Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A Muslim Reflects on the Danish Cartoons

Courtesy of MEMRI, some recent thoughts by a Saudi columnist named Thuraya Al-Shihri on the Muslim reaction to the Danish Mohammed cartoons:

"When the offensive cartoons of the Prophet [were published], we responded by damaging buildings and campaigning to boycott products. Most [Muslims] continued to purchase these products in secret, or [went on buying them] because they were not aware of their origin. The whole affair [produced nothing more than] slogans which were meant to support [Islam], but which in practice only damaged its reputation.

"When we wanted to explain the value of our faith, [why didn't we launch] social initiatives... or harness our economic resources to inform the world about the noble nature of Islam and shari'a? Nothing [of this sort] was done, except for a few conferences organized by Muslim preachers - and even this came only after the situation had deteriorated.

"These conferences did not have as much impact as the actions of the rabble... the bombing of buildings, the abduction of innocent people, and the murder of peaceful individuals. These spread more quickly and made a greater impression than lectures aimed at changing [the Western perception of Islam]...

"Our insistence [on reacting] by chopping off heads is a paradigm no less dangerous to humanity than paradigms like Nazism and Fascism. Why isn't there a single Muslim who has not heard about the [offensive] cartoons [of the Prophet Mohammad] - but when [a Belgian paper] plans to print and distribute translations of our Holy book [the Koran], this is taken for granted?..."


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