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Life of Muhammad: Lessons for the inciters & the aggressors

He [the Holy Prophet] embodied love, mercy, compassion, empathy, humility and civility- fleeting values in today’s conflict-ridden world. In fact, they also provide much-needed cues for the adversaries of Islam, if they truly deem themselves to be the ‘civilized’ ones.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: Miami Islam Examiner
By Mansura Minhas | October 24, 2012

As details of the events leading to the anti-Islam video ‘Innocence of Muslims” unfolded, they painted a twisted tale of fabrication and deceit. The blatant distortion of historic facts to portray a vile image of Prophet Muhammad, a holy figure revered by one billion plus Muslims, has left many bewildered, even those harbor disagreements with Islam on theological grounds. The despicable video however accomplished its intended motive -to incite and provoke radical Muslims and extrapolate the ensuing violent reaction to the entire Muslim population.

To vindicate the movie under the protection of ‘free speech’ is somewhat erroneous. The producer foresaw the bloody response and the danger it could pose to human lives, yet proceeded callously with the devious undertaking. The right of ‘free speech’ does not give a free license to provoke, spread hate and fuel bigotry. ‘Free speech’ is a ‘right’ cherished by citizens of civilized societies and envied by the rest. This inalienable right has been enshrined in our Constitution to protect religious diversity and ensure freedom of expression and practice to all citizens. It provides a framework that accommodates and protects disagreements and differences of opinion, yet without compromising the fundamental values of decency and respect, higher values to vie for, before we tout our ‘right’ to exercise free speech.

As citizens of the free world, it is imperative that as we practice free speech, we need not relinquish high moral ground that mandates respect for the holy personages of different faiths. This is inevitable if we are to be perceived as the ‘enlightened’ ones. Such exhibits of civility need not diminish or tarnish our ability to disagree and voice differences of opinion. A society that truly adheres to civility and is committed to peace needs no blasphemy laws to restrict criticism of religious differences. Civilized societies are mature enough to self-regulate and shrug the temptations that might disrupt the peace of the society. Abuse of a right, one that leads to the disruption of peace, defeats logic.

If certain Muslims are resorting to violence and avenging their grievances by killing innocent people, it demonstrates the extent of ignorance that has seeped in these violent fringes. Undeniably, Muslims must reckon such extremism that is gaining traction within their ranks. These elements harbor a false perception and pose to be the guardians of the honor of Prophet Muhammad. A quick reality check exposes how their hateful actions are counterintuitive to the essence of Prophet Muhammad’s teachings and example; he was a true champion of peace and his utmost efforts and compromises to achieve peace at all costs are well documented.

“Innocence of Muslims” is an affront to the sensibilities of all Muslims; however, the overwhelming majority understands that the ideal tools for countering the propaganda contained therein, is to highlight the true character of Prophet Muhammad. In order to dispel the stereotypes, there is a dire need to return to the example of Prophet Muhammad that formulates the core of Muslim belief. He embodied love, mercy, compassion, empathy, humility and civility- fleeting values in today’s conflict-ridden world. In fact, they also provide much-needed cues for the adversaries of Islam, if they truly deem themselves to be the ‘civilized’ ones.

Igniting hatred under the garb of free speech only escalates tensions in an already polarized world. Divisiveness must not be allowed to gain traction. It must be countered with sincere efforts that build bridges, promote tolerance and establish harmony – the hallmarks of a civilized society.

Read original post here: Life of Muhammad: Lessons for the inciters & the aggressors

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