It is almost exactly one year since the caricatures of Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) appeared for the first time in Denmark’s Jilland’s Posten and roughly half a year since things went, after a renewed provocation, violently out of control throughout the Muslim world. I was hopeful, the lesson was learned and if not that, so at least accepted and respected. Well, I admit I was wrong.

Today we have almost a de-ja-vu with one significant difference though – back then an artist commited these insensitivities and insults toward Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and consequently Islam – and this time it is the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedikt XVI which increases the seriousness of the matter.

The entire Islamic world is reacting, feels insulted, offended, disappointed – hurt. Demonstrations, protests, calls for a public apology become louder and louder. I have great problems believing, the Pope miscalculated how Muslims would receive his speech – he must have known what effect it would have and I can not understad why he knowingly lit a fuse.

“Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

I was born and grew up Roman Catholic and even though I do not feel any affiliation, I do respect it. It would never occur to me to slander nor insult regardless if it is by giving an own statement or by quoting someone else. I utterly reject any attempt to hurt the feelings of any believer, intentionally or unintentionally, regardless of faith or denomination! It is tastless and insensitive and every effort should be made to avoid such incidents! The gap between the religions and cultures is tremendous already – it does need all efforts to narrow it and not through the choice of provocative wording and quotation to widen it further!

Islam is a religion of PEACE – whoever makes any other statement, is ignorant! It does by NO means promote violence nor war, is a compassionate, wonderful religion which is LIVED on a day to day basis!

“Whosoever kills a human being without (any reason like) manslaughter, or corruption on earth, it is as though he had killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life it is as though he had saved the lives of all mankind.” (The Holy Quran 5:32)

“Do not kill a soul which Allah has made sacred except through the due process of law …” (The Holy Quran 6:151)

The violence and crimes commited in the name of Islam are results of the interpretations of extremists and criminals. Islam is to save not to destroy people. Islam is NOT terrorism. It is NOT for self revenge. It is NOT hate, it is LOVE. Law of Islam is based on The Holy Quran and Sunnah. It is not what others do. Islam means conduct!

There is a strict code of Law even in wars. Those Muslims who go against the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and commit crimes against humanity have to face Allah one day and answer to the Almighty. We all do! There is a Day of Judgment for all mankind, nobody escapes!

A word to the “jihad”! The Arabic word jihad has been narrowly interpreted in the non-Muslim west as “holy war,” reducing it to the sole dimension of physical violence – which is WRONG!!
In fact jihad also means effort, or struggle, along the path towards God, and Muslims have many and varied ways of interpreting it. It was initially used during the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) while being attacked by hostile tribes! It was in solely in defense – NO aggression!

Today Islamic extremist groups such as al-Qaeda preach jihad as war against the West, but also against Muslim regimes which they consider to be heretical. For them, jihad simply means fighting all forms of heresy. Needless to say it does NOT represent REAL Islam!!

I hope this post made abundantly clear that I utterly reject the provocative and offensive quote, Pope Benedikt XVI unfortunately chose as example and hope, he will understand that the right way is NOT one of offence and provocation – but of compromise, respect and dialogue. I HOPE my Muslim friends, brothers and sisters will rise above and show their real strength – and the real beauty of Islam, especially as Ramadan is coming up – the holiest month in the Muslim year! We all know what Islam REALLY is … and we will spread the word, NON-violently!

Mahatma Gandhi said “NON-violence is the weapon of the strong! He is a GREAT teacher, well worth to copy!


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