Why Prophet Mohammad Would Be Deeply Troubled By The Charlie Hebdo Attacks

Why Prophet Mohammad Would Be Deeply Troubled By The Charlie Hebdo Attacks January 8, 2015

Muslim fanatics have struck yet again! From what we know so far, two masked gunmen shouting “Allahu Akbar (God is great)” entered the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo  in Paris and opened fire, horrifically killing at least 12 people in the process. All this, because they made some satirical cartoons about Prophet Mohammed.

Just when you think that the world cannot get any more insane, you receive heart shattering news that the terrorists have more to offer.  And yet again, yet again I find myself in an awkward position because the murderers happen to share my faith that I hold so dear.

I find myself in this position of clarifying that this gruesome act is not what my faith enjoins (in mere hope that I can change someone’s mind), not what my holy book – Quran enjoins, but is the ill doing of 3 fanatic Muslims who are more troubled by satirical depictions of Prophet Mohammed, than the image they’re going to give out to the world about Islam by committing such a horrific crime.


Where to start? What to say? Puzzlingly, I have so much to say, so much anger to vent out, yet words defeat me.


To misguided Muslims, please stop. Do you see the result of upholding the erroneous belief of persecuting people just so that your delicate religious sentiments won’t get hurt? Are they really so delicate, so fragile? To hell with such potentially dangerous beliefs, then!


In absolutely clear words, warranting no discussion, the Quran never enjoins people to murder or persecute those who mock Islam or any of its precepts. On the contrary, it advises us to resolve such issues either through peaceful and civil dialogue, or by simply ignoring such remarks.


Anti-Blasphemy laws, quite ironically, are themselves a blasphemy to the message of the Quran. Not in the popular usage of that word, but because they violate the very instructions the scripture gives regarding freedom of expression (Quran 2:256, 10:99, 18:29, 109:6).


But, when I discuss the subject of blasphemy with some Muslims who deem anti-blasphemy laws as a part & parcel of Islam, the response is always the same: “Hold on. If someone mocks my religion, it prompts me to take action. You see, it makes me very emotional.”


By all means, take action. But, does it have to be violent?

No, the Quran insists.

 “When you see them engaged in vain discourse about Our Signs, turn away from them unless they engage in a different subject. If Satan ever makes you forget (i.e. your mind gets engrossed in their discourse,) then as soon as you recollect, no longer sit in the company of the people who confound the truth with falsehood.” – Quran 6:68


Please take note. Far from persecuting or killing people who mock Islam, Muslims are advised to simply withdraw from such a discourse, and quite revealingly, join the gathering back, if they happen to change the subject. Certainly that means we’re not even supposed to harbor ill-feeling or enmity towards them, let alone kill them!


And, again, Quran 28:55 instructs, “Whenever they (believers) hear vain talk of ridicule, they withdraw from it decently and say, ‘“To us our deeds and to you yours; Peace be upon you, we do not seek to join the ignorant.”


Whatever happened to such golden advice given in the Quran regarding freedom of expression, the book we hold so dear, Muslims?


Ironically, we find that in the Quran, persecuting others for different religious beliefs was done by those who opposed the messengers, either by threatening to imprison or stone them (Quran, 21:68, 26:49, 26:116). Yet, such beliefs espoused by the ardent enemies of the messengers are guised in the cloak of Islam, to shut down debate and rationality.


The correct way to counter biased narratives is to put forward a better narrative, never to persecute the people who espouse it! If someone depicts Prophet Mohammad as a war-monger, or a pedophile, or whatever else, persecuting them only helps cementing that point. After all, force is only used under frustration, when there is simply no rational answer to offer. Perhaps more energy needs to be devoted to first studying the faith that you so want to defend?


What is rather more curious, in my opinion, is that Muslims who are deeply offended by the satirical depictions of Prophet Mohammad never say a word when such depictions are made on Islam’s other messengers – namely, Moses, Jesus, or Abraham for that matter. But, why? The Prophet never claimed to be a pedestal higher than other messengers. In fact, he said that he simply follows the religion of Prophet Abraham (Quran, 12:38), and that he is a human being just like anyone else (Quran, 41:6)! Or, to put it more precisely,


“I am no different from the other messengers, nor do I know what will happen to me or to you. I only follow what is inspired to me. I am no more than a clear warner.” Quran, 46:9


Why this special treatment then, this sudden outrage when it comes to him, when the Quran clearly tells us not to make any distinctions between messengers (Quran, 2:285)?


The answer to that is that some Muslims, in their ignorance of the Quran, and unknowingly perhaps, elevate Prophet Mohammad as a demi-god of some sort. That since he is the only prophet that is exclusive to Muslims, we must revere him more to “stand out from the rest”. A sense of identity certainly plays a role here, and it must have played a role in history, when Muslims were first fighting with Christian Byzantines, and later, the largely Christian West.


But, ultimately, such special reverence results in hypocrisy and double standards towards all the messengers appointed by God.


However, even then, the idea that the Prophet Mohammad cannot be depicted is a new one. In history, we find many examples to the contrary.  And what is so wrong in that? After all, he was a human being! If the argument is that depictions of Prophet Mohammad will lead to idolatry; well, in that case, we’re still left with a “tangible” religious symbol in the form of the Quran. Banning all tangible forms of religious symbols should never be the solution in maintaining monotheism, rather the solution is to promote a rationalist Islam that would curb such tendencies.


Having said all that, it pains me, as a Muslim, to counter such hateful acts done in the name of Islam and Prophet Mohammad. Prophet Mohammad, who despite being thrown trash at day in & day out from an old lady, went to look for her when she didn’t cross his path that particular day.


Prophet Mohammad, who despite being called insane, a sorcerer, and all sorts of other insults throughout his life, never persecuted anybody for it, even when he gained power towards the end of his career. Rather, to me my religion and to you yours (Quran 109:6) was his ultimate motto that some contemporary Muslims have failed to recognize and appreciate.


I say this, and I say this with the utmost certainty, that if the Prophet Mohammad were to come here today, such fanatic Muslims would persecute him too! What, for one thing, his message was one of freedom of belief & expression, and some Muslims are just not all too ready for that.


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  • lmntCrans

    Hopefully he will bring lots of ham sandwiches to share with all the Muslims he will find there.

  • lmntCrans

    Only listen to those sites that agree with ISIS and other true Islamic followers. http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/01/20150123_saudi.jpg

  • lmntCrans

    good luck catching that greased pig.

  • lmntCrans

    Now that story beats the hell out of cursing a fig tree for not bearing fruit out of season… or using spit to make mud and then wiping the mud on someone’s face to restore eyesight.

  • lmntCrans

    >The common message of the Quran and Islam is to be kind and generous towards all mankind regardless of their religion.

    There are thousands of Yezidi women who disagree. The ones that were not murdered in Mohammad’s name are currently available for sale in the marketplace, since Mohammad has decreed slavery is acceptable, for kuffirs.

  • lmntCrans

    She wasn’t married and raped at 11, she was married at 6 and he began boinking her at 9

  • lmntCrans

    According to the country of Pakistan, and most Muslims, Qadiyani are kuffir. you could be publicly beaten for presenting yourself as a Muslim, by the oh so tolerant Sunni and Shiites, who also would kill each other if given the chance.
    As a kuffir, your opinion of the teachings of Mo’ are irrelevant.

  • lmntCrans

    Pay attention, Yezidi women are for sale in the marketplace. Praise Mohamed! http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/isis-terror/isis-terror-yazidi-woman-recalls-horrors-slave-auction-n305856

  • lmntCrans

    God almighty, whose name is Krshna, did not send anyone. He manifested himself as needed. http://www.krishna.com/why-krishna-appears-here

    Their prattle makes as much sense as your prattle.

  • lmntCrans

    God split himself into a myriad parts that he might have friends. This may not be true, but it sounds good, and is no sillier than any other theology. [Lazarus Long, _Time Enough for Love_ by Robert Heinlein]

  • lmntCrans

    And did he get a chit from the parking attendant? How much did he tip?

  • Meh. no skin off my back. it’s an internet article. I don’t really care what people on the internet think of me. do you?

  • EthanAllen

    Not at all. After awhile it just rolls off your back. 🙂

  • EthanAllen

    If you don’t want the rest of the world holding YOU responsible and eyeballing you as a potential terrorist, you do.

  • EthanAllen

    Again…..then, don’t bitch when people walk out of an establishment when you and your friends walk in.

  • EthanAllen

    No. We disagree, that is all. That doesn’t mean I am “wrong”. You can be wrong, you know.

  • EthanAllen

    HUMANS unintentionally develop stereotypes based on what they see. That is a function of their limbic system and has nothing to do with “ignorance” or even enlightenment.

  • EthanAllen

    This has nothing to do with “faith”.
    And at least the US prisoners are IN PRISON and not out randomly attacking people in public. Their crimes are unrelated to “religion”.

  • EthanAllen

    I’m trying to point out how negative accusations are not productive. You’re just going back and forth with the accusations and accomplishing nothing of any use to anyone.

  • EthanAllen

    Most of the West’s Wars had nothing to do with Christianity. I have never heard of “Buddhist terrorism”, the idea is just too ludicrous.

    I don’t believe that the guys in Enola Gay who dropped the bombs in Japan yelled any kind of tribute to anyone much less anything to a prophet or a deity. Hitler wasn’t proclaiming to do his deeds in the name of Jesus.

    No one since the Middle Ages has murdered in the name of Christianity.

    Even now, ISIS is doing what it does in the “name of Islam”. They are sullying the name of Islam and desecrating Mohammed, so who can blame the rest of the world for developing biases when that is the ONLY example of Islam their ever see?

    Maybe the media is to blame, but whenever we hear news of Muslims in the US, it’s where they’re demanding to be able to live by Sharia law over and above US law. (like being able to murder a woman for having been raped)

  • SparklingMoon,

    whenever we hear news of Muslims in the US, it’s where they’re demanding to be able to live by Sharia law over and above US law (like being able to murder a woman for having been raped)
    Sharia Law does not mean a legislation for worldly organization. Islam is just a religion like other religions and the only purpose of a religion is to improve moral and spiritual condition of their followers.

    The Quran does not specify any specific form of government other than a beneficent one that is based on ‘ Adl’ (absolute justice): “Verily, Allah enjoins justice, and the doing of good to others; and giving like kindred; and forbids indecency and manifest evil and transgression. He admonishes you that you may take heed.” (16:91). There is no mention of religion in this verse. Pluralism and religious tolerance are Islamic values.

    The Quran stresses: “There is no coercion in religion” (2: 257). Legislating shariah would mean imposing practices on people who do not share the underlying beliefs behind those practices. Shariah mandates the strict practice of absolute justice regardless of differences in faith, race, creed or any other distinction. True Islamic teachings, as practiced by the Prophet of Islam, promote a secular government with equal rights and privileges for its citizens and a separation of mosque and state. For example, the Prophet of Islam famously applied Talmudic law in resolving disputes among the Jews.

    Religion should not be the business of the state. Religion should not legislate in the domain of man’s relation to God. Islam offers guiding principles in matters of man’s relation to man. These principles can easily be translated into secular laws based on justice, tolerance and love for mankind. The law of one’s homeland has predominance over all other laws. True shariah is conducive to a system of government that is beneficent, ensures universal human rights and minority protections and dispenses absolute justice for all people.

    Unfortunately, certain Islamic countries have failed to observe the precondition of absolute justice before imposing shariah. Instead, they have unjustly imposed shariah as an instrument of power and control. Western nations scrutinize and magnify these examples. Countries such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have enmeshed religious extremism with political power resulting in a brutal brand of governance they brand “shariah.” Extremists and their religious clerics invoke shariah to justify the killing of the innocent and vulnerable. They abandon the Quranic principles of governance in favor of discriminate and grossly improper applications of Islamic law. They view shariah as an instrument of conquest and carnage instead of justice and decency.

    Secondly,in some Muslim countries there are Sharia laws that have been issued by Muslim Clergies in the name of Islam but are clearly against the all message of the Quran. These prevailed Sharia laws in Muslim countries (for example about Blasphemy, Adultery, Apostasy, Jihad,etc.) have no their foundations on the Quran but on those Fatwas (human made religious laws ) that have been issued by Muslim Clergies or Scholars . Mostly Muslims have no personal knowledge of the teachings of the Quran. It is these Muslim Clergies and scholars who have complete hold and control over religion and their societies. They not only issue these fatwas (human made laws) but also try to force other Muslims to accept and follow them blindly .

  • Then you should take your own advice and stop making negative accusations. Hypocrisy isn’t productive, either.

  • I know lots of muslims and none have ever “randomly attacked” anyone in public. I do, however, know a lot of nonmuslims who have done the same. Most of the crime in the US is committed by christians, not muslims. However, crimes committed by muslims are still associated with islam when they have nothing to do with the religion, like in the case of “honor” attacks and killings. This is forbidden in the religion and spoken out against in the Quran itself, and normal everyday Muslims do not involve such nonsense in their lives and see it just as superstitiously as everyone else does, but the american public doesn’t care. They immediately say it is religiously-motivated even when it is not.

  • Yes it does have everything to do with ignorance and enlightenment. You are just making excuses now. By your logic, we should let all psychopaths out of prison too, since they were born that way and it’s not their fault. What a silly argument.

  • But I’m not wrong, Allah says so. This is one area that will never be won, which is why it is futile to keep speaking about it.

  • Let them walk out, more room for me and my friends. If the bigots want to make life harder on themselves then they can go ahead and do it. No skin off my nose.

  • No, I don’t. I’m not obligated to, and I won’t. And anyone who tries to violate my rights is going to be taken to court. I will not submit to bullies and paranoid, backwater bigots. Luckily new, more liberal generations are taking their place. They will all be in nursing homes eventually where they can’t hurt anybody.