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Thursday, February 23, 2006

We are champions at shooting ourselves in the foot. Another piece by Mirza Yawar

What do we want to show and what do we actually show?



"How did the bandh go?" asked a friend, referring to the protest
against the cartoons published by the Danish newspaper.



What should I say in response?



"Well, you see, before the protest, we had people who were at least
sympathetic to the Muslim's cause. Even if they did not protest in
public, many of my Hindu and Christian friends wrote to me and voted
in various newspaper surveys against the cartoons. But then the
protest happened. And what did our people do? They burnt buses,
vandalized shops and cars and threw stones at the police."



"You mean burnt buses of Denmark and threw stones at Danish police?"



"No, they burnt their own (Indian) buses and threw stones at their
own police which was there to try to prevent them from breaking the
law."



"But doesn't Islam prohibit breaking the law? And wasn't this whole
thing about protesting against the Danish cartoons which depicted
the Prophet (SAS) as a terrorist? Does not the Qur'an say: 5:8: 'Let
not your enmity against anyone lead you into the sin of deviating
from justice. Always be just. That is the closest to taqwa.'



"Yes of course it is. The protest was to show the world that the
Prophet (SAS) never allowed injustice. That the Qur'an prohibits
injustice. That Islam means peace. That Muslims are peaceful people."



"But you just said that during the protest Muslims burnt buses and
vandalized shops and cars and threw stones at the police who were
trying to prevent injustice?"



"Well, you see, that is because in the crowd there were agents of
America and the Israel. They are the ones who did these things and
our poor innocent Muslims get blamed for them. It is all a Zionist
conspiracy you see."



"No, I don't see. The only conspiracy seems to be your own suicidal
tendency for self destruction. What I see is that the Muslims say
something and do something else. That they are champions at shooting
themselves in the foot. That they are great at converting their
friends into enemies. That they have no discipline or social
responsibility and that their leaders are at the head of this
infamous list. People who can't even control their own emotions are
condemned to be the slaves of those who play with them through their
emotions."



He continues, "What I see is that to protest was the right thing to
do as the Danish newspaper had no right to do what it did. But in
that protest there was the opportunity to gain the support of all
those who were neutral in the issue. And that opportunity was not
only lost but you Muslims actually created enemies."



"However there is still an opportunity to right this wrong and to
act according to what your own Qur'an tells you to do. Re-establish
justice."



"What do you mean?"



"Let your leaders publicly apologize for all the damage caused by
those who participated in the protest. And then let them then put
their money where their mouth is and pay full compensation to those
whose property was damaged."



"Come on....you are not serious!!!"



"Yes, I am. Come to think of it, didn't you tell me that you guys
believe in the Day of Judgment? And did you not tell me that you
will answer for every little thing you do even unto the weight of an
atom? Well you know, looks to me like a bus is a little bigger than
an atom, eh!"



And he concluded, "So I ask you, do you Muslims really respect your
Qur'an and your Prophet?"



Mirza Yawar Baig

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