More Angry Brothers on the Street

Coming on the heels of the anger and rage that the caricatures of Prophet Muhammad sparked around the world, this news ought to solidify the image of Muslims as a bunch of intolerant, angry, and violently reactive people who are not only jealously protective of their own dogmas, but that of others as well.

Now before anyone starts on how Jesus is a prophet and holy figure in Islam as well, let me say that while we Muslims understand that, a lot of other people may not, and may well see the reaction and violence as wanton, and interpret it as evidence of Muslims’ inherent nature.
Furthermore, the film is made by a non-Muslim -an Orthodox Christian to be more precise- and in Orthodox Christianity the depiction of Jesus (iconography) is not only persmissible, it is encouraged as an important medium of religious symbolism.

It just looks like we just really, really have to make sure that others have an image of Muslims as an angry mob ready to pour onto the streets in a rampage -on any pretext- and break porcelain and china left and right. While we are at it, we may as well protest those Hindus who not only have many dieties, but depict one of their gods as a human-faced, mutli-limbed elephant with lots of makeup…

Muslims Oppose Planned Film On Jesus
(Courtesy of AllAfrica)

CAIRO: Plans by an Orthodox Christian filmmaker to make the first movie in Arabic about Jesus are receiving opposition from Muslims. Muslims – who consider Jesus a prophet – suggested that screenwriter Fayez Ghali request authorization from Al Azhar, the most esteemed institution of Sunni Islam which adjudicates works of art on religion. “In order for this movie to be made, our position is that the image of the prophet (Jesus) not appear, for it would be impossible to find an actor who could play him, no matter how perfect his work is,” Muslim leader Mohammed Habib was quoted as saying.

Abdel Moti Bayumi, a member of the Academy of Islamic Studies at Al Azhar, said the prophets can not be portrayed, as that reduced their value in the human mind. “Muslims hate seeing Jesus represented in human form and especially if they show him in moments of weakness.”
But screenwriter Ghali said he would continue with the project. “That the depiction of the prophets is forbidden is an issue for our Muslim brothers, not for me.”

He said his production would be in line with the Orthodox Christian teaching, and he would not give in to the Muslims. “It would be understood as an imposition of their power on the church. No human being ought to prohibit the movie, whether it’s Al Azhar, the church or even the state,” he said.

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8 Responses to More Angry Brothers on the Street

  1. hatif says:

    hi hamisha jan,
    good job.
    i am afraid of the day when our zealous friends ban following the prophets for the reason that they are too good to be followed!

  2. Ummali says:

    As salam alaykum,

    I think it’s misguided and dangerous to immediately draw parallels between this and the violence over the Danish drawings.

    Firstly, people were not angry that images of the Prophet (saawaws) were drawn, as has been established *many* times over images of the Prophet are all over the place, from ancient Asian drawings of the me’raj to a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad on the FX show 30 days last year. No riots, no fury over those. The anger was, for many the portrayl itself, the degradation. That’s not a justification for violence, but it’s not as simple as Muslims trying to impose Islamic mores on non believers.

    Also, no one has gotten violent about this movie. There is just a discussion. I disagree that Muslims should try to impose such restrictions on non believers, but it’s unfair to immediately jump to the conclusion that this is going to spark some kind of violence.

  3. sume says:

    Yeah, I agree with UmmaAli, I think the violence over the Danish cartoons involved more than just anger over the fact that there were drawings of the Prophet. I’m sure there were a few might have reacted violently for that reason, but there were other unlying issues in some countries where the reactions were violent. I say that though I was one of the ones banging my head against the wall thinking, “I can’t believe you fell for that!”

    The idea that Muslims can impose their own belief system on non-Muslims is unrealistic and just plain arrogant. Respect and tolerance has to go both ways. I hope it doesn’t but if this does spark violence, ten-to-one there’s some other issue behind it.

  4. Ahmad Khalid says:

    I too agree that the two cases are different. The drawaings of Peophet Muhammad was, I think, wrong and condemnable, because they were drawn in such a way that they incited hatred towards the entire Muslim Community. Under the media law in almost all western countries, any action stirring up hatred or violence is prohibited. The dipiction of Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist was tantamount to labeling all Muslims as terrorists, which is wrong.

  5. Anonymous says:

    There are much worse things than drawing Muhammad. The cartoons did not incite any hatred, they were a commentary on Islam as perceived by many. I guess the perception is basically true, as then so quickly demonstrated by Muslims. So, if you must blame somebody for something, try blaming Muslims for their vile talk and actions.

    Sume is right – Muslims have no right to impose their beliefs on others, specially this old man.
    If Muslim want to respect their prophet, that is their business, but there are consequences to that they must face. I know enough about the hadiths to know that Islam’s prophet does not deserve respect. If a guy named Joe in your neighborhood had done the things that Muhammad did, Joe would be in jail – or worse. That is a very nice way of putting it.

    The facts are that Islam’s prophet did many very horrible things. If a Muslim thinks otherwise, they know less about Islams traditions than I do, or they are themselves immoral. The only difference is that I don’t ignore facts or make excuses.

    In my view, the main reason for the violence is that Muslim have discovered that it is the only way they get respect. Yes, that is a strange idea, but there is logic to it.

    Things are going to get worse, and there is nothing any of us can do about it. Bad times are coming and many innocent people will get hurt.

    John Kactuz

  6. Anonymous says:

    Mr John Kactuz;
    By reading your comments it is clearly undrstood that you are one of those ignorant non-muslims, who thinks or better takes muslims for terrorists. I pity people like you.
    You don’t hurt muslims, you are just showing how narrow-minded and ignorant you are!

  7. sume says:

    John, with all due respect, I could kind of sympathize until you decided to throw insults recycled from your average we-hate-Muslims website. Many Muslims who condemned acts of violence concerning the drawings cited examples of the Prophet’s teachings and own reactions to insults which were non-violent. As I said, tolerance, understanding and respect have to go both ways.

  8. The style of writing is very familiar . Have you written guest posts for other bloggers?

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