Sunday, January 20, 2008

Once Bitten, Twice shy

Let’s examine the when, the who, and the why of the repeated attacks on Islam (Please note that I did not say Muslims since some Muslims do deserve trashing, but only for their criminal acts, which has nothing to do with Islam) :

1. Attacks on Islam has intensified after the fall of the Soviet Union since, as Howard Zinn puts it: “Terrorism has replaced Communism as the rationale for the militarization of the country [America], for military adventures abroad, and for the suppression of civil liberties at home. It serves the same purpose, serving to create hysteria”

2. Attacks are common by racists who are aware that anti-Islam, & Muslim trashing rhetoric is the only racist talk that is currently accepted in almost all western media.

3. Some Muslims are providing the war lords and racists with a plethora (always wanted to use this word but never found the right place or time before) of ammunition for the attacks.

4. Attacks are meant to provoke Muslims, some of whom are not known for being too rational, so that when they retaliate in unacceptable ways (even to most Muslims), the war lords & the racists would happily say: ”Told you so.”

This loooong introduction was necessary before I tell you about a news item I just read in the Guardian. A Dutch right-winger is launching a film attacking Islam.
“Geert Wilders, one of nine members of the extremist VVD (Freedom) party in the 150-seat Dutch lower house, has promised that his film will be broadcast - on television or on the internet - whatever the pressure may be. It will, he claims, reveal the Koran as 'source of inspiration for intolerance, murder and terror'. The film will include scenes were Wilders is seen to tear up or burn a Koran.”

Now that we know what to expect, the question is: “What should be our response?” This question should only be answered while taking the four points I mentioned earlier, and the fact that Islam requires its followers to believe in and respect the two inspired books that preceded the Koran, and to believe in and respect all his prophets, and to respect their followers, into consideration.

The plethora (twice in one post!!) of Islamic bodies in Egypt and all around the Islamic world should come together and agree on one unified official and responsible response that takes all of the above into consideration. And I beg them not differ and confuse Muslims (as is the case with the Fatwas they sometimes issue). Also, I ask them not to take forever to respond. We need to make sure that thier response precedes the accumulation of anger and any random actions taken by any Muslim.

Finally, I say to my fellow Muslims, you have the right to be upset and angry, and whether my wish for a unified response is fulfilled or not, please do remember the idiom that says: (well something like, since I ditched translation classes):
“No believer is ever bitten twice by the same snake.” That is; don't fall for this provocation.

To read the article click here.

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