Taseer’s killer, media and the Muslim majority
Published: Jan 11, 2011 19:39 Updated: Jan 11, 2011 19:39
Malik Mumtaz Qadri shot the very person he was to guard; Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer. The governor was faulted by him for speaking out against the blasphemy laws, a few men have welcomed this killing and have hailed Qadri as a “Hero” for defending the honor of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and showered him with rose petals, a cultural symbol of honor.
An appeal was circulated seeking justice for blasphemy-accused Asia Bibi of Pakistan, of the thousands on my list, three wrote, "Do you know what are you are going to lose — both the worlds perhaps?" Another one writes, "Islamically, insults and abuses against the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) count as acts of war and rebellion against a justly created Islamic entity. The Qur'an commands terrible punishment for such acts of war. "Finally, the third one writes, "Salman Taseer was a shame on Islam".
Islam forbids killing anyone, unless it is in self-defense and it is indeed a morbid sin to commit suicide. This statement breeds an enormous confusion among a few Muslims and non-Muslims, they want to know what to believe, what the radicals are doing in the name of Islam or the ones who say they are misrepresenting it.
There is an old saying, “evil thrives in the world unchecked because good people do nothing about it” and the purpose of writing this article is to invoke the goodness in people to speak up.
An overwhelming majority of people in every faith get their religion right; it is a divine instrument that teaches one to be truthful to oneself and bring about a balance within and with what surrounds; life and matter and live in harmony with the creation (the word is ‘follow’ for Christians, ‘surrender’ for Hindus, and ‘submit’ to the will of Allah for Muslims). The prophet was called “Amin” the truthful and the trustworthy. The core value of all religions is expressed in terms of the Golden rule; treat others as you would want to be treated to create orderly societies so everyone can live without the fear of others.
The silent majority needs to speak out at crucial times like this where the murderer Qadri is being hailed as a hero in defending the very Prophet who was a mercy to mankind. This entire sordid affair started when Bibi, a Christian woman was denied the water by a few senseless individuals.
One of the many things you can do as "speak out" is to organize conferences on blasphemy where differing views are listened and understood. You can also sign the petition to express that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was indeed Rahmatul-Lil-Alameen; the man who brought mercy to humanity. http://www.petitiononline.com/Asiabibi/petition.html
Unfortunately, the media mirrors the stories generated by less than 1/100th of 1% of population and dumps on the rest of the population as though it is 'their' story, and the public on the other hand has not demonstrated their support for scrutiny and good news.
We cannot accept statistically insignificant number of people to represent any group. The right-wingers among Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Jews have become a fodder for each other. The left on the other hand shouts that we have to declare a war on right-wingers. Mahatma Gandhi had aptly said an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.
The public is as guilty as the media when it comes to what gets currency; it is a vicious circle and has to be consciously chucked. Qadri should be treated as disloyal criminal for murdering the very person he was to guard and not fall to hysteria generated by the few.
As people of faith, also known as peacemakers, we cannot cause people in conflict to dig in their heels and stick with unamenable positions, we have to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill for the ultimate good of all. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) applied that method in many of his examples. His wisdom comes as guiding light; follow the middle path. Everyone has a God given space, if we can learn to respect that, conflicts fade and solutions emerge.
As moderates we are an overwhelming majority in every society whichever way you classify them, we can express our support to the middle path and ask the extremists to study the life and examples of the Prophet, the ultimate peacemaker and spread kindness and goodness invoking his name.
— Mike Ghouse is committed to building cohesive societies through America Together Foundation and the Foundation for Pluralism championing the idea of co-existence through respecting and accepting the otherness of other and is committed to nurturing the pluralistic ideals embedded in Islam through the World Muslim Congress. He an be contacted at MikeGhouse@aol.com.