Friday, 14 September 2012

Does Islam have a place in the 21st Century?

Oh dear.  Another year another Islamic over reaction.  You remember last year when Muslims went ballistic over a picture of Minnie Mouse in a hijab? This time the Islamic world is in uproar over a pathetic amateur video depicting the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a violent womaniser.  Their fury has resulted in anti-US violence rippling through the Middle East and North Africa like a religious Tsunami.

This week the US embassy in Benghazi was stormed by protestors who killed US ambassador Christopher Stevens along with 3 bodyguards in a hail of rocket fire. In Cairo the US embassy was breached with protestors ripping down the American flag whilst in the Yemen there were violent clashes between security forces and protestors attempting to break into the embassy.  The fact that the US helped liberate Libya and Egypt is perhaps and salient detail overlooked by the killers and those on streets demanding the expulsion of US diplomats.

Even more baffling are attacks on the UK and German embassies in Sudan perhaps by idiots who aren't that clued up on their geography. Last time I looked England and Germany weren't US states.  This goes some way to underlining the mindless nature of the violence.  Muslims seemingly ant to attack anything remotely western.

I can understand that no one likes to have their beliefs mocked but where is the sense of proportionality.  Most right thinking people would consider the concept of "an eye for an eye" pretty medieval in approach in a 21st century society but Muslims even seem to want to always go one step further. I could dismiss the violence as extremism if it was just perpetrated by a few nutters but this backlash is widespread.

Before I am accused of tarring all Muslims with the same brush I appreciate there are a vast proportion of moderate Muslims who are able to handle challenges to their faith with considered and sensible responses.  However there seems to be vast tracts of the Islamic world that completely overreact whenever a satirical cartoon or a grainy film clip is aired that pokes fun or questions their principles.

It doesn't help tensions when the writer and director of the controversial film in question, Innocence of Muslims is reported to be Jewish film agent Sam Bacile.  This just rubs Semitic salt into Islamic wounds.

I have watched the offending YouTube clip and to be honest it looks like a cross between a childrens nativity play and amateur dramatic production of Life of Brian.  The only thing shocking about the content is the acting (Islam expressly prohibited any depictions of the Prophet Muhammad), It is  poorly made, badly acted and would be dismissed by anyone in the western world as nothing more than the work of 6th formers with too much time on their hands.

It seems someone with an agenda has managed to engineer a level of exposure the film never would have achieved by dubbing a clip into Arabic and circulated in the part of the world were it is going to cause maximum offense. Director Bacile may have just thought this a cunning marketing ploy but it seems to have backfired rather spectacularly.

Of course this behaviour is idiotic and the last thing the world needs right now is more religious hatred.  However I have to question the hair trigger behaviour by those in the Arab world who don't have the sense to dismiss these things outright and carry on their worship without burning or killing anything that doesn't meet their Islamic agenda.  As religions go Islam can hardly call itself progressive.

Why can't we all just get along?


  1. Your question 'Does Islam have a place in the 21st Century?' is based on the recent spate of violent protests in the name of Islam. Unfortunataley you have failed to recogise that Islam prohibts this type of behaviour, therefore your question cannot be justified. You cannot blame a religion on the actions of those who follow it.

  2. My question is very much justified. Pretty much all of those currently causing carnage are doing so in the name of Islam.

    If you study the Quran (which is the supposed rulebook for Muslims) there are many passages that incite violence in their followers

    "Slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them," Allah instructs the Prophet Muhammad (Quran, 9:5). He continues: "Prophet! Make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites! ... Hell shall be their home, an evil fate."

    Whereas the Old Testament is pretty vile and archaic in its expressions of violence to non believers Christians tend not to take its teachings literally.

    Where is the outcry from senior clerics condemning the violence or encouraging a more concilliatory tone?

    Their silence is deafening.

    1. I don’t mean to offend you, but the Quran is very complex and in order to comprehend it you need to have mastered quranic Arabic to a very high standard. The quote you have used is often misquoted to perpetuate the notion that Islam is a violent religion. However you have failed to recognise that the context of verse 5 chapter 9 actually relates to a period of time in Islamic history in which a peace treaty between the Muslims and pagans of Mecca was broken. After many years of being subjected to violence and death, God finally gives the Muslims permission to retaliate. The Quran clearly states in chapter 5, verse 32 that taking the life of one innocent person is equal to that of killing all humanity. I also disagree with your statement that those currently causing carnage are doing so in the name of Islam, It is Muslims who are and have been slaughtered in their million in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Pakistan etc by the US government and its allies.

  3. First of all let me thank you for adding your measured and intelligent response to my blog.

    I will bow to your superior knowledge of the Quran as I don't pretend do be an expert on the text. If you say you have to read the passage but consider it in context then I will not argue with you. It is a shame some of your Muslim brothers take the text so literally and do not consider taking a life with as much reverance as you.

    The one point I would like to challenge is your assertion that the violence against the west is due to the killings of muslims in around the world. I think if they went out and expressly said this is why they are fighting they might receive more sympathy.

    Many in the West including myself are emabarrased by phony wars and the deaths of innocent civilians in Iraq/ Afganistan ect. and I would expect anger on this subject to be fully justified by the Muslim world.

    However I don't hear Muslims say that this is the real reason for the recent violence though. All I hear is the outcry regarding this pathetic video which anyone with a brain with disregard as poorly made crap.

    Peace be with you my friend.

  4. Lol, I am a female, more precisely your old neighbour (unless you are not the person I am thinking of). I have a friend who always sends me links to blogs, most of which I ignore, but I found yours interesting and then recognised your name.

  5. Well well what a that you Omerah?