These are comments on quoted extracts from:
A protest by 10,000 Muslims outside the offices of Google in London today is just the first in an orchestrated attempt to force the company to remove an anti-Islamic film from website YouTube in Britain. Organiser Masoud Alam said:
“Our next protest will be at the offices of Google and YouTube across the world. We are looking to ban this film.”
They are not trying to “ban this film”. It already exists, and has probably been copied many times. They are trying to stop people seeing the film. Since presumably they are not worried about Muslims accidentally seeing it, (it is hard to accidentally see it), what they are really trying to do is stop non-Muslims across the world seeing something that they object to. They are trying to force non-Muslims to obey Islamic rules.
In effect, they are trying to stop some non-Muslims communicate some material created by non-Muslims to lots of other non-Muslims in a manner that doesn’t involve Muslims. At what other scales would they try to stop such communication? Someone showing an amateur movie to friends and relatives? And what are the specific characteristics that would cause them to mount such action? Anyone telling what they consider to be a lie about Muhammad? Any artistic rendition of Muhammad? Who makes the decision about whether something is allowed or should be stopped?
Are they simply trying to have a chilling effect on what non-Muslims can say about Islam anywhere?
Organiser Masoud Alam said:
“This is not freedom of expression, there is a limit for that. This insult of the Prophet will not be allowed.”
Yes, it is freedom of expression! And in a world of global communications, including lots of countries that have robust “freedom of expression” laws, such actions will be allowed throughout the rest of the Century.
A crowd bearing placards with the words amassed:
“We love our prophet more than our lives….
“Prophet Muhammad is the founder of freedom of speech”
Muhammad, assuming he existing (which he probably did), died in 632. What they “love” is an icon, constructed over the centuries. (It is a bit weird that they can “love” him but not have an image of him!)
(I think Muhammad gets a bad press as a result of decisions taken after his death. Just as Christianity is not a religion preached by Jesus, but was developed long after his death, so modem Islam is not a religion recited by Muhammad. It was distorted by actions taken first a few decades after his death, when the current Koran was determined and alternatives destroyed. Then 2 or 3 centuries after his death, the basis for further distortion was laid when the Hadith were chosen and formed the basis of Shariah. Who knows what he would think about modern Islam? Would he recognise it?)
Sheikh Faiz Al-Aqtab Siddiqui, told The Daily Telegraph:
“Terrorism is not just people who kill human bodies, but who kill human feelings as well. The makers of this film have terrorised 1.6 billion people….
“You can’t just say it doesn’t matter that it’s freedom of speech. It’s anarchy.”
The statement about terrorism was unwise. It suggests to people that Muslims have a rather casual attitude towards terrorism, equating it to hurt feelings. While I don’t believe most Muslims think like that, there probably are those that do, and there are plenty of people who will assume that more of them do.
These Muslims are trying to have an alternative legal system that contradicts the national one. Now that sounds a bit like anarchy!
Sheikh Siddiqui, a barrister from Nuneaton, said:
“We want everyone in society to recognise these people are wrecking our fragile global society”
If everyone concerned treated religions like hobbies, society would not be so fragile! If people stopped taking offense at statements that can’t hurt them, and took personal control of their own emotional states, society would not be so fragile!
When asked where where the women attending the protest were, one protester replied:
“Right at the back”.
This reveals a mountain of incomprehension:
- While many of us speak in post-Enlightenment language, others speak in pre-Enlightenment language.
- While many of us favour a post-Enlightenment world, others favour a pre-Enlightenment world.
- While many of us think the word “Enlightened” is a compliment, others think it is an insult.
This is not some sort of regional clash. This is a “Clash of Eras” – the 1st millennium CE (Islam) versus the 3rd millennium CE (“the West”). Islam has not undergone its own “Enlightenment”, and in general appears unable to do so.
Islamic states are experiencing modernity being thrust upon them as a package: the global communication capability they want brings with it communications they don’t want.