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Thursday, 18 October 2018

Violence cannot defend Islam

Debate rather than violence should be the tool to confront any insult to Islam or Muslims

Said Shehata , Sunday 16 Sep 2012
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Views: 2566
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Views: 2566

The violent reaction by Muslims in part of the Islamic world to the anti-Islam film that was produced in the United States is staggering and unjustified but is not surprising. It happened before and it happen again if similar criticism and insults to Islam and Muslims occur.

If there were only peaceful demonstrations, no one could oppose them because it is part of democracy. But using violence damaged Muslims and democracy, especially in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen. The Taliban claimed killing two American marines as revenge against the film. Three people were killed in Tunisia because of clashes between protesters and the police, and some were injured in Egypt. In Libya, the US ambassador was killed with three American diplomats, but it is thought that this incident was planned before and had no direct link to the film.

There were attacks on American embassies in several Muslim countries, such as Yemen, Libya, Egypt, Sudan and Tunisia. Many of the demonstrators did not watch the film but were mobilised by TV channels, websites and word of mouth.

There is no justification to kill innocent souls and damage buildings. As US President Barack Obama and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, the film is despicable, but this not an excuse to kill others.

The problem lies with the notion of using force in Islam. There is an urgent need to revise this notion in order to avoid this happening again in the future. Some Muslims used violence as a reaction to the Danish cartoons and to Pope Benedict's speech that were considered insulting to Islam. Farag Fouda, a renowned liberal thinker, was killed because of his overt criticism of Islam and the fatwa to kill Salman Rushdie because of his book, The Satanic Verses, has not been revoked.

We now witness the same scenario repeat itself. I remember debating the Pope Benedict speech with a Muslim Brotherhood leader on television few years ago. I was astonished to listen to him saying that only one person was killed in Somalia because of the Pope’s speech that was considered as insulting to Islam and Muslims. My comment at that time was that Islam did not need to be defended by Muslims through violence but rather through debate and convincing others.

In addition, Mohamed Emara, the well-known Islamic thinker, said recently that Islam has been under attack from the West and the focus should be on those attacks more than what happened in some Muslim countries. He did not condemn those violent actions and this is understood by some circles in the Muslim world as a blessing to defend Islam through force.

In Islam there are some verses in the Quran and Hadith that highlight using force as a way to stop evil and there are different interpretations of those verses. For example, one hadith says: "Whoever, among you, sees something abominable should rectify it with his hand; and if he has not strength enough to do it, then he should do it with his tongue; and if he has not strength enough to do it, (even) then he should (abhor it) from his heart, and that is the least of Faith." For some, this is justification for the use of force.

Muslim scholars and leaders must be blunt and clear about using force to defend any verbal attack on Islam and Muslims. Without a brave step by concerned Muslim institutions, such as Al-Azhar, the International Association of Muslim Scholars and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, to issue a clear message saying that any insult to Islam and Muslims should be challenged by debate and not violence, the cycle will repeat. And not just once, but again and again.

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SeniorMoment
26-09-2012 01:03pm
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You are right but here is why
In America, unlike in most nations, everyone has free speech rights and there are very few exceptions that exist only because the U. S. Supreme Court has created them in deciding court cases where federal, state or local government has decided some speech is not protected and imposed penalties for using it. For example, you cannot yell "Fire" in a crowded theater where there is no fire because it might cause a panic and result in injuries as people try to escape the building, and you can not advocate the violent overthrow of the U. S. government. The USA legal system rarely makes exceptions to free speech, and it is extremely unlikely it would ever carve out an exception for one religion because of hostile foreign reactions, since it would violate two constitutional provisions, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech. Freedom of religion guarantees that adults chose their own faith and that government will NEVER favor one religion over another one or suppress one that otherwise r
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jan
20-09-2012 11:57am
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all this about some stupid cartoon..? where were all of you when...
Where were all of you when islamic terrorists taliban, funded by saudi destroyed 1500 year old great buddha statues? you think it is okay to destroy other religions since you think you are the only corrects ones? i did not see anyone opening their mouth then. like western world has done many wrong things 500 years back, today the middle eastern countries are pumping money to destroy asian and african countries, all in the name of religion. and they bring no progress or culture, unlike the west.
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Mona
18-09-2012 01:27pm
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Geagea
Can you defend Geagea the Phalangist who served "some" prison term, for directing Sabra Shatila massacres, why he was recieved by Christians in Egypt. Today he's still in politcs in Lebanon. But how nice, he had meeting with the Pope.
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AstralProjectee
24-09-2012 10:46am
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Reply to Geagea
No mention of Sabra or Shatila or massacres at wiki. It's probably a conspiracy.
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Free Lady
17-09-2012 05:09pm
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Reaction to Western Violence
Muslim Violence is the word excessively used in media for last few days. This violence is not an action but its a reaction against American and Western double standards towards world and especially to Muslims. American and Western countries are using violence against Muslim countries for more then a decade. They destroyed Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Sudan, Somalia and Iran(economically). All that violence, destruction, murders, and anarchy was done under the western laws and nobody call it violence. Its not barbaric or violent act if American soldiers kill Muslim men, women and new borns, urinate on their corpses, take their body parts as souvenirs and burn their corpses. Its not violence if Americans send drones to kill innocent people and call it collateral damage. Its not violence if Americans humiliate Iraqis, Arabs and Palestinians. Its a long bloody, barbaric, violent and black history of Western atrocities. Ordinary Muslims are showing their anger with sma
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mo
18-09-2012 12:01pm
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oh yes, it is all western world's fault
well yes, america bombed itself on 9/11 and killed 3000 of its citizens, like all western countries do all the time to make islamic countries look bad. and iraq, afghanistan, pakistan are a consequence of that attack. libya, yemen, syria are internal conflicts, if you are so bothered why wait for western countries to free them. why did the islamic world interfere and free them. dont take western world's help when it suits you, and then blame them for all their ills. somalia, sudan are destroyed by islamic fanatics killign their own, why does the islamic world not unite and save them. do something, instead of blaming others which is easy for anyone to do. the west has done many wrong things, as has the middle eastern countries. when you point your finger at someone else, remember, four of your fingers are pointing at yourself.
mo
18-09-2012 12:00pm
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oh yes, it is all western world's fault
well yes, america bombed itself on 9/11 and killed 3000 of its citizens, like all western countries do all the time to make islamic countries look bad. and iraq, afghanistan, pakistan are a consequence of that attack. libya, yemen, syria are internal conflicts, if you are so bothered why wait for western countries to free them. why did the islamic world interfere and free them. dont take western world's help when it suits you, and then blame them for all their ills. somalia, sudan are destroyed by islamic fanatics killign their own, why does the islamic world not unite and save them. do something, instead of blaming others which is easy for anyone to do. the west has done many wrong things, as has the middle eastern countries. when you point your finger at someone else, remember, four of your fingers are pointing at yourself.
f
18-09-2012 08:58am
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Reaction to Western Violence
American and Western powers need to mend their ways. In future these proetest will be much bigger and violent
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mo
17-09-2012 12:00pm
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not debate, ignore if you are confident in your faith
only when u are weak in faith and weak in mind you use violence and aggression, as there is no other way to win. if you are confident that you are right and have the power, there is no need to fight. you can ignore, since you know you are right. but if you are not sure of your belief and its existence, then of course you will fight like this.
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ناهد
17-09-2012 08:18am
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Debate in courts-ONLY-
Dear Said Shehata, Nobody justify using violence, but by putting in our minds some of the following facts, I think we will reach for another result: 1- This is not the first time "some one" in the west insult "Muslims". And, always this kind of offensive behavior leads that "people are killed at the end of the day", whatever their nationality are, so it's well known that this kind of behaving cause death to others, and the low describe this behavior as "an intend killing"....To make it more clear; if a man drive his car 200 KM/hour at a crowded road, and kill some people...Then the low will punish him, because he knew that driving this fast at crowded road, it has consequences, and there is a great possibilities that people will injured or killed. 2- These kind of behavior that insulate Islam is rewarded by the West Officials, example Angela Mirecale gave the man who drew the cartoons a reward...And I do wonder, why only when somebody insult Muslims take a reward, what about other
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Jaya Scariah
17-09-2012 07:14am
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Those who made the 'insulting comment' should be punished by 'Law'
By embarking on violence (anywhere), it shatters the right to live peacefully in this universe. Nobody has got the right to insult 'one's' religious sentiment. if 'one' has caused it, he / she must be punished, setting up a warning to those who entertain such thoughts. But, it should be noted, 'only the one who made the insult' should get punished.
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AstralProjectee
24-09-2012 11:02am
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Slippery Slope
Your on a very slippery slope my friend. When you start talking about punishing one for insluting somone elses religion.
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Van Little
17-09-2012 03:23am
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American Ashamed
I am an average American and I would like to tell anyone with ears to listen that I am deeply ashamed that this film came from my country. It is a sick piece of trash. I have never encountered anyone in my country who holds the beliefs of the writer of this film. I was raised in a Christian family and my brother's wife was raised in an Islamic family. I love her as my sister. America has many freedoms that can create blessings for the world. Unfortunately, sometimes people who have evil in their hearts can use these freedoms of America to do harm. I ask the good people of the Islamic faith to accept my apology and ask for forgiveness for this deep insult. Sincerely, Van P. Little
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A woman
16-09-2012 11:42pm
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Thanks!
Thanks for this article! I hope that one day soon somebody from the Muslim world has the courage to really investigate this film (which is a cheap made, utmost provocative "film" for sure) and it's content scientifically and to publish the result in the muslim world, to show what is really 'inside'. I think that a lot of Muslims, who made an outcry, but who never saw it, would be really astonished about the outcome concerning big parts of this "film". Don't wonder please, that some of the Ahadith (as in it's entity one of the backbones of Islam and for sure the most conflictious part) are really to be seen at least very critical in the world of the 21. Century and that a lot of people in the non-Moslem-world cannot understand the content of those ahadith any more for being very -let me say carefully - backwarded. Peaceful, moderate, openminded, courageous, tolerant, honest and critical dialogue therefore is needed on both sides - for better understanding and for less violence.
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george amon silayo
16-09-2012 04:55pm
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about islamic
all of these is because to fullfill the book
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