Thousands of innocent lives were lost on September 11, 2001, and our hearts and prayers go out to their families and loved ones.
Islam, for the West, is commonly regarded as a perpetual "Other" - so very familiar but also so very strange and different. A lot of misunderstandings are created by prejudice and ignorance; people tend to rely more on stereotypes than on reality.
The faith of Islam unequivocally and forcefully rejects the harming of innocent civilians.
"If anyone slays a person, unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land, it would be as if he slew all people. And if anyone saves a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all people."
- Qur'an 5:32
Islam only allows military action only in the cases of self-defence or to repel those who interfere in its affairs. Over the centuries, a vast body of literature on the proper conduct of war was developed.
Today, such guidelines are known as 'laws of war.'
Many Qur'anic verses deal with the concepts of justice and peace, both of which are the current essence of the modern legal system developed to protect life, capital, and reproduction. For example: Deal fairly, and do not let the hatred of others for you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just, for that is next to piety, and fear Allah (5:8); If someone kills another person, unless it be for murder for murder or for spreading mischief in the land, it would be as if he had killed all people (5:32); If the enemy inclines toward peace you (also) incline toward peace and trust in Allah, for He is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing (8:61); and O believers, enter into peace (Islam) wholeheartedly, and do not follow Satan's...