Friday, March 21, 2008

The Prophet, Jesus, and the Cartoons

By Yusur Al-Bahrani*

Picture: - Danish embassy in Beirut on fire

"The head of a Swedish newspaper has received death threats after publishing a drawing of the devil defecating on Jesus." I read this in March 12, 2008 in 7DAYS, taken from the Correspondent. Therefore, not only Prophet Muhammad was a target of caricaturists but so was Jesus.

Has anyone in our beloved Muslim world gone on demonstrations and shown rage towards the cartoons which aim to attack Jesus? So far, none has shown any sign of anger towards the cartoon. If there are any, the number is too insignificant to be reported by any media source. On the other hand, there has been chaos in the Muslim world over the cartoons mocking Prophet Muhammad.

Go on, rage, burn flags, destroy everything, kill everyone and bomb the whole world. Look at the cartoons attacking your Prophet and hang the ones who did it. Not only the ones who did it, but those who live with them. No, no, no! Boycott Denmark. Ops! I just got it! Burn Denmark! Attack the West! They are the enemy! They are the devil! Yes, go on. Go on, I want all the Muslim youths to be enraged and angry. Go on and blow up the whole universe.
Have you heard these comments before? May be not that intensely, but I am sure you have heard something similar that aims to stimulate such feelings in Muslim youths. We are being manipulated. Have you noticed to what extent we are being manipulated? We have to support our Prophet, but not in this way. I have been receiving emails mocking the artist who drew the cartoons and making him look like a pig, but what for? Is the Prophet supported by burning flags and attacking embassies? This is not the way to support your Prophet and prove that his message is a message of peace and harmony

The cartoons are not a war against Islam as many might think. Like the cartoons attacking Jesus, they are attacking religiosity in general. Let’s leave this aside and agree that there is an attack on Islam. What is the context for this attack? Have we not shown hostility towards others in the world? Al-Qaeda which claims that it supports the Islamic mission is behind a large portion of destruction, deaths and chaos. The wrong interpretation of Jihad and the emergence of new Jihadist groups have made Islam a religion of violence and death. There has to be something done in order to stop any more destruction. The first thing that has to be done is to be rational and pose for thought before taking any action. Then we have to think about the problems in our Muslim and Eastern world. We need to end dictatorship, poverty, unemployment and so on. The list is endless but we tend to forget our inner problems and go to the outside world to correct the problems of others.
Analyze the situation before taking any action and do not let anger gain control over you. Your Prophet does not need violence and hostility to support his mission of Islam. In stead, he needs peaceful people who propagate his message to the whole world in a peaceful way and without forcing anyone. Therefore, you can show your anger towards the cartoons in a more rational way and remember that Jesus is being mocked as well.

*Yusur is from Iraq and studies journalism at the American University of Sharjah (UAE)


Anonymous said...

great article sister
i liked it so much
every word you said is true
mashaallah very well said
its nice to know you are from iraq because i'm from iraq too :)
good luck with your studies


Anonymous said...

what i liked about this article is that it came at the same time with osama ben laden's message warning europe because of the republishing of the danish cartoons...
2 opposed kinds of practicing religious beliefs are suddenly clear enough. the ben laden style is a matter of common social way of life, opposed to other ways of life. while your style of practicing beliefs, yusur, is much more of a personal way of life, that cannot offense anyone in any way!... even an atheist. But what i really liked about your piece is that it sends, even in the religious way of writing it, a clear message of separation between state and religion.

Anonymous said...

I thank the writer for her courage that we lack as she perches outside the bevy. This is good and sometimes rare, so that we will know which bevy is reality! I totally agree with her and may be translate what she said in my own way to confirm my agreement with her at first within myself. We need a lot of self criticism! The cartoons that were drawn have been inspired from the actions of the Arabs and Muslims for the imagination of the one who have drawn the cartoon and the one who welcomed it. In other words, if we have not made them see us in this, they would have not portrayed us in this way. As they have not attacked other religions, even the ones that had been known as pagan by them, and agreements we declared with these religions (for example, the agreement of cooperation and conversation between Buddhism and the Vatican). No one can think for you ever..If you don't choose, you have chosen not to choose. My greetings!

Arab Democracy said...

My personal view is that we should be able to build societies that tolerate different view points on faith,religion,lifestyle etc.

This can only be achieved through dialogue and mutual respect.

And we definitely need more Arab women to speak out and get involved.

Thank you Yusur


Anonymous said...

first i am an iraqi .guys what the hell you talking about.first wich democracy your on about european based or standard being sarcastic here
jesus christ peace with him is danish God so how can you say that it would make no sense .2-no one has right to insult other person beloved e.g i love mother that doesnt mean you can insult her cuz you dont like her thats common sense.if that caricator draw naked his own mother no one will oppose him sinse he insulted none 1 except the way democracy doesn't mean majority role did you know that analise that,its all to do with values .now imagine someone insults my prophet in front of me what would you expect from me?laughing at him?no if you belive in action you should believe in reaction.if you use european verion of value to muslims then you are wrong simple is that


Arab Democracy said...

Dear Ibrahim

I did not write the article and its content represents he view of its author.

But I will give you my opinion on your comment:

1- It is of course your right to be offended by the cartoons. Just like it is my right to be offended if you insult my mother. But in both cases neither of us has the right to kill, hurt, destroy property to avenge the insult.

2-People offend each other every day, including in Iraq and in muslim societies. How do you suggest this is dealth with?

3- There is no European democracy, there is democracy or the absence of it. And here I dont mean the voting system but the values of mutual respect, tolerance and regulation of majority and minority rights.

I am not sure why you are so appalled by this concept