominantly Muslim or have significant Muslim populations.

This study by Gallup has been documented by two well-known authors, John L Esposito,  and Dalia Mogahed in a book titled Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think.

Gallup posed questions that are on the minds of millions:

  • Is Islam to blame for terrorism?
  • Why is there so much anti-Americanism in the Muslim world?
  • Who are the extremists?
  • Where are the moderates?
  • What do Muslim women really want?

The study brings data-driven evidence, the voices of more than a billion Muslims, not those of individual “experts” or “extremists”, to one of the most heated and consequential debates of our time.

In summary, the results showed that 93% of Muslims reject terrorist violence and the 7% who supported it, did so on political, not religious grounds.

Of that 7% of the extremists, only 13% thought that attacks on civilians were justified.

Just like all human beings, Muslims want to live in peace given the opportunity to live and let live in peace with dignity and justice.

Violence does not ultimately serve anyone’s interest.