Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Je Suis Muhammad - Farhad Khadim

Neither Charlie Hebdo nor the extremists who murdered twelve journalists and staff at Charlie Hebdo are my heroes.

Both stand at the extremes of civil society: one by deliberately provoking the sensitivities of a marginalized community and stoking tensions, the other by betraying the values of that community through the most heinous of crimes - murder.

Je Suis Muhammad -

My hero is Muhammad, the target of Charlie Hebdo's often vicious attacks and the one who has taught me that one should not reciprocate harm with more harm.

Through his practice of forgiveness and patience, and the Qur'anic directive of which he was the living example, I have learnt that if you show the moral high ground and repel evil with "that which is better", even your sworn enemy will become your best friend.

He has taught me through his numerous dialogues with his enemies that one can win with patience and good character.

The cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo did not know him and could therefore be excused for their act of insensitivity.

The extremists who committed murder also did not know him. Had they known him as they claimed, they would have followed his example and engaged Charlie Hebdo in a dialogue as The Prophet did with the worst of his enemies.

Many of them left their arrogance behind and became his loyal followers because they saw in him a beautiful
model of piety, compassion and integrity that was unmatched.

Had the extremists known his character, they would have remembered how he forgave the young Mistah for engaging in the scandal of Aisha , the pious wife. And he would have ordered the execution of Wahshi and Hind for killing the lion of Islam, Hamza his beloved uncle and for Hind's attempt at eating his heart. But he forgave both.

Had they studied his Sunnah, they would have realized that despite the wars he was forced to fight, he limited his engagements only to those who took up arms against his cause, and never for personal revenge. Even when he entered Makkah victorious, his head was bowed in humility.

Because they don't know him they have betrayed him in the worst possible manner - by tarnishing the beautiful message of peace, justice, compassion and generosity that he was the embodiment of.

To those who eulogize Charlie Hebdo - how long will you remain in your arrogance by condoning the bullying of a marginalized people? How long will you continue to defy common sense and civility by perpetuating ridicule on the beloved leader of 1.6 billion Muslims? How long will you seek to caricature him under the pretext of free speech? Hind, Abu Sufyan, Khalid bin Walid... even Umar, had their sights set on destroying him. Yet, he overcame them not with swords nor war but with his gentle nature, forgiveness and the message of truth.

To you we say as Muhammad said: "if you feel no shame, do as you wish."

All affairs return to God and he will judge between us and you.


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