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Impertinent Cartoons.

Reader comment on item: Cartoons and Islamic Imperialism

Submitted by lubna el syed (Egypt), Feb 21, 2006 at 10:18

I am an Egyptian Muslim who as more than a billion Muslims all over the world been profoundly shocked by the abominable and repugnant cartoons insulting our religion and Prophet, initiated in Denmark and further aggravated in other European countries under the notion of freedom of speech .This is viewed as an unacceptable and irresponsible atrocity and certainly doesn't befit a civilized society.

We respect your claimed freedom of speech. But we also believe that this freedom is confined within an ethical threshold that doesn't touch people's beliefs and rights. We respect our Prophet Mohamed (Peace Be Upon Him) and are willing to give away our lives just for his sake. He's not merely a historical character but he's entrenched deeply in our souls yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever and no one can take that sincere feeling away from us. He's the most merciful and peaceful creature God created and we as human beings must be proud that such a person was born onto this Earth.

This isn't just an insult to Muslims alone but to humanity in general. What gives anyone the right to undermine and mock our religious most sacred symbol? Before darting and firing insults ,your freedom of speech dictates that you should read about the issue you want to discuss, mock or whatever and then talk about it .What is your base for this aggression which if it proved anything proves superficiality ,ignorance and belittling of values? As well as in my view an anxiety that Islam is finding its way into the hearts of many individuals voluntarily worldwide? We believe in God's messengers and can never dream to undertake such impudent action against your beliefs and religion.
Even if the western world decides to insult their most sacred symbols e.g. Prophet Moses, Christ, and the Virgin Mary we would not be in accordance with such action because we believe in those symbols and would object severely to insulting and demeaning them.

I suggest you read the American Writer's Michael Hart's book on the 100 most influential characters in history of whom Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) (in the writer's own words) is the greatest character. He is the most merciful, peaceful, purest person ever born .He is a religious, political, military, economic and much more leader. He invented the concept of democracy which the western world boasts but unfortunately knows scarcely anything about. I challenge any character in history to have more than one talent but the Prophet is a perfect human in which all the constructive and ethical traits and talents combine wonderfully and this is why he is our preacher and humanity's entire preacher. I am sure if you people read about him you'll learn more than you could ever imagine.

He was never a terrorist or a dictator. He always took the opinions of his followers and agreed to the majority's opinion. He never hurt an elderly person, woman, child animal or plant. He was patient and never was angry and most importantly never told a lie.. He never started aggression, he only defended his beliefs and nothing not all the treasures of the world could move him away from his strong faith in God. He was sent to all of us to spread his values and to bring us close to our inner truth, to purity and away from all the worldly sins and materialism. He was chaste and promoted this virtue. He first married at 25 to a lady (Saida Khadeeja) who was 15 years his senior and after she died he remained unmarried for 2 years after which the rest of his marriages were for Islam's purpose e.g. an old lady (Sayeda Sawda) had lost her husband at war and had no support. Where is the lust here? If you are interested to know more definitely you'll find other respectable sources.

I don't need to defend my beliefs nor am I finding excuses for being a Muslim. I am proud to the very cell of my religion and heritage and would never make any concessions involving them.

I think the offending cartoons being published and insisted upon and further the backup received from various European countries and America is an indisputable presentation of terrorism, prejudice and racism. If it promotes, anything then its enmity and a dilemma that is ever widening.

-When the Buddha statue was bought down didn't this cause disdain and protests in the western world?
- Could anybody question the holocaust ever took place?
-And what about Garrudi when he just implied that the holocaust never occurred and if it did the number of Jews burnt in gas chambers wasn't as huge as reported? Wasn't he brought to trial and again protests were supported diligently in your media?
-So why when it comes to Islam we can't find those same defending arguments?
-Why don't we demand Italy and Germany to clean the Eastern desert in Egypt of all the land mines buried there since World War II and killing innocent people up to this day? Isn't that uncultivated land a source of economic depression for our country?
-Why doesn't anybody ever question the nuclear bombs thrust heartlessly at Hiroshima and Nagasaki and killing thousands of innocent people? Even the American soldiers that executed this operation received extensive psychiatric treatment.
-Why do we respect German civilization and technological advances and not connect it to Nazism and to Germany's history? Because we are objective, something you must learn. We read and then discuss and filter the positive elements, unlike you.
- Why is the historian David Irving being put on trial in Austria nowadays and actually sentenced to 3 years imprisonment because he dared question the holocaust ever took place although he cited this expression 16 years ago ??!! Isn't there some connection with timing and the recent appalling cartoon uproar?
-Why does Ms. Karen Hughes appear on Jazeera TV saying we want to ‘share' a good life with the Palestenians but we can't support Hamas as it is a terrorist group. However Hamas came to power as a result of democratic elections and although America supposedly respects democratic values it will not support them. So when Palestenians defend their land which is rightly theirs and abstain from acknowledging Israel they are considered terrorists ??!! ...Why don't you take Jews back to Europe where they belong, where the majority lived before they were given what is not theirs by Balfour? Or doesn't the western world dare do that? Isn't there some sort of political duplicity here? 2 measures of freedom?!

Who ever accused Islam of intolerance of other religions? We are compelled in Islam to believe in Moses and Christ and would not agree to any such mockery to them. How would you feel if any Muslim made fun of Moses or Christ?

Allow me to cite a few of examples on tolerance:

-When Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) was discriminated against wildly by the Quarishites' non-believers in Mecca , he was ordered by God to leave to Al Madina in order to practice his religion in a safe peaceful environment. His guide in the desert was a non-believer; an atheist. He didn't kill him afterwards because he believed in freedom of religion.
- Even before Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) immigrated, Muslims in Mecca were being subjected to great torture by the non-believers, so the Prophet allowed them to immigrate to Al Habasha (now known as Yemen) "where there is a fair Christian King ". He knew the king would treat them fairly and allow them to live peacefully, because he believes in God too.
-When the Prophet left to Madina and some other Muslims were still in Mecca (for several reasons e.g. they didn't have enough money to travel or they had relatives they didn't want to leave behind); he never encouraged a revolution in Mecca because he believed in a country's security and he promoted peace and never wanted to cause any inner state problems. He respected citizenship, solidarity, cohesion and loyalty to one's country.
-When the Prophet was forced into wars with atheists as they wouldn't stop torturing Muslims, he was told by his followers to curse these atheists but he wouldn't .His reason being that maybe someday these atheists' children would be Muslims and spread Islam.
-Even at the peaceful Conquest of Mecca, the corollary of Al Hudaibiya Treaty, the Prophet's followers were rejoicing that finally they would be able to take revenge of those who killed their loved ones during years of war, however the Prophet announced that this day was a day of mercy; and a bloodbath was tactfully avoided.
- There existed a non follower who used to throw rubbish daily in front of the Prophet's door step. However he was bed ridded for a few days and the Prophet wondered what happened to him so he paid him a visit at his home asking about his health. The man couldn't believe this generous act and converted to Islam immediately. This is how our Prophet repaid evil and wrong doings.

I challenge you for a superior example for mercy and patience. I am sure you won't find any better than Prophet Mohamed (PBUH).

So why do you always trace back extremism to our Prophet? He is innocent of such extremism? Did it ever occur to you why so many Muslims are outraged for Prophet Mohamed? Definitely he was not an evil vicious tyrant. If you only read about him you'll know how wrong you are.
-Have you ever wondered why we stick to our religion and beliefs as such? Why we believe in God and all his messengers?
-Have you ever thought about all the gifts God has given you even if some of them are taken for granted such as sight, hearing, walking, eating whatever you want etc and thanked God He hasn't deprived you of such things?
-Have you ever looked up to a sky in at dawn or at dusk and wondered Who but God is able to mix those magnificent hues of rose, purple, blue, orange and misty green that no paintbrush can ever bring out so perfectly and thanked Him for bestowing you with the eye sight to view this lovely scene?
-Have you ever thanked God for putting food on your table while others are dying of hunger and thirst everyday? And don't tell me you worked hard to earn that food. Who gave you the health and strength to earn money to buy food? No- one but God.
-Have you ever wondered why Muslim women and girls go around covered totally in their Islamic dress codes? Do you think this is demeaning to women? Do you think that they are being treated as sub humans in their own countries? Quite the contrary: Women are viewed as fragile, precious beings like diamonds that you keep in velvet in order to protect them from weak sinful people. Besides, women have been given more rights under Islam long before the western world allowed it for their women.
-Have you ever wondered when two people commit adultery why Islam stipulates four witnesses to this incident? Because Islam gives chances for repenting and no human being is ever disgraced at the first time of sin but are given several chances to realize their mistake. This is not because Islam is lenient with such crimes but because it is tolerant and promotes society's cohesiveness. Of course if those who commit murder, stealing, do not step back form wrong doing eventually they will be punished for it.
-Have you ever heard of the American astronauts who on landing on the moon found that it was split? This was mentioned in the Quran over 14 centuries ago; not because it's a prophecy but because The Creator knows everything about the universe He created and brought these truths onto us via our beloved Prophet.
-Other technological advances such as the elevator have also been mentioned in the Quran and definitely the Prophet was neither fortune teller nor an engineer nor was an astrologer.He much more.
-Don't you know that the stars you see in a velvet sky at night are really past locations of those stars? You can't look directly at a star it's bright as the sun. This too is mentioned in the Quran.
I could go on like this writing down examples forever.

-Have you ever wondered why we love our Prophet so much even without seeing him? Isn't that the noblest type of love?
Answer: We are able to integrate the remaining 4 senses in order to revive the teachings of our Prophet every day:
Touch: When reading the Quran and holding it with our hands, going through the verses that were first spoken by the Prophet….I can almost hear him
Hearing: When we hear the Muezzin beckon people for prayer five times a day , the same beckoning the Prophet hear more than 14 centuries ago ,you can almost feel him praying next to you and sense his existence.
Taste: Islam gives a new taste to life. We abstain from sins and wrong doing in an effort to please God. Whenever we are faced by a seemingly unsolvable dilemma we just ask for God's help through sincere prayer and remember our Prophet's teachings and what he would do in such situations.
Smell: When Muslims reinforce the great virtues of Islam and spread these strong principles e.g. help the needy , the sick, the distressed, the poor and orphans ,perform their jobs diligently, abstain from cheating, drukeness, adultery, stealing,lying,condescension, hurting others even by a harsh word; they in effect spread perfume into the world.
So as you see there is a harmonious integration of all our senses that bring us closer to our religion every moment of our lives.

I would however like to cite to you a few sayings from westerners and Non-Muslims about our beloved Prophet:

Michael Hart , American Author of ‘The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History' said: "My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular level."

2. Annie Besant, wrote in ‘The Life and Teachings of Muhammad' : "It is impossible for anyone who studies the personality of the great Prophet of the Arabs, and come to know how this prophet he used to live, and how he taught the people, but to feel respect towards this honorable prophet; one of the great messengers whom Allaah sent"

3. The British philosopher, Thomas Carlyle, who won the Nobel Prize for his book ‘The Heroes' wrote: "It is a great shame for any one to listen to the accusation that Islam is a lie and that Muhammad was a fabricator and a deceiver. We saw that he remained steadfast upon his principles, with firm determination; kind and generous…"

4. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the German writer said: "Us, Europeans, with all our concepts could not reach what Muhammad has reached, and no one will be able to precede him. Indeed, Muhammad succeeded to subdue the entire world to monotheism".
" The Encyclopedia Britannica calls him "the most successful of all religious personalities of the world."
Bernard Shaw said, "if Muhammad (pbuh) were alive today, he would succeed in solving all those problems which threaten to destroy human civilization in our times."
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW also said about him:
"He must be called the Saviour of Humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it much needed peace and happiness."
(The Genuine Islam, Singapore, Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936)

"Not so this man Muhammad (PBUH). Not only was he born in the fullest blaze of recorded history, but every detail of his private and public life, of his actions and utterances, has been accurately documented and faithfully preserved to our day. The authenticity of the information so preserved is vouched for not only by faithful followers but also by unbiased critics and open-minded scholars."
The Prophet's dying words were "We the community of the Prophets are not inherited. Whatever we leave is for charity."
Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult without images; the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?"
Lamartine, HISTOIRE DE LA TURQUIE, Paris, 1854, Vol. II, pp. 276-277.

LAMARTINE, the renowned historian speaking on the essentials of human greatness wonders"If greatness of purpose, smallness of means and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislation, empires, peoples and dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and souls....his forbearance in victory, his ambition, which was entirely devoted to one idea and in no manner striving for an empire; his endless prayers, his mystic conversations with God, his death and his triumph after death; all these attest not to an imposture but to a firm conviction which gave him the power to restore a dogma. This dogma was two-fold, the unity of God and the immateriality of God; the former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with the words."

"In all things Muhammad was profoundly practical. When his beloved son Ibrahim died, an eclipse occurred, and rumours of God's personal condolence quickly arose. Whereupon Muhammad is said to have announced, "An eclipse is a phenomenon of nature. It is foolish to attribute such things to the death or birth of a human being." "At Muhammad's own death an attempt was made to deify him, but the man who was to become his administrative successor killed the hysteria with one of the noblest speeches in religious history: "If there are any among you who worshipped Muhammad, he is dead. But if it is God you worshipped, He lives forever."
James A. Michener, "ISLAM: THE MISUNDERSTOOD RELIGION," in READER'S DIGEST (American edition), May 1955, pp. 68-70.
"Muhammad, the inspired man who founded Islam, was born about A.D. 570 into an Arabian tribe that worshipped idols. Orphaned at birth, he was always particularly solicitous of the poor and needy, the widow and the orphan, the slave and the downtrodden. At twenty, he was already a successful businessman, and soon became director of camel caravans for a wealthy widow. When he reached twenty-five, his employer, recognizing his merit, proposed marriage. Even though she was fifteen years older, he married her, and as long as she lived, remained a devoted husband."
Muhammad (PBUH) was born in Arabia in 570 CE, and when he died at the age of 63, the whole of the Arabian Peninsula had changes from paganism and idol worship to the worship of One God; from tribal quarrels and wars to national solidarity and cohesion; from drunkenness and debauchery to sobriety and piety; from lawlessness and anarchy to disciplined living; from utter moral bankruptcy to the highest standards of moral excellence. Human history has never known such a complete transformation of a people or a place before or since.
Muhammad (PBUH) was a religious teacher, a social reformer, a moral guide, an administrative colossus, a faithful friend, a wonderful companion, a devoted husband, a loving father - all in one. No other man in history ever excelled or equaled him in any of these different aspects of life - but it was only for the selfless personality of Muhammad (PBUH) to achieve such incredible perfections.
Not so this man. Muhammad (PBUH) accomplished so much in such diverse fields of human thought and behavior in the fullest blaze of human history. Every detail of his private life and public utterances has been accurately documented and faithfully preserved to our day. The authenticity of the record so preserved are vouched for not only by the faithful followers but even by his prejudiced critics.
MAHATMA GANDHI, speaking on the character of Muhammad, (pbuh) says in (YOUNG INDIA):
"I wanted to know the best of one who holds today's undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind....I became more than convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for his pledges, his intense devotion to this friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the 2nd volume (of the Prophet's biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of the great life."

THOMAS CARLYLE in his (HEROES AND HEROWORSHIP), was simply amazed as to:
"How one man single-handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades." Napoleon and Gandhi never tired of dreaming of a society along the lines established by this man in Arabia fourteen centuries ago."

Muhammad was the soul of kindness and his influence was felt and never forgotten by those around him."
(D.C. Sharma, THE PROPHETS OF THE EAST, Calcutta, 1935, pp. 12)

"Muhammad (PBUH) was nothing more or less than a human being. But he was a man with a noble mission, which was to unite humanity on the worship of One and Only One God and to teach them the way to honest and upright living based on the commands of God. He always described himself as, "A Servant and Messenger of God," and so indeed every action of his proclaimed to be. "
Speaking on the aspect of equality before God in Islam, the famous poetess of India, SAROJINI NAIDU says:
"It was the first religion that preached and practiced democracy; for, in the mosque, when the call for prayer is sounded and worshippers are gathered together, the democracy of Islam is embodied five times a day when the peasant and king kneel side by side and proclaim: 'God Alone is Great'... I have been struck over and over again by this indivisible unity of Islam that makes man instinctively a brother."
(S. Naidu, IDEALS OF ISLAM, vide Speeches & Writings, Madras, 1918, p. 169)
In the words of PROF. HURGRONJE: "The league of nations founded by the prophet of Islam put the principle of international unity and human brotherhood on such universal foundations as to show candle to other nations." He continues: "The fact is that no nation of the world can show a parallel to what Islam has done towards the realization of the idea of the League of Nations."
K. S. RAMAKRISHNA RAO, an Indian Professor of Philosophy in his booklet, ("Muhammad, The Prophet of Islam,") calls him the "Perfect model for human life."
Prof. Ramakrishna Rao explains his point by saying: The personality of Muhammad, it is most difficult to get into the whole truth of it. Only a glimpse of it I can catch. What a dramatic succession of picturesque scenes! There is Muhammad, the Prophet. There is Muhammad, the Warrior; Muhammad, the Businessman; Muhammad, the Statesman; Muhammad, the Orator; Muhammad, the Reformer; Muhammad, the Refuge of Orphans; Muhammad, the Protector of Slaves; Muhammad, the Emancipator of Women; Muhammad, the Judge; Muhammad, the Saint. All in all these magnificent roles, in all these departments of human activities, he is alike a hero."
(Source of sayings: www.Muhammad.net)
You can view more on Islam at www.islam-guide.com
All what is cited above doesn't come close to giving credit to our Prophet Mohamed (Peace be Upon Him) who saved humanity from eminent loss and darkness.

I am wondering are human rights a privilege reserved only for the western world? And the rest of us can't have a taste of it?

Something must be done to stop this clash between our worlds much as I wish for these differences to melt but we cannot ignore them under the current circumstances. You must stop calling us extremists and terrorists and start looking at where you went wrong. It's strength to admit your mistakes: humans are not angels. We are peaceful people and the western world has catalyzed such actions from us because you don't understand religious values or don't give them enough importance; whereas we derive our strength from religion. It's the air we breathe. Your people must be educated about respect of others' beliefs. We're not asking for the impossible. You might not be a follower but you must stop calling us extremists, terrorists and barbarians .You can't continue hurting people's feelings and their religious beliefs and expect serenity and submission.
Four letters of the word "Islam" mean peace. We are at peace with ourselves and promote peace. Terrorists are of different religions and they are exceptions to Islam. They are not true followers.

If you have anything against a minute slice of Muslims or how they act, on what grounds do you accuse the Prophet? I really don't see a connection... In my view Islam is like a shiny white sheet of paper and extremists are similar to a black blotch or smear contrasting clearly with the white background.. However small it is, it stands out to the world sending the wrong signals about Islam. These extremists are not true Muslims. Extremists anywhere strive to destroy nations and their peoples. But I know that you MUST CEASE MOCKING OUR RELIGION, OUR PROPHET AND OUR BELIEFS. Any further insults and humiliation will just cause further disdain and hatred. Do not allow what some extremist, Zionist politicians lead you on to replacing the old Cold War with the ex Soviet Union for a new cold war with Islam.

Yes we denounce violence in all its forms. But those images that your media so proudly transmits disdaining peoples' actions in the Islamic World are signs of an erupting volcano one that has been dormant for centuries but is becoming active again. People are fed up of all the pain in Iraq and Palestine at Abu Gharib and Guantenamo. They are waking up from their long hibernation. At least give them some excuse for all the tears they are suffering daily due to the arrest and torturing of a loved one that may even transform to cold hearted murder and burning of homes.

Islam is the religion of peace. It taught us to help the needy and the weak. It taught it superb values such as cleanliness and controlling oneself at times of anger. It taught us to abstain from gluttony. It taught us not to eat pork and shot animals nor drink alcoholic beverages which you westerners know that such habits do more evil than good.

If you don't want to follow Islam that's up to you but you must know that it is not a provoking religion and never promotes violence or disrespect as long as you learn to tolerate it (and that includes its Prophet). We tolerate other religions. We have among us Christians and they are not being slaughtered or discriminated against unlike what the western liberal media chooses to show….
So anything you have against Muslims keep it away from religion; because it has nothing to do with it.

Stephen Covey in his famous book "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" said that in a situation of conflict (e.g. of ideas) one should begin with his/her own self and try to find out why a certain undesirable reaction was emitted from another person . I think this notion can be extended to the situation at hand here..... Why have Muslims been so angry all over the world? It's because this is not just a cartoon, don't undermine

We're just asking for some dignified action as an apology will never suffice and this is left for your prudent action to find a suitable respectable remedy for this sick situation.

Our boycott of all countries' products insulting us will continue till convincing action is underway. This is our freedom of expression too.

It was bad enough publishing those disgustingly sick cartoons in the first place. It is even more abominable and utterly repugnant that other European and American magazines and newspapers insist on republishing such notorious cartoons. Personally I think anybody endeavouring on such an action is really worried about Islam spreading voluntarily into peoples' hearts everyday and they just want to distort the picture of Islam in the cheapest way. Why do you trace everything back to our Prophet the purest most merciful, kindest perfect being ever created? This is an insult to humanity in general. If the west doesn't defend their religious values as diligently as they should that's their problem but they shouldn't attack others' beliefs under the idiotic notion of "freedom of speech", as what is transpiring in their newspapers is innocent of free speech.

There was once a famous song for the Beatles named "Imagine". Could I hope to imagine a "United Nations of The World"? I am sending out this question to every believer in peace; and have strong faith that we can make this dream come true if we learn to accept our differences and respect each other. Substantial mutual gains can be achieved by trading our good qualities amongst both our worlds for the betterment of the human race. We can fill this religious void together and melt these grudges into a cauldron of dignified actions and a new world rule.
Thanking you in advance for reading the above.


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