A man and his companion undertook a mountainous 32-mile journey on foot to a town where three brothers ruled in conjunction. Upon meeting them, he explained to them his purpose of the visit and invited them to believe in his message of one God instead of the multiple deities they worshipped. Not only did the leaders reject his message, but the ill-mannered brothers ridiculed and taunted him. They encouraged the children to gather up rocks and stones to throw at the travelers as they ran them out of the town, chasing them in this manner for two to three miles. The companion attempted his best to shield the man and was wounded in the head. The man was injured so severely that his shoes were full of blood. Heartbroken, injured and dismayed, the two men began their return to their hometown. On their way, they looked up to find a cloud casting its shade upon them. The man was addressed by the Angel Gabriel accompanied by the Angel of Mountains who asked for permission to destroy the town that had mistreated them so brutally by crushing it between the two mountains that flanked it. The man opposed the idea in hopes that the, one day, the descendants of these same people may choose to accept his message.
This merciful man was not new to such mistreatment from others bestowed upon him for choosing to believe in something different than them. As any and all great visionaries of their time, he was ostracized and mocked constantly. During one incident, this man was in prostration with his forehead touching the ground and his heart deep in prayer. Those that opposed him placed the dirty fetus of a camel on his back and rejoiced with laughter at their brilliant practical joke. It was the man’s daughter who removed the fetus. They did not lash back with words or fists but rather practiced patience and silent tolerance in their actions. In other instances, the man had been poisoned, spit in the face and had his neck stepped on while praying. Yet, violence was never his weapon of choice in response to the persecution he endured.
This man lived over 1400 years ago and is the beloved Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace). Millions of Muslims consider him the ideal role model and the man that they attempt their best to emulate in their everyday lives. His example is their first friend and the perfect Muslim that they draw their solace from in difficult times. During his lifetime, he displayed extreme patience and gentle tolerance in situations that would drive most men into uncontrollable anger and rage. Yet, every time he has been targeted in recent times, there is an out pour of violence in his name. The question these protesters fail to ask themselves is, ‘Is this what Muhammad would do?’ (pbuh).
For the past week, the world has been shaken by the violent protests in response to the anti-Islamic movie. At least a dozen have died, embassies have been attacked and the protesting has only continued to escalate. There has been an outcry from religious leaders and Islamic organizations denouncing the violence and asking for its end. The Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said, “We condemn the disgraceful killings of the American diplomats in Libya in the strongest terms possible. We also condemn the attack on our nation’s diplomatic facilities in Libya and Egypt. The actions of the attackers are totally inexcusable and un-Islamic.” In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood reached out to riot troops to protect the US Embassy from the protesters.
Many have tried to explain the protests as an outburst due to the frustration the Muslims feel with their countries. The lack of political freedom, the widespread corruption and abuse of the criminal system. The high levels of illiteracy and the lack of emphasis on individual rights have created a deep rooted animosity towards American foreign policies. The attacks on the most revered person in Islam by those outside of the religion are the sparks that become the outlets of their frustration.
It is almost laughable that such an immense response has resulted from a baseless, immature and very poorly done film. It is a propaganda film made with the sole purpose to offend an entire group. This along with the evasive and discreditable background of the producer himself marks the entire effort as immature. The movie had barely brought any attention to itself before the protests and without the protests would have passed by unnoticed. The crude attempt would have brought its own downfall by being a mockery of itself and nothing else.