Criticize Israel and you would be condemned, you might be called anti-Semitic and you would be described a Jew hater. Promote Hitler's Mien Kemp and you would be called a Nazi, a holocaust sympathizers and a reactionary. Question US aid to Israel and you might lose elections if you happen to be a congressman or even a councilor. Yet, when you draw Prophet Muhammad in an offensive manner, you would be hailed as a champion of free speech and you would be told that it is not about Prophet Muhammad, but about the inalienable right of every human beings to exercise free speech.
Is it really about free speech and is the free speech really threatened in the USA or Europe?
Does the Muslim objection to cartoon drawing of Prophet Muhammad constitute a violation of free speech? Does it really threaten the most cherished value that humanity has achieved in its long struggle against itself?
Who in his or her right mind can oppose what has been the most precious divine gift, the freedom?
The drawing of cartoons is really not about freedom of speech, because the champions of freedom do not usually defend the rights of Israeli opponents to challenge the apartheid like policies of the Jewish state. They were silent when France punished Mauric Buccaile for questioning the holocaust claims.
The drawing of cartoons is deeper than that. No single explanation can provide a comprehensive understanding of what was done by Danish cartoonist when he drew Prophet Muhammad in a cartoon or the Facebook when it invited people to draw the Prophet.
Atheists are in the crowd because they reject God in principle. Any symbol that glorifies God is unacceptable to them. To them, the concept of God is the most primitive idea that human mind has continued to promote.
Christian extremists are in the race because of their inherent opposition to any system of ideas that reject the notion that Jesus is the son of God.
Jewish fundamentalists are enjoying the controversy because it substantiates their claim that Islam is a faith that does not belong to the modern world.
Anarchists support it because it helps create more chaos in our already chaotic world.
Muslim fanatics oppose it because they see in it a conspiracy on the part of the West to hurt Muslims.
The whole controversy is being played in an environment where Islam and Muslims are under a microscopic surveillance on the part of every religious and non religious group and a large number of Muslims feel living under an intellectual siege.
How should Muslims in general respond to these types of controversies.
First of all, they must not allow their emotions to dictate their response. They should look at the whole issue within the context of the divine message and the life of the Prophet.
An emotional response usually leads to actions that defies the very purpose of the response. The point that Muslims usually make when responding to this situation is simple. "We feel hurt when our faith or the most prominent figure of our faith is disfigured." We feel offended when our faith is ridiculed by others." They have been making this point through their protests and in some situation through extreme measures. But others are not listening. If Muslims want others to take their views seriously, they have to change their attitude towards their fellow Muslims and towards others as well.
In general, there exists a culture of intolerance in Muslim ranks and files. The every day killing in Iraq among Shias and Sunnis, the disrespect to human life in countries ruled by Muslim dictators, the indifference to the dignity of average citizen in a Muslim dominated country, the racism that exists unashamedly in the gulf, the disenfranchisement that is rampant in most Muslim ruled places, clearly indicate that the Muslims are not serious in giving priority to their religious teachings concerning the dignity and respect to human life. How can the world take them seriously, when they themselves are not serious to their own faith.
Secondly, when was the last time, Muslims expressed their displeasure when great prophets such as Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses or Jesus were made fun of by the so called proponents of free speech. If they had a track record of standing for every act of indecency that exists against religion, an average person might have taken them seriously.
Thirdly, the character of the Prophet demonstrate a tolerance to all acts of intolerance or hatred or ridicule. Never did he retaliate against those who were making fun of him or humiliating him. On the contrary, he showed concerns for them when told about their misfortune.
We ought to realize that the character of Prophet Muhammad is not weak to be tarnished by a few cartoons or articles against him. After all, for almost 1,400 years his opponents have tried every tick in the trade to denounce him, yet he remains the most influential prophet in human history.
Why should we be bothered about this latest tirade against him? Those who are in the forefront will wear themselves be out. We do not have to invest our energies in fighting them. All that we need to do is live the example of our Prophet in our response, be patient and walk with humility when confronted with such a situation.
By banning you tube or Wikipedia or Facebook in Pakistan or other places Muslims would not serve Islam. It is counter productive and it would divert us to negative action. We need to preserve our energy and emotions for something that is more noble then responding to those who do not understand us: living the teachings of our prophet in every walk of life.
Dr. Aslam Abdullah is editor of the Detroit based English weekly, Muslim Observer, director of the Islamic Society of Nevada, Las Vegas and the recently elected General Secretary of the World Council of Muslims for Interfaith Relation. He is also the vice President of the Muslim Council of America, MCA.
We are not talking about Muslim scholars. We are talking about our response as dictated by the Quran and sunnah. You have not yet presented a single argument for your opinion based on the Quran and sunnah.
We are also not talking about sufism. We are talking about how we should counter stereotypical images of Islam and our prophet. You are suggesting that we should drown the world in our emotions or we should destroy those who are criticizing our prophets.
The Quran suggests that we should not dispel evil with evil. At least on five different occasions that prophet was asked to seek the destruction of his enemies. His response: O Allah guide them as they no not what they are doing.
taken by the government are right but now i am
convinced that by such emotion leaded actions we are
portraying ourself what the people in the west want
us to show i.e we all are extremist.
The demonized is in greater peril than even the demon. Thus, when misused, freedom of expression of one becomes existential question for another one. In contemporary world, Muslims are either in bondage and servitude or are a dependent subculture. False pride prevents them from coming to term with reality. Such people not only lack independent thought and creativity but also self-survival and self-preservation, innate to every thing living, is blunted in them. Therefore, not much can be done to save them from the perils of demonization. Even making them aware of the perils will not do it as long as they do not know why they are where they are and why they are doing what they are doing.
You cannot force people to respect our Prophet. Did we do our job in introducing him to the people or we leave it to Bill Gates to come with a web package to circulate the virtues of Islam and Muslims?
How many books we wrote, movies we made, courses we offered on the life of our prophet who gave us what we have?
How many of us explained to the world what his true contribution to the modern civilization is?
Those who opposed him penned down some 27,000 books in the last 1400 years in most languages of the world.
In California, a Chic Publications circulate more than a million copies of some 14 small booklets against our prophet. How many people living in California ever bothered to counter that.
With ignorance all around and with Muslims not doing much to inform others of the Prophet, do you think the issue would be resolved. Never.
We have to accept our own weakness in living the ideals of our Prophet.
We should point out to others that what they are saying against our Prophet is not correct.
Look at the controversy about Mother Ayesha's age at the time of her marriage. The opponents are accusing him of the worst kind of things in this respect. But many Muslim scholars are still relying on some of our books not approved either by Allah and the Prophet to argue that the Prophet married (engaged) Ayesha when she was six. Look at this controversy. At least 500 article on the internet can be traced. Look at the repsonse?
So do not expect change unless you are willing to work for the change.
In addition I tried my best to satisfy such beasts via valuable comments in many other webs of such beasts, engaged in to media trial against TRUTH, they also deleted my comments.
As Allah says about such criminals, they know the TRUTH, but never will accept it, being followers of evil & their hearts are closed.
To overcome such miserable situation Muslims are supposed to be symbol of good character-humanity-peace-charity......& for development priority should be Education, research...which is. initial spirit of Islam. In case Ummah failed to reverse the present miserable situation, they have to face such mental & physical brutalities & attacks
There are following options for Ummah
1. to accept or to bear all types of mental & physical torture
2. to be pipit like presently most Muslim rulers
3. to be parallel to leading Nations via hard work in Education, research..& all fields
To complete Boycott & fight
It is also fruitful, only via replacing pipit Muslim rulers & by full support to non state forces engaged in war against cruel aggressive forces, which are not always with solution without full with solution without full support of state power as observed by present & past history.
Waiting your guideline
Kashmir Study Circle
A neutral institution engaged in research, media & charity for decades without publicity & fund raising..
During the last 50 years, more Muslims have killed their fellow Muslims when compared with others. And those soldiers who raped a good number of women in the early senties were also Muslims and what about those thousands of Muslim women who are bought and sold by Muslims every year.
Who is insulting the Prophet? In addition to those who draw him, also those who violate everything that he stood for. Go to the gulf and look at the way women are bought and sold and look at the way laborers are treated. Look at the Iraqi refugees in Syria, Lebanon and other Arab countries, where they are not allowed to work and their women are sexually assaulted by those who claim to be Muslims. Who is insulting the Prophet? How come these people are silent at all the injustices that is perpetuated by Muslims against fellow Muslims.
One can quote examples after examples from the so called Muslim countries.
Let us be realistic and let us not dilute the issue by challenging the iman of others. This is a tactics always adopted by people who ridicule the divine commandments by declaring thier ideas supreme to that of the Quran or the Prophet. They twist the words of Allah to satisfy their egos and they distort everything that the Prophet preached to serve their selfish interests.
Islam is not the monoploy of a special class of people. It is a faith that liberates humans from every fear and every idol.
Muslims "do and do not actions
Do: Outrage against cartoons
Do not: Antiterorisms demonstration
Do: Building Mosques worldwide
Do not: Permit building of non Islam praying homes in many Muslim controlled areas
Do: Demanding freedom for all aspects of Muslim culture worldwide
Do not: Demand Muslim recognition of free & peaceful coexistence among all cultures
Do: Demand free Islamic preaching
Do not: Stop incitement & individual Jihad against the host country
An Islamic response is not based on the approach
of eastern or western scholarship. It is based on
the Quran and the authentic teachings of Prophet
Muhammad. Based on my understanding of the Quran
and the teachings of the Prophet, this is the only
response that I can think of.
Prove me wrong by suggesting an alternative based
on your understanding of the Quran and sunnah. I
would love to be proven wrong.
Please, do not question the Iman of your fellow
Muslims. Let God be the judge of their iman and
Focus on yours and do what you deem is right.
The detractors of Islam highlight gullible Muslims'angst and violence, but fail to take into account the provocations that impelled them!
Angry reactions must yield place to "continuous striving against the unbelievers with the Holy Quran only!"(Holy Quran 25 :52).Educate the opponent and dispel his ignorance about Islam.
"Those who malign/affront/annoy/disrespect Allah and His Messenger (SAW)- Allah has cursed them in this world and the hereafter..." S.33:57
I do not buy into either the "blame the victim" mentality or the "its our fault because we have not let the perpetrators see enough exemplary Muslim behavior" apology.
At a minimum, Muslims should join Allah and His creation in cursing the antagonists with our tongues or in our hearts.
Ask the west when there will be freedom to Muslims. Tell them to stop governing muslim governements. The basic principles in all religions are similar. The evil people thought there is no gain being good. These evil people always played a role in confusing people and their religion. God kept sending reminder(prophets) whenever people were lost completely. Since the last prophet was sent these evil people have started the same GAME. These people will keep trying and trying until all the muslims are gone astray. This is NOTHING NEW just for muslims. This was done to all the people of the past religions. The people who write or say nonsense on Islam and muslims are also one of those confused and lost by those evil people. Islam was taught to all the people of all the time of mankind. Take few minues, sit down and think about it.
You have not misunderstood me. I have not said or implied in
any way the violent or intolerant behavior either on the part of
Muslims or Non-Muslims. What i said was that if western people
want to have a choice of whatever they want to say why don't i
have the choice to register my protest or decide what to see or
buy...I will tell you why because in fair deal of freedom of
speech/choice the western system will fail on its own without
any muslim even lifting a finger...Please do link the money made
by Facebook or a likes verses the account
I am foremost in favor of tolerance and "Hajar-an Jamilla" (the
best separation...Please read Quran Al-Muzzamil). Do you think
we do not even have the choice of separating ourselves from a
Site that ridicule our beloved Prophet (SAW).
And Yes I remember Abu-Jahal...Whereas Prophet (SAW) and his
companions did not took any action against him but Muslims
did not socially engaged him either. And remember the Prophet
(SAW) saying those who take on the shape/form/thoughts of
other nations they will be considered among them...And the
Quran's injunction "if you find people making fun of your Deen,
move away from them till they talk of something else or else you
would be like them".
So i fully agree with you that there is absolutely no need for
muslims to take any action (violent/provocative) all they have to
do is to separate ourselves in best manner and the ill-designs
will fall themselves.
If facebook has choice to do what they feel like in their home,
please do give me same choice of not allowing them in my home
I hope you understand what i wanted to say...
Thank you for articulating the fuzzy thoughts that I had in my mind re the Facebook issue, especially the banning of the website and deleting my account. I believe that you are absolutely right in saying that deleting my FB account will be counter productive and not be in line with what the Prophet (PBUH) would have done in this situation.
Many thanks - Ali
Islam is not a religion in the true sense of the word but a holistic system of the way of life.This system could not cohabit with riba (usury) based financial system, "artistic sexual expressions", same sex marriages, freedom of expression to hurt, insult and blaspheme others.
Hence the conspirators for secular world order - Illuminati,Kabaalist,Freemason, Humanist, Darwinist whatever the names, know quite well that Islam is the obstacle for the fulfillment of their secret final agenda.They will stop at nothing to plot and plan against Islam.
While the prophet had warned us of the traps and deceptions set against the Muslims by a one eyed system seeing all externally and blind to inner spiritual realities, its too sad that the mainstream Islamic scholars do nothing to expose those people and their hidden sinister agendas. Progressive thinkers in the West such as David Icke and Alex Jones have done more to awaken the Muslims than Islamic scholars.
Take the pen and open the mouth to expose the elite conspirators, then you will know what freedom of expression really meant and for what it stands.
I do not agree with an interpretation of Islam that justifies violene and that killing in the name of Allah.
I do not agree with an interpretation of Islam that denies the people the right of saying whatever they want to say even if that means insulting others.
However, The Quran does remind the believers that they have to follow the divine guidance in all their behavior and attitude. If others are not sensitive to what believe in, we can force them to accept us. We have to do what we ought to do.The Quran asks me to upkeep my standards and under no circumstances give in to pressures.
Prophet Muhammad's reputation has survived Abu Jahal and he would survive the Danish or Facebook cartoonist.
I do not like the way, the people misuse freedom of speech to serve their nefarious agenda. But I would not deny them this right, because Allah guarantees them this.
Islam is a conscious choice on my part even though I was born in a Muslim family. This personal choice demands from me a total commitment to divine guidance, even more so in situations that are adverse.
Does not the Quran tell us that each one of us is responsible for one's own action and behavior. If this is what the Danish cartoonist or Facebook believe, it is their choice. But my choice is not to join the fray.
to those who who question Islam's commitment to freedom of speech, must read their own history recorded by their own folks that tells us that books were burned, bones were slashed from flesh and heaps of skulls were piled of those who dared question the legitimacy of illegitimate ideas.
Look, just for not accepting Jesus as the Messiah, for almost 2000 years the existence of the Jewish community has been placed in jeopardy. Look for almost 5,000 years, on the basis of caste hierarchy, the right to even utter the holy word were denied to millions of so called untouchables.
jews. You can question the slavery, but better not the so-call
holocaust. You can call Pres, Obama names, but not the jews
with their racist policy in Isreal. You can vilify the native
American in you movies , but not the jews who create the
financial mess we are in today. we can keep going my friend!
Controlling the world finance is why you are getting away with
this and has nothing to do that people respect the jews. So lets
at least tell the truth.
You ask "When will there ever be freedom of speech (or freedom in general) in Islam?".
You know Islam means "Submission". When you submit, you disawow freedom.
crossroad between trying to be a muslim and yet trying to enjoy
western culture as well.
Trust me I am the first one to advocate tolerance....but instead
of being apologetic why do you not respect our choice of not
allowing Facebook but you are so ready to respect their choice
of painting any cartoons they want.
And please donot say that west has not learn after Denmark
debacle, that Muhammad (PBUH) is more dear to us than our
Let their be fair deal...they can have their choice of freedom and
let us have our freedom of buying, watching and seeing what we
your opinion merely points out to that you no longer hold
anything dear and valuable for which you would speakup. I think
every body has something for which they become
emotional....even an atheist gets heated up when preached
What if someone decided to have a "Month of Carton" about our
sister and mothers...will you still take it in a stride and say
"drink cool water"
Please donot advice on a wrong premesis and rather preach
other to respect each others values and ideology. We muslims
loves Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) more than our parents...why it
is so hard to respect our choice....
In reality it is the opposite of what you are saying. Look at the westeners in Dubai creating problems, cannot even simply obey their law. Go to Malaysia, you will see who is creating problems. Open up your eyes wider or travel around the world with your pure heart and mind you will understand Muslims better.
So, calm down, drink some cool water, and ignore the controversies. The problem may even go away.
Frankly, I am for "Draw Mohammed Cartoons" month; though I have not come across any intelligent cartoons yet except one from South Africa which talks about followers of non-muslim prophets having sense of humour.