The European religious history in the last millennium is stained with despicable attacks on Islam and the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa). The culprits, in their ignorance and hostility, seek to insult and defame the faith of the Muslims, parading and projecting a most hateful image of the religion of Allah (twa) and slandering and caricaturing the fair name of its Holy Founder so as to destroy his reputation in the eyes of the general public in their societies. Contemporary caricaturing of the Holy Prophet (sa) in the Western media essentially inherits this imbecility from that unfortunate legacy of hate speech and blasphemy, and all of this is indulged in the sacred name of liberty of expression and press freedom.
As a Divinely-raised Warner and the Mujaddid (Reviver of Faith among the Muslims) of our times, Hadhrat Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius has, on several occasions in the last decade, spoken up against this caricaturing of the Holy Prophet of all Muslims in the western press, warning that such offences are punishable in this very world and the repercussions shall be worst for the culprits and their societies. In the aftermath of the recent incidents involving Charlie Hebdo, political analysts confirm that the attacks indeed constitute an "earthquake" for the French society, parading the inadequacies of the French Republic to come to terms with the societal transitions in its backyard and the collective failures in imagining a shared future that accommodates the diversities and integrate the people on the basis of its professed, foundational principles of liberty, equality and fraternity. The astonishing prophecy issued by Hadhrat Sahib (atba), warning the Charlie Hebdo and the likes in 2011, had been documented at that time in the Blog and can be read here.
Presented below are brief remarks on the Chalie Hebdo attack in Paris made by the Hadhrat Khalifatullah (atba) in his Friday Sermon of January 16, 2015:
Before coming to the heart of my Khutba Jummah (Friday Sermon) on the duties and obligations of parents towards their children, I would like to say few words concerning the Paris “Charlie Hebdo” attack.
As you all know by now, on Wednesday 7th January 2015 some people opened fire on the newspaper staffs (among others) of “Charlie Hebdo” in France (12 victims), in one of the abominable bloodshed on the soil of France, as the news channel and other media do not hesitate to state. And as usual, Islam is being blamed for such atrocity and not the people behind it.
And as you all know, years ago, around 2006 and 2011, in the backdrop of the first cartoon calumniation of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), I issued a prophecy, a clear warning that those who shall play with the purity of the person of the Holy Prophet of Islam shall be punished by Allah, the Most High. Indeed liberty of expression is one thing and calumniating the heart of a religion on the basis of a so-called liberty of expression is another. Indeed the Messenger of Allah cannot tolerate that a single calumniation be brought on the person on the Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh) and I shall continue to defend his honour till my last breath.
Islam is a religion of peace. Indeed, very peaceful. But when the honour of the Supreme and Unique God and that of His Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) are tarnished by so-called people who embrace democracy and respect of religion, then let me tell you that it was very deplorable of them to hurt the feelings of the Muslims worldwide with their hatred for Islam and the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). And indeed Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) can also never be: “I am Charlie”, for Charlie devastated the pure image of Islam to spread dirt and hatred for a religion propagating peace in the world. The more we propagate peace, the more we are labelled terrorists and that our pure religion is of the devil (God Forbid).
In normal times, such atrocities are not to be tolerated but here I see therein the accomplishment of a prophecy – when our hearts bled for our Holy Prophet Muhammad’s and Islam’s honour – when stupid people from France, Denmark and elsewhere in the world began a vivid campaign to expose Islam and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as leaders and encouragers of violence and terror in the world. I see therein the wrath of Allah, and to distinguish the menaces of others from that of His Messenger, Allah gave a sign in that which He chose January 7th as clear sign of the accomplishment of that prophecy and the veracity of the one who proclaims to be His Messenger to the world. Indeed Allah shall not come down personally on earth to mete out justice. What I condemn in all this atrocity is the lives of innocents who have no link with the real culprits of the cartoons of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Indeed Islam and the Muslims harbour no hatred or animosity towards the Christians and other faiths in general, but we are ever ready to protect the honour of our prophet (pbuh) and religion (Islam) even at the peril of our lives and honour and we conduct this war against the real culprits, not innocent people who have kind regards and respect for our religion.
The Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) also did not tolerate such things. Like this humble self, whenever the honour of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) was at stake, he used to become the fiercest of lions to tear down those who dishonoured our beloved prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh). He once wrote in his book “Najmul-Huda” (Polar Star): “…I have been ordained to deal with this refutation and upheaval by sweet and peaceful means, and not to replicate evil with evil, except when the Holy Prophet (pbuh) is repudiated and insulted and that all limits of decency is crossed. It is not for me to libel the Christians in general, or to ridicule and defame them. By using these expressions, I only target those people who are directly or indirectly insulting the Holy Prophet (pbuh)…”
Indeed, as is clear this Jihad (sacred war) is not of the gun or any mundane weapon. Our weapon is prayer to the Almighty who in His vast knowledge and wisdom knows how to make the culprits pay back for their hatred and calumny. We are weak but Allah is never weak. He knows at what time and which place to put His plan into execution, to make the world see where truth lies, especially in the times of a Divine Manifestation, in the presence of a Messenger of Allah, a Caliph of Allah. Allahu Alam; And Allah knows best. Soon very soon, each and every person in his very own decreed/appointed time.
A little piece of advice: Never ridicule the pure religion of Allah, or His prophets for Allah shall make you pay back your infidelity piece by piece until nothing is left of you. Remember, this world is temporary whereas the hereafter is eternal. It is preferable to suffer in this world than the next world. Never go against Allah and His prophets, especially the best of mankind, His beloved Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh).
What is liberty of expression if it makes you turn to ridicule the religion of your fellow human beings? If liberty of expression is to be freely executed, then God Forbid, what if the majority of people in France and European countries or around the world began to walk naked without any morality? How would those people in those same countries react who have small children under their care, to grow up to become the adults of tomorrow? How would the Christians and other faiths view the thing? Would it not be revolting? But all in all, would that not be “liberty of expression” which they do with their bodies? Can someone stop them? And if yes, why stop them when they say that this is their form of liberty of expression?
Therefore, what I want you and the world to understand is that there is a LIMIT which should never be crossed, even in the expression of ‘liberty of expression’. For, if that limit is not respected, then Allah shall use the same weapon of liberty of expression to use against them and their rotten minds and expressions. Like in Islam there are extremists who try to portray the wrong image of Islam, likewise there are the same kinds of people in all religions who try to do other than what their religions tell them to do, including Charlie Hebdo and those who follow in its footsteps. For example, when the assaults and killings at Charlie Hebdo were done, the media replicate with more outrageous cartoons on the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). In this way, they are inviting more bloodshed to their homes, playing with fire, when they very well know that this is a never-ending and dangerous situation that they are inviting when they wrong and mock the faiths of others. And this can happen in any religion, whereby their very own people shoot them down, not foreigners or otherwise, but here, especially since 11th September 2001, Islam is always to be blamed in their eyes, despite the innocence of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Muslims and Islam, the perfect religion.
May Allah always keep preserving the honour of His religion (Islam) and His Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Ameen.