Look, can I begin by saying I understand why the Muslim faithful get mad when other people mock their religious beliefs? Because I do. I am a devout evangelical Protestant Christian who gets upset whenever I see my faith mocked as well. Over the years, I’ve learned a neat little trick to deal with the many and varied insults to my faith, my God and the most important thing about who I am. Can I share my “trick” with the Muslim world?
Here’s what I do when faced with content offensive to my faith.
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If it’s on TV – I change the channel.
If it’s on the radio – I change the station.
If it’s in a magazine – I flip the page.
If it’s on a website – I close the browser.
If it’s on a billboard – I look away.
If it’s on a flyer – I throw the flyer away.
If it’s in a conversation – I walk away.
If it’s on a t-shirt – I don’t look at it.
If it’s on a bumper sticker – I don’t look at it.
Actually… my basic secret is don’t look, listen or interact with things that offend me. And then I don’t feel sooooo bad (he sang, thinking of Julie Andrews…).
Seriously, I know it probably sounds trite or a little ridiculous, but it’s just that simple. We only really get offended at things that we want to be offended by. As a Christian, I believe that my God made an immense sacrifice to secure my salvation, and as such, I hold my faith and love for Him very dearly. It breaks my heart to see people blaspheme and ridicule Him and my faith… but that heartbreak leads me ultimately to feel sorry for those people – not to violence.
Here’s what happens when someone says something offensive about Islam. This is how supposedly sane Muslim people in Niger act.
At least ten people were killed in the rioting over the latest Charlie Hebdo cover in Niger (where most of the rioters never actually saw the offensive cartoon). Yes, this is the same Charlie Hebdo that just saw 10 of their employees brutally murdered… did you notice any RIOTING in France after the attack? No? Interesting… Murder 10 French people, no one riots. Publish one cartoon… everybody freaks out.
So how offensive was the cartoon on the cover of the latest Charlie Hebdo? Take a look for yourself…
Under the title Charlie Hebdo it says “Irresponsible Journal” then it says “All is Forgiven.” The picture then shows a depiction of Mohammed holding a sign that says “I am Charlie.”
This is the horribly offensive image that “caused” rioting in Niger and much anger throughout the rest of the Islamic world.
I understand that Mohammed forbade depictions of himself in the Koran, but isn’t there some thought about the spirit of the law as opposed to the letter of the law in Islam? I mean, wasn’t the point about “no depictions” so that people wouldn’t worship Mohammed? Right?
So if the point was to make sure no one ended up worshipping Mohammed – why do Muslims freak out when someone draws a picture of him that NO ONE will end up worshipping? Actually, not all Muslims do freak out. Most Shia Muslims have no problem with depictions of Mohammed, and some Sunni don’t either!
So it becomes extremely hard to take “moderate” Muslim people serious about their faith and their desire for peace when they attack Charlie Hebdo for making depictions of Mohammed.
Ironically, the image above is strikingly similar to the one printed on the cover of Charlie Hebdo back in 2011 which led to their offices being firebombed by Muslim terrorists.
This one is similarly, shockingly inoffensive. The cover says “100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter!”
I don’t ask that Muslim believers don’t get angry when their faith is mocked; I only ask that they consider their beliefs. If they are right and the person doing the mocking is doomed… then isn’t that punishment enough? Why must they bring a current and violent judgment down upon people thousands of miles away when their faith says that those people will eventually receive “what is coming to them”? If I could speak to the Muslim world, I would beg them to consider instead of defending their god and their religion with their swords– allow him to defend himself.
“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”
— Mohandas Gandhi
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com