Identity, Equality, Unity
The Quran states explicitly that no soul shall be responsible for the sins or the crimes of another. And while this film (Innocence of Muslims) is indeed offensive, and those who have produced and circulated this have done this deliberately to offend Muslims and most probably to strengthen Takfiri Salafists in Muslim communities, innocent people must not be hurt and violent acts must not be done in the name of religion of peace (Islam).
Every Muslim must explicitly condemn the brutal murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other American personnel by Takfiri Salafists in Benghazi. Those groups (e.g., Quilliam Foundation, other naive or Saudi-lobby funded Western analysts) who are describing such attacks as isolated incidents are doing a disservice not only to the USA and Muslims but also to the world at large. The Benghazi tragedy has exposed the fault-lines of the US reliance on Saudi Arabia and Saudi-sponsored Salafists to instal Islamist governments in Egypt, Libya and other countries in the disguise of democratization.
I agree in principle with the US president Obama’s remarks: “While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose this kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.”
We live in an interconnected and diverse world. If people pass judgment on other cultures and religions we end up paving the way for conflict and disputes. It’s, therefore, not difficult to understand why the director of the hateful movie came up with the movie in the first place. He was intentionally insensitive to the feelings of hundreds of millions of Muslims. Perhaps he, and the secretive sponsors and financiers of the hateful movie, were working in tandem with the Takfiri Salafists in Egypy, Libya, Tunisia and other countries. Not only is the movie weak from a technical perspective and full of historical mistakes, but also it propagates hatred and only strengthens the Takfiri Salafists, Deobandis and other radicals in Muslim countries and communities. The movie insults Islam and aids Al Qaeda, Taliban and Sipah-e-Sahaba. It intent and effect are toxic. (Source)
Suggested reaction to the hateful movie:
(1) Simply ignore it
(2) take legal action
(3) make good quality movies on the Prophet (pbuh)
(4) More importantly, our best reaction towards the demeaning movie of Prophet Mohammed should be by following his life and spread his word to everyone.
In pursuit of the third option above, we may spread what a Jewish lady is saying about Prophet Muhammad.
In the following clip, world renowned speaker Lesley Hazleton covers a range of topics focusing around Islam and Muslims in this age, including history and beliefs, media perceptions, to radicalization, and even insight into human nature.
Lesley Hazleton: “Prophet Muhammad: Where did humanity go wrong?”
The talk is about the extremism on both sides of Islamo fascist fundamentalists (e.g., Takfiri Salafists and Takfiri Deobandis) and the Islamophobes (e.g., Salman Rushdie, Tarek Fatah, Asra Nomani, Terry Jones etc); she argues for the idea of dialogue and understanding in Quran and the Prophet’s (PBUH) life.
A few points from the talk:
1. More we read and understand about the Prophet, we understand more about human being than his own life.
2. We need to understand how it was to be Muhammad in 7th century? What shaped the radical impact of his message and let’s ask what role Prophet played at the stage of history?
3. What we know for sure is Muhammad himself would be nothing but utterly repelled and dismayed and outraged by what has been and still being said by the terrorists and extremists in his name and in the name of God.
4. Teachings of Quran and Prophet Muhammad call for compassion, mercy and forgiveness.
5. Religion is not about living at the extremes, not being God but as taught by the prophet himself “to be fully human”
When she says fundamentalist, she clearly meant it in the way it is usually taken today, and not the literal etymological meaning. She meant Takfiri Salafists and Takfiri Deobandis of Al Qaida and other extremist groups (Taliban, Sipah-e-Sahaba, Muslim Brotherhood etc), which is evident since she used the word fundamentalists and al qaida interchangably. On the other hand she is advocating the basic and fundamental teachings of the Prophet.
Reverting to the hateful movie, it’s now clear that Takfiri Salafists in Arab countries (aided by Salafi Wahhabi channels in Egypt and other Arab Middle East countries) translated and propagated the hateful movie for political mileage.
Islamophobbes such as Salman Rushdie, Tarek Fatah, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and Islmaofascists such as Takfiri Salafists work in tandem. Both groups need each other, both thrive on fear, both are equally vile.
Just as the acts of Shia genocide in Pakistan by a handful of Takfiri Deobandis and Takfiri Salafists cannot be attributed to entire Sunni population, it is wrong to blame all Americans or all Christians or Jews for the hateful movie.
Muslim clerics (both Sunni and Shia) and activists should keep their anti-film protests peaceful and non-violent.
Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims should not participate in violent anti-movie protests by Takfiri Salafi-Deobandi militants. They must not fall into the Salafist trap by participating in stereotyping, violence and xenophobia.
Last but not least, read the following wise words by Russ Wellen who rightly explains that Takfiri Salafist-Deobandi extremists and Paster Terry Jones, Tarek Fatah, Salman Rushdie type characters are two sides of the same coin. Both groups feed on hatred and fear of each other. Mainstream Americans, Arabs, Pakistanis, Muslims, Christians, Sunni, Shia etc must ignore and reject both groups.
The cold, dead hand of Salafi extremism was once again on display in Benghazi.
According to Robert Worth of the New York Times, “the attack on the American Embassy in Cairo — unlike the one that killed [Ambassador to Libya Christopher] Stevens — appears to have been spontaneous, led by Egyptians genuinely angered by news of the film clip, distributed on YouTube, which portrays the Prophet Muhammad as a confused, bloodthirsty pedophile of uncertain parentage.”
As for the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, it
… might have less to do with any intrinsic Muslim intolerance than with the ideological chaos that reigns in the Arab world, where extremists routinely exploit popular anger and invoke Islam to draw attention to fundamentally political and even internecine goals. … Bernard Haykel, a professor of Middle East studies at Princeton University, said, “It’s true that there are sanctions against insulting the Prophet, but this is really about political or symbolic opportunists, who use religious symbols to advance their own power or prestige against other groups.”
In other words, Salafi extremists exploit Middle-Eastern anger against the United States just like Pastor Terry Jones, thanks to whom the offending film went viral, exploits American anger against Islam.
Meanwhile, from the Department of Silver Linings
… there were outpourings of rage across Libya on Wednesday against the killers and against the Salafis more generally. In addition to demonstrations in Tripoli and Benghazi, Twitter was inundated with pro-American messages by young Libyans; several of them pleaded for the United States Marines to come and crush the Salafis.
Likewise, it behooves Americans to remember that Salafism, especially at its most extreme, such as al Qaeda, does not define Islam.
Comment by Alvin Góngora: Just as the mainstream media in the West muffle the voices of moderate Muslims that condemn violence I wonder if their colleagues in the Muslim world do the same regarding our strong reactions against the many Terry Jones that are so fond of attacking non Christians. At the end, the narrative that remains is one of violence: Muslims that are easily offended and Christians that shoot at will and invade and destroy faraway non Christian countries.
About the author: Mahdi Baloch is a freelance writer based in France. Twitter: @MahdiBaloch