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Sunday, February 05, 2006

when was the last time denmark got this much attention?

We have to admit we're amazed at the destruction that has occurred after the widespread publication of the now infamous cartoons Muhammad cartoons - originally posted in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten depicting Muhammad (click here to see the cartoons) and were republished in newspapers across Europe and in New Zealand.

Last week, Syrian protesters set fire to the Danish Embassy in Damascus and then proceeded to march 4 miles to the Norwegian Embassy (what did Norway have to do with it?). As well, the Danish Embassy in Beruit, Lebanon was burnt down by angry protesters (see more pictures here). In Jakarta, Indonesia, the Danish Embassy was stormed by angry protesters. As well, the German cultural centre and the European Union offices in the Gaza Strip were also attacked.

Though we obviously don't share the anger of the protesters (we're not finding any Embassies to burn), we agree that the cartoons did lack a certain amount of taste.

We find it very very curious that spontaneous protests of any kind could happen in strong dictatorships such as Syria. Not only does the lack of security provided by the Syrian government around the Embassies suggest silent support for the protesters actions, but it also sends a strong message to the international community about Syria's committment to protecting foreign diplomats in their country.

Is this surprising? Not really.

As well, as was mentioned by a guest caller on the CBC Radio program Cross Country Checkup this afternoon, the outrage towards the Danish people signals a huge double standard among leaders in the Muslim world - many whom called upon calm following the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and that the western world should not blame all Arabs for the attack. Why should the Danish Embassies be attacked for the work of an individual cartoon drawer? They shouldn't.

We're not sure if any of our ramblings actually makes sense, but we would like prescribe a huge dose of "chill out" to all those angered enough to go and burn down foreign Embassies in their area.

Hopefully things will "chill out" and not let this international controversy effect the beginning of next week's Olympic Games in Torino, Italy.

7 comments:

iBrett said...

Dave, I couldn't agree more. Good post.

Thanks for updating "my link" on your blogs non-politika column so quickly. Very impressive.

Also, I'm glad to see you've got the PIA PSE conference link on your much visited blog. Are you attending the conference?

Postman said...

If you want news on denmark re Muslims / Iraq / torture by Danish officers in Iraq search www.postmanpatel.blogspot.com using search term Denmark.

Denmark gets lots of attention.

Riots in November in Denmark related to the infamous cartoons were noted in November.

holtopia said...

Ironically, the charge made in a few of these political cartoons--which I interpret as being not against the prophet himself, but against how some of the faithful think and act--has been confirmed by the actions of these violent "protestors."

Oh satire, how I doth cherish thee and Ambrose Bierce.

The reactions (or lack thereof) of various governments in the region display either tacit approval or a kind of vulnerability, depending on the particular state in question.

daveberta said...

indeed. God Bless satire.

ibrett - you're welcome. and yes, I will be going to the PIA conference - i've volunteered to facilitate two of the sessions as well.

postman - thanks for the links.

Yazan said...

Yes it is a shame...

But, in a dictatorship like syria, These very same ppl will take to the streets to attack opposition figures... it's not about Denmark, and I doubt it's about Islam!!

Danish embassy CAN and WILL be rebuilt again, but the damage to the Syrian image outside and to Syrians, that'll take years to heal... that's the worst part of this.. for me as a Syrian.

Again, it is a shame...

if u're intersted u can check my blog for responses from the Syrian Blogsphere to such events... I find it my duty to help erase the trauma of this...

good day

Mai said...

DO YOU KNOW THIS PERSONALITY

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was a mercy to all human beings, regardless of their religious background. We, as his followers, must live and spread this message today at a time when hatefulness and ugliness towards each other has become the norm.

The statements of the world well-known personalities about the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), like Sir George Bernard Shaw, Michael H. Hart, Encyclopedia Britannica, Thomas Calyle, Mahatma Gandhi, Lamar Tine and Prof. Rama Krishna Rao etc.

ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA confirms:

".... A mass of detail in the early sources show that he was an honest and upright man who had gained the respect and loyalty of others who were like-wise honest and upright men." (Vol. 12)


Sir George Bernard Shaw in 'The Genuine Islam,' Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936.

"If any religion had the chance of ruling over England, nay Europe within the next hundred years, it could be Islam."

"I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion, which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence, which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him - the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savior of Humanity."

"I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today."



He was by far the most remarkable man that ever set foot on this earth. He preached a religion, founded a state, built a nation, laid down a moral code, initiated numerous social and political reforms, established a powerful and dynamic society to practice and represent his teachings and completely revolutionized the worlds of human thought and behavior for all times to come.

"HIS NAME IS MUHAMMAD" May Peace of God Be Upon Him (pbuh) He was born in Arabia in the year 570 C.E. (common era), started his mission of preaching the religion of Truth, Islam (submission to One God) at the age of forty and departed from this world at the age of sixty-three.

During this short period of 23 years of his Prophethood, he changed the complete Arabian peninsula from paganism and idolatry to worship of One God, from tribal quarrels and wars to national solidarity and cohesion, from drunkenness and debauchery to sobriety and piety, from lawlessness and anarchy to disciplined living, from utter bankruptcy to the highest standards of moral excellence. Human history has never known such a complete transformation of a people or a place before or since - and IMAGINE all these unbelievable wonders in JUST OVER TWO DECADES.

MICHAEL H. HART in his recently published book on ratings of men who contributed towards the

benefit and upliftment of mankind writes:

"My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels." (M.H. Hart, THE 100: A RANKING OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS IN HISTORY, New York, 1978, p. 33) Lamar tine the renowned historian speaking on the essentials of human greatness wonders:

"If greatness of purpose, smallness of means and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislation, empires, peoples and dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and souls.... his forbearance in victory, his ambition, which was entirely devoted to one idea and in no manner striving for an empire; his endless prayers, his mystic conversations with God, his death and his triumph after death; all these attest not to an imposture but to a firm conviction which gave him the power to restore a dogma. This dogma was two-fold, the unity of God and the immateriality of God; the former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with the words.

"Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult without images, the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is MUHAMMAD. As regards all the standards by which Human Greatness may be measured, we may well ask, IS THERE ANY MAN GREATER THAN HE?"



(Lamar tine, HISTOIRE DE LA TURQUIE, Paris, 1854, Vol. II, pp 276-277)

The world has had its share of great personalities. But these were one-sided figures who distinguished themselves in but one or two fields, such as religious thought or military leadership. The lives and teachings of these great personalities of the world are shrouded in the mist of time. There is so much speculation about the time and place of their birth, the mode and style of their life, the nature and detail of their teachings and the degree and measure of their success or failure that it is impossible for humanity to reconstruct accurately the lives and teachings of these men.

Not so this man. Muhammad (pbuh) accomplished so much in such diverse fields of human thought and behavior in the fullest blaze of human history. Every detail of his private life and public utterances has been accurately documented and faithfully preserved to our day. The authenticities of the record so preserved are vouched for not only by the faithful followers but also even by his prejudiced critics.

Muhammad (pbuh) was a religious teacher, a social reformer, a moral guide, an administrative colossus, a faithful friend, a wonderful companion, a devoted husband, a loving father - all in one. No other man in history ever excelled or equaled him in any of these different aspects of life - but it was only for the selfless personality of Muhammad (pbuh) to achieve such incredible perfections.


MAHATMA GANDHI Speaking on the character of Muhammad, (pbuh) says in YOUNG INDIA:

"I wanted to know the best of one who holds today's undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind.... I became more than convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for his pledges, his intense devotion to this friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the 2nd volume (of the Prophet's biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of the great life."

THOMAS CALYLE in his HEROES AND HEROWORSHIP, was simply amazed as to:

"How one man single-handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades."

"The lies (Western slander) which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man (Muhammad) are disgraceful to ourselves only."

"A silent great soul, one of that who cannot but be earnest. He was to kindle the world, the world's Maker had ordered so."

DIWAN CHAND SHARMA wrote:

"Muhammad was the soul of kindness, and his influence was felt and never forgotten by those around him." (D.C. Sharma, THE PROPHETS OF THE EAST, Calcutta, 1935, pp. 12)

EDWARD GIBBON and SIMON OCKLEY speaking on the profession of ISLAM write:

"'I BELIEVE IN ONE GOD, AND MAHOMET, AN APOSTLE OF GOD' is the simple and invariable profession of Islam. The intellectual image of the Deity has never been degraded by any visible idol; the honor of the Prophet has never transgressed the measure of human virtues; and his living precepts have restrained the gratitude of his disciples within the bounds of reason and religion." (HISTORY OF THE SARACEN EMPIRES, London, 1870, p. 54) Muhammad (pbuh) was nothing more or less than a human being. But he was a man with a noble mission, which was to unite humanity on the worship of ONE and ONLY ONE GOD and to teach them the way to honest and upright living based on the commands of God. He always described himself as, 'A Servant and Messenger of God,' and so indeed every action of his proclaimed to be.


The famous poetess of India, SAROJINI NAIDU says:

"It was the first religion that preached and practiced democracy; for, in the mosque, when the call for prayer is sounded and worshippers are gathered together, the democracy of Islam is embodied five times a day when the peasant and king kneel side by side and proclaim: 'God Alone is Great'... I have been struck over and over again by this indivisible unity of Islam that makes man instinctively a brother." S. Naidu, IDEALS OF ISLAM, vide Speeches & Writings, Madras, 1918, p. 169)

In the words of PROF. HURGRONJE:

"The league of nations founded by the prophet of Islam put the principle of international unity and human brotherhood on such universal foundations as to show candle to other nations." He continues: "The fact is that no nation of the world can show a parallel to what Islam has done towards the realization of the idea of the League of Nations."

The world has not hesitated to raise to divinity, individuals whose lives and missions have been lost in legend. Historically speaking, none of these legends achieved even a fraction of what Muhammad (pbuh) accomplished. And all his striving was for the sole purpose of uniting mankind for the worship of One God on the codes of moral excellence. Muhammad (pbuh) or his followers never at any time claimed that he was a Son of God or the God-incarnate or a man with divinity - but he always was and is even today considered as only a Messenger chosen by God.

K. S. RAMAKRISHNA RAO, an Indian Professor of Philosophy in his booklet, "Muhammad, The Prophet of Islam," calls him the "PERFECT MODEL FOR HUMAN LIFE." Prof. Ramakrishna Rao explains his point by saying: "The personality of Muhammad, it is most difficult to get into the whole truth of it. Only a glimpse of it I can catch. What a dramatic succession of picturesque scenes! There is Muhammad, the Prophet. There is Muhammad, the Warrior; Muhammad, the Businessman; Muhammad, the Statesman; Muhammad, the Orator; Muhammad, the Reformer; Muhammad, the Refuge of Orphans; Muhammad, the Protector of Slaves; Muhammad, the Emancipator of Women; Muhammad, the Judge; Muhammad, the Saint. All in all these magnificent roles, in all these departments of human activities, he is alike a hero."

Today after a lapse of fourteen centuries, the life and teachings of MUHAMMAD (pbuh) have survived without the slightest loss, alteration or interpolation. They offer the same undying hope for treating mankind's many ills, which they did when he was alive. This is not a claim of Muhammad's (pbuh) followers but also the inescapable conclusion forced upon by a critical and unbiased history.

The least you could do, as Muslims or non-Muslims, as thinking and concerned human beings, is to stop for a moment and ask yourself: These statements/comments sounding so extraordinary and revolutionary come from renown and intellectually honest and internationally recognized persons of their times who were not Muslim. Isn't it time for all Muslims and non Muslims to respond to this tremendous challenge and put in some effort to know him, follow him and emulate him in our day to day life? It will cost us nothing but it may prove to be the beginning of a completely new era in our lives.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Courtesy: Abdullah AM [abdullahmamo@yahoo.co.uk]

Compiled, edited and adapted by Khalid Latif

Anonymous said...

In the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Ever-Merciful. All praise be to Allah and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.



This is my message to the Muslim Nation, the Muslim youth, the Western civilization, and the whole world. I present this message through Amrkhaled.net to reach the Life-Makers youth and the youth of the forum. I ask them to deliver it exactly as I have said it to the Muslim Nation, the Muslim and Arab youth, the West through all their contacts there and surely to the whole world.



My first message is to the Muslim Nation and the Muslim youth:



Allah (TWT)[1] says what can be translated as, “Say, “In case your fathers, and your sons, and your brethren, and your spouses, and your kinsmen, and riches that you have scored (Literally: committed) and commerce whose slackening you are apprehensive of, and dwellings you are satisfied with, in case these are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and striving in His way, then await till Allah comes up with His Command; and Allah does not guide the immoral people” (TMQ[2], 9:24). If any of these eight things is dearer to you than Allah, the Messenger of Allah (SAWS)[3] and striving in the way of Allah and His Prophet; if your sons are dearer to you than the Messenger of Allah; if your money is dearer to you than the Messenger of Allah; if your country is dearer to you then the Messenger of Allah; if your wife is dearer to you than the Messenger of Allah, then expect the dreadful anger of Allah (TWT) to be near.



To you I emphasize that dignifying and loving Allah’s Prophet is a divine precept in the same way that loving Allah (TWT) is. Again listen, “Say, “In case your fathers, and your sons, and your brethren… in case these are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger …” observe the status of loving Allah’s Messenger (SAWS).



Why should there be all that love? There is another ayah[4] in the Qur’an in which Allah says what can be translated as, “Indeed there has already come to you a Messenger from (among) yourselves. Mighty (i.e., burdensome) to him is whatever distresses you. Most eager is he for your (welfare), to the believers (he is) constantly compassionate, constantly merciful.” (TMQ, 9:128). It is because he is such that we love him in this way. Accordingly the relationship between us and him is just like the ayah in which Allah describes what can be translated as, “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and (the ones) who are with him are strict against the steadfast disbelievers, constantly merciful among themselves. You see them constantly bowing themselves, (and) constantly prostrating themselves, seeking Grace from Allah and all-blessed Satisfaction…”(TMQ, 48:29). In order to ensure that such a relationship remains like that for ever, in an ayah in surat[5] Al-Hujuraat, which continuously rings in our ears, Allah (TWT) states what can be translated as, “And know that among you is the Messenger of Allah…”(TMQ, 49:7). The Messenger of Allah is among us?! Who is this ayah addressing? The sahaba[6] at time of the sahaba? No, this ayah is everlasting and effective everywhere and forever. O youth, O mothers, O ladies… Everyone must “know” that in the year 2006, in the year 2010, in the coming century, in the past century: during any age or time, know that among you is the Messenger of Allah. He is among you with his shari’ah[7], he is among you with his sunnah[8] and he is among you with his mercy. He is among you with his path, among you with his way and among you with the light and guidance he left behind. He is among you with his love to you. He is among you with the fact that each time anyone prays for him (conveying him peace and blessings), Allah returns his soul back to him so that he can answer us. He is among us with the fact that all our deeds are presented to him every Thursday, so whatever good there is he thanks Allah for it, and whatever evil there is, he asks Allah to forgive us for it.



Again, the four ayahs I mentioned order us to love him because, “… Mighty (i.e., burdensome) to him is whatever distresses you. Most eager is he for your (welfare), to the believers (he is) constantly compassionate, constantly merciful”. So the relationship between us and him is, “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and (the ones) who are with him are strict against the steadfast disbelievers, constantly merciful among themselves…”. Allah continues to remind us of this relationship by saying, “And know that among you is the Messenger of Allah…”. All prayers and blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad (SAWS).



My message to the Muslim Nation and Muslim youth is, loving Allah’s Messenger, dignifying Allah’s messenger, defending Allah’s messenger and living on the path of Allah’s messenger is a duty and a responsibility that we will be asked about on the Day of Judgment. O youth, there is a responsibility resting on our shoulders. O Life-Makers, there is a responsibility resting on our shoulders. O ladies, there is a responsibility resting on our shoulders that dignifying Allah’s Messenger is a trust that we will present to him on the Day of Judgment when we meet him at the hawd[9]. We will go to him (SAWS) and tell him we are your ummah[10], we have fulfilled our duty. Perhaps we may have been wrongdoers, perhaps we sinned and perhaps we did not always work perfectly to reform and revive your ummah but we could not but dignify you and make the whole world dignify you. This is a responsibility that we return to you on the Day of Judgment that you may use to intercede for us and allow us to drink from your hawd while patting us happily. You (SAWS) would then say to us, yes, you made mistakes and committed sins, but dignifying me was so dear to you. Then you would make us drink from your hawd.



This is a trust. My message to the ummah is that we can never betray that trust whatever happens; it is the trust of dignifying the Prophet (SAWS) and making the world dignify Allah’s Messenger (SAWS). This is in addition to loving him and living on his sunnah and on his path. This is my message to the Muslim Nation. We will never neglect dignifying our Prophet, our beloved and our role model (SAWS).



Now this is my message to the West:



There exists a cultural vagueness in the West. This vagueness results from the presence of two different concepts. The first is a great Western concept that we respect, appraise, and need. That concept is freedom of speech. This is a great humane and civilized concept. On the other hand, there is the great Islamic concept of dignifying Allah’s Messenger (SAWS). The problem arises due to the lack of understanding of the Islamic Civilization and the Western Civilization regarding these two concepts. The non-Muslims cannot value the rank of dignifying the Prophet (SAWS). On the other hand, due to the below-average quality of practical application of freedom of speech, Muslims have a vague understanding of the concept of respecting freedom of speech.



Accordingly, what is required now? We do not want to refuse the concept of freedom of speech, absolutely not. However, the West should alter the freedom of speech so that it does not collide with the very important Islamic value of dignifying the Prophet (SAWS). Here lies the vagueness and ambiguity. The West understands very well the freedom of speech (which we appreciate) but it does not understand Islamic values, such as dignifying the Prophet (SAWS) and other Islamic sanctities. This is where the Western cultural vagueness lies.



I clearly say to the West, you have a problem. You cannot comprehend how much the Muslims love Prophet Muhammad (SAWS). You are still unable to understand this point. If you had really encompassed its significance, you would never have accepted what happened. The West, in general, governments and people, does not apprehend that Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) is dearer to us than our parents, dearer to me than my father and dearer than my mother. I am sure that any Muslim woman listening to me now, be her religious or not, will swear on that fact. Just ask, what does Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) mean to you? It is not even necessary to do that because it is so evident, but you may conduct surveys for yourselves, and you will realize how true what I am saying is. Ask any youth, be he heedless or pious; ask any Muslim anywhere, in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Yemen or in Egypt. Ask any Muslim in any village regardless of how religious he is, be he an obedient Muslim or not, a drug user or not, successful in his life or a failure, old or young, ask them, what does Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) mean to you?



O West, I affirm that Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) is dearer to all Muslims than their own parents. O West, Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) is dearer to us, Muslims, than our children and grandchildren. O West, Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) is dearer to us than our money, dearer to us than our own selves. He is dearer to us than our own countries. O Egyptian, who is dearer to you, Egypt or Allah’s Prophet? O Saudi, who is dearer to you, Saudi Arabia or Allah’s Prophet? O Yemeni, O Moroccan, O Algerian, who is dearer to you, your country or Allah’s Messenger (SAWS)? O West, comprehend that meaning, Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) is dearer to Muslims than their children and their own selves.



We can never forget the hadith that I repeatedly mentioned during the episodes of “On the Path of the Beloved”. O West, listen to this hadith[11] as it forms part of the sentimental make-up of the Islamic personality:



“We were with the Prophet and he was holding the hand of Omar Ibnul-Khattab. Omar said to him, ‘O Allah's Messenger! You are dearer to me than everything except my own self.’ The Prophet said, ‘No, by Him in Whose Hand my soul is, (you will not have complete faith) till I am dearer to you than your own self.’ Then Omar said to him, ‘However, now, by Allah, you are dearer to me than my own self.’ The Prophet said, ‘Now, O Omar, (now you are a believer).’”[12]



Being a true believer is conditioned with loving Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) more than our own selves.



O West, this is our notion and this is our love for Prophet Muhammad (SAWS).



I know that the West resists racism as they realize very well what it means. I also know that they stand up against any anti-Semitic assaults as they recognize the serious consequences of such acts. Yet, true contradiction lies in respecting Semitism and resisting racialism on the one hand, while humiliating the most valued figure for Muslims, the Prophet (SAWS), on the other.



Six months ago, a famous journalist of the BBC attacked Arabs describing them as a worthless nation. In spite of being a renowned figure with a daily program in Britain, his slandering was rejected by the British as racist and he was fired from the BBC. At that time, I was preparing a program on family matters, and knowing that he had articles and shows tackling this subject, I wanted to refer to them. To my surprise, none of his works were available due to his intolerant views against Arabs. There is no way to compare the Prophet (SAWS) to the Arabic nation, as slandering them is of a diminutive nature when compared to offending the Prophet (SAWS). My message to the West then is that freedom of speech, which we indeed respect, honor, and actually need, should be modified so that it does not clash with the highly revered Muslim value of dignifying the Prophet (SAWS). The West respects monarchies, Semitism, all races, and different ethnicities, and its respect to the Prophet (SAWS) and to sacred Muslim values should be no less.



Thus, my message to the Muslim ummah is that we should not forsake dignifying the Prophet (SAWS) under any circumstance. On the other hand, my message to the West is that the value of freedom of speech should be adapted to Muslim values.



My third message is to the whole world. This offense does not aim at the Prophet (SAWS) alone, but rather to one billion, two hundred thousand Muslims; or rather to all humanity. To explain this further to everyone, whether Muslim or not, I believe that Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) is the greatest personality that existed on earth. There is no doubt that his model of reform was most successful so far and whoever denies this fact is indeed most ungrateful. Slandering him is actually slandering humanity. Great men that existed throughout history were qualified as such due to a certain trait in their characters. Gandhi for example, was a great politician, Shakespeare a great dramatist, Voltaire a great writer, Napoleon a great military leader and so on. They were all great in one aspect or the other, while the Prophet (SAWS) was great in every aspect of his life. He was so great morally that he never hit or humiliated a soul, never beat a woman, never betrayed or lied, never went back on his word or avenged himself. He was always called 'the truthful and honest one' before bearing the message of Islam, and after becoming a prophet, the values and principles of the Qur’an were the model for his behavior. He was also great in his political insight. After the Battle of the Trench, for example, he knew that it was a turning point that would not be followed by a defeat. Moreover, he was great in his submissiveness to Allah as he bowed when praying, saying,



“O Allah, it is for Thee that I bowed. I affirm my faith in Thee and I submit to Thee, and submit humbly before Thee my hearing, my eyesight, my marrow, my bone, my sinew.”[13]



He (SAWS) also used to stand (in prayer) until both his feet swelled. When asked why (he offered such an unbearable prayer) he said,



“Should I not be a thankful slave?” [14]



He was great in the way he believed in freedom of opinion. In the Battle of Badr, he changed the location of the battlefield upon the advice of a soldier. He also agreed to dig the trench around Madinah according to Salman al-Faresy’s suggestion, and changed the fighting plan of the Battle of Uhud to respect the opinion of some of his companions. This is how he respected freedom of speech 1400 years ago!



He was great at forgiving others. On the day of the Conquest of Makkah, his companions were rejoicing saying, “Today is the day of a great battle and today Quraysh will be humiliated by Allah”. Conversely, the prophet's (SAWS) response was that today is the day of mercy in which Allah will bestow honor on Quraysh.



He was great in his voluntary renunciation of worldly luxuries when he could have been the richest man on earth had he wished to be. He was also great in the way he dealt with young people motivating them to exercise. For example, he once passed by some of the young companions of the tribe of Aslam practicing archery and he said to them,



“O offspring of Ishmael! Practice archery as your father was a great archer. I am with (on the side of) the son of so-and-so-.” Hearing that, one of the two teams stopped throwing. The Prophet (SAWS) asked them, “Why are you not throwing?” They replied, “O Allah's Apostle! How shall we throw when you are with the opposite team?” He said, “Throw, for I am with you all.”[15]



His enemies were never able to slander him due to any bad trait. He lived with them for 40 years before the divine message and another 13 years after it, and never were they able to smear him with a single bad trait that marred his character, or doubt his outstanding abilities. They even testified that he had never lied in his life. That is how great he was and that is how humiliating him smears every American, Indian, Pakistani etc.; everyone, whether Muslim or not. It is an insult to all humankind when such a great man is insulted.



He was great in his mercy. When he was persecuted by the people of At-Ta’ef and stoned until his feet kept bleeding, the angel of the mountains asked for his permission to destroy them. Yet his response was to supplicate Allah to guide them and to save them. Furthermore, in the Battle of Uhud, he was injured, overcome by his enemies, had his front teeth broken, and fell into a pit with blood gushing from his wounds. Nevertheless, when his companions asked him to curse them and to invoke Allah to punish them, he declined stressing the fact that he was sent as a mercy to all of humankind. He even invoked Allah to guide them to the right path and to excuse them for their ignorance.



He was merciful even with animals narrating that,



“A man saw a dog eating mud from (the severity of) thirst. So, that man took a shoe (and filled it) with water and kept on pouring the water for the dog till it quenched its thirst. So Allah approved of his deed and made him enter Paradise.”[16]



Similarly, he (SAWS) said,



“A woman was tortured and was put in Hell because of a cat which she had kept locked till it died of hunger.”[17]



This is our Prophet and this is how great he was. Unlike that of other great human figures in history, the Prophet’s greatness is lasting throughout the generations.



He believed in co-existence. He trusted the Jews and gave them all the rights of citizenship in Madinah, guaranteeing that no one would harm them, take any of their money, force them to convert, or intercede with their freedom to worship. He was also great in co-existence when he was against using the Muslims loyal to him in Makkah to create tension among the people of Quraysh, even during the war between Makkah and Madinah. At the time of the Hudaybeya treaty, he could have waged war against Quraysh but resorted to peace instead. He could have turned it into a bloodbath, but he chose peace and forced it on his enemies.



The human race should be proud that Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) existed one day, whether they were Muslims, Hindu, Jews, Christians, believers of any kind, or even non-believers. He is a turning point in the course of humanity. This is Muhammad (SAWS) and this is how humanity was humiliated the day he was. People around the world are demanding an international law that protects the dignity of this great Prophet.



That was my message to Muslims, to the West, and to the whole world.



One final question remains here, which is, what is it that we want? We do not need speeches. It took me some time to deliver this speech, as I believe that speeches alone cannot solve this problem. We do not even want superficial apologies that are not as deep as our wounds. We do need effective actions that denote Western respect for the Prophet (SAWS). We will not stop our protests until our Prophet regains the dignity he duly deserves as our great leader. Thus empty words and shallow apologies are not enough, actions must be taken. Until then, I need everyone to convey this message to their families and friends. I want it to be translated by Dar al-Tarjama to all languages and to be distributed everywhere to reach the West. This speech will be broadcast on Iqraa’ channel soon and I want as many people as possible to watch it. Meanwhile we should do our best to let the people know about our Prophet (SAWS). ‘On the Path of the Beloved’ for example, a program about the Prophet’s life, is being replayed now on Iqraa’ every Tuesday and Friday. Dr Tarek Suweidan, A’aed al-Qarny, Al-Habib Aly al-Jifry and Dr. Al-Buty are all renowned modern Muslims scholars who have speeches and articles about the life of the Prophet. Please do your best to make good use of their works as well as the tapes of ‘On the Path of the Beloved’ to enlighten the whole world about the Prophet (SAWS), until this predicament is unraveled and until Muslim requests are answered with real actions. Thus, what I am asking everyone to do is to distribute this message everywhere and to let everyone know about who the Prophet (SAWS) is. Our duty is double fold, we need to distribute this speech and make it available everywhere, and we need to introduce the Prophet (SAWS) and tell his story to everyone, among Muslims and non-Muslims. This speech is to be continued and I am indeed not done yet with this issue. Thank you. May peace and Allah’s blessing and mercy be upon you all, and let us get to work.



Amr Khaled