No Room for Terrorism
The Qur'an clearly condemns actions that transgress beyond what is considered lawful and just. “Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits, for Allah loves not the transgressors” (Qur'an 2:190). Acts of terrorism, including the murder of innocent civilians, are certainly considered transgressions beyond the limits of justice.
Muslims are commanded to be on the side of justice, even if it means turning against those closest to us. “Oh you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be against rich or poor — for Allah can best protect both. Do not follow the lusts of your own hearts, lest you swerve. And if you distort justice, or decline to do justice, truly Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do” (Qur'an 4:135).
The Qur'an warns Muslims not to let anger and hatred overcome them and cause them to do wrong against others. “Oh you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair-dealing, and let not the hatred of others towards you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just — that is next to piety — and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do” (Qur'an 5:8).
How Is Terrorism Justified?
It's clear that terrorism can never be justified by Islamic teaching. Many people invoke religion as the justification for their actions when in fact those actions violate the very principles the faith stands for. Unfortunately, Muslims are no exception. Those who transgress the limits of justice may try to validate their actions and achieve their goals in the name of Islam. It is not difficult to take verses and teachings out of context and distort their meaning. Many people have been led astray, in all religions and throughout the ages, by misinterpretations and distortions in matters of faith.
Punishment for Terrorism
Throughout Islamic history, acts of transgression were dealt with harshly to deter anyone else from believing that such actions have merit or are useful ways to further a cause. Islamic courts have upheld capital punishment for those convicted of piracy, airplane hijacking, kidnapping, and genocide. Muslim leaders and individuals all over the world express condemnation and outrage when acts of terrorism are perpetrated upon innocent people, whether the terrorists are so-called Muslims or not.