Cartoon Saga: Can Prophet Muhammad Command Unqualified Respect from the
By M. A. Khan
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
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
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
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said the decision to
republish the cartoons was "insensitive ... disrespectful ... and
Governments in the West distanced themselves from the
independent papers that published the cartoons. Only a number of newspapers
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
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,
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
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