The little-known film maker of the anti-Muslim movie ‘Innocence of Muslims’ was initially identified from the Associated Press and the Wall Street Journal reports as Sam Bacile, an Israeli Jew, who was later identified as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a Coptic Christian. The deliberate attempts by the real Anti-Muslim people including the extremists and very conservatives to pitch Muslims against the Jews has been going on strongly and continuously after the creation of the State of Israel.
This time also, these people wanted to emotionally excite and incite Muslims in taking extreme action against the Israeli interests and they almost succeeded in their attempt. The notion and the myth being advanced is to tell the world that all Muslims hate Jews and they will go to any length to attack and kill them.
The Associated Press and the Wall Street Journal immediately joined the fray. They would not jump this quickly if any other community was involved; they would think twice. The politicians, extremists, profiteers and opportunists would get a chance to profit from situations like this. The game is always played by Anti-Jewish and Islamophobic profiteers.
To convince the people around the world and make them believe that Nakoula Basseley is a Jew would deflect the criticism against religious extremists who want to profit from these anti-Muslim sentiments and get more money for themselves to run their own anti-Islam movements. They know that a minority group of Muslims would take action in the form of protest, in a violent manner anything that is associated with Israel. These violent attacks by emotionally charged Muslims against Jews would put Muslim community in the bad light and help the Islamophobic forces to continue and exaggerate their hate mongering against Muslims. This attempt was immediately exposed, but the damage was already done.
A large majority of Jewish people have started recognizing contributions made by Prophet Muhammad and are also learning that Muslims have lots of respect for Jews. Islam being one of the Abrahamic religion they are getting familiar with the fact that Muslims believe in Adam, Noah, Yousuf, Yaqoob, Moses and other Old Testament prophets and that Islam is not a new religion but a continuation of the message of the earlier Prophets. One of the Muslim scholars in the United States has very beautifully said, “Islam combined mercy and kindness of Christianity with concept of punishment proportional to crime In Judaism.”
The Respect of A Cousin
There is a Hadith (oral tradition concerning the words and works of Muhammad) recorded by Bukhari in the name of Amer Bin Rabiha that reads as follows: “A funeral procession passed us and the Prophet stood up for it. We said, ‘but Prophet of God, this is a funeral of a Jew.” The Prophet responded, ‘rise.’ ” One can search the writings of the ancient non-Jewish world for a more powerful example of a public display of respect for the humanity of Jews. There simply is no more powerful statement than the single word uttered by Muhammad 14 centuries ago.” (Edward Miller, The Jewish Week (New York) February 10, 2006.)
Almighty God in the Qur’an says, “O Children of Israel! Remember those blessings of Mine with which I graced you, and how I favored you above all other people.” (The Message of The Quran: Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat. No. 122; translated and explained by Leopold Muhammad Assad, son of a Rabbi).
Almighty God chose the Jewish people and preferred them over others to receive His message. Muslims have been reading in the Quran that Almighty God referred to Jewish people as ‘People of the Book’, because the earlier prophets received the BOOKS including Torah – the word of God.
The Qur’an says that Prophet Muhammad was sent down as a blessing to mankind. He would go to any length to protect the people of the book and other good people in the name peace and fight against injustice.
Abu Jahl, one of the Uncles of the Prophet, who hated Muslims and the message of his nephew, was the guardian of an orphan. Once this young boy came to Abu Jahl for his money which he refused to give it to him, instead told him to go and see Muhammad and seek his help in getting what he wanted. On hearing the plea of the young man, Prophet Muhammad walked to Abu Jahl’s house. He opened the door and Prophet Muhammad told him, “Give him his right.” Abu Jahl simply went back into the house and brought and handed over to the youth his money.
A pagan started urinating in the Masjid e Nabavi Mosque. The companions of the Prophet go furious and angry. Some rushed to beat up the man. The Prophet sopped them by saying, “Let him finish it.” Immediately afterward he talked to the pagan affectionately informed that urinating should not be done at the sacred place – the Mosque. Later he instructed his companions to clean the place.
Many hypocrites, during the time of the Prophet, were personally involved in hurting the Prophet and/or distorting the message of Islam. “A companion of the Prophet suggested one time that a certain hypocrite should be killed. He was seen as a threat by others. The prophet turned down the suggestion and said, ‘Do you want people to say that Muhammad kills his own camp followers.” (“Ever-Increasingly Relevant”, Prof. U Muhammad Iqbal, Radiance Viewsweekly, March-April 2008)
The anti-Islam movements’ approach has been prejudiced, colored and unscientific. Their disinformation and misinformation based on exaggeration and fabrication touches the borders of imaginary events, and their attitude towards Muslims is dogmatic, unsympathetic and even hostile. This is generating pollution and because of this, the dirty A.I.R. (Anti- Semitism, Islamophobia and Racism) is in the air.
On December 15, 2012, the Muslim Affairs Council held its convention at the All Saints Episcopalian Church, City of Pasadena, California, a city which is world famous for its Rose Parade on January 1 every year. A combination of hate messages and articles that mixed and blended Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia were received by this Church for allowing Muslims to hold a convention in its precincts. These emails, protests, and threats were directed against decent Christians by involving indirectly the Jewish people by insinuating and pushing forward misinformation and disinformation about Islam and Muslims, and directly attacking directors of the Muslim Affairs Council. In the articles, the writers said that MPAC is a terrorist organization whose directors support and aid Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, urging the All Saints Church to cancel the event. The MPAC and the All Saints Church held a news conference to announce their plans to not to cancel the event but the go ahead with it. The Los Angles Times editorially supported the MPAC Convention and All Saints Church and said editorially:
The Pasadena church stands firm in its decision to host the Muslim Public Affairs Council, which it has worked with for more than a decade, and it is right to do so.
“When All Saints Church, known for its outreach to faith groups beyond its own Episcopal ministry, announced that it would host the annual convention of the Muslim Public Affairs Council this weekend, it got a rash of hate mail. Officials at the Pasadena church say the response was triggered by an online article that described the church as naive for hosting the group. The article charged, among other things, that the council’s officers had past connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, and that the group has refused to label Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations.
All Saints stands firm in its decision to host the Muslim Public Affairs Council, which it has worked with for more than a decade, and it is right to do so. The council, a Los Angeles-based organization that promotes the interests of Muslim Americans, has been fending off criticism for years. We don’t necessarily agree with every word its leaders have ever uttered, but the organization has generally taken moderate stances on international issues and has regularly denounced major acts of terrorism around the globe. It has consistently urged American Muslims to cooperate with law enforcement and help prevent terrorism.
Yes, the council opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq. (So did a lot of Christians and Jews.) And yes, the group’s senior advisor, Maher Hathout, acknowledges that he had a connection to the Muslim Brotherhood when he was a young Egyptian fighting the British presence in his country – 60 years ago. In his last 40 years in the U.S., Hathout says, he has not been associated with any foreign groups. He has been critical of Mohamed Morsi, the new president of Egypt with long-standing ties to the Brotherhood. Hathout even delivered an invocation at the Democratic National Convention in 2000.
As for not denouncing Hamas and Hezbollah, the council’s president, Salam Al-Marayati, has addressed that charge repeatedly over the years; in 2006, for instance, the council took out a full-page ad noting that it supports Israel’s right to exist and that it “has never supported Hamas or Hezbollah.” If on some other occasions the organization has sounded insufficiently condemnatory, that’s hardly a reason to ban it from All Saints Church.
Groups don’t have to be completely like-minded in all philosophies to have fruitful interaction. (Otherwise, there would be no interfaith exchanges at all.) But in this case, these are two organizations that promote community involvement. It seems perfectly reasonable for All Saints to offer up its home for the convention this Saturday of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. In fact, it’s something of a mitzvah.”
We must continue to fight the pollution of Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and Racism (A.I.R.). Let us work together to reduce pollution of hatred and extremism, clean the dirty air , dispense the truth, engage in building bridges of understanding and tolerance, strive hard to uphold diversity, and continue to support outreach programs.
Abdul Munim Shakir wrote in the United States a poem for the Muslim children several decades ago. The last two lines say it all.
Through working together our hopes increase
To live in a world full of love and peace
Mohammad Yacoob is a retired Industrial Engineer and Engineering Proposals Analyst who lives in Los Angeles, California.