Sunday, June 29, 2008

The debate III

The follow up from the debate and the Debate II posts. Fun follow up stuff !

Sorry for replying so late, I’ve started a full time job and it’s quite busy.
I would first of all like you to visit this link again [link] to read the comments made on this deviation and the replies I made to them.
I would also like to clarify that in this deviation, I did not call for violence or killing or burning or hatred of any kind.
There are two bodies of text, the first clearly calls for a boycott of Danish products, the second is poem about the person who orchestrated the whole caricatures issue. The poem says roughly
“oh you who attempts to knock down the mountain by kicking it, feel sorry for your foot, not the mountain”.
So you see, there was no violence or clash of any kind, and in any case, since then I have changed my views about this issue, and the only reason I keep this deviation is for artistic value.

I agree with the bulk of what you say in your previous argument. People throughout history have used ideology of race, geography, language or creed to rally those around them to garner power. Having lived in Iraq I have first hand experience in this where for 8 years, Saddam Hussien lead Iraqis against a war of arab nationalism against Persian encroachment on the western gate of the Arabian nation. These terms and sentiments are exactly how the propaganda machines made millions of Iraqis believe and killed or imprisoned those who didn’t.

You have to understand that the whole uproar thing that happened wasn’t because these cartoons were drawn, it was because these cartoons were meant to insult muslims world wide.
As a person who claims to follow the teachings of Islam, I and millions of Muslims like me are not seeking to control the west nor sensor it. If you go to any library in the world and any university also you would find hundreds of books and theses that attempt to disprove Islam or to belie the prophet Muhammad as a prophet, some even make the claim that Islam and its teachings are evil etc...
There have been drawings and illustrations of the prophet, and there have never been any anger or violence before it either. This is different because it aimed to insult an important concept and a beloved person that is part of a world religion.

Now in saying that, I would also have to argue that even though there is about 1.5 billion muslims in the world, it cannot be said that all of them follow islam. Many of them have very little knowledge of Islamic teachings and know what they know from traditions of their fathers. For these masses it’s easy to have a blind rage march in the streets, but it doesn’t mean that any of the millions of other speakers, community leaders and religious scholars actually called for any of these.
Most of the violence happened in third world countries where there was already war and violence, so this was just an extension of it. Also if you remember in Pakistan they burned flags of Denmark etc… well these guys burn flags of anything that angers them, a few years ago they burned an effigy of an Australian cricket captain because he said something negative about the Pakistan cricket team.
Sadly the media carries over to the west the violence and the hate of this ignorance, and leaves out the scores of initiatives for peace and understanding that sprung forth in the muslim world. From all countries from Egypt to Australia and everything in between.

Again I remind you that Muslims are not part of one huge organic consciousness, so that what a Moroccan does in Holland is not automatically sanctioned by me.
A number of years ago when something happened in Europe of I think the pope saying something against Islam. There were hundreds of articles and rebuttals of muslims in the east and the west arguing and presenting arguments against the pope’s argument. It was peaceful and not news worthy.
Two weeks later there was a peaceful march in London to protest these remarks as not being constructive in a world context. MOST people walked peacefully and carried signs with peacefull messages. About 30 protestors though with some warped militant mentality hijacked the rally with very provocative messages supporting Bin Laden and promising a massacre in Britain etc, one person was stupid enough to wear a mock suicide bomber vest.
Suffice to say the whole march was tainted by the actions of a minority, and that is just what these people are, a minority, mostly fueled by ignorance and closed mindedness.
Also in regards to the honour killing thing, It is an age old Arabic tradition to kill for honour, but Islam stopped it as it stopped many other inhumane and barbaric acts the arabs and other cultures used to do before embracing Islam. Honour killing is not an Islamic concept and it has not been condoned by any muslim authority ever.
I welcome your question and arguments in regards to this matter, as a muslim I feel I always have the responsibility to clarify Islam to people, especially now with all the wrong images of it being propagated by muslims and non muslims.
Thanks again, and I look forward to your reply.

Nasser Alkhateeb

P.S. Don’t call me a bastard man ! you hardly know me !
P.P.S. Is it ok that I post this message and reply on my blog ? I’ll wait for your confirmation before I do so.