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memri
April 9, 2010 No.
2901

Senior Pakistani Editor on Republication of Muhammad Cartoons in Europe: 'Protecting the Prophet's Honor is An Inalienable Part of Every Muslim's Faith - and Without It a Muslim's Faith Cannot Be Complete; This Very Sentiment Strengthens the Craving for Martyrdom in Muslims'

In recent months, religious groups in Pakistan have held frequent and regular public rallies protesting against the republication of the controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad by newspapers in Norway and Denmark.

In a recent article, titled "The Publication of Blasphemous Cartoons and the Muslim Ummah's Responsibility," M. Tufail examined the issue, noting that the republication of the controversial cartoons amounts to the ''worst kind of terrorism'' by the Western countries. Lamenting the Islamic rulers' silence on the republication, he said that such silence has paved the way for more anti-Islam acts such as the Swiss ban on mosque minarets.

M. Tufail, a senior Pakistani editor and columnist for the mass-circulation Urdu-language Pakistani newspaper Roznama Jang, also called the cartoon republication part of a Western conspiracy to create a negative image of Islam and Muslims in the world. He also argued that the Western media is fully controlled by Zionist forces, and accused these forces of trying to turn the international community into an ''anti-Muslim and anti-Islam force.''

Following are excerpts from his article:[1]

"India Too Has Proved Its Enmity Against Islam By Allowing [Feminist] Bangladeshi [Writer] Taslima Nasreen to Live in India"

''The republication of the blasphemous cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in Norway and Denmark is in essence proof of the despicable design of the Western lobbies, especially its media, against the entire Muslim Ummah. Its main objective is to pave the way for realizing their ambitions against the Muslim Ummah by declaring Islam a religion of terrorists and Muslims as terrorists and extremists due to the situation that results from their reactions against this disgraceful action [i.e. the republication of the cartoons]. In this way, it will become possible at the international level for the anti-Islam forces to come together and to open a massive front against the world of Islam.

"Insofar as the republication of the sacrilegious caricatures of the Prophet by Danish and Norwegian newspapers is concerned, this cannot be considered to be without purpose and reason, and justifying it in the name of freedom of expression is an extremely mean and base act of adding injury to the wounds of the Muslim Ummah. If this is a demonstration of freedom of expression and freedom of the press, why is this repulsive action done against Muslims alone? Why is it that the Western media has so far not committed a base act like this against any other religion, though there is no dearth of even unrevealed religions and followers of them in the world?

"The most important point is that no protest or blasphemous act by any Muslim government, country and media against any other religion or any non-Muslim religious leader has been witnessed or heard. In fact, even while giving positive and reasoned replies to the venomous anti-Islam outpourings by Western circles and some intellectuals, no single Islamic cleric or intellectual has ever targeted their religion or religious leaders.

"This shows Islam's openness and respect for other religions, as mentioned in the verse of the Holy Koran that says, 'There is no compulsion in religion.' And this pious verse negates the view that Islam was propagated by the might of sword.

"However, incidents hurting the sentiments of Muslims, not only by anti-Islam elements, especially religious scholars and intellectuals, but also by the non-Muslims of the Subcontinent in the past, have been witnessed…"

"This attitude and way of the West against Islam and the Muslim Ummah is not limited to a few intellectuals and the media; rather, not only do governments also encourage individuals guilty of such acts, but it is an open secret that they themselves are involved in it. Proof of this is that the British government honored [Salman] Rushdie and invited him to an official award ceremony. If the British rulers had taken into consideration the feelings and sentiments of Muslims, even from the Subcontinent, they would neither have permitted him to stay on their soil nor hurt the sentiments of Muslim Ummah by honoring him [with knighthood]. India too has proved its enmity against Islam, by allowing [feminist] Bangladeshi [writer] Taslima Nasreen to live in India."

"The Western Media is Fully Controlled by Zionist Forces – And Their Enmity Against Islam Needs No Clarification; These Forces Deliberately Indulge in Such Activities… To Turn the International Community into an Anti-Muslim and Anti-Islam Force"

"However, the way the Pakistani people, especially the religious groups, have reacted to the republication of the sacrilegious caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad in Norway and Denmark is a torch-bearer and an example for the entire Muslim Ummah. It is not only sad, but also alarming, that there has not been even an ordinary reaction against this in any of the Muslim countries as has been witnessed in Pakistan.

"Keeping in view the strong public reaction and pressure, the Pakistan government presented a resolution in the parliament against the publication of these cartoons, but the demands against these two countries [Norway and Denmark] from the religious and political quarters have not been appreciated, and there seems no possibility that they will be appreciated in the future either.

"Defending the honor of the Prophet is an inalienable part of every Muslim's faith, and without it, a Muslim's faith cannot be complete. This very sentiment strengthens the craving for martyrdom in Muslims, and no worldly power, wealth or temptation can weaken it in Muslims – nor can they keep quiet over such a despicable act and hurting of sentiment.

"The Western lobbies and countries which are committing this crime are, in fact, committing the worst kind of terrorism in the garb of journalism and right to freedom of expression. Due to their activities the international peace is endangered and their conspiracy against Muslims is a dastardly act which is not directed only against Muslims but also toward the entire humanity. It threatens the world peace for the reaction against it can engulf the whole world into it. It is sad that the silence of the Muslim rulers encouraged the newspapers of the two countries to republish the sacrilegious cartoons. Neither the United Nations nor the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) has reacted against it till date. The Western media is fully controlled by Zionist forces – and their enmity against Islam needs no clarification. These forces deliberately indulge in such activities, and are trying to turn the international community into anti-Muslim and anti-Islam force, by depicting Islam in a wrong context."

"The Demand by Prominent Pakistani Muslim Scholars and Religious Groups Needs Special Government Attention – To Enact Laws for Death Sentences for Individuals Who Commit Blasphemous Acts Against the Prophet Muhammad"

"In this regard, the demand by prominent Pakistani Muslim scholars and religious groups needs special government attention – to enact laws for death sentences for individuals who commit blasphemous acts against the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and to convene the OIC [Organization of the Islamic Conference] without delay against the publication of the sacrilegious cartoons, because the Western countries which blame Pakistan and Islam for terrorism are themselves indulging in the worst kind of terrorism.

"The publication of these sacrilegious cartoons is undoubtedly an open challenge to the entire Muslim Ummah. The silence of the Muslim Ummah on the ban on the construction of minarets on mosques in Switzerland, and the republication of the sacrilegious cartoons in Denmark and Norway, reflects on the insensitivity of the Muslim rulers. This will encourage them to do more.

"In this regard, the passage of resolutions at the convention of Islamic clerics of all schools of though in Karachi, and their deliberations at the convention, represent the wishes of Pakistan's 170 million people, and it would be great foolishness to ignore this, for the attack on the most sacred personality of the world [i.e. Muhammad] falls into the category of the worst kind of terrorism.

"In fact, the bans on the construction of minarets in Switzerland and of mosques in some European countries came about only after the silence on the part of the Muslim Ummah and its rulers regarding the publication of the blasphemous cartoons. This was because the European countries took the community's collective silence as weakness. More actions against Muslims in the future by them are not unexpected.

"If one can be arrested and tried for defamation against an individual under international law, then what is the reason for ignoring the blasphemy against the Prophet on whom the Prophethood was completed? Muslims cannot be satisfied even with a punishment exceeding a death sentence for those who commit such a crime. Calling it freedom of expression and freedom of religion is the worst kind of enmity against humanity."

Endnote:

[1] Roznama Jang, Pakistan, February 7, 2010.