Insults to Islam: from 'Satanic' Rushdie to 'Saintly' Pastor Jones

Published May 5th, 2012 - 13:49 GMT

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Pastor Terry Jones
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Image 1 of 11: Pastor Terry Jones: infamous for burning Qurans in Florida. The Quran-burning spree began in 2010. He vowed to burn 200 on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, before reducing the book-toll to one. Jones's anti-Islamic flame sparked 20 deaths. Back in April 2012 with a burning vengeance that cost him a fire department fine, he might yet burn again.

Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard
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Image 1 of 11: Kurt Westergaard: 'The' Danish cartoonist who created 'that' inflammatory cartoon of Islam's prophet Muhammad (PBUH) wearing a bomb in his turban, now lives under police protection after death threats & murder attempts. There were a baker's dozen offensive Prophet cartoons in a series. Lurkpak butter sustained global losses by Muslim customers.

Saudi Tweep Hamza Kashgari
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Image 1 of 11: Hamza Kashgari is the Muslim Saudi who Twitter-posted on the Prophet Mohammed's (PBUH) birthday, 2012 (Hijri, 1433) in role-play of interacting with the Prophet, as if on equal footing. His controversial tweets said he would "not pray for you." Kashgari's fate hangs in the balance with concern that he could still face the death penalty in KSA.

Satanic Salman Rushdie
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Image 1 of 11: Sir Salman Rushdie, the British, Muslim-born, Indian author, offended Islam by his contentious book 'The Satanic Verses' with its irreverent depiction of the Prophet (PBUH). A revered man of letters with a knighthood & fatwa, he is branded an apostate. In '89, a fatwā mandating his death was issued. Rescinded by '98, for some, a fatwa is for life.

Rebellious Syrian Wafa Sultan
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Image 1 of 11: Wafa Sultan: The Syrian-Americanized writer self-describes as a Muslim who does not adhere to Islam. In 2006, Sultan received scorn & death threats from Muslims when she appeared on Al-Jazeera as the first Arab Muslim woman daring to challenge Islam, the Prophet, the Quran, & Allah, asking why love a God who hates. Today, she keeps a low profile.

Dutch film director Theo van Gogh
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Image 1 of 11: Back to non-Muslim offenders of Islam: This Dutch film-maker Theo van Gogh caused a Muslim upset which cost him his life. Director Van Gogh worked with Somali-born writer Hirsi Ali to produce the controversial film Submission, which criticized the treatment of women in Islam. In 2004, he was murdered by Mohammed Bouyeri, a Dutch-Moroccan Muslim.

Somali-Dutch Hirsi Ali penned anti-Muslim screenplay
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Image 1 of 11: Behind every man, a woman: Ayaan Hirsi Ali's screenplay for Theo van Gogh's movie Submission led to death threats, for both herself and the now dead director. 'Ex-Muslim' is how the Somali-Dutch feminist identifies, known for her critical views of Islam and of the Prophet (PBUH). A letter stabbed to Van Gogh's body was a death threat to Hirsi Ali.

Makkah Pastor, Hamoud Al Amri, insults Islam
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Image 1 of 11: Hamoud Saleh Al Amri: Another Arabian & repeat offender of Islam, our second Pastor, to boot, he was detained in 2004 for attacking Islam. He tweeted insults to the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in the wake of Kashgari's blasphemy. A convert to Christianity living in Islam’s holiest city, he calls himself 'Makkah Pastor' - ergo doubly insulting Islam.

Taslima Nasrin the Bengali apostate
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Image 1 of 11: Taslima Nasrin: The Muslim Bengali feminist writer rose to notoriety for her criticism of Islam. Following her novel Lajja (Shame), Nasrin suffered physical attacks. Bounties for her death & threats to release poisonous snakes in Bangladesh if she were not executed ensued. She called for revising the Quran before facing exile in 1994 to Sweden.

Guantanemo's Americans toilet abuse the Quran
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Image 1 of 11: Guantanemo crimes against Islam's holy book: US 'interrogators' at the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay allegedly committed abuse including desecration of the holy Quran in 2005. US soldiers put copies of the Quran on toilets, flushing one down a toilet. The story was later retracted but not before the damage was done in global anti-US riots.

Kuwaiti Shia, Hamad Al-Naqi blasphemes Islam
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Image 1 of 11: The next enemy to emerge from within (the Arabian Peninsula of Islam's holiest sites), presented himself as Kuwaiti Shia, Hamad Al-Naqi. Arrested March 2012 on charges of “defaming the Prophet” in tweets, he denies creating the offending posts, crying a Twitter hacking. Calls for Kuwait to apply the death penalty for blasphemy have been loud.

Last week, the notorious US pastor with the same old mission, but different excuse for defiling Islam's holy book with fire, returned to our headlines and screens. Pastor Terry Jones was back with a burning vengeance because an Iranian Christian cleric on death row was not pardoned. Jones received a fine from the fire department, and a written notice that burning books is bad for the environment. In (dis) honor of his repeat offense against Islam and Muslims, we think back to all the crimes against Islam that have fueled a Muslim fire of outrage.

Prominent offenders toward the Islamic faith have sprung from inside and outside the Muslim world over the years of media attention. Some, highlighted in this gallery of offenders to the faith, have caused insult through books published, (Salman Rushdie, Taslima Nasrin); others through irreverent 'tweets' posted, tantamount to blasphemy (Saudi's Hamza Kashgari and Makkah Pastor Hamoud Saleh Al Amri, and Kuwait's Hamad Al-Naqi).

Still others, mainly of the non-Muslim and western camp, went about 'outraging' Muslims and Islam through film, cartoons, and physical desecration of and abuses to the Quran. More recently Quran-burning hit the headlines as Pastor Terry Jones struck his matches again, seeming to conduct his burning in sequels, and the Afghani-based US troops trashed pages of Quranic scripture from the Muslim Holy Book. The older case of the Guantanemo Bay toilet abuse was recalled by some.

Collectively, these prove that the enemy is within and without. Consider that some of those in trouble with the global Muslim community, wanted for crimes against Islam or 'Islamophobia' are themselves members of the Muslim world, whether born into it on the Indian subcontinent, including Bangladesh, or emerging right from the heart of the Arabian peninsula, home to the two holiest sites.

This slideshow in pictures, highlights some 11 prominent cases, and concludes that maybe members of the Muslim world still feel most outraged by those 'outsiders' as Terry Jones and the Danish cartoonist. Yet even being Muslim in one's own right, does not seem to confer the right to criticize or defame the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) or Allah, or the Holy Quran. If anything, the general attitude or reception to these home-grown outrages have been, as famous revert Cat Stevens now Yousef Islam made explicit, 'apostates should know better', that there is no freedom of speech or thought when it comes to these transgressions. Others are accused of being western agents hired to vilify Islam -- take Wafa Sultan of the "No Jew has blown himself up in a cafe in Germany" comment.

No one has emerged unscathed following these inflammatory incidents that provoke heated responses, often incurring violence in the Muslim world. Lives lived in hiding or low profile and in exile ensue, and deaths or death threats have been rife. If anything, only rival butter makers to flagship Danish butter came off well from the Danish offender's crimes.

Some of these Muslim rebels, have, like with all negative or controversial press, perhaps profited (no pun intended) from their transgressions, as they rose further to prominence for their life's works. Salman Rushdie, recognized pre-dating his Satanic Verses furor, as a literary genius, with 'Midnight's Children', received a knighthood for his contribution to the literary canon. In an independent motion, he officially had his fatwa retracted in 1998.

 

Share your comments on this controversial topic: Is there room for freedom of speech in religion?

How do you feel toward these perpetrators who have caused offense to Islam - intentionally or inadvertantly?

What do you think their fates should be? Should they be shown mery and a second chance if apologetic or be ostracised and threatened for the remainder of their lives?

 

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