Cartoon Saga: Can Prophet Muhammad Command Unqualified Respect from the Westerners?
05 Feb, 2007
Publication of a number of caricature cartoons of prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper has set on a raging controversy and violent protests from Muslims at every corner of the World. As the Muslim world wages civil as well as violent protests in unison - the Western world has taken a divisive stand. Government of countries like Norway, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and France, where the cartoons have been published and reprinted, have distanced themselves on the ground of their failure to interfere and influence the independent press in their secular and democratic society. On the other hand, certain countries of the West, including the United States and United Kingdom, have taken a meek stand of appeasing the Muslim outrage.
The US State Department termed cartoons "offensive to the beliefs of Muslims" and their publication "not acceptable," warning that press freedom "must be coupled with press responsibility."
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said the decision to republish the cartoons was "insensitive ... disrespectful ... and wrong."
Only a number of newspapers in Europe came to the defense of their sister publications, insisting on their right to free expression, whilst others have expressed a more cautious views on the controversy.
This controversy created such a stunning impact that it led Denmark Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen to hold an hour-long meeting with 76 foreign diplomats in a bid to defuse the crisis, but repeated at the end that his government could not apologize on behalf of the press.
As this controversy is in a motion of continued intensification in the days to come, it is an opportune moment for the Westerners as well as the Muslims to reflect on if the Prophet of Islam deserves to command unqualified respect from the Westerners in the light of the theological doctrine he had set forward some 14 centuries ago. It should be considered that Muslims are expecting such unqualified respect for the prophet on the Islamic theological ground which prohibits depiction of their prophet in any form. It will hence be most appropriate to consider the desired respect for the prophet from the Westerners in the light of same Islamic theological doctrine, which comprises of the edicts of the Koran and deeds and traditions of the Prophet.
When delve into the Islamic theological doctrine that the Prophet Muhammad had preached and propagated, it becomes the most difficult and unreasonable proposition for the Westerners to show any respect for the Prophet. In the Islamic doctrine of the Prophet, the Westerners who comprise of mainly of the Jews, Christians and nontheists, are conisdered Kaffirs, which means cruel, deceptive and hypocrite infidels or unbelievers [Koran 2:39]. The Westerners are the worst beast in the eyes of Allah, the Islamic God [Koran 8:55]. The Gods of the Jews and Christians of the West are false who lead them to darkness [Koran 2:258 ]. Westerners are deceptive and liars [Koran 3:23] and wrongdoers [Koran 2:254 ]. The Western infidels must not be taken as friends and contacts must be avoided at all costs [Koran 3:28]. Muslims must not associate with their own kindred (son, parents and wives) if they do not submit to Allah [Koran 58:22] and such kindred are their enemies [Koran 64.14].
The Prophet Muhammad did not only propagate a derogatory and demeaning doctrine against the infidels, including the Westerners of today, he also incited violence and ordered his followers to wage wars against them. Muslims must fight the infidels, who are the minions of the devil [Koran 4:76 ]. Muslims must not take the infidels as friends and unless the latter offer peace, they must be killed wherever the Muslims find them [Koran 4:49, 4:91]. Muslims must fight the infidels with determination, they must not retreat in the fight and those who retreat will be condemned by Allah to the fire of hell [Koran 8:15-16 ]. Muslims must fight the infidels, they must not let the latter escape [Koran 8:59-60] and they must seek out, lay in wait to ambush, seize and slay the latter wherever found [ Koran 9:5 ]. Muslims must fight the infidels whoever live near to them and show harshness to them [Koran 9:123]. They must fight the infidels in Allah's cause and in the process they will slay the infidels and be slain themselves [Koran 9:111] and if they refuse to fight the infidels, they will be afflicted with painful doom by Allah [Koran 9:39 ]. When Muslims meet the infidels, they must strike off the latter's heads, until they have made a great slaughter amongst the infidels [Koran 47:4]. In a nutshell, Muslims must fight, kill and slew infidels until the latter have submitted to Islam or subdued to the status of dhimmitude and humiliation and agree to pay Jizya taxes for not accepting Islam [ [Koran 09:05, Koran-9:29].
Muslims must not only fight, kill and slay the infidels, after they have attacked and defeated an infidel tribe, village or country; they must capture the remaining women and children as slaves/captives and take possession of their homes, land and wealth [Koran 33:26-27 ]. After that Muslims have the right to rape those captured women (right hand possession) through a divine revelation [Koran 70.29-30 ; 4:3]. These edicts, orders and responsibilities as allegedly revealed from Allah are meant for eternal application, until no other faith or unbelief is left.
On that ground, Prophet Muhammad had applied each of these revealed edicts in his life-time. In April 624, on the excuse of a marketplace brawl between a Muslim and Jew man of the Kaynuka tribe, the Prophet besieged the settlements of that tribe - the wealthiest community in the region . After 15 days of siege, the Jewish tribe surrendered. Their men were tied and preparations were made for their summary execution. At this point, Abdullah ibn Obayi, an influential chief of the Khazraj clan, seriously intervened. He urged Muhammad, "By God, would you cut down these 700 men in one morning?" He further cautioned, "I am a man, circumstances may change!" Muhammad, prudent as always, relented from the slaughtering and instead exiled them to Syria. They were given three days to leave but forbidden to take any implements of their trade. Once the Jews left, Muhammad quickly captured their homes and properties and distributed amongst the Muslims as booty of Jihad. According to ibn Ishaq, Muhmmad had already approved slaying the Jews before this event and at least one Jew, named Ibn Sunayna was assassinated.
The most horrendous act of cruel barbarity against the Jews came in April 627, when the Muslim army seized the Jewish clan of Banu Quraiza and extirpated the entire male population of 800-900  . After surrender by Quraiza tribesmen, they offered to go to exile like the Banu Nadhir tribe people but the Prophet Muhammad refused. He instead ordered them to accept Islam to save their lives. Only one Jew agreed. The responsibility of deciding on fate of the Quraiza people was handed to one Saad ibn Muad, a fanatical follower of Muhammad, who was known to be hostile to the Jews and himself was wounded in the same seize. He decided that the men of Quraiza tribe be slain, the women and children be taken as slaves and their homes and properties, as usual, be captured and distributed amongst the Muslims. As protests were raised from a number of Arabs against such barbaric and cruel punishment, the Prophet quickly found a revelation to justify this barbaric verdict as inspired by Allah [Q 33:26-27].
When Saad ibn Muad died shortly after passing this verdict, the prophet allegedly said that he was such a holy man his death shook the throne of Allah in heaven.
Following this, a trench was dug at the market-place and in Prophet Muhammad's presence, more than 8 hundreds captives, in groups of five, were brought to the brink of the trench with their hands tied behind and were beheaded with swords before pushing the dismembered bodies into the trench. It went on all through the day and continued by torchlight into the night. This ghastly massacre even created repulsion in Karen Armstrong, a renowned writer sympathetic to Islam, so much that she termed it impossible to dissociate from the Nazi. Clearly this cruel event can be termed the "First Holocaust" against the Jews.
Following this, Jewish strongholds of Khaybar, Fadak, Kamus, Watih, Solalim, Wadi al-Kora and other were also forced to submit and exiled and no important Jewish settlements were left around Medina. After defeating the Khaybar settlement of the Jews, the Prophet took the captured beautiful young woman named Safiya to bed at nightfall as her slain husband's dead body awaited burial the next day.
It is thus clear that the Prophet of Islam preached and propagated a demeaning, hateful, intolerant and violent doctrine towards the infidels as his alleged revelation of God and he put them to practical application word-by-word in his life-time. Those revealed verdicts of the Koran remains relevant for all time and are the cause for the Muslims' failure to respect the Western cultures and assimilate in those societies. Same edicts also led them to mistreat and violate their non-Muslim minorities anywhere in the Muslim world. Muslim youths' tendency to rape the women in the Western countries also emanate from the standard set by the prophet with verdicts from the Koran. The series of rapes of white girls in a Sydney neighborhood by Lebanese youth in 2001 is one such example.
In the light of what the Prophet of Islam had preached against the infidels as eternal edicts, it is extremely unreasonable to expect that the people of Western Europe and non-Muslims in general would be able to show unqualified respect for such a man. Showing respect to him amounts to agreeing that the Westerners are the worst beasts, the wrongdoers, deceivers and liars, minions of devils and not worthy of keeping friendship with the Muslims. By showing unqualified respect to the Prophet, the Westerner agree that the Muslims should fight, kill and slay them until they agree to become Muslims or are subdued to humiliation and dhimmitude and pay Jizyah taxes. By showing any respect to the prophet of Islam, the Westerners agree that the Muslims should capture their women after they have been attacked and defeated and the captured women serve as sex-slaves to the Muslim captors.
As condemnation, censorship, apology, death-threats and violent protests against the publication of the caricatures of Prophet Muhammad in the Danish and other European papers pour in from all corners of the world including from the US and UK Governments, the Westerners and the non-Muslim world must reflect on how they should regard the Prophet of Islam. The responsibility also lies on the Muslims to reflect on how the Westerners should regard their Prophet under the light of what the prophet had preached against them. If the world (both Muslims and non-Muslims) fail to determine the right regard that is due to the Prophet of Islam, especially from the non-Muslim world, the many problems that afflict the Muslim-nonMuslim relationship (both in the West and the Muslim-dominated countries) will continue to exist and cause misery and sufferings to humankind.
It is unlikely that a proper reflection would sink in amongst the Muslim people of the world. Under such a situation, it is the non-Muslims, who must make proactive effort to determine their due regard to the Prophet of Islam. Else, it might well turn out that when Muslims numerically dominate in the West in 20-50 years, they might well be turned into dhimmis in their own backyards. Let us remember the kind of strain Muslims have already inflicted on their lifestyle and society when they form only a small minority (1-5%) in the West. Western world must learn from the fact that non-Muslim minorities are virtual dhimmis in Muslim countries (including Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran) as per the Koranic injunctions, despite the external pressure for respect of human rights and the demand of the modern civilized world. When Muslims dominate the West, the Westerners fate will not be any different.
On the ground Muslims expect unqualified respect for their prophet, the Westerners can not show any respect to the Prophet on the same theological consideration. Let the civilized world take a stand against the violent, hateful and filthy teaching of the alleged prophet of Islam. Let us not validate the barbaric cruelty, torture and murder which the prophet of Islam had committed in the name of alleged revelation from God. Let us take a stand for the respect and dignity of those unfortunate women who became the victim of barbaric rapes by the conquering Muslims, including the prophet Muhammad himself. Let us also take a stand for saving the good future of our world by asking the Muslims to lift themselves to the standard of today's civilized world. Else the future of our world, which is so desperately dependent on the non-Muslim world, especially on the West, could well face a doom as the Muslims poise to dominate the entire West in numbers in 20-50 years.
The best the Westerners could do is to show the same respect to Prophet Muhammad which they have shown to other alleged Prophets, if not downright disrespect and vilification.