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Cartoon Saga: Can Prophet Muhammad Command Unqualified Respect from the Westerners?


By M. A. Khan

 2006/02/07

Publication of a number of caricature cartoons of prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper have set on a raging controversy and violent protests from Muslims at every corner of the World. As the Muslims world wages civil as well as violent protests in unison the Western world has taken a divisive stand. Countries like Norway , Netherlands , Germany , Switzerland and  France have expressed solidarity with the Danish paper in a attempt to protect the Western secular and democratic society's most cherished ideal  right to freedom of _expression of one's opinion. On the other hand, certain countries including the United States and United Kingdom have taken a meek stand of appeasing to the Muslim world.

The US State Department termed cartoons "offensive to the beliefs of Muslims" and their publication "not acceptable," warning that press freedom "must be coupled with press responsibility."

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said the decision to republish the cartoons was "insensitive ... disrespectful ... and wrong."

Governments in the West distanced themselves from the independent papers that published the cartoons. Only a number of newspapers in Europe  came to the defense of their sister publications, insisting on their right to free _expression, whilst others have been more cautious.

The controversy created such a stunning impact that it led Denmark Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen to hold an hour-long meeting with 76 foreign diplomats in a bid to defuse the crisis, but repeated at the end that his government could not apologize on behalf of the press.

As this controversy is in a motion of continued intensification in the days to come, it is an opportune moment for the Westerners as well as the Muslims to reflect on if the Prophet of Islam deserves to command unqualified respect from the Westerners in the light of the theological doctrine he had set forward some 14 centuries ago. It should be considered that Muslims are expecting such unqualified respect for the prophet on the Islamic theological ground which prohibits depiction of their prophet in any form. It will hence be most appropriate to consider the desired respect for the prophet from the Westerners in the light of same Islamic theological doctrine, which comprises of the edicts of the Koran and deeds and traditions of the Prophet.

When delve into the Islamic theological doctrine that the Prophet Muhammad had preached and propagated, it becomes the most difficult and unreasonable proposition for the Westerners. In the eyes of the Islamic doctrine, the Westerner who comprises of mainly of the Jews, Christians and nontheists, are labeled as Kaffirs which means cruel, deceptive and hypocrite infidels/unbeliever [Koran 2:39]. The Westerners are the worst beast in the eyes of Allah [Koran 8:55]. The God of the Jews and Christians of the West are false who lead them to darkness [Koran 2:258]. Westerners are deceptive and liars [Koran 3:23] and wrongdoers [Koran 2:254 ]. The Western infidels must not be taken as friends and contacts must be avoided at all costs [Koran 3:28]. Muslims must not associate with their own kindred (son, parents and wives) if they don not believe in Allah [Koran 58:22] and such kindred are their enemies [Koran 64.14].

The Prophet Muhammad did not only propagate a derogatory and demeaning doctrine against the infidels, including those of the West, he also incited violence and ordered his followers to wage wars against the infidels. Muslims must fight the infidels, the minions of the devil [Koran 4:76]. Muslims must not take the infidels as friends and unless the latter offer peace, they must be killed wherever the Muslims find them [Koran 4:49, 4:91]. Muslims must fight the infidels with determination, they must not retreat in the fight and those who retreat will be condemned to the fire of hell [Koran 8:15-16]. Muslims must fight the infidels, they must not let the latter escape [Koran 8:59-60 ] and they must seek out, lay in wait to ambush, seize and slay the latter wherever found [Koran 9:5]. Muslims must fight the infidels whoever is near and show harshness to them [Koran 9:123]. They must fight the infidels in Allah's cause and in the process they will slay the infidels and be slain themselves [Koran 9:111] and if they refuse to fight the infidels, they will be afflicted with painful doom by Allah [Koran 9:39 ]. When Muslims meet the infidels, they must strike off the latter's heads, until they have made a great slaughter amongst the infidels [Koran 47:4]. In a nutshell, Muslims must fight, kill and slew infidels until the latter have submitted to Islam or subdued to the status of dhimmitude and humiliation and agree to pay Jizya taxes for not accepting Islam [ [Koran 09:05, Koran-9:29].

 

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