Saturday, 25 June, 2022
HomeOpinionFrance attacks show Muslims’ self-inflicted paranoia. But Quran allows freedom of expression

France attacks show Muslims’ self-inflicted paranoia. But Quran allows freedom of expression

When it comes to blasphemy, Islam offers only one choice to Muslims. And it’s not what happened in France.

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Three people have been killed in a knife attack in the French city of Nice. One elderly victim, who had come to pray at the church, was “virtually beheaded”, according to reports. A suspect was shot and detained shortly afterward. Thursday’s grotesque incident comes barely days after the horrific killing of Samuel Paty, a teacher, by an 18-year-old Chechen-origin man in Paris on 16 October.

Tensions between radicals and French authorities have heightened after President Emmanuel Macron took a strong stand on tolerance and said that his country “would not give up cartoons”. The reason for Paty’s barbaric death was supposedly a class on freedom of expression in which he had shown the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad published by the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The cartoons were first published in 2005 by a Danish newspaper and republished by the French weekly in 2006. In the violent terror attacks in 2015, several journalists of Charlie Hebdo were murdered. This year’s harrowing incidents come amidst the trial of 14 suspects in the 2015 case, and the magazine republishing the cartoons ahead of the trial.

The highly condemnable killings have brought back the debate on how such actions by violent extremists are countering the very values that Islam represents. Islam stands for peace and mercy, it has no place for perpetration of violence and murder of fellow human beings. There is a clear verse in the Quran that says: “Whoever killed a human being shall be regarded as having killed all mankind.” (5:32).


Also read:Why French President Macron’s clash of civilisations with Islam is misguided


Violence is forbidden

It is mistakenly believed that Islam prescribes capital punishment for those who commit blasphemy. Nothing can be farther from the truth. According to Islam, blasphemy is simply a case of misunderstanding. Anyone who wishes to can engage in a discussion with the person who has misunderstood and make an effort to clarify it. That is the only choice a person has. The Islamic principle in this context is fully based on ‘peaceful dialogue’. God gives this injunction to the Prophet in the Quran: “So, [O Prophet] remind them: your task is only to remind, you are not over them a warden.” (88:21-22)

It is said that some non-believers would use abusive language against the Prophet. But the Prophet never wanted any punishment for them. Instead, his companion, Hassan bin Sabit al-Ansari, would engage in discussions with them to clear their misunderstandings, writes Islamic scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan. This was the Prophetic example.

According to the Quran, man has freedom and no one can impose curbs on it. The judgement, on whether someone used or misused their freedom, is not for people to make. The Islamic way is to resort to peace and reason in all matters of life. The Prophet of Islam gave masterful advice to his companions when he said, “Do not be angry” (Sahih Bukhari 76). It is deeply hurtful that instead of adhering to this advice, Muslims keep succumbing to violence – passive or aggressive – as a result of self-inflicted paranoia. Muslim scholars and intelligentsia should come forward and condemn such acts of violence openly and highlight how negative thinking and violence are forbidden in Islam.


Also read: Macron tempers tone on Islamic extremism after terrorist attack that killed 3 at Nice church


The only choice

Today, Muslims have reached a stage where they need to completely relinquish every form of violence and wake up to an intellectual renaissance. We are living in the age of democracy and scientific thinking, which has altered the face of the world. Freedom is a boon that provides opportunities, which can be availed to establish peace. As adherents of Islam, it is the duty of every Muslim to be a peaceful member of society.

The Muslim community must openly condemn any act of violence against fellow human beings. Today, more than ever, it must be borne in mind that no excuse to commit violence is good enough. Muslims must radically transform their mindset and open their hearts to embrace everyone with love. Only then will they set the right example for future generations. This sentiment was aptly captured by famous French philosopher Voltaire who, while arguing for religious tolerance, said, “It does not require great art, or magnificently trained eloquence, to prove that Christians should tolerate each other. I, however, am going further: I say that we should regard all men as our brothers. What? The Turk my brother? The Chinaman my brother? The Jew? The Siam? Yes, without doubt; are we not all children of the same father and creatures of the same God?”

Islam believes in freedom of expression for all. It, therefore, devolves on its adherents to do whatever they can to create a world where peace and freedom of expression flourishes and constructive dialogue can be engaged in. The world has no place for extremist ideas and violent behaviour. The only way forward is for Muslims to preserve peace at all costs and shun violence at every level. This is the only choice for Muslims if they want to uphold the Islamic ideals.

The author is an Islamic thinker and author of ‘The True Face of Islam’. Views are personal.

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33 COMMENTS

  1. Great to read the views. Clearly the practice and interpretation with michie its manipulation is what matters. ALL religious teachings have positive messages. Nothing special about toting one as better than other. The followers and their behaviour decides which one is practiced with intolerance and mischief.

  2. RAAMISH SIDDIQUI I wonder who misunderstood Islam and Quran , Lerned islamic jurist , scholars , leaders who drive and whole hearatedly support such law of killing for blasphemy in monarchy as well as democratic Islamist countries , are they more knowledgeable on islam or you who writing for living in non muslim secular country so he has to write what can be sold to non-Muslims.
    I believef you had islamic countries didn’t have such ruling . We know bthere is law for kiling forblasphemy in Pakistan, Saudi , Iran , Kuwait , and I’m most of islamic countries , and in few state there is severe punishment in liu of . And such killing takes place officially in those muslim nations .
    Please name islamic countries where blasphemer left with only warning or with token punishment .

  3. Freedom of expression must be within the permitted limits in Islam, you cross the limits again and again and blame islam?

    Do you think you have an alternative for of Islam then you are wrong,

    Terrorism is not just putting a bomb in some place, real terrorists are those who are associating partners with true creator Allah, worshiping idols, and false versions of Islam like shiaism, wahhabism, deobandism, nation of islam, pauls version of christianity, and who are being ungrateful to the true God Allah by insulting prophet Muhammad(may Allah’s peace and mercy be upon him).

    Real terrorists are those who occupy other people’s land and call other people terrorists.

  4. People commenting here does’nt even know about islam. Interpreting verses of quran and demonizing Muslism’s is all they know. Whatsapp forwards by right wingers has helped them to build this narative.
    I just pray that these people get guidance and proper knowldge of islam.
    Countries like DUBAI, MALAYASIA, INDONESIA is setting a good example among islamic nations.
    Thier’s company Top CEO’s and professionals are non-muslims from different parts of the world. Larger part is from india. They never discriminate.
    Educated Muslims practice peace and mercy exactly what our prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has done his entire life. Thats why he is known as the most influential man in this world till date.
    Whoever you are, reading this may peace be with you. 🙂

  5. Very well written Article. I really loved the way you gave reference from quran.
    Thank you.
    Hope so these changes the mentality of everyone. From people turning a blind eye to genocides happening to muslims everwhere to people actually glorifying any kind of inhumane behaviour;-)

  6. Excuse me people Islam is religion of peace since some of use seem not to understand it mean when someone is peace with us it not allowed to harm that person infact that get kind treatment . Now muslim countries just like any other society we have right to defend ourselves against anyone who want do us harm. Western have no moral high ground to lecture us bout voicence every western country commited war crime. France killed 1.8million people in Algeria Germany millions people Inc Jews Spain Denmark millions peoples all these countries went out their way murdering people for land oil gold other natural resource so please don’t lecture us bout freedom or human right . Recently war war in Iraq USA and her allied attack Iraq for oil. Western countries support dictatorship around the world Inc muslim world for financial interest . EU and USA uk air strike in Libya turn the country completely handover to terrorist. USA financial support terrorist organisation to over throw government they don’t like Syria or kicking out the Russian in Afghanistan in the 80s so please stop your rubbish talk bout muslim crime when you guys cover your eyes and ears of western crime. Someone before mentioned it unacceptable to criticize French President wow what a double standard comments so free speech only to be critical of muslim and Chinese but not western countries. If you want to be that stupid than that on you but don’t expect people will sit there while U insult theirs culture or religion or ethnicity . Every culture or nations have good and evil people someone who is evil hid behind their culture or religion to justify their actions . Someone doesn’t need religion to be evils people are evil without religion case example Chinese over last 60 years killed 40million people right wing white guy hundreds in new Zealand Norway way more than any a terrorist in France. So should we blame all white people for terrorist organisation committed by white wing terrorist or blame them war crimes committed by their government Inc.. again every culture or ethnicity has evil people so don’t tell yourself lies that only muslim are evils. If you want muslim stop coming to your country than stop your country taking our natural resource or stop your government support for terrorist organisation to over throw elected government overseas . Stop support for dictatorship .when you do that we won’t need to come to your country .

  7. This is hilarious. If the writer thinks that the readers are morons so does the publisher. Is there an editor for this paper which is becoming a rag?

  8. Great thoughts. Let us see if a single Muslim PM or President or head of state can say these words loudly to their country. In India, let us see if even an MP or MLA can say these words. Islam is judged not by what it is supposed to be be but by what actual Muslims do in real life. The killers in France were refugees! They killed the citizens of the country that gave them refuge! If they didn’t like the culture of France that cherishes a freedom of speech and allows all kinds of dissent, then should have simply left the country and taken refuge in some other country that would be more aligned with their beliefs.

  9. The playbook is repeated throughout history…

    On one hand this sheer intolerance to other faiths whereever islam is dominant, as almost all ethnic non-muslims have been eradicated within 2-3 generations in all places where islam is predominant eg. Syria, iraq, iran, pakistan, bangladesh, kashmir etc etc.

    On the other, continuous migaration to democratic countries as political refugees or for fin reasons, and creating ghettos and a seperate identity everywhere, using the country’s liberal outlook to settle and then using and brandishing their faith using numbers.

    From the standpoint of non muslims, the sheer havoc created by them in the welcoming societies, has strenthened a general tilt towards hardening a stance against islam in general. More so because, there is no counter narrative, no space for maybe millions of muslims, for whom faith is strictly private and not a political tool.

    Amidst all this, Peddling narratives abt islam being a peaceful religion rings hollow. .newtons 3rd law is bound to kick in.. islamists are willing to kill and be killed for faith, u cant reason with that mindset, can you?
    If you keep on pandering to islamists for political or liberal values, You only postpone the inevitable social clash to the next generations.

    POLITICAL ISLAM NEEDS TO BE TACKLED HARD AND NOW by the world at large. More so by millions of peaceful muslims who claim that islam teaches peace…otherwise there is an impending disaster waiting to happen. Country
    Plike india will bear the brunt of this…

  10. Islam believes in freedom of expression and nonviolence? So countless terrorist attacks perpetrated by it’s followers all over the world are due ro simple case of misunderstanding?

  11. Not true. Yet another bigoted jihadi wannabe liberal’s verbal diarrhea to misguide people. Print should throw out the liars like this author who has no courage to call out the problem as it is….and that is Islam is hateful ideology and intolerant bigotry.

  12. Does it matter what the Quran allows and does not allow? Don’t people have to go by the constitution and the laws of the country in which they live?

    What the Quran says, should that even be in discussion here?

  13. Can the writer stop citing verses about PEACE, please. The perpetrators were chanting the name of their god while doing this ghastly deed.

  14. I’m not a Muslim but I just don’t understand why would any one want to blaspheme any God for that matter. There was this famous painter whose artwork was incomplete without having a go at Goddess Durga.
    At the other extreme is this growing number of morons who think taking it out on ‘non-believers’ secures them a luxurious after life which, for the record, includes a penthouse, fleet of Rolls Royces, yachts etc.etc.
    In my view ‘non-believers’ in Islam was meant to mean non-believers in God generally, and not necessarily mon-believers in their God.

  15. Very misleading article. The author is not a scholar of Islam and has misinterpreted the prophet’s tradition. Why should Muslims always bow down to this tyranny and they can do whatever they wish and justify it with freedom of expression. Can I insult your mom and call it my right to express myself and you have to be patient. Islam is peaceful but when we have to defend our beloved Prophet صل الله عليه وسلم we will not watch silently. We will protest

  16. Sir, there is no point writing these articles for general public. What you say is taught in Quran & by Prophet is true but that is not what is being taught by Islamic teachers in Madrassas as well as religious leaders of Islam. It is with them that you have to remind about God’s teachings
    You also need to explain the cruelty of Islamic conquests historically all over the world after the initial Arab wars which is in complete contrast to Quranic teachings. This should be explained to non-muslims who have already judged you. It is time that Muslims introspect themselves as to whether they are being true to their religious teachings and whether as said in Quran, they are really showing any couragous action against those religious representatives who are misleading other Muslims.

  17. Muslims like the author are very good at denying the ideological basis of the violence inflicted by Islam , ever since its inception. Its a curse on humanity.

  18. The attacks on France 🇫🇷 are horrible, hideous terrorist attacks. We stand in solidarity with France. Personal attacks on French president is unacceptable. It’s very sad. All people should condemn these terrorist attacks

  19. While what happened in France is debatble, what first muslim countries need to do is to offer minorities in their country the same rights and protection they enjoy in non muslim countries. Sucha thing is sadly missing. Secular outlook in muslim majority community is the need of the era.

  20. Fool me once but that’s about it.

    The ideology is very clear is followed literally with each letter.

    Quran of mawali/maskin community should be taught to all individuals.

    This way the fundamentalist facade will be bare open.

    Whatever the author has mentioned is antithesis and hyperbole and fodder for naives who still think this ideology is peaceful. Infact the conclusion everyone will arrive is of pieceful community who cut the followers of other faith into pieces.

  21. While condemning violence right at the onset, for a country where people are killed on a suspicion of eating a particular sort of meat, to be supporting France seems a bit rich. I have seen riots and protests when certain religious symbols or images have been printed on shoes and articles of attire.

  22. indians have been saying this to muslims …though ages…that they should shed their superiority complex…
    but i would say ..to the writer …buddy islam demands superiority for muslims against other reglious groups ….if molvis start saying that every muslim is eqaual to nonmuslims…then the very point of being a muslim vanishes..

  23. The author is right about need for Muslim to accept moderation and eliminate violence as a tool. But, the sad part is the author chose Islamic scripture to make his argument against violence. The same scripture talks about war to spread Islam, etc. This is where Muslims defer from others. They can’t keep using religion to make every argument. Modern nation states, moved away from religion as a compass is matters of constitution. It’s good for Muslims, especially those living in non-Muslim countries to accept, the primacy of constitution, which often reflect the countries’ cultural progress and philosophical origin.

  24. Very well and good points put out by the author. But this is just the convenient verses put out in the light of huge backlash against mindless violence and killing in the name of religion. The issue is that there are verses like verse 9:29 (Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last day ….) and verse 2:193 (Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and religion and every kind of worship is for Allah alone) . When such verses exist, how come well meaning and peaceful Muslims like the author himself try to fit in a narrative? The biggest issue is also that the book claims that only one person knows the true meaning of the Quran – Allah himself. With so much subjectivity left to the reader, isn’t it now more obvious how radicals hijacked the religious scriptures? Why do we not see a mass movement against mindless violence rather see an ex President of a nation justifying killing in the name of religion? If an ex President is radicalised can one expect the common masses to be sane? There is a lot of inward looking needed from a lot of clerics now before this issue blows out of proportion taking lives of innocent Muslims and others alike.

  25. Not only Islam, they publish material which may offend all religions! Others let it pass! It is the Muslims who respond and such responses may include beheadings and acts of violence!!

    Is their Muslim response per Quran? Please read on:

    What blasphemy Law?

    The Quran informs the reader that the Prophet was mocked, ridiculed (37:12) like the messengers before him (13:32; 15:11; 21:41). He was called an inventor, forger, a liar (16:101; 25:4), a man who was bewitched (17:47; 25:8), that he was a possessed poet (37:36). Insults were even hurled at the Quran, in that it was called ‘muddled dreams’ (21:5), ‘foreign, outlandish’ (16:103), an invention, a forgery (38:7) and tales of the men of the past (25:5).

    However, the single most grave blasphemy was undoubtedly the blasphemy against God Himself.

    7.180 “The most beautiful names belong to God: so call on him by them; but shun such men as use profanity (Arabic: Yul’hiduna) in His names: for what they do, they will soon be requited”

    Arabic: Yul’hiduna – Blaspheme, deviate, violate, distort, pervert.

    At no point did any of these insults attract the death penalty.

    Rather, the advice was:

    38.017 “Be patient over what they say and remember our servant David, the man of strength for he was repeatedly turning (to God)”

    20.130 “Therefore be patient with what they say, and celebrate (constantly) the praises of thy Lord, before the rising of the sun and before its setting, yea, celebrate them for part of the hours of the night, and at the sides of the day: that you may have (spiritual) joy”

    Whether repeated insults and evil transgression which incite hatred, terrorism and evil in the land can be classed as ‘fasaad’ remains a matter for the state to decide. However, this is very different from the general ‘blasphemy’ understood by many Muslims today who believe it correct to murder anyone for uttering anything against the Prophet

  26. Author should tell the truth … Macron is not dealing with Islamophobia but Islamic Terror. Second Muslims should support Macron getting rid of radicals within Muslims.
    If he cannot make these statement and wish to say Islam is religion of peace ….. do not force others to understand ironies of the religion of love and peace while you do nothing when terror and hate is regular feature of the religion. Erdongan Mahathir Mohammad etc.

  27. Its a lie to say Isalm is peaceful. Islam was spread with swords. Please listen to Zakir Naik, Pakistani Mulhid, Apostate Prophet to understand what Islam is. Islam is anything but peaceful. This lady who selectively quotes Quranic verses is not showing the preceding and following verses from Quran.
    Very dishonest article.

    • Excuse me people Islam is religion of peace since some of use seem not to understand it mean when someone is peace with us it not allowed to harm that person infact that get kind treatment . Now muslim countries just like any other society we have right to defend ourselves against anyone who want do us harm. Western have no moral high ground to lecture us bout voicence every western country commited war crime. France killed 1.8million people in Algeria Germany millions people Inc Jews Spain Denmark millions peoples all these countries went out their way murdering people for land oil gold other natural resource so please don’t lecture us bout freedom or human right . Recently war war in Iraq USA and her allied attack Iraq for oil. Western countries support dictatorship around the world Inc muslim world for financial interest . EU and USA uk air strike in Libya turn the country completely handover to terrorist. USA financial support terrorist organisation to over throw government they don’t like Syria or kicking out the Russian in Afghanistan in the 80s so please stop your rubbish talk bout muslim crime when you guys cover your eyes and ears of western crime. Someone before mentioned it unacceptable to criticize French President wow what a double standard comments so free speech only to be critical of muslim and Chinese but not western countries. If you want to be that stupid than that on you but don’t expect people will sit there while U insult theirs culture or religion or ethnicity . Every culture or nations have good and evil people someone who is evil hid behind their culture or religion to justify their actions . Someone doesn’t need religion to be evils people are evil without religion case example Chinese over last 60 years killed 40million people right wing white guy hundreds in new Zealand Norway way more than any a terrorist in France. So should we blame all white people for terrorist organisation committed by white wing terrorist or blame them war crimes committed by their government Inc.. again every culture or ethnicity has evil people so don’t tell yourself lies that only muslim are evils. If you want muslim stop coming to your country than stop your country taking our natural resource or stop your government support for terrorist organisation to over throw elected government overseas . Stop support for dictatorship .when you do that we won’t need to come to your country .

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