Assalaamu alaikum [peace be to you],
WARNING, LONG JOURNAL
To tell you the truth, This journal entry should not have been here in the first place. but because of the fact that some Muslim brothers and sisters may not always know how to react in a way that reflect their true intentions or aim, I feel the necessity to write something about this issue and express my personal opinion about it.
From time to time, we hear about some people making sick cartoons depicting a corrupted doodle of the last prophet of the God, Mohammed -peace and blessings be upon him-. sometimes we also hear of some movies made for the sole purpose to vilify Islam and insult the prophet. I am not going to discuss whether these people have right to express themselves in such a way or not. the subject was covered countless times and it is pointless to repeat. what I want to talk about is the Muslim reaction and how it should be.
Usually, when we hear of such things (movie, cartoon, book...) we hear of the reaction: riots and condemnations. sometimes we hear of some more aggressive and violent events (I am not going to discuss the credibility of these news). Anyway, as a reaction, we hear anger and feel an upset and furious mood from the Muslims.
We have to understand that the Muslims love and respect the prophet of the God -peace and blessings be upon him-. that is why, for the Muslim, insult him if you want. insult his parents. insult his family. insult his country if you want. but when it reaches the prophet of the God, that's a red line. there are no jokes about it. the Muslim understands what respect means. that's why you never find Muslims insulting religious symbols of other religions. we never see Muslims making ridiculous cartoons to laugh at religious leaders of other religions.
Anyway, I said earlier that we see different reactions from the Muslims. But are such reactions acceptable? do these reactions help and change something? the question everyone should be asking before doing anything is: will my action bring me what I want?
for example, if millions of people wanted to make a riot to express their anger and condemnation of a cartoon or film, do these riots bring the rioters what they asked for? in this case, they generally ask the non-Muslim authors, newspapers or publishers to remove the cartoon and apologize. as if it's gonna happen. come on, wake up and stop daydreaming. no one is gonna apologize to a weakling. Fact: Muslims in this age happen to be weak. and some of the non-Muslim nations acquired power. These nations rule with their own laws. they do not care if representing Mohammed -peace be upon him- is offensive to Muslims. so they are not going to apologize. someone has to see things correctly and avoid delusions and pointless reactions that will often result in a waste of time and effort. if you dream of an apology, you won't get it. full stop.
If you ask them to take down the cartoons or whatever they have done, they are not gonna do it, because in their law, it is their right to insult you and they don't give a damn about it. you have no power to force them to follow your law so don't seek unreachable goals.
Do not ask for things that you can not get.
someone may say, "but we want them to hear our voice and know our opinion!"
well, isn't this what the scholars and imams do? I believe every time there is a cartoon or a movie, many religious leaders condemn them and express the Muslim stance on such things. why do you think a riot is needed for that?
Burning any non-Muslim building or attacking any citizen from that non-Muslim country is a very wrong move. in fact, it is the worst move a person calling themselves a Muslim could do. first, Attacking the innocent is not allowed in Islam. second, such violence will only give credibility to the lies against Islam and make them more believable. the authors of these cartoons and movies claim that Islam is evil and they expect Muslims to show an evil face in order to make them look credible and truthful. Any violent response is going to do nothing but prove these people to be right. so such violent reactions should be out of the question.
Muslims should ask themselves: What do we want?
Let's us think rationally. the people who made these cartoons and movies have bad image about Islam. they might have dealt with bad Muslims before, or they might have been fed twisted and false information about Islam. they became propagators of these lies. they consider freedom of expression their right and they are making use of it in order to spread their version of "truth".
What the Muslims have to do is counter this propaganda with the best and more effective weapon. they have to be propagators of the truth.
Since we are in an Art community, I am going to give an art-related example: if when hearing of a new ugly anti-Islamic cartoon, if every good Muslim artist used his art skills or genuine writing or design talent to make something to defend Islam, do you really think that the anti-Islamic cartoon can find its place in internet among the big flood of good Islamic art? certainly not.
know that when you react in a stupid way, you are giving these people what they want: fame. they wanted to become famous, and they want to use your back and face to climb. sadly, many Muslims fell into their trap.
Be aware that the best way to deal with a barking dog is to ignore it. not to bark with it. the best way to deal with these people is also to ignore them, as if they never existed. but do not just ignore them, sit and do nothing. you have to work and fight for your cause, do effort to counter their plan. and in sha'Allah, you will see amazing results.
We are in an information age. an age where the one who controls information controls people's minds. therefore, Muslims must be knowledgeable in their religion, and contribute in this world of information and spread what they believe is the truth. like this, the non-Muslim reader or viewer will be able to hear both sides, and can choose, based on their personal conviction, who is telling the truth. and believe me, when truth and lie are presented to an open minded person, truth will prevail.
the next time you hear of an anti-Islamic thing, be sure to make a smart Islamic counter-attack move. this is how you contribute to Islam positively. As for the authors of these cartoons and movies, pray for them and ask the Almighty God to guide them and remove hate from their hearts. that's the best thing you offer them.
I hope this was beneficial
If I am right, it is from the God. if I am wrong, it is from myself.