Administrator on September 13th, 2012
Leeds Makkah Masjid utterly condemns the release of a trailer for a video mocking the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who is revered by over 1.5 billion people around the world. ‘The Innocence of Muslims’ is a vile, deeply offensive and inflammatory film, which forms part of the Islamophobia global phenomena that is aimed at hurting the feelings of Muslims, causing divisions amongst communities and provoking violence.
Muslims are understandably very upset about the derogatory depiction of their Prophet (peace be upon him) in the film but we urge all Muslims not to rise to the provocation and to make their views known in a measured, peaceful and democratic manner.
Imam of Makkah Masjid, Qari Asim MBE, said: “It is of profound concern that in recent years, attacks on the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the Muslims’ sacred text, the Glorious Qur’an, seem to be on the rise. Such irresponsible and provocative actions, in the name of freedom of speech, will only divide communities and destabilize the world even further.
Muslims are not against freedom of speech but with freedom of speech comes responsibility and a need to respect the views and beliefs of others, which this film fails to do.”
Imam of Makkah Masjid, Qari Asim MBE, said, ”Just as we condemn the disgraceful film, the response of some individuals, who are fuelled by anger and hatred, is also appalling. We unreservedly condemn the killings of the American diplomats, including the US Ambassador, in Libya. We also condemn the attacks on diplomatic facilities in the Middle East.
Muslims must vocalise their discontent at attempts to belittle the honour of the Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) and stand united to defend the persona of the Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) but Islam does not permit people to cause violence, destruction or take the lives of others in the name of protecting the honour of the leader of their faith (peace be upon him).”
The life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) presents a number of instances in which he had the opportunity to retaliate against those who harmed him, but he refrained from doing so in order to enable people to see the mercy and kindness that is contained in the teachings of Islam. One hadith, states: ‘You [Muhammad] do not do evil to those who do evil to you, but you deal with them with forgiveness and kindness.’ (Sahih Al-Bukhari).
We must not let extremists, whether those who use artistic means or violence, control the political or religious discourse. It is vital that there is a robust approach to dealing with all forms of extremism so that such reprehensible and offensive materials are not produced, and irresponsible and disgraceful responses to them do not take place again in the future.
People of all faiths and no faith must work harder to counter hatred and develop mutual understanding and respect so that neither profoundly offensive works presenting prophets in a derogatory manner are produced, nor violence and bloodshed is caused in the name of faith,” said Qari Asim MBE.