Thursday, July 05, 2007
From the Prince of Physicians to the Doctors of Destruction
The news that at least six of the eight persons arrested for the failed London and Glasgow attempts were physicians has angered and disgusted me. In all fairness, some of those arrested may be innocent acquaintances of the perpetrators. The two physicians who drove the Jeep Cherokee into the terminal at Glasgow, on the other hand, are clearly guilty.
As a physician, especially as a Middle Eastern, Muslim physician, I consider this incident a personal affront. Ours is the heritage of Ibn Sina, the prince of physicians, the author of al-Qanun fi al-tibb (The Canon of Medicine) and kitab el-shifa (The Book of Healing) and one of the greatest physicians and thinkers of all time. We are first and foremost healers. This is an immutable tenet of our profession; no sense of persecution, no bogus fatwa, no warped understanding of the meaning of jihad can ever justify healers becoming killers.
What were they thinking? How could intelligent, educated men buy into this al-Qaeda ideology of purposeless violent jihad. And purposeless it is despite claims that they are defending their faith. What have they done for their coreligionists except for spreading hatred, fear and death. What have they done for the poor and destitute, for the sick and the infirm among their own people? All they seem to be good at is figuring out new ways of causing wanton destruction. further dragging the reputation of Islam through the mud. The use of physicians as a conduit for their terror represents a new low.
I don't claim to be particularly learned in my religion, but this much I know, theirs is not a true jihad. On the other hand, Ibn Sina's vast contributions in medicine, philosophy, theology, physics and mathematics, the striving for knowledge which benefits Muslims as well as all of humanity, that is what true jihad is all about.