Innocence of Muslims: No, I will not 'get over it'

I've been told I can just ignore insults to the thing I hold the most dear in the world. Get over yourself!

Bina Shah September 18, 2012
So, this morning I read this piece on Slate.com which advises Muslims to just ‘get over it’, when we see movies denigrating our religion or our Prophet (pbuh) on the Internet. It's a sensible piece, urging us Muslims not to resort to violence because of a stupid, amateur movie made by a bunch of charlatans.
“God is too great to be troubled by the insults of fools. Follow Him.”

Well, thanks very much for that advice. I'll have to put down my Molotov cocktail now and put my feet up. I've been told I can just ignore insults to the thing I hold the most dear in the world.

While I appreciate the sentiment and the message contained in this article, I can't help but feel just a little bit patronised by it. First off, anyone who's reading Slate on the internet is probably not likely to go climb the walls of the US Embassy or loot an American school. Chances are the people that are most likely to do that haven't even seen the offending video - they've just been told about it or have read that it exists. YouTube has been blocked in the places where they live, although YouTube refuses to take down the clip itself.

So an internet article advising us Muslims to just calm down and not, you know, blow stuff up is - how should I say this? - perhaps somewhat misdirected. And also stating the obvious. We're not all that dumb, you know. But thanks for assuming that we needed your words of wisdom to show us the error of our ways. Because we're all sheep that can't think for ourselves. And I really wanted to go run amuck in the streets today.

I must have missed the circular that came my way telling me
“Hey, you guys! God is dead. Sincerely, Nietzsche.”

This isn't literal, but a philosophical observation that the Western world was losing its dependence on religion as a "moral compass and source of meaning".

But guess what! I'm a practicing Muslim. Yes, I get down on my knees five times a day and pray, I give charity, read the Quran and all the rest of it. I walk under a Quran before I get on a plane. I say my prayers before job interviews. I know it may seem a little weird, but that’s just the way it is. Lots of my prayers involve sending blessings to the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), his family and companions.

Oops, is that regressive?

Not only that, but I grew up learning about the Prophet (pbuh) and his life. I was taught that he was the best example of humanity, that he was sent as a ‘mercy to all the worlds’, that his demeanour and actions and behaviour were so awesome that my religion bases half of its belief system on what he did and said.

We call it the Sunnah if you want to get, you know, technical about it. My middle name is the name of his most beloved wife.

One more thing (and don't tell anyone, but I'll share it with you): my family claims lineage that goes all the way back to the Prophet (pbuh) - we're his direct descendants (supposedly). So he and his family are my ancestors. Just one more reason for me to care about what he did and how he conducted his life. Not that it gives me a premium on defending the Prophet's (pbuh) honour, because all Muslims are taught to revere his personage and respect his teachings.

So when a ridiculous, amateur movie pops up on the internet, defaming my beloved Prophet (pbuh) please excuse me if I don't just “get over it”. I'm sorry I'm not evolved enough to not feel anger, humiliation, or shame at the idea that my beloved Prophet (pbuh), who taught us the difference between right and wrong, who gave up his life for his people, who suffered endless taunts, threats to his life, temptation, open hostility and hidden plots because of his role as messenger and leader, should be mocked and demonised today by a group of people whose clear intention is to hurt, harass, incite, and eliminate Muslims.

I can't believe the duplicity of those who would tell me that a film against the Prophet (pbuh) is not hate speech, but “freedom of expression”.

How stupid do you think I am? Do you think I don't know world history or modern law?

There are laws against hate speech in every Western country (except the US). But what, it doesn't apply to anti-Islamic propaganda? Right. Check. Got that.

I want to add that I'm impressed with how my country, Pakistan, has reacted to the film.

On Thursday night, television anchors discussed it in their evening talk shows. They all echoed the feeling that while the film was hideously insulting to Muslims all over the world, we had to be careful to protest it in a way that did not involve violence or destruction of property or harm to human life. They gave examples of how the Prophet (pbuh) himself dealt with ridicule and insult - by refusing to react, by being patient, and by winning over his enemies with his goodness and character.

I'm a Muslim. I'm proud to be a Muslim. I'm proud of my Prophet (pbuh) and I will respect his tradition, honour his person, and fight for what he stood for. So my weapons are words, not guns or bombs. That's my choice. That's what Mohammad (pbuh) taught me - to use the phrase that Lupe Fiasco's been hashtagging on Twitter ever since this all started.

Don't you dare tell me I should just “get over it” or not get angry or just stay cool.

You get over yourself.

Don't impose your values on me.

Some things are still sacred: this is one of them.

This post originally appeared here.

Read more by Bina here.

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WRITTEN BY:
Bina Shah Author of A Season For Martyrs. She tweets @BinaShah (https://twitter.com/BinaShah)
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

COMMENTS (218)

Stacy Turner | 8 years ago | Reply Greetings my fellow human beings! If I may comment on this thread, as a way to say I understand and am empathetic to your emotions; but also to ask some questions, as I do not understand, if that makes sense. I was raised a evangelical that later became a catholic. As the chaos theory and geographic location were kind to me in that my priest did not anally rape me like so many of them like to do for jesus now. Ass-raping children in the name of jesus is a big thing now for the church. Unfortunately they need more money, in order to continue to rape children directly in the anus for the holy spirit/jesus/god Transformer Combination and the lawyers keep wanting more, because a good holy pedophilia anal rape is expensive. The pope would be for birth control if little boys had uteruses in their butts. That was me teasing a catholic friend on my blog just a few days ago. I, if you have not guessed am a Anti-Theist, Anti-Polytheist, Atheist and Skeptic, among other things. You as awesome human beings with the abilities given to us by millions of years of evolution were also given a sense of humor. This is useful to be able to bare politics, Fox news, children, my neighbors loud dog and the like. Why is it ok for me to mercilessly tease my friends that believe in the jewish and christian mythology, but not yours? I mean if he is as real as you say and he made me this way with my sense of humor and all, and he is perfect and his works are perfect and he has a plan; surely if I am doing it wrong, will he not just smite me with his power of smite? Why would man, who has math and space and oceans yet to conquer so we can colonize other planets for our children, before our sun explodes millions of years from now...be bothered with me calling something that I do not believe exists a ghost or poopy pants? I am not trying to upset or incite, I am just curious as to why you feel so special among humans that you specifically should not be made fun of for a tradition, a myth, a bad haircut, a bad sports team or a religion. Hell, we have scientology still over here and mormonism, and I absolutely cannot help but laugh about magic underwear and evil space alien overlords. Let me know as I am very curious. I hope each of you have a great day! Thanks for your time. ST The capitalization errors were intentional. Peace.
El Cid | 8 years ago | Reply @Abhinav: “You have written...lots of abusive words, but I have not seen any christian burning buildings in protest. No one is even asking moderators to remove the post. . It is not in my nature to resort to abuse, written or verbal. Please point out the “lots of abusive words” you accuse me of writing. You can have my post removed if you are unable to prove it wrong. But then you will have to “remove” all that is in the Bible...for I have only referenced the Bible. But to prove me wrong all you have to do is to cite the New Testament and tell me where does Jesus say:”I am God.” Or where does Jesus say: “Worship me”. That's all you have to do and I will request my post removed with profound apologies to all. I could go on. But please deny the New Testament when it categorically states: Jesus was the descendent of Prophet David “according to the flesh”. OR that the New Testament describes Jesus as a a man, and a favored Prophet: [Acts2:22]Jesus from Nazareth was a man whom God brought to your attention. You know that through this man God worked miracles, did amazing things, and gave signs. [Acts2:29-31] Confirms that Jesus was a “Fruit of the loins"...“according to the flesh” a descendent of Prophet David. As I said the New Testament testafies that Jesus was NOT divine...I could go on referencing and citing but you get the picture. And out of curiosity, have you read the Holy Bible?
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