Mocking the Prophet, How Should We React? - 09-19-2012, 09:47 AM
Just like the cartoons few years ago, the Muslim response to the recent film has been very diverse. From the very mild of responses to the very violent ones, what's most noteworthy is the enormity of the response. Despite the consensus that the film did not deserve the attention it was getting, social media kept being flooded, and still is, with messages defending the Prophet . So, before another incident of mockery takes place, since it seems that it's only a matter of time before someone else tries to play on the sensitivities of Muslims, let's take some time to examine what the Qur'an has to say about this very issue.
Mockery is Tantamount to Ignorance
Almost every Muslim knows the story of the Cow (Sūrat'l-Baqarah). After all, the longest chapter of the Qur'an is named after this story. To get to the gist, there was an unsolved murder that happened among the Children of Israel during the time of Moses [as] (Mūsa). So Allāh revealed to Moses that in order to solve the murder your people have to slaughter a cow. Of course, when Moses told his people of God's command, their first reaction was shock and disbelief (e.g. what's slaughtering a cow got to do with solving a murder?). The Qur'an says:
“Remember when Moses said to his people, 'God commands you to sacrifice a cow', they said, 'are you making fun of us?' He answered, 'God forbid that I should be so ignorant'” [2:67]
So initially, the Children of Israel thought that Moses was mocking them. But Moses quickly corrected that mockery could never come from a Prophet and he distanced himself from such an act by the expression familiar to Muslims “I seek refuge in God from”. But what we usually miss from this verse is the fact that Moses equated mockery to ignorance. So a learned man (or woman) should never mock anyone or anything under any circumstance. So the next question becomes, how do we deal with ignorance or ignorant people?
Ignore the Ignorant
The Qur'an tells us to dismiss the people of ignorance and not to give a lot of attention to them. It asks us to not engage with them in any conversation, except perhaps to safeguard ourselves from greater harm. For example:
“Be tolerant, command what's right, pay no attention to foolish people” [7:199]
This is such an important matter that the Qur'an makes it one of the traits of the People of God:
“The Servants of the Lord of Mercy are those who walk humbly on Earth, and who, when the foolish address them, reply 'Peace'” [25:63]
The scholars of Qur'an have differed on the meaning of “peace” here. Some take it literally that you simply say the Muslim greeting of “Peace”. But others have argued that “Peace” here means that you end the conversation in a peaceful manner. Regardless of the difference in interpretation, I think we can all agree that the message of the Qur'an is to ignore the ignorant.
On the other hand, we see the Qur'an encouraging us to engage with the people of reason and to even debate them if they have a different point of view:
“Call people to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good teaching, and argue with them in the most courteous way” [16:125]
I mention this here so no one comes and says that Islam forbids conversation with “others.” In fact, Islam encourages debate and the exchanging arguments. But people who mock a religious symbol are not interested in debate or logical arguments. It is the lack of logical arguments that makes them resort to mockery in the first place!
Spare Me the Mockery
We can't leave this subject without contemplating a very interesting verse that speaks to the heart of the issue at hand. This verse address the Prophet Muḥammad himself. It says:
We have spared you those who ridicule you” [15:95]
In essence, the Qur'an is telling us that when it specifically comes to the issue of mocking the Prophet [SAW], which is exactly the issue that we are dealing with today. Don't take matters in your own hands, rather, God will take care of those who mock the Prophet.
A Call to Respect the Sanctity of Faith Symbols
Lastly, another very interesting and very relevant verse to this discussion in the Qur'an says:
“Do not revile those they call on beside God, so they, in their hostility, revile God, without knowledge” [6:108]
The direct meaning of this verse is that reviling, insulting, or cursing the idols is prohibited because indirectly we are causing our God to be reviled, insulted or cursed. No matter how much we disagree with idol-worship, we cannot mock, insult, or curse idols, idolaters, or idol-worship. This verse is also teaching us that there are always consequences to our actions. Just like we hold our religious symbols very dear to our hearts and we consider them holy or untouchable, people of other faiths will feel the same towards their religious symbols, no matter how ridiculous those symbols may seem to us. Therefore, we should have mutual respect of religious symbols in order to live together in a civilized manner. At the least, we should, as they say, respectfully disagree.
09-19-2012, 05:01 PM
Forget about the theocratic argument --- Let us try to explain it through rational argument i.e., there are 1.2 billions Muslims in the world and 6 billions non-Muslims. There is no way the 1.2 billions Muslims can force or persuade the non-Muslims to show the same degree of reverence to the Prophet or other Muslim religious personalities as Muslms show.
So, what is the solution? I think the solution is to stay patient and cool and not to be provoked. Those people that are doing this are actually trying to show to the world how quickly can Muslim be provoked and turned violent ---and that, basically Islam is not peaceful religion ---And that Muslims are not peaceful people---
So why play into the hands of those that want to provoke and prove them correct?
09-19-2012, 05:14 PM
NO!! Not the moo moo!
Seriously, how does any of this end up being a cow's fault??? Why not just slaughter each other instead??
I am no bird, and no nest ensnares me.
non commercial would cost less if he was in charge himself which he plans on doing. right now it's n herat but soon it will be in qanadahar.
09-19-2012, 05:28 PM
I liked in this context a lot the words of the great Chechen Sufi Kishi KIant Kunt Haj:
War—it is savagery. Remove yourself from anything that hints of [reminds you of] war if the enemy hasn’t come to take away your faith and honor. Your strength is wisdom, patience, fairness. The enemy will not withstand this strength and sooner or later will admit his defeat. No one will have the strength to defeat you and your truth if you don’t turn away from the path of your faith—the Tariqah.
Brothers! Because of the constant wars we are catastrophically diminished in numbers. I do not believe in help from Turkey, that Turkish sultan wants to free and save us. He is the same despot as Russian tsar. Believe me: I saw this by my own eyes as well as covering by sharia despots from Arab countries. Further war is not pleasing God. If they order you to go to the church - go, it is only a building. If they order you to wear crosses - wear them, they only iron things. You would still be Muslims in your heart and soul. But if they would rape your women, force you to forget your culture and traditions, only then rebel and fight to the last man.
Defeat the evil man by your goodness and love
Defeat the greedy with your generosity
Defeat the treacherous with your sincerity
Defeat the infidel with your fidelity
09-19-2012, 08:21 PM
the issue is not merely the mockery, its the pouring salt on the wounds of western military intervention in muslim lands.
- Malcolm X
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09-19-2012, 09:33 PM
It is unfortunate that many sane-minded Westerners can also not grasp the fact that anti-West sentiment of Muslims is being generated by both these perceptions i.e., the perception that their lands are under an attack by the West coupled with the perception that their religion is also under attack.
I think if the West were in the same situation as Muslims are today, their reaction would also be the same if not far more violent. Imagine how would White Christians react in an economically weakened US if they perceive that they are not only no longer relevant in the world's political and economic order but Western values and way of life are also under attack.
I can only imagine a religio-race war. In such a war, Muslims will be the first target. And the assault would then extend to other races and followers of other religions e.g., Africans, Asians, South Asians, and in the end also I can envision Jews as well.
We are living in an unfortunate world.
09-19-2012, 09:40 PM
I also think that why the movie emerged at this point of time. Has it some thing to do with the coming US elections and is the act aimed at consolidating the right-wing vote and weaken Obama's position by showing to the world how is US engaged in a civilizational war and as to who are the true guardians of the Western civilization and interests?
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09-19-2012, 09:58 PM
under islamic imperialism, non-muslims WERE in this position. non-muslims don't want to be in that position again.
the extremist, who still want to behead people for blasphemy, are supposedly the minority and have come out of the closet, on this occasion. those moderate muslims, should also be glad that these potential dangers to your western safehaven, are being identified.
dhimmi were under the laws of muslim domination and were the slaves and underdogs.
09-19-2012, 10:19 PM
oh get out of here with the moderate/extremist stuff. as if only an "extremist" would be insulted by US/Euro military adventures in the last 100 years which have killed countless muslims and public mockery of the religion.
- Malcolm X
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