Among the attributes of God, the Holy Quran mentions that He is the Source of peace and the Bestower of security (59:23). The establishment of peace and maintenance of security must, therefore, be the constant objective of all Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Every pursuit and activity which disturbs peace is severely condemned in Islam. We find specific injunctions in the Holy Quran:
And create not disorder in the earth after it has been set in order.... (7:57; 11:86; 29:37)
Mischief and wickedness are condemned in several other verses and Muslims are commanded to work wholly for peace.
Islam draws attention to factors which tend to disturb or destroy peace and order, and deprecates them. Domination of one group by another in the domestic sphere, or of one people by another in the international sphere is a potent cause of disturbance of peace and is therefore strongly condemned. Economic exploitation of one people or country by another inevitably leads to domination by the exploiters, and develops into a potential threat to peace. The Holy Quran prohibits such exploitation and an economy based on exploitation cannot be beneficial in its consequences, nor can it endure.
Islam visualizes an association of strong and stable states allied together in the pursuance of peace, freedom of conscience and the promotion of human welfare. Treaties or covenants between nations may have to be drawn up which should be done in a straightforward language and should not be evaded or repudiated under the temptation of securing some advantage. In case of difficulties and disputes, it is the duty of Muslims to bring about a peaceful settlement and adjustment.
The Holy Quran teaches that God has sent His revelation to all people from time to time. Many of prophets of the Old Testament are mentioned by name and so is Jesus who with other prophets is honoured and revered by all Muslims. Indeed, the Quran requires belief in the truth of all these prophets. Islam is thus unique and distinct in requiring an affirmation in all prophets wherever they appeared and therefore it seeks to bring about reconciliation between the followers of different faiths and to establish a basis of respect and honour among them. The Quran says:
Surely, those who believe and the Jews and the Christians and the Sabians - whichever party from among these truly believes in ALLAH and the Last Day and does good deeds, shall have their reward with their Lord, and no fear shall come upon then nor shall they grieve (2:63)
The same message is repeated in 5:70. The basic unity of the followers of all faiths is emphatically stressed in the Holy Quran and the creation of discord and disunity by terrorism or otherwise has no place in Islam.
In the domain of international relations, religion and inter-religious relations occupy an important position. Unfortunately, comparatively little attention is paid to this aspect of human relations. It is assumed that religion is a private matter for each individual and should, therefore, have no direct connection with the political, social aspects of life. This assumption is not justified. Islam being an egalitarian religion, is not just a personal faith, but an all-encompassing codes of values and conduct. Islam is and will be a vital factor in human relations and there is a good ground of hope that it might progressively become more effective in promoting unity and accord rather than continue to be required on the part of religious and political leaders to achieve that goal.
I must conclude by saying that whether peace or war, acts of terrorism are not only condemned in Islam but are also pointedly declared alien to the teachings of Islam which in fact means peace through the submission to the Will of God, the Lord of all human beings. Only through conformity to Divine laws can we hope to achieve the ideal of a secure world free of terrorism.