Muslim Public Reaction to US Profanity
Alam Rind


It is not for the first time that Blasphemous material may that is in shape of cartoons, film or any other form has been published by western sources. Latest episode is up loading of blasphemous video by a US group about The Holy Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him (PBUH). This soiled act was committed on the eve of 11th anniversary of 9/11. The event has globally infuriated Muslims and protests are being conducted in almost every part of the Muslim world.

There is no denying that the event needs to be condemned with full force. But the pattern of such events indicates that there are deeper designs to such undertakings. It brings to light certain important issues to include the innate hate that certain segments may have towards Islam, the refuge that their governments take behind the notion of freedom of speech, a move towards manifestation of clash of civilizations and lastly to dilute love of Muslims for their prophet, Islamic injunctions and other holy personalities. This well thought out activity by mostly Christian quarters needs to be responded firmly.
It is on regular intervals that European and American quarters have started discrediting Islam and our beloved prophet. In recent past a mosque was burned in Missouri and an acid bomb was thrown at an Islamic school in Illinois USA. A French weekly is likely to publish cartoons caricaturing the holy prophet that would further enrage Muslims across the world. Such activities besides conveying their disrespect for the prophet also highlight their differences with Islam. They resort to sacrilegious activities, instead of engaging in a meaningful dialogue with the Muslim world. That certainly is a negative way of expressing disapproval for certain personalities and ideas. That in fact reflects on their intellectual bankruptcy. To counter such undertakings it is important for Muslims to engage Christian world in a sustained dialogue. In any case Islam is the fastest growing religion and far stronger ideology than any other religion. Such an exercise will increase their awareness about Islam and help fostering better relations between the two communities. It will also thaw the impact of hardliners among their lines.
The so called developed and advanced nations need to revisit the notion of freedom of expression. According to internationally accepted norms you donít say or do anything that may hurt somebodyís feelings. But what we see is that a small minority is out there to create divide between two largest communities of the world. Their governments under the garb of freedom of expression are protecting such heedless individuals and groups. That implies that these groups have tacit approval of their governments. So these activities are with a purpose. That could be to induce anger among Muslims to draw retaliation so as to create excuse for subsequent punitive action or to lower the reverence for Profit and Islam among Muslims. It would be exceptionally difficult to take out or to reduce respect for prophet from the hearts of the Muslims. In fact more they try to defame prophet more respect Muslims will have for him.
The manifestation of the possibility that is to create excuse for punitive action and maybe to control Muslim lands can be seen in American threat to protect its embassies by force and at all cost. Such an attitude will deepen the divide between Muslims and Christians. In that case one can conclude that certain groups in connivance with their governments are trying to push the world towards the realization of the theory of clash of civilizations. Such a mindset canít be totally ruled out because Muslims are weak, divided, and underdeveloped and thus can be easily subjugated. But undertaking of such a venture wonít be without cost and for sure developed world will have to pay more dearly than the developing world.
Muslims must respond to this situation. But it must be kept in mind that if we burn our own properties that wonít bother them. In fact they will laugh at us. So we have to choose pragmatic ways to convey out disapproval of their acts. The best would be to talk to them, convey our feelings and insist that such activities donít take place in future. At intellectual level engage in dialogue between religions and civilizations. For the purpose different forums at UN, OIC and even private level can be created. An intense debate will help in understanding each other and will promote tolerance. If people take to streets and get their protest registered that would be absolutely in order but making a violent protest would be hurting our own selves and should be avoided. It is the task of government of Pakistan to reach out to OIC and heads of states of other Muslim countries to put up a united response to quell this evil.