Charlie Hebdo’s Defamatory Cartoons – Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) Needs No Avenger

What Can We Learn From Pope Francis as Muslims?
Cultural implications on Saudi Arabia after the Grand Mosque Seizure in 1979
Voices Against Terrorism

For young men and women who want to defend their beloved Prophet, they should study his life better and understand how he himself responded to similar attacks against his name. The Prophet was hurt and insulted. He faced the worst kind of ridicule, but what was his response?

By Amal Al-Sibai

It is all over the news. Masked gunmen raided and attacked Charlie Hebdo’s offices in Paris, allegedly yelling “Allah u Akbar” as they murdered the editor of the magazine and 11 others.
Some news reports have stated that the gunmen said after the attack that they had “avenged the Prophet Muhammad”.
It does not take a brilliant scholar or a theologian or someone with a PhD in Islamic law to deduce that these men (despite their erroneous statements) do not represent Islam, and they have deterred from the sensible, judicious, and peaceful way of the very man who they claim to defend.
Every fair person who is not a hate-monger acknowledges that it is not the religion of Islam that calls for acts of violence.
I am appalled and I cringe every time I read their statements, which are completely false, and in more than one way.
First of all, murder is a crime; a major sin in Islam, and is strictly forbidden. Under no circumstance is it permissible for any Muslim to take the life of another human being, unless in self-defense or if they are soldiers fighting in open war on the battle field or as corporal punishment for murder that was reached as the verdict after a fair judicial trial (and of course there is a long legal process for that).
Islamic law does not allow Muslims to take up arms and go shoot people who have insulted their religion.
Who has appointed these gunmen as the avengers of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh)? And does Prophet Muhammad need anyone to avenge him?
The French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, is a satirical magazine that has repeatedly published defamatory remarks and images of Prophet Muhammad. As Professor Nouman Ali Khan so eloquently said, “We need to understand that none can take away the honour of the Prophet, it was given to him from above, from God. Nothing on earth can take it away, no article, no cartoon, no film, and no hate speech. It is not going to take away the dignity of our Prophet. Such depictions are futile and wasteful attempts to try to undermine the message of Islam and to misrepresent Islam.”
“Muslims reacting in such an angry manner and engaging in senseless violence is what is misrepresenting Islam,” he added.
We all remember the outrage in the Muslim world that ensued after the release of the film entitled “Fitna” (sedition) in 2008. A Dutch politician, Arnoud van Doorn, helped in the production and release of this film, which depicted Islam as evil and extreme.
A few years after the film’s release, Doorn converted to Islam, performed the Haj (pilgrimage), and visited the grave of Prophet Muhammad, where he wept out of remorse for being involved in that film.
In an article in the Huffington Post, Arnoud van Doorn is quoted as saying, “I have heard so many negative stories about Islam, but I am not a person who follows opinions of others without doing my own research. Therefore, I have actually started to deepen my knowledge of the Islam out of curiosity.”
Arnoud van Doorn has said that he bitterly regrets his actions and wants to make amends by producing a film showing Islam in a positive light. Thank God nobody killed him for his involvement in that defamatory film!
If Muslims truly have zeal and love for Islam, they should try their best to behave towards people of other faiths with decency, respect, and exemplary kindness. By educating, rather than killing others, we may be the vehicle that God uses to guide them to Islam, rather than away from.
The Prophet opted for giving guidance and knowledge to others more than drawing the sword. He said to Ali bin Abi Talib, “By Allah, if a single person is guided by Allah through you, it will be better for you than a whole lot of red camels.” ““ the camels symbolize immense wealth and high stature. This Hadith is recorded in Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
Insults and abuse are not a new phenomenon; it occurred directly to the Prophet and to his companions, but their response was far different from what we are witnessing today, which takes us to the third point.
For young men and women who want to defend their beloved Prophet, they should study his life better and understand how he himself responded to similar attacks against his name. The Prophet was hurt and insulted. He was called insane, a magician, a perpetual liar. He faced the worst kind of ridicule, but what was his response?
He responded as he was guided by Allah to respond, in the verses of the holy Qur’an, which state: {And be patient over what they say and avoid them with gracious avoidance.}
Once, the Prophet was sitting with his best friend, Abu Bakr. A man approached them and blatantly insulted Abu Bakr, but Abu Bakr stayed silent and patient. As this man insulted Abu Bakr, eliciting no reaction from him, the Prophet watched on, smiling.
When the man continued to berate him, Abu Bakr finally spoke up and defended himself. Upon this, the Prophet evidently disapproved and he stood up and left.
His companion, Abu Bakr, was curious and he asked, “O Messenger of Allah, he was abusing me and you remained sitting. When I responded to him, you disapproved and got up.”
The Prophet explained that when the man was insulting Abu Bakr and he remained silent, the angels were defending and protecting him, but when Abu Bakr spoke to defend himself, the angels left.
I do believe that there are divine angels that are protecting the message of Islam and the honour of the earliest great men and women who endured so much hardship to keep the message of Islam alive.
Are Muslims expected to be silent or unconcerned over hateful remarks and insults that target our Prophet? No. But there are better ways to express concern and pain. Boycotting a certain defamatory publication or organizing a campaign or being proactive and engaging in public education about Islam would have been a correct response, definitely not firing bullets at the so-called journalists.
Although Muslims have publicly condemned the attack on the French magazine, attacks against Muslims in France have been reported by the AFP. Grenades were thrown at a mosque in Le Mans and a bullet hole was found in one of the mosque windows. A bomb blasted at a kebab restaurant adjacent to a mosque in Villefranche-sur-Saone, and gunshots were fired at a mosque in Port-la-Nouvelle. A boar’s head and entrails were left outside an Islamic praying centre in Corsica. The result of violence is more violence and more hate.