The Offence

Muslims the world over are galled by the handiwork, call it disingenuous and distasteful ?creativity? of a certain Nakoula Basseley Nakoula -??the man who dared ridicule the Prophet of Islam, Mohammed ? may Allah exalt his mention.
The disingenuous bit of his work being that; an actress in his film, ?Innocence of Muslims? had gone to court claiming that he deceived them into thinking that the film was everything but about a wayward portrayal of Islam ? mind you; she?s not Muslim.
As for the distasteful component, it has been condemned vastly by predominantly religious people and for diplomatic reasons, even by politicians in the wake of the heat that it generated across the Muslim world.
The offence in the film being the totally negative outlook and disposition that Nakoula sought to portray a man revered by the global Muslim Ummah ? community ? irrespective of sects, the sunni and shia and others all protested.
Nakoula?s bravado led him to walk into a terrain known for its passionate followers ? many of whom have?OVER-REACTED?(caps mine) in times past and in recent times. The man was just following in the footsteps of the Rushie?s novel ?The satanic verses?, Westergaard?s 2006 cartoons and Ayaan Hirsi Ali?s constant vitriolic writings.
All these people have had their fair share of death threats, attempt on their lives and in the case of Rushdie, a fatwa that he is killed. Westergaard has seen his end, Rushdie is living in shadows and with different identities, yet for Hirsi Ali, there?s no stopping her. Her latest effusion is the cover story in the Newsweek Magazine edition: ?Muslims Rage.?
So where is Nakoula? In hiding or is he still being held by the Californian court among other things for being a flight risk and for using computers and accessing the internet without officer?s permission ? breach of an earlier conviction.
So how did desert warrior/adventure movie metamorphose into the INSULT on Mohammed? An actor in the film; Cindy Lee Garcia is also in court over how Nakoula duped her to act in a hateful film. She cites fraud, slander and intentional infliction of emotional stress against the now famous director.
Our Defense
To protests in and of itself is not bad, it hasn?t being, it won?t and can?t possibly be [worse case it?s criminalized only under authoritarian dispensations]. Muslims times without number have used protests as a means to register our displeasure.
In the wake of the ?Innocence of Muslims? we protested and clearly we over reacted in the process, taking lives of others and destroying properties of people who have nothing to do with Nakoula?s misdeeds.
The action of some fellow Muslims across the world having stated above was outright CONDEMNABLE and WITHOUT LOCUS in the religion. Chris Stevens and all other people who lost their lives did not deserve to die for the reason that they did.
As for Islam being a religion of peace, nobody under the sun can dispute that on the basis of what some Muslims have exhibited in time. If that be the case then all of humanity would be branded radical and intolerant in the light of bad nuts that exist within all groups ? since creation and as would be the case till the end of time.
We could have done better, first by peaceful/incident free protests: that in itself is the biggest statement to the world that we won?t sit by as we are dishonored by person?s who DO NOT and CANNOT in anyway match the values that our Prophet bequeathed to all of humanity.
He is, was and shall continue to be the greatest man to have tread on the earth and his impact thereof has been acknowledged by brave non Muslims throughout history, where Sub-haanal Laah (Praise be to Allah) does a person as Nakoula fit? NOWHERE!
Beyond peaceful protests, we could have used the same medium that he used to counter his ill thought and derision, and already some Ulama [learned scholars] have done so. As far as I know, Sheikhs Yaasir Qadhi, Abu Mussab Wajdi Akkari, Tawfique Chowdry, Ahmed Musa Jibril etc. have all spoken about the matter on??youtube.?
Again, the use of responsible cartoons by Al Watan newspaper in Egypt to quell the provocative and desperate effort at popularity by French magazine Charlie Hebdo, was most laudable and just what was needed. What happened to Charlie Hebdo? Disgraced and without any blitz after two days in the media.
My Concerns
So I ask, is a person like Nakoula worth protesting over for whatever he does to anyone; save blessed and lofty people as we [Muslims]? NO! Not today, neither tomorrow nor ever! The man is in no way worth our time and the life of innocent people.
Muslims, I think should not bother going to watch what the contents of the trailer and or the movie are. I am proud to say I haven?t and pray that I never do till I die. The crust of the matter being that it?s crude, distasteful and pornographic to say the least.
As earlier reiterated, Muslims put off our sectarian cloaks to express our disgust at this film and so must we especially on issues that are of mutual importance to the general family of Muslims.
Whether the western media labels a person as Shia or Sunni, the Muslim in that person cannot be scrapped and together we must fight for the rights of fellow Muslims who are being killed and mistreated the world over.
The honour of our Prophet has been preserved by Allah ? against more tyrannical, anarchical and bestial elements amongst the Quraishi Kuffar [disbelievers] in the course of his existence but how did he react, with patience and forgiveness. So must we.
Let?s reflect on how Mohammed [May Allah exalt his mention] would have reacted on this film, your guess is as good as mine. Whiles the content is far removed from freedom of speech, the leader of Muslims I doubt would have called for war.
We should not be shocked to wake up some day to another piece of provocative material, would that signal perpetual protests? Yes it should and I champion that cause except that protests should be REFINED, for that sinks the message deeper.
We have a record though to protect in the midst of this raging storm. To keep intact our respect and regard for Eesah [Jesus] till date NO Muslim is on record to have ridiculed Jesus; and how could a Muslim in his right senses do so?
My last point shall be that we Muslims do not live our life to suit other people, even if all people refuse to protest when provoked; that is no standard that we should go down the same line. We are Muslims and we have Allah and Mohammed to guide us ? none but these two and or their blessed representatives.
In subsequent write ups ? two letters COMING UP! I?d write an open letter to Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and also to google/youtube ? relative to their refusal to pull down the video.
May Allah lead us to Haqq [truth] and help us subsequently to accept it, project it in positive light and act upon it. May HIS peace be with us ALL!
? Abdur Rahman Shaban Alfa


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