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?