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Provocations are opportunities in disguise to share Islamic teachings with fellow human beings – western or otherwise

The Koran specifically prohibits Muslims from making mockery of other religions’ personalities and practices. Therefore if a Muslim commits blasphemy against non-Muslim deities, personalities, or practices (6:108), or even fellow Muslims (49:11), specific Koranic verses could be invoked to stop him/her from doing so. These are universal and timeless Koranic ethical injunctions that are applicable in Saudi Arabia as they are in Indonesia. One may choose to ignore them but that is his/her personal choice.

While the Koran approaches blasphemy from an ethically and philosophically mature standpoint, Muslims are dumbfounded by the never-ending juvenile jabs from certain quarters in the technologically and financially superior West. It seems that European academia and media continue to poke fun at Muhammad to flex their "intellectual" muscles. The most recent incident is that of 12 cartoons depicting Muhammad as a terrorist. The cartoons were first published by Jyllands-Posten in Denmark and then by other media outlets across Europe.

Verse 21:41 from the chapter, "The Prophets" says, "Mocked were apostles before thee; But their scoffers were hemmed in by the thing that they mocked." So according to the Koran, prophets and mocking go hand in hand, and the Koran mentions a specific end result for the mockers.

Also, in its characteristically mature style, the Koran instructs Muslims to "change the channel" when they walk upon senseless speech then disengage for a short period of time (6:68), and even wish peace and amicably disengage on a long term basis (28:55).

So with specific Koranic references we have seen that on one hand the Koran anticipates mocking of Muhammad as prophets before him were mocked and on the other hand outlines holistic and proactive controls at various levels of engagement from the Muslim side. If a Muslim or a group of Muslims react to provocations in an immature or unethical fashion it is because he/she has decided to act in a non-Koranic manner.

Mocking of Allah, Muhammad and the Koran does not "innocently" happen. Mocking the three is a stated and proactive strategy of certain players who have access to the European and other western media. Muslims can take "scoffers were hemmed in by the thing that they mocked" in verse 21:41 as a prophecy. They can also take it as a Koranic challenge in the light of verse 21:18 in the same chapter:

21:18: "Nay, We hurl the truth against falsehood, and it knocks out its brain, and behold, falsehood doth perish! Ah! Woe be to you for the things ye ascribe."

Western provocations are opportunities in disguise to share Islamic teachings with fellow human beings – western or otherwise. Shouting, burning, beating, killing, boycotting, etc are not the most effective approaches to "hem" the mockers. The best jihad is through the Koran (25:52).




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