Saturday, September 22, 2012

That's just plain offensive, Mr. Ashraf

Example 1

Example 2
"The Holocaust was a fantasy. Millions of Jewish men women and children didn't die in the gas chambers."

There is an interesting parallel being drawn in the Muslim community between the offence caused by depictions of Muhammad and that of Holocaust denial. Muslim poster, London Muslim, in an otherwise sensible post wrote yesterday:
 Ridiculing our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw) is as heinous to Muslims as ridiculing or denying the Holicaust (sic) is offensive to Jews. It's time both are stopped.
 This is not an unusual viewpoint. The Guardian today reports the ire of young Muslims in the Middle East and quotes a speech made by the Pakistani prime minister no less, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, addressing a gathering of politicians and top clerics in Islamabad. 
While he called for peaceful protests, he also used language likely to inflame the many protests that have claimed the video is part of a plot involving Jewish, Israeli and US interests. "It is ironical that denial of holocaust is considered a crime but no consideration is paid to the feelings of Muslims," he said. "I hope the international community and Islamic world will be successful in preventing such things."
Call me a white Western imperialist  bigot if you wish, but I'm sorry - there is NO COMPARISON, Mr Ashraf. To say to a Jew that the murder of his family and millions of others by the most vile doctrine of ethnic cleansing ever to exist didn't happen is like drawing pictures of your Prophet, really is offensive.

The prohibition of depictions of Muhammad is not even in the Qur'an. Shia Muslims are quite relaxed about drawings and painting of the Prophet. It is only Sunnis who have been brought up to consider such things "heinous". The ruling, such as it is, actually comes from the hadith - the collection of sayings and actions of Muhammad that is a secondary source of rules for Muslims. The ahadith in question in fact prohibits all depictions of living things:

Narrated Aisha:The Prophet entered upon me while there was a curtain having pictures (of animals) in the house. His face got red with anger, and then he got hold of the curtain and tore it into pieces. The Prophet said, "Such people as paint these pictures will receive the severest punishment on the Day of Resurrection."Sahih al-Bukhari
as well as more particularly religious personages:
When the Prophet saw pictures in the Ka'ba, he did not enter it till he ordered them to be erased. When he saw (the pictures of Abraham and Ishmael carrying the arrows ofdivination, he said, '"May Allah curse them (i.e. the Quraysh)! By Allah, neither Abraham nor Ishmael practiced divination by arrows.'Sahih al-Bukhari, 
When the Prophet became ill, some of his wives talked about a church which they had seen in Ethiopia and it was called Mariya. Um Salma and Um Habiba had been to Ethiopia, and both of them narrated its (the Church's) beauty and the pictures it contained. The Prophet raised his head and said, "Those are the people who, whenever a pious man dies amongst them, make a place of worship at his grave and then they make those pictures in it. Those are the worst creatures in the Sight of Allah."Sahih al-Bukhari

 The reason behind the continued prohibition is that pictures of Muhammad were thought to encourage idolatry.

We thus have the wholly ridiculous situation where millions of excitable Muslims don't know why they are so angry - for how can a nasty, cheap little film that depicts the Prophet as a sex pest in any way be seen to encourage worship of his likeness?

How can the silly little cartoon at the top possibly encourage someone to worship it instead of reading the Qur'an.

So grow up, LM and grow up Mr Prime Minister and grow up all you young easily led Muslims and for once QUESTION what on earth you are being asked to believe. Or more pertinently perhaps - stop pretending this is a religious question and admit that it is an excuse to bash the West.


  1. Good luck with this one, Spinoza...

  2. Actually I thought the cartoon was funny without being offensive.

  3. On August 25, 1997, a Palestinian Authority cultural affairs television program featured an interview with Hassan al-Agha, a Palestinian author and professor at the Islamic University in Gaza City:

    Moderator: It is well known that every year the Jews exaggerate what the Nazis did to them. They claim there were six million killed, but precise scientific research demonstrates that there were no more than 400,000. Has the complex which the Jews have as a result of the Nazis' actions created within them psychological burdens which they are now releasing against the Palestinians?

    Al-Agha: The truth is I do not think so. Psychological baggage after forty or fifty years….I am skeptical….But I do think that we are talking about an investment. They have profited materially, spiritually, politically and economically from the talk about the Nazi killings. This investment is favorable to them and they view it as a profitable activity so they inflate the number of victims all the time. In another ten years, I do not know what number they will reach…As you know, when it comes to economics and investments, the Jews have been very experienced ever since the days of the Merchant of Venice.

    David Bar-Ilan, a spokesman for then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, released the transcript of the program to Western reporters, who covered the incident in English media. Several days later Radwan Abu Ayash, head of the Palestinian Broadcast Corporation, announced that Al-Agha's remarks did not reflect the opinion of the Palestinian Authority, but defended them as "freedom of expression."

    As you say, THAT'S offensive.

  4. "The entire Jewish State is built on the great Holocaust lie. . . What is the proof that Hitler and the Nazis murdered six million Jews in gas chambers? There is no proof at all, except for the conflicting testimonies of a few Jewish 'survivors.'"
    Mahmoud Al-Khatib,
    writing in the Jordanian newspaper Al-Arab Al-Yom
    April 27, 1998

    THAT'S offensive.

  5. The Catholic Church in particular and the church in general should not be made to apologize to the Zionists and Jews for the Hitlerian legend…[the Holocaust is] a tissue of lies, as has been revealed by Western scientists, and it is being used to blackmail the world."

    Sheikh Mohammad Mehdi Shamseddin,
    head of Lebanon's Shiite Council,
    Reported by the Agence France-Presse, March 22, 1998

    THAT'S offensive

    I could go on (and on) but you get the picture...

  6. There are many cases where those who mocked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) were destroyed. Although we are sad we are also happy because your demise it at hand in the West.
    We ask ourselves: why do you resent the leader of mankind? The signs of his prophethood are innumerable - have you not heard of the splitting of the moon? But the greatest miracle is the Qur'an itself which Allah has protected while the books from your prophets have ben tampered with.
    The greatest proof is that Islam will be victorious.
    The entire world – with no alternative – must regard the greatness of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) among all of creation above all greatness, and his virtue above all virtues, and his status as greater than any other.

  7. The reasons Muslims in these countries are so deeply offended is because, let's be frank, the west kind of ruined these countries with violence, oppression, and now cultural and economic imperialism. HOWEVER, these reactions, such as denying the holocaust and somehow bringing the Jews into the mix is not condoned by Islam. A true Muslim would defend the Prophet's (may peace be with him) dignity and would not proceed to bash another group of people, that would be Un-Islamic. Unfortunately, us Muslim are currently undergoing our own dark age, much like when the west was undergoing a deep dark age whilst the Islamic Empire was growing through a golden age that lasted centuries. So, our leaders and many of our people currently will not be reacting in the most diplomatic or well-educated way. excuse us, this is not a representation of our religion but rather a proof that mankind is deeply flawed and will always need God's guidance.