How would the Prophet of Islam react to the recent outpouring of anger, civil disobedience, killing, looting, and burning of buildings and desecration of property all to avenge insults in his name?
Islamic history is ripe with examples of Prophet Muhammad PBUH forgiving perpetrators of the most heinous crimes against his person, his family and property. He suffered severe persecution at the hands of his enemies and when the tables were turned, chose to forgive them. He was spit upon, stoned, banished, chased away, exiled, enemies covered his person with intestines of dead animals as he bowed down to pray, Magicians and soothsayers cast spells on him. He responded by forgiving his tormentors, furthermore he guided his companions to show restraint and to forgive.
The Islamic philosophy is deeply ingrained in accountability for actions - punishment for crimes and also rewards for good deeds. Millions of Muslims pray every day and multiple times within a day for forgiveness of their sins and seek to attain a high rank in heaven and to drink the blessed water from the coveted well of the Prophet in Heaven and to attain his intercession and good pleasure.
What do these Muslim mobs intend to take with them by way of their actions and what do they intend to say to their Prophet when they meet him on the Day of Judgment?
The Libyans killed an Ambassador, an emissary who had no connection with the denigrating film; several other lives were lost as well. Damage to both private and public property and the loss of productivity across the Muslim world must have surpassed at least a billion dollars and counting in just the last week alone.
The Government of Pakistan took the extraordinary step of announcing a public holiday to celebrate the ‘Love of the Prophet’ day on Friday, September 21st. To the trained eye this was an opportunistic and self-serving move to garner public support for the upcoming elections. After all if the heavily tainted government officials loved the Prophet so much they could start by stopping the rampant corruption that exists in almost all public sector in Pakistan, or by returning the hundreds of millions of dollars their appointed President is accused of looting from the government exchequer, or by simply establishing the rule of law and justice that eludes the average Pakistani citizen.
The opposition and religious parties in particular also saw this as an opportunity to ferment violence and turned the ‘Day of Love’ into a day of anarchy, plunder and mayhem with 19 killed at last count and 100s injured. ATMs and banks were looted; public and private buildings and property were set on fire.
This outcome and impact of this inflammatory, third rate film has surpassed the wildest expectations and dreams of the malicious filmmakers. Unfortunately today’s followers of Islam are showing the world that they don’t have the slightest clue about the teachings of their Prophet. They come across as Neanderthals and savages unfit to be declared civilized human beings. It does not take a clairvoyant to suggest that the most likely response by their Prophet would be to entirely disassociate himself from this unruly, emotionally charged, gullible, impetuous and misguided mob that carries out these crimes in his name.
A suggestion for the government and people of Pakistan and the rest of the Muslim world would be to now call for a day of ‘Repentance, Shame and Reflection’ where they urge the ‘Lovers of the Prophet’ to sit inside their homes, ponder over their actions and beg forgiveness from their lord because they have brought nothing but shame to their own religion and to the esteem of their beloved Prophet.
A Muslim scholar gave an apt analogy of dogs barking at the full moon, bright in its glory, at the darkest hour of night. The barking does not diminish the glory of the moon in the least. Similar is the case of fraudsters, con artists, provocateurs framing insults on world’s religious figures including Islam’s prophet, their sole purpose is to incite violence and to ferment discord. One can respond to barking dogs and in the process denigrate oneself to becoming an unrecognizable savage beast, more abased than dogs, or one can simply admire the beauty of the moon and let history tell its lessons to those interested in learning.