Ibnu Hashim
According to the alliance of Western Liberals and some of the ‘Moslem’ Moderates: the Muslims should confine themselves to peaceful demonstrations, regardless of the level of abuse hurled at them, because, the secular West is licensed to abuse, and their agents are armed with the deadly weapon of - freedom of expression. Remember, how Bush and Blair constantly talked about exporting this freedom to Iraq. No wonder they had to use brute force, as no sane persons will willingly submit to an idea that gives others an open license to hurl insults at them. Those who resisted ended up in places like, Abu-Ghraib. The recent publishing of the diabolical and sickening pictures from Abu-Ghraib reconfirmed the freedom-inquisition; they were forced to taste the freedom culture, as they did not convert willingly.

Flemming Rose, the cultural editor of Jyllands-Posten (JP) also corroborates that same position, the West is licensed to abuse under the pretext of freedom of expression, he said: “In a secular society, Muslims have to live with the fact of being ridiculed, scoffed at and made to look ridiculous.” But why only the Muslims, why not ridicule, scoff and abuse other communities by applying the same principle of freedom of expression. Will JP and their supporters, dare print derogatory cartoons about the Blacks, Jews, Asians, Irish, Holocaust victims, the disabled, the mentally handicapped etc? Unlikely, as they have already refused to publish pictures that offend Christians and Jews.

It seems the West considers only the Muslims to be suitable for target practice, using their weapon of freedom of expression; certainly it is very fashionable to show allegiance to this war on ‘terror’ (Islam), by engaging in such acts. But, can the Muslims also freely exercise their freedom of expression, using the West as the target? Of course they cannot, the secular West argue that issuing fatwas (not that one is required in this case as the Islamic verdict is obvious) and calling for retaliation (Jihad) is incitement to violence. It is hypocrisy to turn a blind eye to the initial provocation whilst lecturing the victims of free speech, about inciting violence.

If inciting violence contravenes freedom of expression (free speech), then let us remember, it was the West that used free speech dishonestly (as they lied) to incite the attack on Iraq; the WMD-lies coupled with the complicit media cover-up led to the murdering of 100,000 plus civilians. This incitement to violence continues against Syria, Iran and other opponents. There are extreme right-wing personalities and groups that are openly calling for violence against Muslims, remember that demonisation always precedes genocide. Now, we are expected to accept glorification of imperialistic wars but not ‘terrorism’ (legitimate resistance), meaning, they can incite and inflict violence, while we must only resort to peaceful protests. Concisely, ‘free’ speech for Muslims is like what Henry Ford said: "You can have a car any colour you like as long as it is black”.

Leaving aside Western hypocrisy, it is about time that Muslims recognise their share of insulting the Prophet (SAW), by proactively flouting and mocking the Islamic laws and values. Here we are particularly referring to the governments, as opposed to the individuals, because it is the state that has the power to shape society by implementing Islamic laws and values. To build their Islamic credentials amongst the masses, the Saudis and Libyans recalled their ambassadors over the Danish cartoon incident. If the reason was genuine, then they would have also reacted in a similar manner against the US, which has printed similar offensive materials, not to mention the constant foul mouthing from its fanatical TV-evangelists and other personalities like the modern day Julius Streicher, Daniel Pipes. He is a pro-Zionist Jew that operates under the cloak of his American identity. Daniel Pipes has a pipe dream of annihilating the Muslims, like it was done to the Native Americans. He certainly can exercise his free speech to do that, none of that constitutes incitement to violence!

Where was voice of the Saudi governments in condemning Abu-Ghraib, Fallujah and the use of chemical weapons against Iraqis? While challenging tiny Denmark, it continues to cooperate with the US in shedding the blood of the Muslims. For decades, the Saudis and other Arab regimes helped the US to kill over 500,000 Iraqi children by aiding the economic sanctions. This is the real insult to the Prophet (SAW), as He said the blood of the Muslims is more precious than the Kaba (Mosque in Makkah) and its surrounding.

Inside Saudi Arabia, the non-Saudi Muslims are subjected to overt racism, especially those from the poorer parts of the Muslim world; all this clearly defiles the teachings of the Prophet (SAW). The wealthy, sheikhs and rulers donate money to the ‘poor’ West whilst at home they build more palaces, shopping complexes and hotels to promote prostitution in the guise of tourism. After this, they give out some small change to the Islamic movements and government scholars to pacify their voices, but nobody can silence the voices of the mothers and children crying for food and security from Timbuktu to Kashmir to Bandar Ache. Another example of mocking the Islamic laws is the Turkish government forbidding Muslim women from wearing the Khimar (Head scarf). What an irony to see the leader of Turkey praying to that same God (Creator) after the earthquake and after flouting the laws of that same God (Creator).

Many of the moderates are perplexed by the passionate response from the Muslims and they are embarrassed by the protests. The explanation is simple, if you love something, you will feel passionate when it is violated. If you love your parents you will feel passionate about them getting insulted. Likewise, one will feel passionate about the violation of the honour of the Prophet (SAW), if one really loves the Prophet (SAW). In the UK, the moderates lined up to condemn the demonstration organised by the former members of Al-Muhajiroun, even before they condemned the Danish cartoons. Their brain cells did not register, that they could have used the media’s outrage at the demonstration to make the pertinent point about offending other people, under the guise of free speech.
We may differ with some of the placards in any demonstration but that is irrelevant, instead they should have pointed out that they are also exercising their right of free speech. Even some non-Muslims fully supported their rights to demonstrate, under the same banner of free speech. If the moderates had the courage they could have even gone on the offensive by citing the numerous offensive placards and adverts portraying crass nudity around us day and night. But then, if they could do that, they would not be moderates in the first place!

Selling out other Muslims labelled as radicals has always been the fastest response from the moderates, thinking that it would save them from the wrath of the West. Well, the Danish cartoonists were not provoked by radical Muslims nor were the cartoons aimed exclusive at radicals. They attacked the core values of Islam, therefore aimed to attack all Muslims, moderate and radicals alike. Have the moderates already forgotten that, the Serbs never distinguished between the radical and moderates in Bosnia, nor does the Israelis or the US forces in Iraq.

Let us remind the moderates of an old story, a wolf approached a herd of cows, the moderate black cows requested the wolf to prey on the extremist white cows. When there were no white cows left, the wolf came looking for the black cows. The black cows signed their death warrant the day they sold their brothers to the wolf, as opposed to take a unified stance against the wolf. Remember, the Muslim rulers in Spain who behaved in a similar by aligning with the Christians, they ultimately suffered the same fate as the black cows. Only a fool would fail to see the common thread running between the Danish cartoons, Abu-Ghraib, Camp-X-ray, Massacre in Fallujah – it is a war on Islam. What was the motivation behind the Danish paper to publish those materials other than an extension of the war on terror?

One of the demonstrators in Pakistan said: “we do not allow defamation of any prophet or any religion”. This is a real example of mutual tolerance, and really sums up the feelings of the Muslims. For sure, it is cowardly, obscene and undignified by any standards, to abuse a man who is dead and therefore, unable to respond. The Muslims must resist going down on their four limbs by hurling similar types of insults, such actions would be ineffective anyway, as those without any shame, honour and dignity cannot be insulted.

Yamin Zakaria
London, UK
Copyright © 2006 by Yamin Zakaria
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