The Muslim Times’ Response to an Anti-Islam Film
Posted by Zia Shah
Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD
The Mosque of Medina: This Mosque was first built by the Prophet of Islam
“He (Allah) it is Who sends blessings on you (Muhammad), as do His angels, that He may bring you forth from all kinds of darkness into light. And He is Merciful to the believers. Their greeting on the day when they meet Him will be, ‘Peace.’ And He has prepared for them an honorable reward.” (Al Quran 33:44-45)
“Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe! you also should invoke blessings on him and salute him with the salutation of peace. Indeed, those who annoy Allah and His Messenger — Allah has cursed them in this world and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them an abasing punishment.’” (Al Quran 33:57–58)
One of the first steps that the Muslim Times took to refute the propaganda of a recent anti-Islam film, which has gathered some notoriety, was to promote a positive movie about the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him: The Message: Mohammed: Messenger of God.
The glories which invest the history of Islam may be entirely derived from the valor, the virtue, the intelligence, the genius, of man. If this be conceded, the largest measure of credit is due to him who conceived its plan, promoted its impulse, and formulated the rules which insured its success. In any event, if the object of religion be the inculcation of morals, the diminution of evil, the promotion of human happiness, the expansion of the human intellect, if the performance of good works will avail in the great day when mankind shall be summoned to its final reckoning it is neither irreverent nor unreasonable to admit that Muhammad was indeed an Apostle of God.
What Samuel Parsons Scott missed, Reverend Professor Montgomery Watt (1909–2006), a biographer of the Prophet Muhammad grasped or was it a Freudian slip? He high lighted above all virtues the Prophet’s trust in God:
The more one reflects on the history of Muhammad and of early Islam, the more one is amazed at the vastness of his achievement. Circumstances presented him with an opportunity such as few men have had, but the man was fully matched with the hour. Had it not been for his gifts as a seer, statesman, and administrator and, behind these, his trust in God and firm belief that God had sent him, a notable chapter in the history of mankind would have remained unwritten.
The back cover of the movie the Message states, “After seeing a vision of the Angel Gabriel, Mohammad calls to the people of Mecca to cast aside the 300 idols of Kaaba and worship only one God. Starring Anthony Quinn and Irene Papas, this breathtaking historical epic about the birth of the Islamic faith took six years to prepare and more than a year to film. It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score.”
By the Grace of Allah, I had the opportunity to invite the Muslim Times Editorial team of 60 members and all the thousands of readers, on September 18th, to facilitate a dialogue and discussion regarding limits of free speech in our Global village. We need to use laws against Holocaust denial and hate speech, as examples to initiate an open and honest debate about the freedom of free speech and its limits! These existing laws should be used as template and precedence against anti-Islam vitriolic, to minimize exploitation of religious sensibilities. We have large amount of materials about laws against hate speech and holocaust denial in Wikipedia and those materials have been made available in the Muslim Times as well. Given the realities of our Global village, the laws that the Muslims urge for should have universal appeal. These should be such that they can be implemented not only in the Muslim countries but also the Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist countries. Such laws, against hate speech and religious sensibilities, should have broad principles to safeguard the honor of founders of religions and national heroes that not only the Muslims and Christians favor, but, also the secularists, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus and followers of Confucianism and Daoism.
Khalifatul Masih V, Head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, highlighted that the Muslims have sovereignty over several countries and there are large Turkish and other Muslim populations in Europe, in his Friday Sermon on September 21, 2012. He stressed that the Muslims should use their political influence and strength in numbers to create social pressures to enact laws against violation of religious sensibilities. He also urged Muslim lawyers to work on such issues and influence laws through suitable lobbying and writings. Muslim countries could try to influence UNO for such purposes as well. He also urged that we need to use all legal means to promote the true image of the Greatest Benefactor of mankind, the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him. He outlined a very comprehensive program to tackle anti-Islam propaganda. In the conclusion of his Friday Sermon, he issued a very dire warning in the words of the Messiah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, that if the world will not deter from abusing and defaming Allah’s beloved Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, then Gods’ wrath will indeed be unleashed in every country of the world. The Messiah wrote:
Bear in mind that God has informed me time and again about the coming of earthquakes. So be sure that just as there have been earthquakes in America and in Europe, in keeping with the prophecies, so will they occur in different parts of Asia, and some of them will be as terrifying as doomsday. There will be death on such a large scale that rivers will run with blood, and even birds and animals will not escape it. Such destruction will overtake the earth as has not happened since man was born. Most places will be turned upside down as if they had never been inhabited. There will also be other terrible afflictions, both in heaven and earth, and every sensible person will realize that they are no ordinary phenomena, and no trace of them will be found in books of astronomy or philosophy. Then people will be seized by anxiety and they will wonder what is going to happen? Many will be saved, and many will perish. Those days are near, indeed they are at the door, when the world shall witness a spectacle of doomsday. Not only will there be earthquakes, but other terrible calamities will also appear, some from heaven and some from the earth. This will happen because men have given up the worship of their God, and all their thoughts and their designs and their resolves are diverted towards the world. Had I not come, these calamities might have been delayed for a while, but with my coming the secret designs of God’s wrath, that had long been hidden, have been manifested. As God said: ‘…We never punish until We have sent a Messenger.’ (17: 16).
Those who repent shall find security and those who fear before the calamity overtakes them will be shown mercy. Do you think that you will be safe from these earthquakes, or that you can save yourselves by your own designs? No, you cannot. All human designs will come to naught that day. Do not imagine that only America has been shaken by the earthquake and that you are safe, for you may experience even greater calamities. O Europe! You are not secure, O Asia! You are not secure, O you who dwell in the Islands, no artificial god will come to your aid. I see the cities falling and I see the habitations in ruin. The One and the Unique has long remained silent. Abominations were committed before His eyes and yet He remained silent. But now He shall reveal His countenance in a dreadful manner. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! The hour is not far. I tried to bring everyone under the security of God, but the decrees of destiny had to be fulfilled. Assuredly, I say that this country’s turn is also drawing near. The days of Noah shall appear before your eyes, and you will see with your own eyes what happened to the land of Lot. But God is slow to wrath, repent so that you are shown mercy. He who abandons God is a worm, not a man, and he who does not fear Him is dead, not alive.[Haqiqat-ul-Wahi, Ruhani Khaza’in, vol. 22, pp. 268-269 – Essence of Islam, Vo. V, pp. 148 – 150]
In the end Khalifatul Masih V prayed for the world in the words, “May God give sense to the world and may He enable us to discharge our responsibilities.” To listen to the whole of his Friday Sermon, click here.
In the last few days, since the tragic and unfortunate murder of the USA Ambassador to Libya, the Muslim Times has published several articles to lay a positive response to the abuse of freedom of speech, which many Islamophobes find it very convenient to indulge in these days, in one form or another.
The Muslim Times wants to make a special mention of the condemnation of the anti-Islam movie by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton. We have not yet seen similar gesture from Presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
The Muslim Times is specially thankful to Jürgen Todenhöfer for his efforts in this regard. Todenhöfer (born 12 November 1940 in Offenburg) is a German executive, author and former politician. He became a member of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) in 1970 and was a member of the German parliament from December 13, 1972, to December 20, 1990, (five election periods). He also acted as party spokesman for development policy and arms control. In 1980 he visited Soviet-occupied Afghanistan and started to raise money for refugees. Todenhöfer is one of the most prominent German critics of the US-led wars against Afghanistan and against Iraq starting in the years 2001 and 2003, respectively. Till 2008 he has been vice chairman of the executive board at German media company Hubert Burda Media. To read further about his efforts in this regard, click here.