Preaching understanding in wake of French attacks
In France, Islamic extremists who went on a murderous rampage at a satirical newspaper and at a Paris supermarket greatly misrepresented the teachings of Mohammed. These gunmen said these violent acts (that resulted in the deaths of over 20) were to “avenge the prophet Mohammed.”
Noted Islamic scholar and peace activist Maulana Wahiduddin Khan in an article on blasphemy written for the Centre for Peace and Spirituality (Sept. 2012) looked at things differently. He wrote that, “the word blasphemy appears nowhere in the Koran, nor does the Koran anywhere forbid creating images of Mohammed, though there are commentaries and traditions that do, to guard against idol worship.”
Khan wrote, “there are more than 200 verses in the Koran that contemporaries of the prophet(s) repeatedly perpetrated the same act, which is now called blasphemy or abuse of the Prophet, but nowhere does the Koran prescribe punishment of lashes, or death or any other physical punishment.”
In his essay on blasphemy, Khan wrote, “On several occasions, Mohammed treated people who ridiculed him and his teachings with understanding and kindness.” Khan pointed out that in Islam, “blasphemy is a subject of intel- lectual discussion rather than a subject of physical punishment.”
Although written a couple of years back, Khan’s words are today poignant reminders that despite Mohammed’s message of peace and love found in the Koran, these terrorists will still profess their love for him even as they carry out their despicable murderous acts. It is their evil manifesto so feared by peaceful people worldwide.
Many Muslims read the Holy Bible to eventually learn and understand the Christian philosophy. Perhaps it is time for us to read the Koran and like our Muslim friends learn to understand its message of peace and love.
— Bill Westcott writes from Clarke’s Beach