Not by violence
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Muslims should counter hate speech by using the internet to educate and inform about Islam
After the film, we now have the nude cartoons of the prophet. There is no end to the provocation. It seems that the easiest route to world fame is to condemn Islam, the Quran and the prophet of Islam. Charlie Hebdo, a satirical French magazine, which was fast losing circulation, found a cheap and simple method of overcoming its financial problems by lampooning Islam and all that it believes to be sacred. The film Innocence of Muslims, which could not attract even five people to its premiere, today has many hits on the Net, thanks to the reaction of a handful of violent and irresponsible Muslims in Libya.
It is time that Muslims understood that reacting violently to any insult to Islam is not the right response to all those suffering from Islamophobia or those who take Muslim-hating to be an easy path to financial and professional success. If there was no fatwa on Salman Rushdie, he would have been regarded a mediocre writer, long forgotten. Muslims should learn to ignore the insults to the prophet and the Quran. The objective of Islam haters is to provoke a violent reaction from the Muslims and by reacting predictably, they play into the hands of their opponents. Critics of Islam say that it is an intolerant and violent religion that has no place in a civilised society. By reacting the way some Muslims have, they have proved their critics right.
This is not the way the Quran or the prophet expects Muslims to behave. The Quran asks its followers to behave in a peaceful and civilised manner when faced with insults and mockery of their faith.
"When you hear God's revelations disbelieved in and mocked at, do not sit with them until they enter into some other discourse; surely then you would be like them" (4:140).
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