Date registered: Aug 2005
Vehicle: 1990 500 SEL, 2003 Range Rover HSE
Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE
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A Muslim's point of view...
on the caricature of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him)
If you're interested in what Muslims think about the caricatures, then I hope you find this thread helpful. If you couldn't care less, then I'm sorry.. you'll find nothing worth reading.
I was personally surprised by the reaction to those caricatures. I was surprised that the reaction was made public. We Muslims have been under bouts of humiliation for along, long time and nobody dared to take a move. Take Abu Ghraib photos for instance. That is something to demonstrate against and burn a couple of falgs but nobody moved because it's not allowed. Arab governments don't want trouble with the US. Denmark is not a super power and cannot throw a regime in a jiffy. The caricatures were not a political issue and it was good time to allow the masses to let off some steam. That's probably why the demonstrations were allowed in the first place.
Why people took off to the streets in demonstrations and called for boycott of Danish products is because we Muslims respect and love our icons a lot,let alone the Prophfet, peace be upon him. Those silly caricatures (I've seen them over the internet) carry a message of direspect for Muslims. They will never dishonour a man who, by the will of Allah, changed history in a way that ranks him as the most influential man in history (According to Michael H. Hart's book The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History.
It's only natural that we get angry over the issue. I only wonder why it took us all the that time since the caricatures first appeared (3 months?)
Now burning the Danish embassies in Damascus and Beirut was absolutely wrong. I'm not a scholar but I know it's 'haram = forbidden'.
As for the "freedom of speech" vs. "respect for others' culture/religion" debate, one example always comes to mind .. the holocaust. Some historians doubt the numbers, others the whole thing, and they end up in jail or in the best case obscurity. What happened to the freeeedom of speech here?
I hear many demanding that Muslims go back home, even if the west is where they were born, but that's not a solution. It will only widen the gap that already exists between cultures which in turn may cause more clashes in the future. What happened to tolerance? I live in a country where expatriates make the majority of the population. I'm an expat myself and I enjoy every minute of it (I mean meeting people from all over the world and getting to know a little something about their cultures and values). UAE nationals show a great deal of tolerance towards everybody living here as Arab hospitality dictates (and it breaks my heart that a lot of expats don't show enough respect or appreciation in exchange). Still, I think that's much better than holding "If you don't like it, leave!" for a motto.