Assalamu alaikum, I wanted to write briefly about the anti-Muslim “film” that sparked the seemingly ongoing protests in the Middle East and other places that may or may not have led to the killing of four Americans in Libya. My first thought, after obviously feeling sorry for the people who’d been killed was “what film?” I mean, I personally had no idea that said film even existed.
My second thought, after hearing someone in Egypt (not sure if it was the President or someone else) saying something along the lines of “Americans should condemn this film” or “the American government should condemn this film” “or the American government should stop this film from being shown”, etc., I have to say I felt a bit indignant, and I’d dare to say bordering on anger, because firstly, it’s not like this film is being shown all over America and that Americans are flocking to see it, as it seems many in the “Muslim” world seem to think. I’d venture to say that most of us didn’t even know that the film existed. Secondly, we’re not Egypt. Meaning, we don’t go around shutting down films (usually) because we don’t like the content. That’s not (supposedly though I know not always) how we roll ’round these parts. We’re supposed to have freedom of speech, which means that people have the right to say some very uncomfortable things, some very offensive things, and this includes things about but not necessarily limited to Islam, Muslims and Our Prophet (peace be upon him).
And what this means is that given that there are people who are purposefully trying to stoke up anti-Muslim sentiment, and images and news stories of angry Muslims killing people and tearing down anything “Western” in nature is just what they’d need to bolster their claims about Islam and Muslims, one would think that people would stop and think before engaging in these types of behaivor if even for that reason.
But also, I remember a few years ago people used to wear T-shirts and other things that used to say “What would Jesus Do?” or WWJD. My question is “what would Muhammad (peace be upon him) do.
I don’t think he’d be a part of a rampaging mob attacking an embassy, killing its diplomat and tearing down Aemrcian flags, all in the guise of “protecting/defending Islam and the Prophet”. Our Prophet doesn’t need protecting/defending, and most especially not in this way, and Islam doesn’t need protecting/defending, Allah can and will do this.
It seems to me that the best course of action would have been to ignore this film. Because it seems to me that the people who put this film out were banking on exactly the kinds of things that happened after the film was put out on the net. And they got exactly what they wanted. Obviously, Muslims are saddened and upset by some of the things that are said about the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), but firstly, this isn’t stuff we’ve all not heard/seen before, and secondly, I’ve always been told that the stuff we go through and see as Muslims and any persecution we might suffer was never as bad as what the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions went through. So if that is the case, then really what is our problem? Why do some of us Muslims every time something even remotely “bad” is said about Islam, Muslims, or the Prophet (peace be upon him), some of us get all whipped up into a frenzy.
I mean, I realize that a lot of this isn’t just because someone said something bad about Islam. It’s like the theory of displacement in psychology, a professor of mine in college used to call it the “kick the dog” phenomenon. You’re not kicking the dog because you’re mad at the dog, you’re kicking the dog because maybe your boss yelled at you at work that day, and obviously, you couldn’t take it out on your boss because then maybe you’d lose your job. So you come home and kick the dog, or slam the door or something like that.
So IMHO, a lot of these protests aren’t just about “a film about Islam”, it’s being angry about other things, that they can’t do anything about, coming to the surface and “Islam” is just an excuse/outlet for the anger that is being expressed.
It’s just unfortunate that not more patience and perseverance and reliance on Allah isn’t being seemingly utilized. And that people have to resort to killing Ambassadors or tearing down American flags or attacking embassies, instead of praying/making dua/reciting Qur’an. Because this would seem to be a more powerful “weapon” instead of images of rampaging mobs being beamed all around the world that most certainly isn’t going to help the Muslims’ cause or do us any favors. All it’s going to do is reenforce in the minds of many what the Islamophobes were supposedly trying to tell us all along.