Allow me, my friends to digress from our bible study and add my two cents to the tensions in the Arab world following the screening and distribution on YouTube of a low-budget, badly acted clip of a badly done movie that has resulted as of last count the death of the American ambassador to Libya,
A protester reacts as the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is seen in flames. I need convincing that this in any way portrays peace!
embassy staff and at least 12 or more people from around the globe. In most places the embers have stopped but in others there are still war cries from all over the place. Most Muslims and non-Muslims have been quick to assert that these are actions of only a minority of the Muslims and thereby do not represent Islam, but other than the denouncing of these acts by the supreme leader from Saudi Arabia, most of the Muslim leaders have remained conspicuously quiet on the issue that can only be construed to mean one thing; they are complicit!
The verse below is an extract from the Qur’an, where the Muslim faithful is told explicitly that there is no greater sin than stopping people from believing in Allah, and there is no problem with doing anything abhorrent as long as it serves the course of Islam. It establishes here that if anything serves Islam it is good and if it doesn’t it is evil. This verse is written after the Muslims raiders had violated a sacred principle in the period of antagonism between idols in Ka’ba and Quraysh trading centres and the incessant raids muslims claim were led by their prophet and on being questioned about the violation of the sacred practice this is his response,
They ask you about the sacred month – about fighting therein. Say, “Fighting therein is great [sin], but averting [people] from the way of Allah and disbelief in Him and [preventing access to] al-Masjid al-Haram and the expulsion of its people therefrom are greater [evil] in the sight of Allah . And fitnah is greater than killing.” And they will continue to fight you until they turn you back from your religion if they are able. And whoever of you reverts from his religion [to disbelief] and dies while he is a disbeliever – for those, their deeds have become worthless in this world and the Hereafter, and those are the companions of the Fire, they will abide therein eternally.
Surat Al Baqarah 2:217
no wonder the muslims in Egypt, Libya, Sudan and elsewhere find no qualms with taking lives. If this is what religion teaches, then by all means we must remove it from the public sphere!
Many more qualified commentators on the issue of the apparent propensity of Muslims to go on rampage whenever an image of the prophet they don’t like appears somewhere, have opined that we must continue to offend them till such a time that they will come to the realization that violence is not a solution. The muslim must realize, his faith prohibits him/her from depicting Mohammed in any form, but that prohibition does not apply to those who do not subscribe to their faith. When Dan Brown wrote the Da Vinci Code, which was later adapted to a movie, I have no recollection of anyone being killed for it except the book and movie being banned in several places [though am not sure it stopped anyone interested from watching or reading the book]. Am not giving anyone a license to go out of their way to look for disaster, but that Islam must be ridiculed and criticized just as other world religions are or else we suffer the risk of being gagged on what we can say, draw or think about their faith and this is fundamentally a suppression of freedom of speech which most of u cherish.
The Muslim has an option if faced with such depictions about Islam to walk away from it. Nobody forces them to watch the movie or see the cartoon, why can’t they just roll their eyes and move on? Is that too much to ask of them?
Am going to need a lot of convincing that Islam is a religion of peace!
The end of my rant!