By Musa Mohd Nordin | 2:14PM Sep 21, 2012
The violent consequences of past artistic, literary and cultural aggressions against the sanctity of Islam and the prophet seem not to have taught us any lesson.
The abomination against theism continues unabated. Claiming to be works of literature or the arts, the perpetrators have guised behind the cloak of freedom of speech.
The notoriety against Islam has been littered with the likes of Salman Rushdie’s despicable Satanic Verses, through to the ugly Danish cartoons and the latest “film”, which has maliciously maligned Prophet Muhammad.
Caricatures of the prophet have today headlined the French press. The pristine beliefs of Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism have similarly not been spared this irreligious onslaught.
These vulgar and blasphemous provocations are intent on mocking the believers’ reverence of their religious texts, tenets and their prophets.
Specific individuals and interest groups are unashamedly abusing our noble values of freedom of speech and expression to tarnish the image of authentic religions, demonising them and demeaning their prophets with trails of untruths and unfounded claims.
In response to the film Innocence of Muslims, the Muslim in the street is reacting in the only way he knows, defending the honour of the one Muslims hold high.
Irrational, emotional reactions un-Islamic
However, the irrational and emotional reactions by some Muslims and the violence unleashed, with consequent deaths, injuries and damage to property, is most un-Islamic and distant from the Islamic teachings of peace, justice and fair play.
Producing cheap and vulgar “works of art” designed to offend Muslims is easy and is guaranteed to secure instant, even if fleeting, fame.
Therefore, our responses to sacrilegious acts that are likely to recur should be based on the wisdom and humanity that the Prophet of Islam has taught us.
This unrelenting siege on all religions and their prophets must cease. Governments, civil society, religious leaders and icons in the literary and film industry must be courageous to condemn these irresponsible few and prohibit the publication and showing of films and literary works of a similar nature.
More urgently, we must not allow Muslim zealots, from political platforms or religious groups, to seize the moment and inflame further this most fragile of situations.
Fellow Muslims need to understand that Islam doesn’t need us to defend it, it only needs us to represent it faithfully and authentically.
We call on all to exercise wisdom and humanity and to treat one another with respect and dignity.
MUSA MOHD NORDIN is a member of the board of directors of the Muslim Professionals Forum.