Love for all, hatred for none — the true message of Islam

I will speak truthfully: I was very hurt by the insulting French cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). For me, freedom of speech does not mean insulting any prophet or religious founder. These cartoons were equally tasteless as the depiction of Jesus in “South Park.” There is no justification for killing innocents, especially in the name of defending Muhammad or protecting Islam. One thing is clear; the abhorrent terrorist attacks in France have no basis in Islam, but at the same time, the disturbing caricatures of Islam and Muhammad were upsetting and deeply offensive. 

Islam is the religion of peace, and the Quran declared Muhammad as Rahmatul lil Alameen — meaning ‘Mercy for all the worlds’. The noble life of Prophet Muhammad in the midst of hatred and animosity from the people of Mecca where people ridiculed Islam and tried to incapacitate him and his followers is evident as the shining sun in the sky. Upon his return to Mecca as a valiant conquerer, after almost a decade of expulsion, when Muhammad had a perfect opportunity to avenge all the atrocious injustices done by his vicious enemies, what did he do? He forgave and pardoned every single person. This is just a single, but incredible incident demonstrating Muhammad’s humble and honorable character. His whole life was full of these kinds of remarkable events, and history is itself a great proof of it. 

Islam does not support these so-called anti-blasphemy acts. In fact, the Quran, on numerous occasions, instructs believers to withdraw themselves decently from the people who ridicule Islam and not to indulge in vain talk but to instead say Salam (peace) to them. I demand of the people who call them the true followers of Muhammad, how can you justify the horrific murders of innocent people? Today, people who claim the love for Prophet Muhammad and Islam and slaughter their fellow human beings are ridiculing and insulting Muhammad and Islam by their cruel actions much more than millions of Charlie Hebdos can do.

Namoode Khokher, graduate student in Fine and Applied Arts.