Thursday, 16 October 2008

The Jewel Of Medina hysteria - Here we go again.

As a child, I remember watching one of my favourite superhero cartoons. A hideous monster with immense powers was unleashed on the innocent citizens of a made-up city in super hero world. One by one the superheroes were beaten by the monster and with each attempt, as the super heroes failed, the monster appeared to get stronger they realised their failing - each time the super heroes struck at the Monster, it was drawing on their strength and getting more powerful.

I have been inundated with emails about the recent release of the polemical, not to say highly distasteful, Jewel of Medina. My main concern relating to this issue is that someone out there is going to do something crazy. We know that four people have already been arrested in London over an alleged attack on the publisher – I am praying there will be not further incidents.
Why do Muslims fall for it every time? Why do we always get duped by “let’s see what we can do to wind up Muslims and get a story from a random hot-head?”

First it was global upheaval, following the publication of cartoons in the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten. More than 100 people died in the ensuing protests. As you may recall, London had its own angry protests, images of Muslims beamed all over the world calling for violence, whilst covering their faces, the very images in the psyche of non –muslins when videos of innocent captives are killed on camera at the hands of violent extremists. Those Muslims who attended may have felt they did something for the sake of Allah. From a simplistic point of view, I take your point. However, when one examines the impact it plays on the political arena, it was exactly what our enemies wanted to happen. If I was the Caliph (you never know!), I would probably have been tempted to lash you for your political naivety. We played right into their hands. The forces that work against us relished those moments and furthered their demonisation case against us as an “extreme, violent and alien community living in our midst.” I can just imagine them, “Fools” they cackle, whilst watching us dig our own graves. The prophet once said: “A Muslim is never bitten from the same hole twice.” Not only do we get bitten the second time, but actually out-stretch our hand.
Let me stop you in your tracks before you say “fear Allah brother, the hadith says we should x , y and z”. This is the type of simplistic reasoning in political Islam is the thorn in the side of the Muslims, with ignorant zealots representing us in the public space. For example, one extraordinary and horrific example of following divine rules without applying common sense occurred in 2002 when fire broke out at a girls' school in Mecca. Saudi religious police were ordered that those trying to escape were properly attired in headscarves and black abayas, i.e. covered. Eyewitness accounts told of girls being forced back into the burning building to retrieve their head-coverings. Several who went back died in the blaze - the price of enforcing this rigid outlook or principles. “But we must follow Quran and Sunnah, you cry,” yes we do, there is no need to state the obvious here. Taking into account the whole picture is not in any shape or form not following the Quran and Sunnah.
The best thing we can do is hit them where it hurts. “Don’t give them free publicity!” If you want this monster to die, ignore it. It might be the best weapon we have. The greatest irony is that no doubt more copies will be sold due to this Muslim backlash.
I’m angered by these attacks against our beloved Messenger as much as any Muslim but not to the extent of being prepared to put a smile on the faces of our critics by giving them exactly what they want from us – a reaction. For me these slurs are pure ad hominem, an indication that these polemicists have to resort to playing dirty as they can’t take us on honorably, through argument and reason.
No doubt I will be branded a "Moderate" by some and that too would be an ad hominem.

Adam Deen


Anonymous said...

This is an excellent article by Adam. I’m fed up with the hyper overreaction by Muslim hot heads; good to read some moderation and sanity for a change.

Paul Williams

Anonymous said...

As Salamu'Alaikum,

Brother Adam I feel that you have done exactly what you have accused others of doing, they are on one extreme and you are on the other. The mistake that you both are making is that you are speaking/acting on behalf of the Muslim community without seeking advise from the community itself.
Muslims have every right and duty to react to this insane novel. How they should react, that should be the discussion here, however the solution provided by you, downplays the seriousness of the issue, and sadly exposes your political naivety. The problem is that the Muslim community has people like you (aspiring Khalifas!) who comment on sensitive matters without seeking a broad spectrum of ideas from the wider community and speak on behalf of the Muslim community without any what so ever legal or representative authority. What would have been more appropriate for you to mention was that Muslims should unite and devise comprehensive strategy to champion the debate the on 'freedom of speech' not just this issue, as this is but a symptom of the real problem, which is how Western society has a deeply ingrained culture of disrespect and it abuses this to insult other races and cultures without any fear of accountability. The feedback that I have received from the wider public is that Muslim organisations
should lodge a complaint against the author, publisher and try and dissuade retailers from selling this book. WHSmith have already taken this book off their website due to being inundated with requests from members of the Muslim community. The Muslim strategy should seek to do what is in the best interest of Islam and Muslims, and ofcourse not make Sherry Jones a millionaire through a poorly laid out plan.

Anonymous said...

it is true that muslims are their own worst enemy - the infamous london march was such a self-parody that i though that someone was "'aving a larf".

a culture that regards "moderate" as an insult troubles me greatly.

as does the image of the noble islamic society lead by the caliph where you adam have fallen into the same trap by your knee-jerk reaction, "If I was the Caliph (you never know!), I would probably have been tempted to lash you for your political naivety."


it would seem that the association of islam with violence - illustrated by the above, by sharia punishments and so on is beyond reform. is that true? tom

Anonymous said...

I hope that Muslim community leaders and other activists will adopt the same enlightened stance as brother Adam has elucidated above


Anonymous said...

Comment: This is a sensible approach to a complex issue. In our current state of weakness, by refusing to add fuel to the fire we may offset some of the hoped-for-publicity. However in the long run we simply embolden the kuffar. I'm mindful of the dying days of the Ottoman Empire when Voltaire planned to put on a play satirizing Prophet Muhammad. Even though the empire was weakened and near collapse, the then Caliph was able to issue a firm warning to the French government - a warning that resulted in the play being retracted and Voltaire being cautioned. Individuals will never command such fear and respect, but nations can and will. The ummah must learn to cast aside petty differences and unite upon the truth so that once again our voice means something.

Anonymous said...

Tom- As is the association of Freedom/Democracy with violence, que UN resolutions authorising bombing of other nations etc etc, you know the hymn sheet of military action, depleted uranium in Iraq, Agent Orange in Vietnam etc etc

So its ok for UN to authorise force, i.e. physical, violent action but Sharia can't?

Anonymous said...

Re: Tom

Caliph and Lash

Caliph is the ruler and ruler dispenses punishments.

Lashing is a hell of a lot more humane than electrocution..... Are we now going to say that the west has a lust for death...

Anonymous said...

...and stoning to death induces giggling in the victims, and those beheaded always smile after its done. amputees always wave, even if the hand is not actually connected to them at the time.

suicide bombers always crack a good joke to make the children laugh before blowing themselves up.

yup, islam has it all.

there is no capital punishment in europe.
there is no lashing in europe.
there is no stoning in europe. there is no beheading in europe.

i hope that america catches up before too long.

"Caliph is the ruler and ruler dispenses punishments."

true in a small 3rd world tribal society.

untrue in the civilised world.


Anonymous said...

...there is no capital punishment in europe.
there is no lashing in europe.
there is no stoning in europe. there is no beheading in europe.

But there is cannabalism of dead homosexual boyfriends in Europe

Assisted suicide in Europe

and thats only what is in the news today - Ahhhh how nice it feels to be in a civilised European society...

Anonymous said...

by assisted suicide, do you mean martyrdom operations?

as for the cannibalism of dead homosexual boyfriends, you are entitled to your fantasy, but its illegal here too.

but its still better than pakistan, eh? tom

Anonymous said...

I think a raw nerve has been hit with Tom. When someone is not willing to acknowledge problems and shift the blame on others only, then sincerity goes out the window and prejudice exists. Indeed there are Muslims who commit crimes and are not Islamic and Muslims would acknowledge that. But in the west we too must acknowledge that we have extremists, including secular extremists.

Anonymous said...

Interesting someone would refer to Pakistan. In fact Pakistan has banned the book The Da Vinci Code in order to avoid hurting the feelings of the Catholic minority.
Perhaps we should follow their good example in this matter....

Anonymous said...

religious extremists always come pretty close at times to repeating the book burnings of old europe. so do secular extremists - for example the stalinist russia or maoist china. the test for all these coves is the type of society that their antics produce. on the whole, europe now has it reasonably right - but that was not true 70 years ago.

re the da vinci code, banning it is plain stupid - its not a well written book - but it does address some interesting questions, the mere asking of which would have bought burning to death 400 years ago. its is to christianity's credit that criticism has been entirely peaceful and civilised.

the same should be true of all books in all places.

however it cannot be so because none of us would wish to see book advocating, for example, paedophilia. at least i hope not. however on the subject of homosexuality, some find it at least as abhorrent as paedophilia, whilst many (including me) do not. the tolerance/acceptance of homosexuality is in my view (and speaking as a "straight" father), one of the great advances of 20th century western society. thus we see that our perception of morality is not fixed.

we seek a few lodestars - and these include tolerance and informed consent. paedophilia fails on the second count.

back to the "jewel of medina" - does it do any harm? it may cause irritation, but so do many books. the islamic community should treat it in a similar way to the christian communities' reaction to the da vinci code.

why would they wish to do otherwise? tom

Anonymous said...

Muslims need no help from other sources in order to be viewed as odd by secular folks. take this quote for example from Sheikh Ali Al-Tantawi in his book ' Brief introduction to Islam' . Speaking about Muslims that lapse from the faith " unless a person gives up his unislamic beliefs and repents, he will be given a death sentence". Well this is surely one way of maintaing faith by numbers'

And what are we to make of the murder of the young female aid worker by the Taliban last week? Justifiable in Islam?It would seem so.


Anonymous said...

Pakistan banned the DA Vinci Code ?
I do not think it was for the benefit of Catholics. Better that they ban attacks upon fellow Muslims ie, the Ahmadiyya. And in Iran the Bahi's. The Da Vinci Code banning was just politics


Anonymous said...

sorry frank, if you make a good point to islamists you get one of two results:

1. they type harder, usually using the words, "illegal occupation"

2. they vanish

debate is probably seen as zionist. tom

Anonymous said...

Wow - serious delusion and arrogance from Tom and Frank. Guess they can't see beyond their noses. Good Luck. No wonder world is in such a terrible state with ppl like them at the helm.

Anonymous said...

I think you may have just endorsed Toms view of Muslim critique.For 'type harder' substitute - shout louder.For 'vanish' substitute appear - but offended..

Nope. I do not consider myself arrogant or deluded. Your view taken from a couple of misc posts I have made. Given your now proven lack of 'looking beyond your nose'to form such a misconception, it becomes obvious that such a captain as yourself should never be at the helm.

Why on earth are Muslims so defensive?


Anonymous said...

I think you will find you are quite defensive...

Anonymous said...

For a perfect view of 'defensive' take a mosey around the Islam Chanel discussion pages. You will see from many of the posts why discussion with Islamists is impossible. I wonder sometimes why the secular members - of which I suspect there are none to many - bother.

As for our particular communications. They will get nowhere - so lets move on.


Shamhat said...

The earlier emotion-based arguments that Islam is primitive and barbaric compared to Europe are really quite funny. As if it's not at all barbaric to look someone up in prison for an extended period of time, knowing fully well that often those people became harder, institutionalized and, when seeking isolation often for protection against the other criminals, became legally insane AND THEN are released back into society. That's really a solution and clearly by the number of criminals in prisons and jails, it's a REAL deterrent. Crimes, especially homicides are low, right? Let's not forget the inherent racism and class-ism to the varying justice systems, the high rate of falsely imprisoned individuals etc. No Europe is the beacon of progression, civilization etc. Such statements are no different than what the Romans used to boast and we all know the truth to their realities. Ehtnocentricism can really be blinding. Ever wonder why pedophilia is on the rise? Anyone care that bastardization of children is common and accepted even though it clearly has harmful consequences to both the child and society as a whole? You can judge an ideology by the fruits it produces. At the end of the day, remarks about "third world countries" (which were TURNED third world by the barbarism and RACISM of colonialism and its policies of exploitation for the benefit of Great White civilization) have little to do with Islam and more to do with racism and an insecurity with one's own culture.

Anonymous said...

Well, I think some people here should go and get their history lessons first and learn some FACTS! (not stories which they see
on the news channels and read in the books like the jewel of Medina) I will mention only a couple of them because I think those are
enough to show the difference between the so called "civilized society" and the barbaric world.

Islam was the first religion which gave a woman right to own property 1400 years ago.

Islam was the first religion which eliminated any differences among human beings on the basis of color or race 1400 years ago. Unlike the "civilized society" where a black person was not considered even a human being only about 50 years back.