by Fedwa Wazwaz, Engage Minnesota
In various parts of the Muslim world, protests erupted over an anti-Islam film produced in the United States. In addition, protests turned deadly at U.S. Embassies in areas struggling with revolutions and political unrest.
Various leaders and activists from the Twin Cities Muslim community came forth to condemn the violence.
Star Tribune front page article:
And here is the joint statement from MN Muslim leaders/activists:
Hate Speech vs. Free Speech
“Every time that there is an offensive piece written to target Muslim sensitivities, there is the temptation to cast it as an issue of ‘freedom of speech’, held to be absolute, vs. the religious sensitivity of Muslims. That framework is either unhelpful or at best only partially helpful,” said Omid Safi, professor of Islamic Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in an article for the Religion News. He added: “The so-called film are best classified as ‘hate speech’, as they seem to be of the same genre as anti-Semitic films of the 1930’s or Birth of the Nation KKK movies.”
Sheila Musaji has done an investigative piece on the film here. On the site, The American Muslim, Musaji has well written pieces on the Islamophobia industry and their desire to psychologically terrorize Muslims. Here is an excerpt from one of her pieces, Islamophobia Manifesto Clearly Lays Out Plot Against Muslims:
“The Muslims themselves have shown us their most vulnerable spot, which is the questionable (though unquestioned) character of the ‘Prophet’ himself. We need to satirise and ridicule baby-bonking Mo until the Muslims fly into uncontrollable tantrums, then ridicule them even more for their tantrums, and repeat the process until they froth at the mouth and steam comes out of their ears.”
Prophetic Response to anti-Islam film
Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings taught Muslims how to respond in such situations. Muslims need to remind themselves of his life and how he dealt with such situations and follow his footsteps. These psychological games are clearly designed to manipulate and harm. But the spirit and our faith in God is more powerful than any psychological terrorism.
See the following video as a reminder on how the Prophet responded to insults:
Education is key. You cannot give something that you do not have. If you do not know his life, then the answer is not to yell or shout but to first educate yourself on his life. Seek out scholars and knowledgeable people that can educate you on his entire life. Then share that knowledge with others beginning with your family.
Use media available to you to tell his life story using whatever skill you have, while keeping in mind that no film or anyone can eradicate Islam or change Prophet Muhammad’s life story. The strategy used now has been tried in the past many times, and it has failed and will fail again. See the following examples:
Educational Presentations Available
For speakers or presentations on the life of Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings, contact the Muslim American Society, Minnesota Chapter.