Friday, February 15, 2008

What Do They Expect?

Danish newspapers have republished the the infamous Prophet Muhammad cartoons. It has been reported that a few Muslim men had planned to kill the cartoonist and as a result many Danish newspapers decided to republish the cartoons in solidarity with the cartoonist as well as to express their freedom of speech.

When the cartoons were originally published I definitely had complaints about what I saw as Islamophobia. There really was no need to do such a thing and in Europe's fragile political environment it hurt more than it helped.

However, the reaction of so many Muslims at that time was extreme and completely defeated the purpose of the protest. Muslims were protesting the violent portrayal of our prophet. Yet they did this by being violent. Even Islamic academic Tariq Ramadan expressed his annoyance at the extreme and hypocritical reaction by Muslims. I felt they seemed to make the situation worse.

And now we are faced with a similar problem. The plan to murder the cartoonist is another example of hypocrisy of these Muslims who claim to be the defenders of Islam. Yet, their actions prove that their knowledge of Islam is severely lacking. Thus, the reaction of the papers to publish the cartoon in protest is completely understandable and expected. Not appreciated but understandable.

As I see it the Muslims who planned to kill the cartoonist are also responsible for the republication of the cartoons. Just as the Muslims who protested the Satanic Verses greatly increased sales of the offensive book, these Muslims have again brought the cartoons off of the dusty shelves onto the pages of the latest Danish newspaper.

By acting in absolutely unIslamic ways they have once again tarnished the name of the prophet.

After all, the Qur'an says

For that cause We decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever kills a human being for other than murder or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all humankind, and whoso saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all humankind. Our messengers came unto them of old with clear proofs (of Allah's Sovereignty), but afterwards lo! many of them became prodigals in the earth. (2:32)

And let me say, what the cartoonist did was not corruption in the land and definitely was not murder.

So why can't Muslims let it go. If you want to protest then please do it peacefully. Write letters, write editorials, educate people about our prophet. By acting in such idiotic ways these people give a bad name to our entire Muslim community, including the Prophet Muhammad.

1 comment:

Jehanzeb said...

In my opinion, republishing these insulting cartoons was a pretty ridiculous and quite stupid decision to make. Everyone remembers the violent behavior of Muslims all around the world protesting against this cartoon, so why are they republishing it? I can't help but think that this is only to provoke more anti-Islamic sentiments.

At the same time, we have to look at the way Muslims are responding to this, which is completely un-Islamic. The verse you cited speaks for itself. The Muslim world needs to learn how to protest in a mature manner; the Prophet would not even violently destroy something when he was insulted. But Wahabbis and extremist interpretations say that it IS ok to murder people who insult Islam and Muhammad, peace be upon him. It's a tough position for people like us because we have to address both groups - the ignorant non-Muslims and the extremist Muslims.