the past few weeks, we have witnessed many
sad events, chief amongst them being the
printing and subsequent re-printing of the
distasteful, rude, provocative, disrespectful
cartoons of our beloved Prophet Muhammad
(peace be upon him).
I, along with the overwhelming
majority of Muslims, have been appalled
and offended by the printing and re-printing
of these cartoons. Yes, we are for freedom
of speech, and God knows we need it in many
parts of the world, but freedom of speech
entails sound judgement and responsibility.
For Muslims, loving
Muhammad (peace be upon him) is an act of
worship. Indeed, we strive to love our Prophet
more than our parents and even ourselves.
If you ask any Muslim anywhere in the world,
'What do you think of Muhammad?' you will
find that all Muslims will express their
unconditional love and reverence for Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him) and will feel
deeply offended by anything disrespectful
or slanderous said about him.
Accepting or denying
God is one thing (which is a matter of personal
belief and choice) but any attack on Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him) is a direct
attack on all Muslims.
I must also add that
I have been deeply saddened and shocked
by the manner in which some Muslims have
reacted to this issue. Using violence and
arson, inciting hatred, and glorifying the
killing of innocent civilians do not only
go against the essential teachings of our
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), but
are also unacceptable to all human beings.
Though we may get emotional
by such offensive depictions of our beloved
Prophet, this can never justify reacting
in such a manner. We must intelligently
and wisely express our indignation in peaceful
but effective ways.I commend the mature
way this issue has been handled so far in
the UK by the government and the majority
of the British media. We should work hard
to see social cohesion, co-existence, and
harmony reign in societies.
Finally, I believe
that the anger we all have is justified
and understandable. However, let's channel
our anger towards educating and removing
mis-conceptions, towards becoming more proactive
and really showing our friends, neighbours,
colleagues, and society at large who our
Prophet (peace be upon him) really was.
We need to show the beauty of his message
and teachings - a message of mutual respect
and tolerance, love and compassion, truth
and justice, human brotherhood and equality.
and/or opinions expressed on this page may
or may not represent those held by Awakening,
Awakening's personnel or related divisions.
Views and/or opinions displayed here represent
those of Sami Yusuf at the time of publication.