Sword-wielding, picture-buring, crazy-faced men. This is, again, the image of Islam and muslims in the global media.
What are these men calling for? The EXECUTION of the British school teacher who is now jailed in Sudan for allowing her seven-year-old students call a teddy-bear Muhammad.
Now go and read the comments on this story on Al-Jazeera’s or Al-Arabiya’s web sites. What you get is the digital version of the the crazy-faced, sword-wielding protestors, shouting online.
Although a good number of the comments on Arab web sites are actually calling for the teacher’s release, because the whole matter is actually a farce, you still get an angry majority who are shouting their condemnation of the “infidel West” that “dares” to insult the prophet of Islam.
Some of these commenters don’t want to believe that the kids themselves called the bear Muhammad. No! “The teacher made the kids do it” one commenter writes.
Whatever the truth is, this matter should have never left the confines of the school where the British lady taught. It seems one crazy fanatic hater inside the school started this fire by informing the “authorities” about this “incident”.
History seems to be repeating itself, with ever increasing silliness. First the cartoon crisis, now this.
Islam’s global reputation is being shaped into something scary, intolerant and violent. As if the world is not scared enough of Islam already.
The crazy haters provide the scary images and the media provides the global distribution. A perfect match.
There is no way, even from a religious point of view, to ask for the execution of the teacher. Still, you have some people who are able move protestors onto the streets to call for such a thing.
In my opinion, it is the role of every reasonable muslim and human being to speak out against this horrendous, dark culture of violence and hate that has hijacked the image (and also the REALITY) of islamic communities. And when I say speak out, it means speak out loudly on the street and in the mosque and at school. The fanatics should not be allowed to pretend they have the moral high ground just because the appear as defending the prophet.
There is no way for the global muslim to move forward and, at the same time, tolerate this fanatism.
Judging from the comments on big Arab news sites there are a lot of fanatics among us. But even if reasonable Muslims are in the minority (which might actually be the case) they should not just shut up when faced by those who want to keep all of us in a dark age.
Read the condemnation of the affair by the Muslim Council of Britain and other Muslim organizations.