(Reuters) – There is no true religion that does not regard the sanctity of human life as one of its highest values, and Islam is no exception. Indeed, Allah made this unequivocal in the Qur’an. He emphasized the gravity of the universal prohibition against murder, stating that when a person takes even one life, “it is as if he has killed all mankind.”
Egyptians are still torn by grief for the 21 countrymen who were horrifically beheaded in Libya. It was an exceptionally sad day for the Egyptian nation to have to watch a video of its citizens massacred by a group of thugs. The scenes of bloodbath are heart-wrenching in their severity.
This grisly crime finds no justification in any reasonable understanding of any religion. Only extremists who have perverted the essence of Islamic teaching could countenance the idea that our religion of mercy and reason might allow the killing of innocent workers earning money so their families can live dignified lives.
It took place just days after the so-called Islamic State extremists burned alive Jordanian pilot Mouath al-Kasaesbeh. It was one more high-profile example of the growing global threat that violent extremist ideologies pose to international peace and security, to the image of Islam and to the future of intercultural and interreligious relations.