Kashif Hafeez Siddiqui

Archive for May 22nd, 2010|Daily archive page

Blasphemy And The Ban on Facebook

In Facebook Conspiracy on May 22, 2010 at 9:02 pm

By Faraz Baig

Akhtar Sheerani, the poet, is said to be once in a very drunken state and was shouting profanities at everyone present or anyone mentioned. He was in such a drunken state that he probably could hardly tell what he was saying and about whom. It was in such a state that someone around him casually mentioned the name of RasooluLLAH (saw). At this the poet was suddenly outraged, he presumably threw something on the culprit who had mentioned the name and shouted, “do you want to deprive me of the only support I have?”

Ghazi Ilam din’s story isn’t different either; he was the men who killed the blasphemer who was all but set to be free by the law. It is said that when he was told that to have a strong case in the court and to avoid punishment he should deny the incident. And he said, amazed by the ignorance of his educated advisors, “this is the only thing worthwhile I’ve done my entire life, how can I deny this?”

Those, my dear readers, are the responses of two Muslims not known as very practicing ones, but they depict the truest picture of Muslims in general. Muslims may be adulterers, drunkards, usurers and downright sinners, but they can never ever withstand blasphemy against RasooluLLAH (saw). In fact, it’s been witnessed that the lesser a person weighs in practice, the more pronounced are his or her reactions. This is one thing the enemies of Islam have never been able to understand. For ages, centuries in fact, they’ve silently, clinically corrupted our thought process, our intellectual assets, manipulated our intellect from within and outside us. Imposing upon us pseudo-intellectuals who couldn’t tell one set of Hadith from another. But to see if their efforts have been fruitful, they have to run tests. The seemingly disconnected, sporadic incidents of blasphemy are in fact absolutely connected. They are to check if Muslims have left any amount of Ghairat left in them, and probably to their surprise, Muslims are down, but not out.

There are, however, some others who assume an apologetic role towards Islam as if they’ve been trusted with the burden of introducing Islam to the west. They want to picture Islam as a religion of timid, toothless followers who can’t protect their sacred heritage. They’ll never stop mentioning Hudaibiyah on the premise that RasooluLLAH (saw) accepted seemingly belittling terms set by the enemy for peace to prevail. They either don’t know or feign ignorance that when this same pact was broken by the hawks of Makkah two years later, Abu Sufiyan (ra) had rushed to Madina seeking its reinstatement and it wasn’t granted, setting the precursor to Fath e Makkah. Or they’ll mention that no one was to be harmed on the day of Fath e Makkah, only to forget that there was still a black list of men and women who were to be executed even if they were to found behind the veil of Kaaba. They’ll mention the days of Taif when Kuffar used to shout and tease RasooluLLAH (saw) him physically as well as verbally, wheras RasooluLLAH (saw) prayed for them. These apologists forget that when in Madina, he had ordered the execution of Ka’ab bin Ashraf and Abu Rafa, known blasphemers who were sensationally executed in their own dens by Hazrat Muhammad ibn Muslamah (ra) and AbduLLAH ibn Ateek (ra) respectively along with their teams (ra). These are only two of the many instances in which blasphemers were executed. There are other instances when Sahaba (ra) acted on their own and RasooluLLAH (saw) appreciated the actions.

I can understand where these apologetic stances come from, for I used to think the same. The soft image, the moderate type. Unfortunately, that’s what we’ve been fed at schools. That Muslims were always on the defensive, whatever they did was for defending themselves and any and all aggressions were done by the Kuffars. Trust me, when one reads the authentic Seerah books, it is revealed that RasooluLLAH (saw) was always many steps ahead of the enemy, creating opportunities to terrorize them, preempting the attacks in many instances, and employing battle strategies unknown even to the war mongering tribals. We must understand that there’s neither peace nor war in Islam. The goal is to implement the politico-socio-economic system of Islam to the point of making it dominant over all other systems, as mentioned in Surah Saff, Surah Tauba and Surah Fath. If that’s achieved by implementing peace, well and good, but if war’s the solution then so be it.

Coming back to the topic, one of the most striking things in the black list of Fath e Makkah were the names of two slavegirls of Abu Lahb and ibn Khatl. Scholars have called this fact extraordinary because they were woman, non combatant, and on top of that, slaves. Their crime was that they sang improper songs towards RasooluLLAH (saw), which was enough for their executions. On the other hand, Handh, the lady who had desecrated the corpse of Hazrat Hamza (ra) was given amnesty. So it can be safely said that blasphemy is a sin of higher degree.

In this context, when we look at the bans on Facebook and many others, it shouldn’t surprise us. As stated earlier, Muslims can be misguided, but they can’t compromise the respect of RasooluLLAH (saw). As of this point, many have deactivated their facebook accounts, many couldn’t because the site’s already inaccessible. Along with that, sites like youtube, flickr, and wikipedia have also been banned. A surprise, probably erroneous inclusion was that of blackberry services, but other than that, there’s hardly anything that people miss. It’s correct that these sites were the best in their respective domains, but they weren’t the only ones. Already traffic is turning to other sites; it’s a free world isn’t it? It may be argued that only the page could be banned but the administration hasn’t leant a listening ear to those reporting the abusive page, therefore, at least a temporary ban isn’t going to cause anyone to miss much, despite the site’s usability to proclaim the dawah to acquaintances in a shorter and user friendly way. Banning them is hardly a ban on expression; this is symbolic of our outrage against their apathy towards our feelings.

But the fact remains that such blasphemies are becoming more and more in number and Muslims’ responses are becoming much tamer. In an unbiased view, Muslims have brought it upon themselves. They’ve relinquished the Sunnah and mostly only recognize rituals and are comfortable doing them. So much so that in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, almost every ruler has fought vociferously against the abrogation of Riba. Even when the case against Riba was all but won, they found a way to claw back and reversed the decisions with ugly politics. Most of the educated elite are fans of Musharraf thinking he brought liquidity to the economy, whereas he brought more liquid than liquidity to the country, liquor is a commodity freely available these days, thanks to the “abstinent hermit” known as Pervez Musharraf..

There’s not a single globally recognized inch in the whole world where Islam is acted upon as the deen. We see it being practiced everywhere as individual Madhab. It’s the fastest growing religion of the world, but as a system, it’s totally dominated. That’s absolutely the responsibility of Muslims who have accepted secondary citizenship and are happy practicing Islam in their lives in whatever limited way they can. It is in this pretext that these blasphemies are done. They check the ferocity of the responses, and go back to the drawing board with a new strategy. They’re supposedly to continue unless they feel the responses are now very timid and then they’ll launch phase II.

Lastly, there’s hardly such a thing as harmless humor in media. Entities like Southpark, The Daily Show and political caricatures will always demean one end of the society to make the other laugh. So when we’re laughing on such things we should understand that such a person doesn’t respect limits and can as well make fun of things we hold sacred.

I hope and pray to ALLAH (swt) that we gather the strength to obliterate all such people who dare point even a finger at our beloved RasooluLLAH (saw).