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Monday, February 13, 2006

An open Letter to Danish Prime Minister

The outpouring of outrage by the Muslims the World over should not
surprise anyone, not the least your Government Mr. Prime Minister.
If the publications of the caricatures were not deliberately
motivated to cause upheaval in the Muslim World, there is definitely
good reason for us to believe that your anti-Muslim, deliberately
provocative policies have lead to something like this happening?

The freedom of expression does not mean abdication of social
responsibility and this we believe even your government understands.
However when a mischief of this magnitude is carried out in the name
of freedom of speech and expression by the so called independent
media and it does not even draw a hint of rebuke from your
government, we the Muslims have no choice but to believe this is a
well orchestrated conspiracy by the right wing Christian Governments
of the EU to drive a wedge between the Christian West and the
Muslims. What is the end game we don't know but surely there is more
to it than what meets the eye.

Your utter lack of regard to the sentiments of Muslims and your
denial of audience to the Muslim delegation comprising of Leaders
and Imams who only wanted to see you to put across their view point
and why it was so painful to them to see their Prophet being
lampooned in such a manner has now snowballed into a tidal wave of
Muslim anger and shows no sign of dying down. If only you had the
sagacity and wisdom to meet up with the delegation and issued even a
one line statement of rebuke against the editor of Jylland-Posten
for their irresponsible act, this matter would have died.

We believe you deliberately declined to meet the Muslim delegation
because from the outset your mind was clouded by your hatred towards
Muslims and a peaceful demise of this problem was the last thing you
wanted.

Karen Armstrong, one of the most eminent experts on the Middle East
and author of the biography of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him),
has pointed to the historical animosity that western culture
(through its orientalist literature) has always carried against
Islam when she said – "These cartoons depicting Muhammad as a
terrorist are utterly inaccurate, feeding into an Islamophobia that
has been a noxious element in Western culture since the time of the
Crusades".

We are told that in Universities in Europe and America Journalists
are often taught that freedom of speech ends where the sensitivities
of people begin. It is such a paradox that on the one hand the
Journalists learn one thing at College and at the same time stand up
in solidarity with your Jylland-Posten by publishing the same
caricatures in their own newspapers and magazines. However there are
exceptions such as our own media in India and so too the big
Networks such as CNN and BBC who have consciously avoided
publication of these offensive caricatures in order not to hurt the
sentiments of the Muslims. We the Muslims are grateful to the media
giants BBC and CNN for their extremely responsible conduct.

The Quran Says: The Messenger (Muhammad PBUH) believes in what has
been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each
one believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers.
(They say), "We make no distinction between one another of His
Messengers"- and they say, " We hear, we obey, (We seek) Your
forgiveness, our Lord, and to you is the return (of all)." Al-Quran
2.285.

The above verse should suffice to amply demonstrate why it is not
possible for us to accept even a hint of disrespect to any of our
prophet(s). When we say we believe, let it be understood that we
indeed do. Hence the question of accepting such lampooning of our
Prophets and the revealed Books as a joke is simply out of the
question.

You and your government will do well Mr. Prime Minister to note what
the famous Historian Lamar Tine had to say about the greatness of
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). In the words of Tine: "If greatness of
purpose, smallness of means and astounding results are the three
criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in
modern history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws
and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than
material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This
man moved not only armies, legislation, empires, peoples and
dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited
world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the
religions, the ideas, the beliefs and souls.... his forbearance in
victory, his ambition, which was entirely devoted to one idea and in
no manner striving for an empire; his endless prayers, his mystic
conversations with God, his death and his triumph after death; all
these attest not to an imposture but to a firm conviction which gave
him the power to restore a dogma. This dogma was two-fold, the unity
of God and the immateriality of God; the former telling what God is,
the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods
with the sword, the other starting an idea with the words.

"Philosopher, Orator, Apostle, Legislator, Warrior, Conqueror of
ideas, Restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult without images, the
founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire
that is MUHAMMAD. As regards all the standards by which Human
Greatness may be measured, we may well ask, IS THERE ANY MAN GREATER
THAN HE?" (Lamar tine, HISTOIRE DE LA TURQUIE, Paris, 1854, Vol.
II, pp 276-277).

In conclusion Mr. Prime Minister we the Muslims in Bangalore through
your embassy in Delhi implore you to even now acknowledge the grave
error of judgment you made in making light of an issue that affects
the hearts and minds of all Muslims. An unequivocal apology even at
this late hour will go a long way in assuaging the hurt sentiments
of Muslims.

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