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Status of the Prophet Muhammad at risk or free speech?

[I]n Koran, the holy book of Muslims, it is recorded that people called him a mad man, a liar and the most mean. None of these insults resulted in violence and not a single life was lost.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit:     Seattle Muslim Youth Examiner
By Waqas Malik | September 22, 2012

With the great power of free speech comes great responsibility. It is without a doubt that free speech is a hallmark of a developed civilized society. When used properly, free speech can bring about revolutionary changes and unprecedented human progress. Which society doesn’t want free flowing ideas, constructive criticism, and honest opinion? However, when free speech is used to spread lies, hatred, violence and propaganda a society must condemn it unequivocally. If a society turns a blind eye to such exploitation of free speech, then free speech is at risk of losing its value. This principle is simple, if I am a member of a society where free speech is used to spread hatred, lies, incite violence, etc, free speech will lose its value in my eyes. I would begin to doubt if free speech does any good. Also, if there is enough abuse of free speech then free speech will cease to be a vessel for the betterment of society. No one will use free speech thinking that their speech will be lumped up in the category of propaganda.

In a society where free speech is being abused, those who value it should use their right of free speech to stop such gross violation of this beautiful institution. When free speech is abused and exploited we should be swift in condemning it. While free speech ‘should’ be unbridled, a society ‘should’ curb its exploitation. As it has been very well said “People who do not value what they have rarely keep it for long.”

The latest French cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo magazine is a clear assault on freedom of speech. It is an assault because this magazine used the sensationalism and the response to the recent Anti-Islam film to make a quick buck. This magazine was sold out due to the publishing of these sad excuses for art.

Muslims are deeply hurt and disturbed every time someone insults any Prophet without exception. Prophets have a high place in the heart of every Muslim. Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, is revered by 1.6 billion people in the world. Muhammad’s followers not only follow what he taught but also try to emulate him physically by keeping a beard. Muhammad is the most common name in the world. Every time the name of the Prophet of Islam is mentioned every Muslim proclaims out loud “Peace be upon him.” Why? It is because Muslims hold Muhammad very dear to their hearts.

To think that vile abuse will not hurt Muslims is ignorant to say the least.

Another reason why the Prophet of Islam is loved so much is because he was abused in his life by his opponents. Even in Koran, the holy book of Muslims, it is recorded that people called him a mad man, a liar and the most mean. None of these insults resulted in violence and not a single life was lost. So those Muslims who turn to violence when they are hurt cannot justify their actions as Islamic. We condemn their actions and appeal to them to stop in the name of the Muhammad who never taught such recourse.

Muslims love and respect Muhammad due to the forgiveness shown by him in the face of bitter insults. This is why Michael Hart, an astrophysicist, ranked Muhammad atop after studying all men in human history. The insults hurled at Muhammad during his life, and the insults being hurled at him now and in future will never tarnish the respect, love, and reverence his followers have for him. Rest assured Muhammad’s status is not at risk — free speech — may be?

Read original post here: Status of Muhammad at risk or free speech?

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