E Mullah الیکٹرونک مُلا: February 2006 .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

E Mullah الیکٹرونک مُلا

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Inner Soul Love


"One day You will take my heart completely and make it more fiery than a dragon. Your eyelashes will write on my heart the poem that could never come from the pen of a poet. "

Pakistani Weapons for Afghan Heroes


Recently, Kabul has objected to Pakistan's use of Afghan national heroic names for its military weapons. You really need a deep understanding of history to enjoy some humor here as well. Afghan Information Minister Makhdom Raheen has categorically requested Pakistan to use the names only for peaceful things like memorials, monuments, conference rooms and historical places.

If Afghans think that the names of Afghan warriors should be used for the purpose of peace alone then they really need to ask Hindu Historians and Raj dynasties who still lick their wounds at the hands of Mighty Afghan Warriors: Ghauri, Ghaznavi, Nadar Shah, and Abdali to name a few. These mighty warriors changed the socio-economic, political power structure of subcontinent-today's Pakistan and India. Today's Pakistani generals owe much of their power to Afghan invaders --had they not invaded India probably there was no Pakistan today (Pakistani historians mainly owe it to Muhammad Bin Qasim). Not only to pay tribute to their great ancestor-generals they name their weapons after Ghauri (now a Pakistani Missile), Abdali (now a Pakistani battle tank), and Ghaznvi (famous for seventeen attacks-never defeated) but to remind the Indian rivals of the destruction and havoc they created in subcontinent. It is possible that this recent objection is rooted in India's military corridors which---is more close to Karzi on South Asia advisory front---on one hand feels nervousness and on the other would like to see some embarrassment for Pakistani generals. Below is a brief snippet of history from Story of Pakistan so that you can gain an insight to my sense of humor (On a side note: I discovered that my father in law headed the very first story of Pakistan project at the time of inception).

GHAZNAVI One of the most controversial personalities in the history of South Asia, Mahmud Ghaznavi is known as one of the greatest conquerors the world has ever seen. He was one of the very few leaders who were never defeated in a battlefield. Born in 979, Mahmud became the Sultan of Ghazni in 998. He inherited the small state of Ghazni from his father Subuktigin, and turned it into an empire that lasted for about a century. He was a brave man and use to take part in all the battles his forces fought. Though he was interested in extending his empire toward Central Asia, the maneuverings of the Hindu rulers of Punjab forced him to invade South Asia. He came to South Asia seventeen times and went back to Ghazni every time with a great victory. He fought against the strong forces of Jaipal, Annadpal, Tarnochalpal, Kramta and the joint forces of Hindu Rajas and Maharajas but all of them were forced to flee away from the battlefield due to Mahmud's war strategy as a general. After the conquest of Multan and Lahore, Mahmud made Punjab a part of his empire in 1021.

Unlike other great conquerors like Alexander and Chengez Khan, Mahmud did not leave the areas conquered to the mercy of his soldiers. After becoming the first Muslim ruler to conquer Northern Punjab, he consolidated his rule in the area and established his provincial headquarters at Lahore. He established law and order in the areas that he ruled, giving special attention to the people he ruled. The department of police and post were efficient. His judicial system was very good as everybody was equal before the law and justice was the order of the day.
Mahmud was also a great patron of learning. His court was full of scholars including giants like Firdosi the poet, Behqi the historian and Al-Biruni the versatile scholar. It is said that he used to spend four hundred thousand golden Dinars on scholars. He invited the scholars from all over the world and was thus known as an abductor of scholars. Under Mahmud, Ghazni became one of the most important and beautiful cities of the Islamic world. It was the city of mosques, madrasas and libraries. He also established a Museum in Ghazni. During his rule, Lahore also became a great center of learning and culture. Lahore was called 'Small Ghazni'. Saad Salman, a poet of those times, has written about the academic and cultural life of Lahore.
Mahmud was also a deeply religious man. He himself wrote a book on Fiqh. He had respect for other religions. A large number of Hindus lived in Ghazni, and they enjoyed religious freedom. One of his commanders named Tilak was a Hindu. A number of soldiers in his army were also Hindus. Mahmud attacked the Hindu Temples in India because of political and not religious reasons.

GHAURI Muizz-ud-din Muhammad bin Sam, commonly known as Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Ghauri is one of the key persons who played a significant role in the establishment of Muslim rule in North India. An ambitious person, Muhammad Ghauri wanted to extend his rule towards South Asia. He took the small state of Ghazni from his brother Ghiyas-ud-din Muhammad bin Sam and turned it into an empire by conquering vast territories. First he captured the area ruled by the Ghaznavids and later on extended his rule to North India and Bengal. He was an able general and a brave soldier. He never let a temporary defeat stand in his way.
After his defeat in the first battle of Tarain in 1191 at the hands of Prithvi Raj Chauhan, ruler of Delhi and Ajmer, he spent a complete year
preparing for war. He came back in 1192 and defeated Raj Chauhan in the second battle of Tarain. He was the first Muslim ruler to conquer Delhi and establish a Muslim rule in India.
Muhammad Ghuri was a loyal brother. He refrained from declaring his independence in South Asia, knowing that it would result in civil war between the two brothers. Till the death of Ghiyas-ud-din Muhammad bin Sam in 1202, Ghauri never considered himself anything but a general in his brother's army. After every victory he would send the best of the looted items to his elder brother in Firuz Koh. Ghiyas-ud-din reciprocated by never interfering in the affairs of his younger brother. Thus they were each able to concentrate on their own responsibilities. As a result, Muhammad Ghauri managed to push permanent Muslim rule much further east than Mahmud Ghaznavi did.
Muhammad Ghuri had no heirs and thus he treated his slaves as his sons. It is said that he trained thousands of Turkish slaves in the art of warfare and administration.
Most of his slaves were given excellent education. During his reign many hardworking and intelligent slaves rose to positions of excellence. Once a courtier regretted that Sultan has no male heirs. Ghauri immediately replied, "Other monarchs may have one son, or two sons; I have thousands of sons. Namely my Turkish slaves who will be the heirs of my dominions, and who, after me, will take care to preserve my name in the Khutbah throughout these territories". Ghauri's prediction proved true when he was succeeded by a dynasty of Turkish Slaves.
Though Ghauri's main aim was the expansion of his empire, he also
took an interest in the patronization of education and learning. Illustrious Muslim philosopher Fakh-ud-din Razi and the well know poet Nizami Aruzi were few of the big names of his era.
In 1206, Ghauri had to travel to Lahore to crush a revolt. On his way back to Ghazni, his caravan halted at Damik near Jehlum. He was killed while offering his evening prayers. Many think that the murderer was an Ismaili. However, some historians believe that the murderer belonged to the warrior Ghakkar tribe that resided in the area. He was buried where he fell and his tomb has recently been renovated. Muhammad Ghauri is remembered as an empire builder and is justly called the founder of the Muslim Empire in Indo-Pakistan.

On the other hand their respect for knowledge and people who accepted their rule cannot be completely brushed aside. They were able to mortar holes in India's caste system but could not erase it completely. The caste system in Pakistan (now a Muslim majority state-supposed to have equal opportunities) has its deep cultural roots in Indian system of civic segregation.

And I don't know since when both Afghans and Pakistanis have become peaceful brothers (only time will tell its tall tales) as Pakistan has accused Kabul for supplying weapons to Ferari camp in Baluchistan. I can bet as soon as American venture is over in Afghanistan, Afghans would be the first one pushing shopping cart around for these Cino-Pakistani ventured toys with the names of their ancestors painted on foreheads (just a guess--may be not!).

Saturday, February 25, 2006



"With will, fire becomes sweet water; and without will, even water becomes fire."
This was found on Rumi related website as words of wisdom from Rumi. Trying to figure out the meaning. If I am correct then I think he is trying to say that:

"Artisanship and hardwork can turn dust into gold; lack of artisanship and hardwork can turn gold into dirt or worthless object."

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Message


I stopped by Christians
They said --peace on you
I stopped by Jews
They said Shalom
I stopped by Muslims
They Said Salam

I stopped by strangers
They were speaking a language
That I could not understand
But they smiled and waived
My mind processed the image
And sent it to heart

I listened to my heart
It said --so many languages
But the message is one

Take the message, and
Spread in thy world

{Last night I was reading Rumi with a friend and today I scribbled this}

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Another victim


Once there was Prophet of Islam who would not mind paying respect to a Jew and here we have his followers who would deceive them and torture to death (apparently done by some Muslim youth, it has to be confirmed by investigations however as I recall Daniel Pearl, I can tell the sentiments in Majority of Muslim world about Jews are same). I was in Pakistan visiting my family when Pearl incident happened and I thought I would write an article against killing in a newspaper (Blogging started much later) but never found enough time. However, I have promised to myself that I would because I never found it consistent with Quran. No where in Quran I found endorsement for these acts.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Six Flag-ed Questions for Muslims


Recently, I am overwhelmed by Muslim spammers who are urging other Muslims through repeated emails to protest and boycott Danish products in response to publishing of cartoons. I have few questions for them and I urge you to send these questions in email to as many Muslims as possible---that you know of---so that they become more introspective. Ask them to find the answer to the following:

I. Recently, in Middle East Muslims destroyed Danish food and threw away food in streets. I ask following questions:

  • Question 1. Did prophet of Islam recommended this behavior?
  • Question 2. Do Muslims know how much Allah despise when we spoil the Rizaq (food) ?
  • Question 3. Does Islam recommend Muslims to spoil food when Allah (SBWH) asks in Quran: Who has made it Haram for you that I have made Halal?
II. Doctors in Pakistan are not going to prescribe life saving Danish medicines even in case there is no alternative because they consider it Haram to prescribe these medicines in love of prophet.

  • Question 4. Isn't it that Allah has recommended us to consider Haram as Halal when it comes to saving lives (I don't even consider Danish medicines Haram)?
  • Question 5. Is it ok to punish those who are not involved in offending Muslims sensibilities (Although, prophet choose not to punish and that is my guiding light).
III. Muslims have destroyed property of fellow Muslims in Pakistan as well as in other countries.

  • Question 6. Didn't prophet say that you cannot be among the best Muslims if other Muslims are not safe from your hand, arm, and mouth?

(If Islam=Peace then I must say that everyone must be safe from the hands, arms, and mouth of Muslims) .

Please all Muslims respond to my questions and Inshallah we can have more positive discussions among Muslim communities around the globe.

On a side note: Our love for prophet or the respect that Allah has given him cannot diminish in anyway even if we choose not to do anything. In fact, our love for prophet (PBUH) demands us to do only one thing and that is to do exactly the way he did. He opted for peace, forgiveness, and mercy. Allah knows this and so does He (PBUH).

Sheik Abdul-Aziz Arafa, a Muslim scholar who teaches in Mecca at the Grand Mosque and at the Sawlatia School, a religious institute that is 125 years old says: "What most people don't understand," he said, "is the strong bond, the powerful link that connects Muslims and their prophet, God's prayers and peace upon him. He is sitting with us right now. When we talk about him, he is present, listening, and when we send him greetings, he sends them right back."Sheikh Arafa's lecture was hosted by Samir Barqa and he said the following about the cartoon event.

"Muhammad lay bleeding and injured after being stoned by young men in the mountain city of Taif. But he never exacted revenge on them and turned it down when the angels offered it.

We have only to go back to his examples to see that he never returned an insult with an insult. He remained balanced and steady. He would not have been happy about the turn of events."
"Please pay attention to these words about Prophet Mohammad (PBUH):

  • "He never returned an insult with an insult."
Alhamdollilah! I am Muslims and I am proud that my religion teaches me only peace, forgiveness, and justice the way Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was committed to it. I am not ashamed of Islam but of radical Muslims who do not understand the message of peace in our religion and still claim that "Islam is a religion of peace."

May Allah help every Muslim to understand the message of Salama (peace).

Monday, February 13, 2006

Watch what you say


Nicholas! you still call this guy thoughtful who would endorse the sentence of Dr. Shaikh by saying why the fuss over one man? Shaikh had a question in mind which he put forward and Islam does not reject questions by the inquisitive mind. Mr. Ghazi should have known that. Only thing Dr. Shaikh deserved was the answer. He needed the right answer. Alas! Rather than giving him the right answer he has been sentenced.
Watch what you say: Dr. Younus Shaikh, a teacher at a medical college, sits in a brick prison here, after being sentenced to death for blasphemy last year. I couldn't interview him because the warden caught me trying to slip into the prison as a visitor (I didn't look like a family member). But the issues are clear.

During a lecture, Dr. Shaikh digressed and allegedly speculated that Muhammad's parents may not have been Muslims

"Abdul Rashid Ghazi, a thoughtful, well-educated imam in Islamabad, asked me why the fuss over Dr. Shaikh, one man, when America has killed thousands in Afghanistan. I replied that blasphemy raises a larger concern for Islam itself: like Christianity in the Middle Ages, the Islamic world today suffers from a stultifying closed-mindedness and intellectual rigidity that impoverishes Muslim countries and in some cases endangers their neighbors."
At least one of the family members who raised him and was alive and received the message of Islam from Prophet has been considered idol worshiper his uncle Abdulmatlib. Only thing that is told to many Muslims in the textbooks is that his grandfather used to take care of 'Kaba.' At that time 'Kaba' was filled with idols. As a kid growing up and analyzing things around me, I asked similar questions.....So if every one worshiped idols in those days and they digressed from the true path what religion people were worshipping in Mecca, off course it was not Islam otherwise Allah did not need to reveal Quran. What faith Prophet's (PBUH) forefathers had. My mother told me only one thing that his family was pious and did not indulge in evil. That was the only answer she could get from the books she read. That answer was acceptable to me at that tender age. Now only thing Dr. Shaikh deserved was a right answer to his question. Is there any Muslim scholar who would like to answer that is posed by Dr. Shaikh. When they don't want to answer---or put it this way---they don't have an answer they say its Blasphemy....Ridiculous!

Where is so called enlightened moderation of Musharraf. The president has a right to pardon.
Muslim fanaticism makes me nervous whenever I think about going to my country "Pakistan: The land of so called Pure" and teach moderation and tolerance.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Aftermath I


While Sepoy has written the obituary of cartoon mania Fu2rman is starting a new alliance for peace but this isn't gonna die soon. Independent has published a chronology of events and I am adding Saudi Arabia's top sheikh to war of words.

*Friday 10, 2006 Saudi cleric would not settle for less than the trial of the cartoonist.
Speaking to hundreds of faithful at his Friday sermon, Sheik Abdul Rahman al-Seedes, the imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, called on the international community to enact laws that condemn insults against the prophet and holy sites. "Where is the world with all its agencies and organizations? Is there only freedom of expression when it involves insults to Muslims? With one voice...We will reject the apology and demand a trial," Al Riyadh, a Saudi daily newspaper, quoted al-Seedes as saying.
As Saudi cleric rejects peaceful retreat I expect a fresh round of violence and frenzy across the globe. Sigh!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Mohammad Who?


A Shorter version of my response to cartoon controversy is published at Chowk and there is a good debate going on there. If you want to participate in the debate go here.
Mohammad Who?: Ideas & Identities of India Pakistan.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Blasphemy III


At the height of Mohammad's (PBUH) depiction in Danish cartoon controversy (started by Jyllands-Posten), I am receiving a mixed reaction around the globe. Some of us don't care while others are concerned. Muslim scholars, Mullahs, and heads of States in Muslim countries are coming forward and offering solace and comfort to bereaved Muslim soul. Even people like Musharraf and Karzi are appealing the outraged Muslims to stay calm but their words are still entertaining the Muslim sensibilities by suggesting that the depiction of Prophet Mohammad is despicable and we condemn the publishing of cartoons. Even King Abdullah said today in his meeting with President Bush that violence is unacceptable and protests should be peaceful (emphasis is mine). Many in the Western countries on the other hand have joined to declare a war against Muslim protesters. A new generation of home bred cartoonists is publishing their own cartoons about Muslim extremists and the Prophet of Islam on the web, on Blogsphere in particular, in solidarity to Danes right of free speech. Not only appalling is all this but making me wonder where the world is heading to.

Apart from the issue that depiction of prophet of Islam is prohibited in paintings and pictures, or how west would respond considering it a war of liberty, and whether these acts of iconic blasphemy have occurred in Muslim tradition as well or not, no one is telling us:

  • How Prophet of Islam Muhammad (PBUH) would have reacted if he would have been alive today and confronted this issue?
  • Do Muslims have a right to demand an apology from a non-muslim who is living under a different government or set of moral values?
In order to answer these two questions let's assume for the sake of argument that Prophet is alive today and some acts of, so called, blasphemy are committed so that we can learn something from him. This assumption should not be unreasonable as Muslims believe in tradition of the Prophet and should do the same as their Prophet would do. Therefore, I imagine the following acts as blasphemous from Muslim sensibility's point of view; happening to prophet of Islam in front of the eyes of Muslims who have chosen to take streets in protest:

  • A Bedouin arrives and start beating the prophet; everyone rushes to stop him...
  • Another Bedouin arrives and desecrates the prophet's place of worship in response to nature call. Everyone rushes to beat him up...…
  • People of 'Tiaf' valley stoned him in response to his invitation to Islam and he bleeds so profusely from head to toe that his shoes are filled with his blood. Even heaven and earth could not take it anymore and angel Gabriel descends from haven to offer punishment to blasphemous beings ...
  • A woman is so sick of prophet that she starts throwing her daily household waste on him....
  • People mock at him; call him a magician; and a liar....
  • People make fun of him in every possible way.....
  • Least but not last they make caricatures of Prophet in newspapers...
All the blasphemy scenarios except the last --which has just occurred-- happened in his life time and the only thing he offered in response was mercy.

  • He forgave the Bedouin who would beat him.
  • He let the Bedouin finish his nature call and after that ordered his companion to wash and clean the Masjid. Only thing he said to Bedouin was this is not a place to relief ones self from natures call.
  • He not only refused the punishment offered by angel Gabriel to people of Tiaf but remarked as well that they don’t know what they are doing?
  • One day the woman did not throw anything on him so he knocked at her door to inquire if she is doing alright. He found out that she is ill and he did the best by taking care of her and cleaning her house.
  • In all the other events he did not let emotions run over rather stayed calm and remained merciful.
Looking at the tradition of Prophet, I am sure if the cartoon event had occurred when he was alive he would have smiled at his followers and dismissed their protests and said they don't know what they are doing. Why no one is talking about that? If Prophet had allowed Muslims to respond in all of the above circumstances with force it meant that he would allow them to worship his-self. He was an embodiment of mercy. The truth is that Allah would tell him that he is angry with mankind and people who oppose him but the Prophet in his prayers always beg Allah for his mercy for the entire mankind.

In my less than humble opinion all the responses that are coming out so far are catering to Muslim sensibilities and are either not helping or making the situation even worse. You earn respect through your actions not protests or burning embassies or demanding death for the cartoonist. The Muslim countries must take a tough stance on this and educate protestors about the tradition of prophet and tell the protestors to go home. The burning of embassies, churches, harming ambassadors and citizens of Western countries should be considered a punishable act in Islam. Muslim countries must take a tougher stance that they would not tolerate these acts. If a Muslim ambassador is harmed in another land Islamic Shariah declares a war onto the offending nation. In times of Prophet his companion Osman traveled to Mecca as his ambassador to negotiate peace. News broke out that he has been killed. Prophet took oath along with his companions to avenge the killing of his ambassador..... Having said that....from a similar perspective the ambassadors and embassies of other countries should be treated in a same way as Islamic law treats its own embassies and ambassadors. I want to ask Muslims how they would feel if foreign countries avenge the demolition of their embassies the same way the Prophet of Islam wanted to avenge the death of his ambassador.
Many Westerns have a misconception as well that this issue has helped to bring out all the terrorists hidden in their cells. I feel that everyone out there to protest was not a terrorist but just misguided because even the moderates have been commenting that we should go out there and at least protest in a peaceful manner to make our voice heard. It is very unfortunate that emotions are driving Muslim sensibilities. In very same way, my western readers are angry and believe they have to rattle some cages and furnish a tough response to Muslim protests because it is a war on Western liberty. I disagree with all because I don't see any need for protest. Best of all I see the dialogue as the finest way to tackle this issue. Those who want to continue the war of offense in the name of freedom of speech should also know that first you have to teach these people about freedom and democracy before you can teach them freedom of speech. War will lead us nowhere but to destruction of entire humanity.

Tariq Ramdan is a Swedish-Muslim (a controversial figure though). However, his response is somewhat sensible than any other Muslim scholar or head of state (if he really believes in what he says). This was the kind of response that I had been looking for (Source: Watandost). In his interview with Nathan Gardels from Switzerland Tariq Ramadan argues that
"Muslims must understand that laughing at religion is a part of the broader culture in which they live in Europe, going back to Voltaire. Cynicism, irony and indeed blasphemy are part of the culture."
Islam does not allow Muslims to behave in a rude and irresponsible manner. Therefore, in my opinion whoever is trying to comment on the issue his/her talk should proceed from what is mentioned by Tariq Ramadan. In Tariq Ramdan's words:
"When you live in such an environment as a Muslim, it is really important to be able to take a critical distance and not react so emotionally. You need to hold to your Islamic principles, but be wise enough not to overreact to provocation."
As we have seen now that boycotting Danish products (although I have disagreement on this issue as well and I still love Danish cookies) would have been a more powerful and peaceful response than taking streets and burning embassies. Again I will seek help from Tariq Ramdan. He says:
"For Muslim majority countries to react emotionally to these cartoons (with boycotts) is to nurture the extremists on the other side, making it a test of wills. On one side, the extremists argue that, "See, we told you, the West is against Islam," and on the other side they say, "See, Muslims can't be integrated into Europe, and they are destroying our values by not accepting what we stand for." This way of opening a debate on emotional grounds is, in fact, a way of closing the door on rational discourse."
As far as the explanation of Muslim behavior worldwide is concerned, Ramdan says:
  • First, it is against Islamic principles to represent in imagery not only Mohammed, but all the prophets of Islam. This is a clear prohibition.
  • Second, in the Muslim world, we are not used to laughing at religion, our own or anybody else's. This is far from our understanding. For that reason, these cartoons are seen, by average Muslims and not just radicals, as a transgression against something sacred, a provocation against Islam.
  • Yes! These two points do explain the phenomena but I do not endorse Mr. Tariq Ramdan in this regard. It should be kept in mind that these principles may apply to Muslims and Muslim countries only and not to Muslims and Non -Muslims in Britain, France, and USA etc. If a Muslim would have committed that kind of mockery the outrage could have been justified. Yet in Prophets teaching forgiveness is better. We know from the tradition of prophet that he knew about hypocrites but he did not punish them. (Update: In my most recent study I have figured out that Allah says in Quran that such mockery will happen however no where he advises Muslims to act in a manner that they are doing at the moment across the globe).

    For overly concerned Muslims, I must ask which Muhammad we are talking about. Mohammad who? The one who was prophet of Islam or the one that appeared in Danish cartoons. To me they are two separate entities. So as to speak of Mohammad in caricatures, to me it is depiction of today's misguided Muslims. The Islamic world is abundant with self-proclaimed Mohammads. For majority of Muslims having first name Mohammad is equivalent to Islamic baptism. In order to show their love, or probably out of reverence for prophet, Muslims name their sons Mohammad XYZ apart from the fact that many of them even don't know about the teachings of their own religion. This act of naming their children Mohammad can be considered equivalent to worshiping Mohammad (PBUH) or bringing shame to the prophet of Islam which is evident from what Muslims are doing in their outlaw world.
    • So I dare to ask Mohammad who? You or me! Or the prophet of Islam?
    While many consider the cartoon distasteful and not dare to look at it out of reverence for prophet of Islam, I dared to look at the cartoon. The cartoon with a bomb shaped turban resembles more to a 'Sikh' more than it does to a Muslim. Even the turban is 'Khalsa' genre. So little, the cartoonist knew about Islam or Mohammad. That even makes it more distasteful and unappetizing for any comment---yet I am commenting because of all the controversy out there.

    Mona Omar Attia, Egypt's ambassador to Denmark, said after a meeting with Rasmussen that she was satisfied with the position of the Danish government but noted the prime minister had said he could not interfere with the press.

    "This means the whole story will continue and that we are back to square one again. The government of Denmark has to do something to APPEASE the Muslim world,"
    I don't consider it reasonable to ask for apologies from those who do not even know about Islam or the prophet of Islam. By demanding an apology Muslims are not only making fun out of their selves but rejecting the tradition of the Prophet of Islam. I wish Attia had said otherwise because asking for an apology is itself a mockery of not only the tradition of Prophet but an effort by Muslims themselves lampooning the principles of Islam. Islamic law does not hold anyone else liable for someone else’s actions. Is it consistent with the principles of justice in Islam?

    What should we do-- Muslims ask? -----Well! What We need is a coordinated effort to teach peace to everyone and tradition of Prophet to enraged Muslims in particular.
    Many people would consider me blasphemous if I tell them Prophet would smile and dismiss all the protest against the cartoonist. As I am finishing my post I do have support from what is just published in today's Washington post. Sheik Abdul-Aziz Arafa, a Muslim scholar who teaches in Mecca at the Grand Mosque and at the Sawlatia School, a religious institute that is 125 years old says:

    "What most people don't understand," he said, "is the strong bond, the powerful link that connects Muslims and their prophet, God's prayers and peace upon him. He is sitting with us right now. When we talk about him, he is present, listening, and when we send him greetings, he sends them right back."
    Samir Barqah who hosted Shiekh's lecture is amazingly quoting the same story from prophet of Islam that I have quoted above.

    At the end of the lesson, Barqah mentioned the torching of the Danish Embassy in Syria. "Just this week I was telling my young students to take advantage of the situation and educate the West about the prophet, God's prayers and blessings upon him. But now, instead of getting an apology, it is us who are apologizing for the actions of some emotional, inflamed young people."

    Barqah shook his head in dismay and recounted an anecdote. Muhammad lay bleeding and injured after being stoned by young men in the mountain city of Taif. But he never exacted revenge on them and turned it down when the angels offered it. "We have only to go back to his examples to see that he never returned an insult with an insult. He remained balanced and steady. He would not have been happy about the turn of events," Barqah said wistfully.
    I am sure more and more Muslims will speak up against the reaction that is shown by the ignorant masses in the Muslim world and teach the tradition of Prophet to their fellow beings. As Barqah says that Muslims should apologize to Danes for burning their embassies, I suggest you go and check this website by Muslim youth http://www.sorrynorwaydenmark.com/ to show support to Danes and Norwegians.

    So JMJ this is finally my response. For a while I was thinking that this issue does not affect me in anyway so why do I care? In fact, whatever, is going on in the Muslim world is an attack on my freedom and liberty as well; the liberty that I enjoyed in this country. The liberty and freedom that I did not have back home in Pakistan. In Pakistan I was afraid to go for a prayer that I might get killed in an attack on the mosque by another Muslim sect. In a Muslim state I was more distant from my religion and Allah.

    Is that Islam all about that people are forced to stay away from their belief? While Allah himself says there is no compulsion in religion!

    Monday, February 06, 2006

    Blasphemy II


    I have tried to write several times over the weekend, something on the issue of Danish trouble or Iconic Blasphemy in Islam, but every time I am confronted with the question of marginal utility of one more writing on this topic, and also the choice of writing on this flagrant issue or my dissertation. The choice is not easy, each time I have realized that my utility curve is rather skewed at the southeast (SE) end of the map. I have 24 hr time constraint everyday that I need to spend efficiently on better things in life. Seems like Blogging is not something that I should be focusing on at the moment.

    As Rob points out that if others are more vibrantly debating the issue so why should I care at the moment while the issue is not affecting my life and I have got to finish my dissertation before I become an authority on a subject or anything like that (I would recommend the same to those who are protesting this issue without understanding the underlined causes). I have found Hensher and Younge's take on the whole issue rather more intellectually stimulating than the whole debate itself. In their article: Does the right to freedom of speech justify printing the Danish cartoons? Published in guardian UK they argue:
    "When one person's liberty collides with another's values, there is no clear occupant of the moral high ground "

    Therefore, for me the whole question of Blasphemy boils down to choosing the right combination of liberty and values. To that end the idea of liberty, values and utility is purely subjective and varies from person to person. For a person having greater preference for Values (measured on vertical axis in this case) the indifference curve is skewed on the Southeast SE end of the map. A person with more values will have to accept lot of liberty for even a minor sacrifice in value.

    On the other hand a person who prefers liberty more than values the indifference curve is flatter on the Values end (SE). That means sacrificing little liberty will require liberals to accept a major set of conservative values. In third case, for an extremist from any perspective (not Muslims alone) Liberty would be a useless thing and IC is vertical. Concentrating on case I and II what would be the right combination then. Only a constraint like the time constraint in my problem above dictates the choice of right combination. ... Now, I am lost here what kind of constraint Liberals and Conservatives face to accept each others point of view....I am totally lost... Readers! Any word on that.....to complete the analysis. At this moment I consider either Liberty or Value neither inferior nor Giffen (The indifference curve theoretical framework is borrowed from Microeconomics). For my take on the issue check back for Blasphemy III soon.

    Friday, February 03, 2006

    Blasphemy I


    I am just a silent observer to all the talk that is going on about the Danish cartoons. Well! at the moment I have got better things to do in life. For past several days I had been getting lot of search hit stats for "Mohammad Cartoon" but I did not write anything in response as I said I have better things to do at the moment. So for curious readers here is a list 1, 2, 3, 4.

    (The title is Blasphemy I so check back in a week for II).