Muslims in Bangladesh take their turn defacing American symbols,
burning U.S. flags over a 'Coffin of Obama', in Dhaka, Sept. 21.
Free Speech Tied to Islamophobia and Blasphemy (FARS
News Agency, Islamic Republic of Iran)
Has the entire
world witnessed that 'harming the sentiments of over a billion Muslims fails to
fall under the definition of free speech'? That is the assertion of this
editorial from Iran's state-run Fars News
Agency, which warns of a looming catastrophe 'unless the Islamophobic tide, the secular currents and the illegal
wars waged against Muslims in the name of the "war on terror" are condemned and
TEHRAN: Under growing pressure from the Muslim world, the
Obama Administration has been forced to claim it deplores the content of a
provocative film that denigrates Islam. But Washington has also said,
"America's free-speech rights allow such films to air!"
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says the Obama Administration
condemns the violence triggered in the Muslim world by anti-Islam film, Innocence of Muslims. He also asserts that
the attacks on U.S. facilities and embassies in Egypt, Libya and Yemen were
unjustified. The attack in Libya killed four U.S. diplomats, including the
As always, mainstream media in the West have tried to
deceive public opinion and interpret the making of the film in light of free speech.
And this, after the entire world has witnessed that harming the sentiments of
over a billion Muslims fails to fall under the definition of freed speech. It
is an affront not only to all Muslims, but to believers of all faiths and
It is a point well taken by many Western pundits. In their
words, "The U.S.-made film is a perfect candidate for exception to free
speech rights, since its creators deliberately focused on fomenting
Of course, we all know that one of the cornerstones of any democratic
society is the protection of free speech and thought (the good). A society
cannot thrive if citizens are unable to express their views and opinions freely.
But sometimes, an overabundance of liberty in the guise of "free
speech" leads to racism against ethnic minorities. A case in point could
be the current wave of Islamophobiain the West (the bad).
Nevertheless, there are several possible explanations for
the sheer intensity of Muslim anger over this particular enmity. An important
one is that Muslims know the Western powers want their Islamic societies to
degenerate into godlessness by encouraging and normalizing sacrilegious
practices like slander, and with the help of mainstream media and secular social
networks, the trivialization of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
To this end, Western powers want to make sure that the mosque, although highly
visible and active, remains powerless to redirect the incoming secular currents
from other societies mired in moral and spiritual crisis.
With the removal of God and the sanctity of His Prophet
Mohammad (PBUH), the powers in the West can then
force or encourage Muslims to choose the path of rejecting God and His ways, systematically
remove the Holy Quran, prayer and religious discussion from classrooms,
cultural centers and places that the public gathers. Once these newly-secular
secular societies become morally bankrupt and openly hostile to Islamic values,
the West is able to trivialize and ridicule Islam and the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in the name of free speech or humanistic and
pluralistic concerns, and reaping the dire consequences of rejecting God.
Another explanation is Western hypocrisy of perceiving Islam
as being associated with terrorism. This, after the West participated in the
slaughter of tens of thousands of Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa
in the name of the so-called "war on terror."
The other explanation is that many Muslims believe that the
anti-Islam film has nothing to do with iconoclasm and everything to
do with the Islamophobia sweeping Western societies.
Europe's millions of Muslims are an increasingly embattled
minority. The far right no longer directs its hatred toward Jews or Blacks. Their
targets of choice are now Muslims. And the release of the anti-Islam film
cannot be divorced from the rampant Islamophobia in
American society, where racists and extremists claim that "Western civilization
is threatened with destruction at the hands of a Muslim plan for global
And the rising tide of European Islamophobia
has spilled out far beyond the confines of the far right. Just like America, violence
against Muslims in Europe continues to mount as the media stir hatred - under
the guise of free speech and expression. For instance in Britain, Muslims find
themselves increasingly on the receiving end of police intimidation and
But Muslims are not just victims of racial persecution. They
also represent one of the most oppressed and impoverished sections of the
working class. According to a recent E.U. study, over
two thirds of British Muslims live in poverty, suffering the lowest employment
rate of any ethnic group. This situation is repeated across the continent.
Without examining the broader context, it is difficult if
not impossible to understand the intensity of anger and anguish that the recent
blasphemous film has provoked (the ugly).
There is no denying that secularism, Islamophobia,
and the hypocrisy of perceiving Islam as being associated with terrorism all
couch themselves in the Western language of blasphemy. Perhaps, it is also a
convenient ideology at a time when Western armies occupy Afghanistan, Libya and
Iraq, and when the U.S. government and the Israeli lobby are menacing Iran.
Unless the Islamophobic tide, the
secular currents and the illegal wars waged against Muslims in the name of
"war on terror" are condemned and contained, there is a clear risk
that events surrounding thus sacrilegious movie may be a precursor for a far
greater disaster to come. We have all been warned!