Reaction to the "Innocence of Muslims" Trailer by Kasim Sallaj
I have been meaning to express my feelings toward the recent ‘video’ since it came out, and I've finally got the time. I feel as the President of the MSA I should have some sort of opinion, but then again, these aren't the feelings of the club but rather my own opinions. So, I want to begin by saying that this ‘video’ was nothing more than the work of someone who dubbed words over some really badly made trailer. You can tell that it’s dubbed, and a lot of it was purposely cut and pasted in a way to look offensive. Therefore, there isn't much value to this video at all. If a person were to search the internet, they would find tons of sites that call for the end of Islam, degrading the Prophet (PBUH). What makes this video any worse than that? What makes this video worse than all the famous people that degrade Islam? It’s all on the same level, but we Muslims are like firecrackers with partially lit fuses; fuses which only seem to ignite from insignificant issues. Not from the issues we as Muslims should care about. Not from the issues which should take precedence over any of these cartoons or videos. Because had the real issues been addressed, it is clear that those which were insignificant wouldn’t have effect. Now one might ask what issues we as Muslims have nowadays that should take precedence over this video. Well, first and foremost, we should strive to act more as the Prophet (PBUH) did when people humiliated him. For when people humiliated the Prophet (PBUH), his response was to show them compassion, pray for their guidance, and to continually treat them with respect. A brief example of this is the story of the lady who would everyday put garbage and harmful things in the path of the Prophet (PBUH). The Prophet (PBUH), in response, would simply remove the items and continue on his way. Until one day came where there was no garbage in his way. The Prophet (PBUH), who had become accustomed to the daily ritual, went to visit the lady at her house to inquire about her health. She was so taken aback by his sincere concern for his neighbors that she converted to Islam. She was someone who had hurt the Prophet (PBUH) on a continual basis, and yet he never raided her house and killed her (compare this to the protesters in Libya raided the US embassy and killed the Ambassador). Continuing with these issues, let us address the fact that while all these people are quick to fill the streets and lose control, further fulfilling the stereotypes that label Muslims as crazy, they are slow to fill the Masjids when the call to prayer is made. THIS should entice us to get up and do something, to change our lives. Let us not forget that the second most important aspect of Islam, behind the profession of faith, is prayer. How many Muslims nowadays pray? The mosques are a reflection of our Iman (faith) as an Ummah (global Islamic Community). They are overfilled on Eid, almost full on the Friday Prayer, but vacant during the five daily prayers. Isn't this more important than some video? Had we as Muslims frequented the mosques and hastened our prayers, wouldn’t the perception of Islam change? Another issue that should be on the forefront of our minds is the fact that wearing the hijab (headscarf) in this day in age is looked at as "optional", to the point where it isn’t even worn at the mosque!!! Now let us compare this to how the Jews value their religious values. When I was 13, I was invited to my friend’s Bar Mitzvah, which was held in his temple. Now, when I entered the Temple I was told that had I not put on the Yamaka I wouldn’t be allowed in. Look at the respect and honor they have for their faith, and Muslims are in the streets chanting how proud they are to be Muslims? It just doesn't make sense. What purpose do these riots and protests serve, if the foundations of the faith are not present? Now, I'm not saying that no one prays or that no woman wears the hijab, what I'm saying is that the majority of the Muslims in the world nowadays are far off from where they should be. We should fix ourselves first and foremost, and in doing that the TRUE message of Islam will be portrayed. Never, ever, ever, should the life of another human be taken, because “Whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land - it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely, (5:32)”? Yet, these verses seem to be forgotten when our special fuses are lit. We as Muslims need to step back and reflect on our actions before we commit them, and to make firm intentions to better ourselves and our community at large.
This reaction serves as a reminder first for myself, and then for anyone who reads it. Any good stated here comes from the kadr of Allah (SWT), and anything wrong comes from me. May Allah (SWT) forgive me for my mistakes, and the mistakes of the Muslims around the world.