Why Northern Nigerian Muslims Should Not Demonstrate Against The Anti-Muhammed Film "Innocence Of Muslims"
- Category: POLITICS
- Published on Wednesday, 12 September 2012 22:28
- Written by Oluwatoyin Vincent Adepoju
I suggest Muslims need to emphasize the transcendence of Allah, rather than struggle to defend the creator of the universe by killing other people, a move that reinforces a widespread view of their religion as barbaric. Islam means 'submission to Allah'. Allah is understood as the creator of the universe. In its ideal sense, Islam is not a
force that needs defense by killing people who see it differently from many Muslims or who criticize it.
Does the Creator need people to be killed to defend Him or His message?
Does He need such defense? If His message cannot withstand criticism, then what is the point of a message from the Creator of the Universe, the One Without Beginning or End?
If a film is made criticizing Muhammad and Islam, make your own film to counter that one.
If a book is written criticizing Muhammad and Islam, write your own book countering that one.
There are many rich Muslims.
They can sponsor such activities.
There are many Muslim scholars and intellectuals.
I am yet to hear of:
A famous book by Muslims challenging critics of Muhammad or Islam.
A famous film by Muslims challenging critics of Muhammad or Islam.
A famous cartoon series or comic book challenging critics of Muhammad or Islam.
A famous Facebook page challenging critics of Muhammad or Islam.
All I read is that Muslims are killing people for challenging Muhammad and Islam.
The more they kill, the more these challenges will emerge because such barbaric behavior suggests the critics are right,and those critics will therefore be further emboldened.
Some Nigerian Muslims are calling for demonstrations to protest the film.
What will that achieve?
People have already been killed by Islamists in the name of this protest. Even killing people with no connection to the film. Islam's name has been further sullied, its reputation further denigrated in protesting against a film about Islam.
The world knows of this and is digesting it.
Keeping in mind that such demonstrations in the North, often if not always, lead to killings of Christians and Southerners in the North and the bombing of churches, I urge that such demonstrations should not take place.
The North has suffered more than enough and Northern Muslims are bearing the collateral damage of having the same religion as the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram that says it is defending Muslims.
It would be more helpful if Muslims were to launch a campaign of education about Islam, challenging the views of Muhammad in the film.
It would impress people more if Nigerian Muslims gave a global press conference reading out a refutation of the film by Islamic thinkers. While this is done and after, Muslim leaders should urge peace to their followers and the need to project Islam as a faith meant to show human beings a way superior to limited human thinking and living, not one where killing of people is the image in terms of which the religion is now known to many all over the world, while security is stepped up all over the North, particularly around churches and Christian communities, without impinging on people's rights.
We are used to such activities as the called for demonstrations. While they take place, everyone, particularly Christians, and other observers will have their hearts in their mouths, waiting to see if, as usual, any bad news will come out of the demonstrations.
I suggest Muslims in general and Nigerian Muslims in particular change their strategy from protests demonstrations and killing people in defense of Islam to educating people about their understanding of Islam.