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Denigrating Islam and Muslims

September 22, 2012

AN Israeli Jew, Sam Bacile, based in California has made the film, ‘Innocence of Muslims’, in which he reportedly belittled Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

When this led to rioting in the Middle East and violence, causing the regrettable killing of some innocent Americans in Libya, including ambassador Chris Stevens. Mr Bacile, who had, according to his consultant, Steve Klein, said: “Islam is cancer, period.”

This shows the mischievous intent of the filmmaker. If only he had bothered to read about what the Prophet of Islam had actually taught, he would have, in his saner moments, decided to desist from slandering Islam and its Messenger.

He might have learned, for instance, that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had enjoined upon his followers that, “when the bier of anyone passes by you, whether [of a] Jew, Christian, or Muslim, rise to your feet.”

According to yet another tradition, once a bier passed by him, and he stood up; and it was said to him: “This is the bier of a Jew.” Muhammad (peace be upon him) said something to the effect, “Was he not a soul?”

All of this goes to show how enlightened and humane an approach the Prophet had towards even the Jews and Christians.

A cursory look at history shows that Muslims and Jews had, for centuries, enjoyed cordial relations in places like Spain (during the Muslim rule); the Ottoman Empire where they had been granted asylum by Ottoman rulers; and even Palestine.

However, the relations soured once Zionism appeared on the scene and efforts began to uproot the Palestinians from their homeland under flimsy pretexts.

In his well known book, ‘The Road to Makkah’, Muhammad Asad (the former Austrian Jew, Leopold Weiss) has cited Dr Jacob de Haan, a Jewish friend and former law teacher, as criticising the Zionists way back in the early20th century. Dr de Haan had accused them of trying to build a ‘national home’ by committing the crime of depriving another people (the Palestinians) of its home.

M.P. CHISHTI                                 Karachi

Strikes, violence and protests

STRIKE has become a common way to protest which is observed in Pakistan due to loadshedding, blasphemy, national interest or provincial interest, etc. Our nation calls for strike by shutting down markets.

Strike is a way of protest for getting genuine demands fulfilled when other means have failed but, unfortunately, it is being misused in Pakistan. Strike is the only source through which problems of our nation are raised.

But violent strikes are deadly, affecting our country as uneducated people do not think about national interests and are used. They shut down markets, shops and burn public buses and property while protesting.

In major cities, when political parties call for strikes, it affects the whole country. Pakistan is facing a severe economic crisis. Industries lose billions of rupees and they are shifting to other countries. For example, textile industries have been shifted from Pakistan to India and Bangladesh.

It is increasing the ratio of unemployment. The daily wage workers are more disturbed and are financially exploited.

There are many examples in history in which nations got their rights by peaceful protests and not by violent acts. Such as in the early 20th century the Swadeshi movement was organised by Hindus of the subcontinent to protest against the partition of Bengal by boycotting British goods.

Nowadays our media is becoming mature and it can be a useful tool for us to raise our voice. Mostly people who take part in strikes are uneducated and unaware of its consequences. The media can be a best platform to educate our nation.

In the Holy Quran, Allah says: “Verily Allah will never change the condition of the people until they change themselves.” (Surah Ra’ad, Ayah 11) No one will come to bring about a change for us, only we ourselves can do this.