The movie “Innocence of Muslims” is a low-budget amateur film. It successfully achieved its one and only objective of severely hurting Muslims’ sentiments the world over. No one can disagree that if the movie was made with the same cast, same direction but with a different story line, it would have gone un-noticed.
The movie angered all Muslims. Some, however, resorted to violent protests causing killing, burning of commercial areas, churches, and attacks on American embassies. The majority of Muslims avoided watching the movie and consequently managed to suppress their anger. A huge number of Muslims, in their attempt to maintain peace, spent more time condemning the protests that followed than to condemn the movie itself. A Pakistani minister went as far as to offer $100K to whoever murders the movie director. Among all Muslim voices, however, one voice rings loud and clear—that of the Khalifa of Islam, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad.
On September 21st, in his weekly address to the world-wide Ahmadiyya community, he strongly condemned the movie, the ensuing violence, and also provided a solution to avoid such incidents.
He implored Muslims to act in a unified manner to promote the real and peaceful teachings of Islam. Rejecting extremism altogether, the Khalifa made it clear that Muslims living in the west need to utilize the power of their right to vote. This suggestion clarifies many issues. For instance, it roots out the misconception that Muslims are disloyal to western countries or that they are out to impose some other law. The Khalifa implored Muslims living in the West to utilize their civil rights and remain within the boundaries of the law.
The 2nd part of the solution is related to western governments. Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad appealed to western governments to make necessary laws to protect the honor of all religions. He explained that in the name of freedom of speech, world peace is at stake. Therefore, law makers should not shy away from amending such laws that do not ensure peace and security. He pointed that in recent years, the frequency of such incidents where Islam is ridiculed has dramatically increased. As a flash back, nearly 140 people lost their lives in 2006 when the Danish cartoon controversy erupted. Similarly, scores died during the “Burn a Koran Day” protests in 2010. The recent anti-Islam film has even caused the untimely death of American Ambassador Stevens to Libya. Therefore, we must act quickly to ensure future violence does not occur.
The Khalifa of Islam’s solution for world peace is the most effective way out of this enigma of freedom of speech and protection of religious sentiments. On the surface they both appear contradictory to each other. But if applied with wisdom, they both can be used to strengthen each other.
- Source/credit: Women Writes