The anti-Islam film is really unfortunate. It must be condemned in the strongest possible words.
People across the world coming from different faiths have expressed their displeasure over the continuing demonization of the world’s second largest religion.
However, the violence by Muslims all over the world has not set an example of excellence either.
Their response to the provocation has come through provocation, and being no different from the godless dude who wanted to have mean publicity.
Indeed, the violence across Muslim world over the controversy is not only self- defeating but also un-Islamic.
Mobs from Egypt to Libya, Tunisia to Sudan and beyond have lost the resolve of self-control and have taken law into their hands that go against the ethics of good governance and democratic principles.
The encounters cost the lives of so many innocent individuals. The prominent among them is an American ambassador, Christopher Stevens, along with three other diplomats in Libya.
The violent protests have also caused the deaths of those protesting and clashing with local security forces.
Such chaos serves no purpose. In fact, it shows Muslims in poor light and reverses the cause. It also lets others believe that how easy we are to be provoked.
That the sense of unruliness has prevailed over the wisdom of self-discipline contradicts the teachings of prophet Muhammad (peace be up on him) and has undermined greatly the principles of Islamic values.
The Quran reveals: ‘We sent Apostles before you among the religious sects of old. But no Apostle ever came to them that was not mocked. Even so do We let it creep into the hearts of the sinners, that they should not believe in it; that has been the way of such people since ancient times.’ (15:10)
The Almighty allows the cynicism of Satan to creep into the hearts of wrongdoers, and they get misled so willingly despite obvious evidence to them.
For mocking at prophets, does Lord ask us to resort to violence, damage property or even kill the scorners?
By taking another verse into thought: ‘Likewise did We make for every messenger an enemy…evil ones among men and jinns, inspiring each other with flowery discourses by way of deception. If your Lord had so planned they would not have done it, so leave them and their inventions alone.
Let the hearts of those who have no faith in the Hereafter incline to such deceits: let them delight in it, and let them earn from it what they may.’ (6:112-113)
All the prophets, be they Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Noah, David, Solomon, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, John, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon all of them) have had to bear the burden of insults of those who rejected their message.
The ridiculers will be accountable for their misdeeds on the Day of Judgment. Who are we to resort to hostility?
The violence around the Arab world also belittles the sacredness of a none-too-distant Arab Spring.
The revolutionary – and peaceful – movement sought to garner greater freedoms for citizens in many of these nations.
Seeking freedom also means accepting the right to freedom of expression, which implies diverse, sharply pointed, often clashing opinions voiced in the public sphere.
Importantly, however, these are expressed non-violently, and come with the right to reject these through non-violent means.
Protesters in Muslim nations could have surprised extreme right-wingers – like the producers of this scurrilous film – by choosing the Arab Spring’s path and registering their protest peacefully.
Instead, furious over a film made by an individual and not by the American state, and then unleashing violence against diplomatic property and personnel, the protesters have lost their views in tear-gas, left unheard by open-minded persons around the world.
It’s time we pay heed to the verses of the Quran that offers us to be calm despite being provoked, for violence is not only antithetical to spiritual attainment but also displeases our Lord.
Definitely, violence serves no purpose, except to harden regressive stereotypes and prevent engagement of positive dialogue and understanding among various faiths and cultures.
Published: The Tripoli Post.
Categories: Arab World