Innocence of Muslims: No, I will not ‘get over it’

Published: September 18, 2012

I can't believe the duplicity of those who would tell me that a film against the Prophet is not hate speech, but “freedom of expression”. PHOTO: REUTERS

So, this morning I read this piece on Slate.com which advises Muslims to just ‘get over it’, when we see movies denigrating our religion or our Prophet (pbuh) on the Internet. It’s a sensible piece, urging us Muslims not to resort to violence because of a stupid, amateur movie made by a bunch of charlatans.

“God is too great to be troubled by the insults of fools. Follow Him.”

Well, thanks very much for that advice. I’ll have to put down my Molotov cocktail now and put my feet up. I’ve been told I can just ignore insults to the thing I hold the most dear in the world.

While I appreciate the sentiment and the message contained in this article, I can’t help but feel just a little bit patronised by it. First off, anyone who’s reading Slate on the internet is probably not likely to go climb the walls of the US Embassy or loot an American school. Chances are the people that are most likely to do that haven’t even seen the offending video - they’ve just been told about it or have read that it exists. YouTube has been blocked in the places where they live, although YouTube refuses to take down the clip itself.

So an internet article advising us Muslims to just calm down and not, you know, blow stuff up is – how should I say this? – perhaps somewhat misdirected. And also stating the obvious. We’re not all that dumb, you know. But thanks for assuming that we needed your words of wisdom to show us the error of our ways. Because we’re all sheep that can’t think for ourselves. And I really wanted to go run amuck in the streets today.

I must have missed the circular that came my way telling me

“Hey, you guys! God is dead. Sincerely, Nietzsche.”

This isn’t literal, but a philosophical observation that the Western world was losing its dependence on religion as a “moral compass and source of meaning”.

But guess what! I’m a practicing Muslim. Yes, I get down on my knees five times a day and pray, I give charity, read the Quran and all the rest of it. I walk under a Quran before I get on a plane. I say my prayers before job interviews. I know it may seem a little weird, but that’s just the way it is. Lots of my prayers involve sending blessings to the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), his family and companions.

Oops, is that regressive?

Not only that, but I grew up learning about the Prophet (pbuh) and his life. I was taught that he was the best example of humanity, that he was sent as a ‘mercy to all the worlds’, that his demeanour and actions and behaviour were so awesome that my religion bases half of its belief system on what he did and said.

We call it the Sunnah if you want to get, you know, technical about it. My middle name is the name of his most beloved wife.

One more thing (and don’t tell anyone, but I’ll share it with you): my family claims lineage that goes all the way back to the Prophet (pbuh) – we’re his direct descendants (supposedly). So he and his family are my ancestors. Just one more reason for me to care about what he did and how he conducted his life. Not that it gives me a premium on defending the Prophet’s (pbuh) honour, because all Muslims are taught to revere his personage and respect his teachings.

So when a ridiculous, amateur movie pops up on the internet, defaming my beloved Prophet (pbuh) please excuse me if I don’t just “get over it”. I’m sorry I’m not evolved enough to not feel anger, humiliation, or shame at the idea that my beloved Prophet (pbuh), who taught us the difference between right and wrong, who gave up his life for his people, who suffered endless taunts, threats to his life, temptation, open hostility and hidden plots because of his role as messenger and leader, should be mocked and demonised today by a group of people whose clear intention is to hurt, harass, incite, and eliminate Muslims.

I can’t believe the duplicity of those who would tell me that a film against the Prophet (pbuh) is not hate speech, but “freedom of expression”.

How stupid do you think I am? Do you think I don’t know world history or modern law?

There are laws against hate speech in every Western country (except the US). But what, it doesn’t apply to anti-Islamic propaganda? Right. Check. Got that.

I want to add that I’m impressed with how my country, Pakistan, has reacted to the film.

On Thursday night, television anchors discussed it in their evening talk shows. They all echoed the feeling that while the film was hideously insulting to Muslims all over the world, we had to be careful to protest it in a way that did not involve violence or destruction of property or harm to human life. They gave examples of how the Prophet (pbuh) himself dealt with ridicule and insult – by refusing to react, by being patient, and by winning over his enemies with his goodness and character.

I’m a Muslim. I’m proud to be a Muslim. I’m proud of my Prophet (pbuh) and I will respect his tradition, honour his person, and fight for what he stood for. So my weapons are words, not guns or bombs. That’s my choice. That’s what Mohammad (pbuh) taught me - to use the phrase that Lupe Fiasco’s been hashtagging on Twitter ever since this all started.

Don’t you dare tell me I should just “get over it” or not get angry or just stay cool.

You get over yourself.

Don’t impose your values on me.

Some things are still sacred: this is one of them.

This post originally appeared here.

Read more by Bina here.

Join us on Facebook for blog updates and more!

bina.shah

Bina Shah

Writer and columnist. Author of Slum Child. She tweets @BinaShah (twitter.com/BinaShah)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • MonsieurCritique

    When news reached the prophet (S.A.W.) that the Persians had appointed Chosroe’s daughter as their ruler, he said: ”A nation which placed its affairs in the hands of a woman shall never prosper!’
    Sahih Bukhari

    Peace SIster.Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    I don’t advocate the film in any way, which even without the sacrilegious content, is a crime against art.

    But know that hate speech is not just a general term for “extremely rude speech”. Here’s something to help you out:

    Free Speech: “ScientoLOGY is evil. L.Ron.Hubbard was a fraudster.”

    Hate Speech: “ScientologISTS are evil. Let us harass and kill them.”

    The film, judging from the trailer (I couldn’t get myself to waste time watching entire thing) is incredibly disrespectful and socially unacceptable. But it does not count as hate speech.Recommend

  • Lal Bagh

    Ms Bina Shah, you are apparently a published author, you’ve even taught writing to students eh ? But your own writing skills seem to be very average. This sounds like a school girl essay. Some of our commentators here write better than you do.Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/430/faraz-talat/ Faraz Talat

    If only passion were a satisfactory substitute for reasonable argumentation and good writing skills..Recommend

  • Abdullah

    @MonsieurCritique:

    Was that a general statement or directed specifically to the Persians? Recommend

  • arqum

    Ms Bina this is an excellent article, I don’t know what kind of pot is everyone on, talking about how not good this is. It’s excellent, everything does not have to be a literary master piece. This serves the purpose the way it is supposed to. Recommend

  • tj

    amateur article!Recommend

  • Jat

    “…my family claims lineage that goes all the way back to the Prophet (pbuh) – we’re, supposedly, his direct descendants…”

    You are not in a position to pass a fair judgement, you should have recused yourself from writing.Recommend

  • Nadia

    Quite a useless piece of writing.Recommend

  • sundus

    It is not just addressed to Muslims, just saying.Recommend

  • Riley Benjamin

    I didn’t see the part in your article where you denounce the violence. You say you will be angry and you don’t need to throw a Molotov cocktail to get your point out but you did not condemn the actions of those who are storming embassies and killing people who haven’t even met the people involved in that film. Recommend

  • SoAndSo

    “Don’t impose your values on me.”

    The only ones imposing anything here is you religious nut-jobs claiming the right to censor anything on the internet just because it ‘offends’ you. I am done with this babyish attitude! It is you religious freaks that keep on shoving their opinions down everybody’s throats and telling them what is moral or not! You impose your so called ‘morals’, ‘philosophies’ and censorship upon others who don’t agree with you. You people claim that you have a special right to be offended.

    NEWSFLASH: GROW UP!!!

    If you want to protest, go ahead. But do not do so while trampling on other people’s rights by censorship, burning property and breaking the law and order. This is what you should be offended about in fact, that people don’t protest when someone violates human-rights but they are quick to get angry over something as menial as blasphemy! Maybe if you protest for the human-rights more, the non-Muslims might see the Muslims as reasonable and peaceful people and perhaps they’ll stop blaspheming!

    But know this: I in no way support the stupid film. I do not believe in insulting someone just to hurt their feelings. The only mature think to criticize logically. No one should be immune to logical criticism which is not the same as insult by the way. You should be free to question your philosophy, religion, dogma, ethics etc. In a country like Pakistan, you can’t even do that without being killed or exiled!Recommend

  • K

    What’s with all the ‘you know’ ‘you know’ in this article. It seems, Bina, that you’re constantly substituting a better word or phrase for this little ‘you know’. I mean, don’t get me wrong, your writing is good, and possibly at par with western standards, but seriously, try solid arguments and not the age-old irritating presumptuousness. Thanks!Recommend

  • Gratgy

    I’m a Muslim. I’m proud to be a Muslim. I’m proud of my Prophet (pbuh) and I will respect his tradition, honour his person, and fight for what he stood for. So my weapons are words, not guns or bombs. That’s my choice.

    Yes but what about those people who do not have words to fight. They have guns and bombs.

    So each time a Pakistani burns an American or Indian flag the consulates of Pakistan should be sacked in these countries and your Ambassador killed by those people who hold their Nationality as their religion??

    There is a saying in Hindi dont know if you understand

    “Haathi chale bazaar, kutte bhaunke hazaar” Should the elephant get offended when the dog barks at it?Recommend

  • ocap

    Don’t get over it. Never get over it. Dedicate your entire life to eradicating every single digital and physical copy of the offending video. Recommend

  • Khurram

    I cannot buy direct descendants and family connection argument given by Bina Shah as I have seen many people in Pakistan are very very Proud to call themselves Syeds or Arabians and they despise others and also they think they are the soul protectors of religion. Also in my last Friday Sermon our Imam Masjid was calling Christians, Hindus, Ahmedis and Jews that there is no difference in Pigs and them and he was on Loudspeaker near a Christian Basti in Pakistan. So why it is so that we Muslims have every right to abuse any religion and we have every right to equate them with Animals and despise them and to even make Videos of Abuses on them like we make on Ahmedis and Jews and then in the end we demand respect. Remember Respect cannot be Demanded. It must be Earned.Recommend

  • The Guardian

    Get over it, author.Recommend

  • Facepalm

    Can we stop making unsubstantiated claims of being descended from the Prophet (PBUH) please?Recommend

  • ahmad juanid

    very well written article, we as muslims just can’t ignore what they say about our prophet when we know that they are even more dear to us than our own lives. a very well written article and i fully support what u have just written .the movie is a hate speech and we must do our best to get our protest registeredRecommend

  • Khurram

    I am a Muslim and I was silenced Recently by a Sikh when I said that I am proud to be a Muslim but my Sikh friend said that he is a Sikh and he cannot be proud of himself as his Religon and his values of Baba Guru Nanak makes him a Humble person and Humble person can never be Proud of his existence but always remain Humble. Same is the case with Bina Shah that she talk about Humility but then she brought the Word Proud in it. ?. KIndly someday write some article that how you can be humble and Proud at the same time?Recommend

  • Hassaan Gondal

    What an article by Bina Shah, I am so proud of bina, how nicely you used your pen and shows the tue picture os Islam and feelings of your heart. I considered Bina as very Liberal lady like other stupid facists, but today she proved that Islam runs in our blood and no matter how fundamentalist or Liberal a muslim is, but when someone insults our prophet, We stand united, Keep it up Bina, and I am enjoying some anti-Islam comments made by unknown masked names…Recommend

  • Sudhar Jao

    “Your prophet” is exactly that. Yours. Not mine

    Religions are ideas. Some myth, some stories, maybe even some historical fact all mixed together.

    People can and will make fun of them.

    What you have to realize is that religions are something like political ideologies. If I can make fun of dictatorship, communism or for that matter a movement like Scientology, I can and will make fun of Islam.

    You cannot demand reverence. I refuse to give it.Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    Amidst all the chest-thumping and table-banging, I think you forgot to propose your objective. What is it that you want to be done?

    You want people to put their lives on pause, and start tossing furniture around every time some random creep in some random corner of the world disrespects your religious ideology? Do you want the Western states laws enacted to prevent such disrespect?

    Because that would be rather awkward. America, with a predominantly Christian population, did nothing to prevent Nicki Minaj and her semi-nude troupe’s Grammy performance on a Catholic church set. Why would they go out of their way to protect your religious sensibilities? Tell me, what makes you so special?Recommend

  • LinguafrancaCritique

    @MonsieurCritique:
    Please don’t make a foul out of yourself by quoting a single line from Sahih Bukhari without stating the reason or origin of the quoted statement, It only shows your weak and conservative knowledge of Islam.

    Peace BRother.

    @BinaShah: A fine and well written article, However It does not change the fact that the answer to violence is only more violence.Recommend

  • ahmet

    hi from turkey. when the world starts to talk about innocence of muslims, I just remembered another great documentary video clip “new generation” by famous french artist nathalie cardone. nathalie cardone respected all religions and was against war in the world.but,world press except for turkish media have not talked about it. it is time to talk about nathalie cardone and what she did in her latest video “new generation”,I believeRecommend

  • manish

    One more thing, and don’t tell anyone, but I’ll share it with you; my family claims lineage that goes all the way back to the Prophet (pbuh) – we’re, supposedly, his direct descendants.

    their are many syeds in my country too. they too trace their lineage to prophet.

    but, to me it appears that they are all BRAHMINS who converted to islam, but wouldn’t leave their priviliged position in society, so they all added SYED or SHEIKH to their name, to maintain their elite status, even in islam.

    go, trace your lineage and you may find that your descendants were perhaps from the land you currently inhabit, and they did not come marching away from arabia or iran.

    before they took up reading quoran, they were chanting vedic mantras.
    there is greater probability of it happening.

    PS: FYI, my GOTRA is GAUTAM, same as that of LORD BUDDHA. ie he is also one among our ancestors(though not direct). so, going by your logic,, i should have created mayhem when BUDDHA was desecrated in BAMIYAN………….hilarious, that one who is follower of so-called egalitarian faith, is trying to prove that she is more muslim than other muslims because she is from the line of prophet’s family……that sounds so unmistakibly brahmin-way…….quick madam, search for your lineage, i am now doubly sure about my conclusions….Recommend

  • Ahsan Ikhlas

    u have let me down today adi bina. out of all the people YOU decided to go gung-ho. in these dark fascist times you being the social commentator had the responsibility in spite of yourself to advocate tolerance and peace. you have not only let your fans down but also the beloved prophet who would never ask his decedents to be preposterous and boisterous about their lineage. its not where you are coming from that matters its where you are headed is what matters. bless youRecommend

  • antony

    “One more thing, and don’t tell anyone, but I’ll share it with you ” This is the mind of 10 year old girl boasting in a typical gossip style having the intention to spread the news by saying dont tell any one ,I will share it with you .Common !! .Writing a blog in news site for the whole world and saying “Dont tell any one!”Recommend

  • Tony Singh

    @Author
    What do you have to say to people who kill in the name of your religion. Were you not angry then or did you not value the human lives that were and are being lost on daily basis. Seems the desperate voices were and are too weak to be heard over the roar of “Allah -o -’ Akbar”chanted by their killers and the sonic boom of the bomb blasts which kill them. That is why they have not reached your ears and yet you are angry, nay very angry at some movie clip made by one moron, not seen by many and yet having such a lasting impact.
    If you had been as angry then, there would not have been this day.
    We do inhabit a strange world.Recommend

  • antony

    “he was sent as a ‘mercy to all the worlds’” Sorry this line has already been taken by many people before and one notably around 4 BC.Recommend

  • BlackJack

    Text book example of illogical attitude of muslims. You are upset, you don’t want to get over it, then stay upset. Suppose after this every week someone in each Western nation produces one more film of similar content – what are the muslims going to do but

    (a) destroy all their property and kill eachother in a frenzy (that Bina Shah apparently feels is the way to go)
    (b) declare war on the West (yeah, fat chance!)
    (c) grin and bear it

    You make such a brouhaha over this movie and the cartoons because in your heart you believe that these are one-off incidents and thus can afford to display uncivilized behavior and demand special treatment. Your countries are glaring examples of intolerance and restricted religious freedoms for non-muslims, but escape censure because no one thinks you can improve. I think the film was a travesty and don’t support its production or release, but am coming around to the view that this needs to happen more frequently so that muslims realize that they cannot get by endlessly with blackmailing the rest of the world.Recommend

  • Haris

    In all your article all I read was bitter contempt and reluctant submission.

    The prophet has shown it in his life style to “GET OVER IT” Have you ever read anywhere as you grew up read the prophet took action against the insults and humiliation he received? even when Angels came to avenge him he did not allow them to, There is NO verse in Quran that tells you to kill a man for committing Blasphemy and yet today we have Blasphemy laws that send you away for life or out right take your life.

    And Lady I’m actually proud of the news anchor if he exactly said that, he actually is more close to Prohpet’s teaching then apparently your ‘secret’ linage of the family.Recommend

  • antony

    “who taught us the difference between right and wrong” IF the teacher in a school teaches right answer and wrong answer for a question and most of his students choose wrong answer then other school students wont they find fault with the teacher ? . Recommend

  • Mj

    There is so much to say on the issue of blasphemy, hate speech, offence taking, hurt sentiments, and groupthink and yet one has to indulge in excessive self-restraint just to get comments published which are contrary to the conservative, self-righteous viewpoint.

    For me, religion is a set of ideas, which, much like politics, should not be above criticism, satire, and yes, ridicule. Good ideas should be able to withstand the onslaught of criticism and satire. I do not think that making films or caricatures which mock deeply held beliefs is a way forward. Still, a person should have the freedom to indulge in such if he so wishes, and should not have to fear for his life. Freedom of speech can only exist if it also includes the freedom to satire. How would you feel if somehow the political stance of liberalism was held to be above criticism? Believe me, its figureheads would soon become the target of the worst caricatures and blasphemies. The more Muslims lash out violently, the more occurences there will of of negative portrayals.

    If anyone has interest in history and politics, I’d suggest reading up on the Dark Ages in Europe. The clerical class was able to wield power and subjugate the population precisely because any criticism of doctrines were deemed heresy, and therefore worthy of murder. The same situation exists these days among Muslim peoples, who have delegated their power and ability to think to the firebrand preachers. Think how easy it is to rile up the muslim masses over cartoons, speeches, and films, and yet nary an outrage is shown over the stifling illiteracy, poverty, backwardness, intolerance, lack of freedoms, and the pathetic state of life in most muslim majority countries.

    Realize that ‘blasphemy’ is a tool, and has always been the tool for the powerful elites- whether religious or not, to maintain their grip on power. Be free to think for your self, question everything, and be not a slave who is free to leave and yet defends his master as merciful and generous. Recommend

  • proud atheist

    Taliban destroyed Bamiyan buddhas in 2001, i did’nt see buddhists going on a rampage and blowing up their own people. Maybe it’s time for muslims to introspect why they have such a thin skin. Also remember whenever you talk against idol worship etc. you are committing blasphemy against other religions who may consider those idols as god, so don’t play the victim card here. So chill out and grow up.Recommend

  • Sudhar Jao

    The deeper intellectual debate is around the reason religious folks like Bina feel entitled to keep their ideas shielded from ridicule.

    Islam believes in conversion. Correct?

    At the most basic level, this means that you are okay with considering other religions as ideas/thoughts. And you try to convince non-muslims about the veracity/appeal etc. of your belief in Islam.

    You get them to *change* their minds and start adhering to Islam. This is all very fine so far.

    Which means Islam believes in religions being ideas. That also means Islam itself is an idea.

    And ideas are open to debate and criticism. If we can debate secularism, Hindu beliefs, communist ideology etc., why is Islam *alone* exempt from criticism or ridicule?

    You don’t think twice before ridiculing the prophet of the Ahmedis. Why should anyone spare your prophet?

    Once you say – religion is an idea -then your ideas will get the same level of reverence/irreverence as every other idea out there. You are not entitled to any level of respect.Recommend

  • Jat

    Where was Bina Shah and her family when the Taliban were using tanks on statues of Buddha in Afghanistan in full public glare, with videos of the act being shown on news channels.

    Now Buddha and his teachings of non-violence are very dear to Buddhists, Hindus and to many peaceful people of other religions too.

    Hurt sentiments anyone ?Recommend

  • Cautious

    “…my family claims lineage that goes all the way back to the Prophet (pbuh) – we’re, supposedly, his direct descendants…”

    If your a Pakistani then I hate to break the bad news – your family is wrong.Recommend

  • proud atheist

    @Cautious:
    dunno about her but I sure am a proud direct descendant of lucy the ape. try insulting apes again and i will go all mad on uRecommend

  • Jat

    @Cautious: psst Arab/Turk blood… don’t tell anyoneRecommend

  • Jat

    @proud atheist: Same with me, seems we are related. Pleased to meet you human relative.Recommend

  • mappear

    Muslims you need to Unite this is the time to show them What is Islam and who we are? But here need to unite all countries who against.. The UAE, Pakistan, Iran, Should keep biggest prize for him who kill those bloody peoples. Recommend

  • amused

    @mappear:
    mashallah brother!! but what is need for prize money when you can get an even bigger prize in heaven. so hurry up,order your suicide belt from ebay. Recommend

  • A

    At this time, more than ever before, we, need to remain calm. Think of how the man you are fighting for would act under such circumstances. Recommend

  • Vivek

    What in the world do you think a religion is? Is it something greater than human lives? Religions are made by humans. Your mentality is simply rigid. Above 40 people have been killed because of the violence! You have no idea of your barbarism. I oppose the film. But the American government did not make it. Neither was it the fault of the innocent people you are targetting.
    Go and reform yourself.Recommend

  • Vivek

    What in the world do you think a religion is? Is it something greater than human lives? Religions are made by humans. Your mentality is simply rigid. Above 40 people have been killed because of the violence! You have no idea of your barbarism. I oppose the film. But the American government did not make it. Neither was it the fault of the innocent people you are targetting.Recommend

  • Sinclair

    Pakistanis, more than anyone else, should understand the meaning of the term “Non-State Actors”. They are non state actors in a movie! Recommend

  • Tony Singh

    @mappear:
    “Muslims you need to Unite this is the time to show them What is Islam and who we are? But here need to unite all countries who against.. The UAE, Pakistan, Iran, Should keep biggest prize for him who kill those bloody peoples.”
    BTW you can perfectly introduce yourself as to who you are without much ado. On second thought you need not your comment and action on streets is doing your introduction perfectly well.Recommend

  • Syed

    Good article. It seems like there are many haters who are visiting this forum. I watched a few seconds of that disgusting video and I just had to close the window as it was pretty pathetic and offending. I have been preaching anywhere I can that we must protest but peacefully. I believe Bina Shah has nowhere said it is ok to protest violently. In fact she even said how Prophet (pbuh&p) would deal with ridicule and insult. Stop blaming the writer and first get your own medical check up.

    And Mr. MonsieurCritique. Sahih Bukhari is not Quran. It can have hadith that are not accurate. Only Quran is 100% authentic Book. Unfortunately little knowledge can be dangerous. Recommend

  • mr. righty rightist

    @Hassaan Gondal who says “Islam runs in our blood”

    Islam runs in your blood.

    Pakistan runs in your blood.

    Cricket runs in your blood.

    Kashmir runs in your blood.

    You need to get your blood tested before you have a heart attack.Recommend

  • Bilal

    @Khurram:

    It is one thing to be proud and another to be boastful and arrogant….the kind of pride associated with religion and countries is a matter of feeling honor at being a part of something….everyone who is proud is not arrogant…Recommend

  • Juiceman

    All I have to say is this….if you know how to give it, you have to learn how to take it. I have lived long enough in the Mid East to have seen many hateful cartoons about many religions.Recommend

  • Bill Maher

    Trying to write some thing to disagree with you will be akin to those protesters.. Enough said.

    For readers:
    I did see the clip after all the brouhaha. It is badly made, stupid and do not agree the content or the agenda, if any. I have seen worse.

    For you author:
    Pls watch “Life of Brian” and see if you can see if you find that as hate speech. I don’t remember anyone killing others over that.
    ..PeaceRecommend

  • Bill

    @Tim Baker:
    somehow you fail to acknowledge that it is the US who have started 90% of the wars on this planet…It was the US who attacked a whole nation based on the acts of a few misguided individuals…It was the US who attacked and killed millions of innocent Muslims in Iraq and failed to find a shred of evidence of WMDs…how would you feel if someone attacked your home and killed your families??…Muslims didnt start those wars…Muslims didnt kill millions in Vietnam, in Palestine, in kashmir…..your country is the single largest manufacturer of weapons on this planet and u talk of peace…All violence is sponsored by your power hungry selfish leaders and it is blind people like u who make it possible..Recommend

  • NNi

    If you read the koran everyday, u must be an expert then……In that case, why dont you debate with Ali Sina and prove to the world that islam is right and Ali Sina is all wrong…In the process earn 50000 usd too….game for it ms bina??Recommend

  • Bill Maher

    Reap of someone’s comment:
    “Also in my last Friday Sermon our Imam Masjid was calling Christians, Hindus, Ahmedis and Jews that there is no difference in Pigs and them and he was on Loudspeaker near a Christian Basti in Pakistan.

    That, my dear is hate speech. Get the difference yet?Recommend

  • Muhammad Asaad Khan

    Wow! Look at these commentators go. Amazing isn’t it? Every time you bring up a topic of such importance, you’re destined to be attacked from all directions from every random tom, dick and harry. Come on now, how hypocritical of you to always appreciate those blogs which are in conformation to your personal biases whether they be right-wing or left-wing. Also, since some of you cannot directly criticize the topic of the blog, you’ve turned to her personal attributes, criticizing her grammar? Hahahaha! I didn’t see anything wrong. And, that’s none of your business evaluating her family trees. Also, this blog is not about just ‘someone’ being abused, because our Prophet is not just ‘someone’. Please, have a little respect for your own rational faculty. This blog is very well written. That’s the way we all should response. In the modern world, the strategic importance of Jihad with a pen is great because your enemies are too strong against your bombs. Recommend

  • naveed ahmed

    first of all i would like to say all non Muslim who belong to any religious i respect, because
    Islam message to respect to all religious. My object it is that if you know about the God,if you know about world , if you know about you what u r, so please read the Quran Sharif.Recommend

  • Hammad Feroz
  • craig melson

    Get over it love, it’s just a movie.

    No-one is forcing anyone to watch it. It’s not hateful or inciting, it’s just stupid and unintentionally funny in a ‘so bad its good’ way. No-one (apart from the dude who wrote it) thinks this is what Islam is about.

    Another issue is why morons who also protest the film at embassies can’t understand how the US government haven’t got anything to do with it, but thats another story….Recommend

  • res

    Then tell “your people” to calm down for the love of God, and get over it ….yourself included.Recommend

  • IceSoul

    @MonsieurCritique: Germany has prospered under Angela Merkel.The hadith is obviously made up; it doesn’t suit the personality of Hazrat Muhammad PBUH and his overall views on women…Recommend

  • ;)

    nearly every religion imposes its views on others including Islam so dont feel like you are being targeted Recommend

  • Salim

    “…my family claims lineage that goes all the way back to the Prophet (pbuh) – we’re, supposedly, his direct descendants…”
    Assuming there are 50 generations between you and Muhammad (pbuh) you will have 1/(2^50) genes from Muhammad (pbuh). That is about 0.000000000000001 genes from Muhammad (pbuh). If there was inbreeding there would still be a very small genetic content from Muhammad (pbuh). Remember the Arabs believed that the genetic line from the man was important. They did not know that more genetics implies a dilution of “blood” over time. So after 50 generations the genetic content is microscopic.Recommend

  • Muslim

    “FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION GO TO HELL”

    When u attack black people, They call it “Racism”,

    When u attack Jewish people, They call it “Antisemitism”,

    When u attack Women, They call it “Gender discrimination”,

    When u attack Homosexuality, They call it “Intolerance”,

    When u attack your Country, They call it “Terrorism”,

    When u attack a Religious sect, they call it “Hate speech”,

    But when They attack at the dignity of our Prophet MUHAMMAD (P.B.U.H)
    They call it “Freedom of Expression”

    Share if you can!
    Raise your voice if it exists, At-least its the lowest level of JIHAD.
    Jazak-AllahRecommend

  • African American Male living abroad amongst protesting fanatics

    I was almost impressed with just how easy it was to stir the hornets nest…. but then I thought about the fact that hornets are just insects.. LOL! I’m over it….trust me, I’m over it. You suggest that YouTube should pull videos based on people’s religious sensitivities. If that were the right thing to do than any mockery of Adolf Hitler, Barack Obama, Jesus Christ should also be pulled. I could troll this entire rage page that you try to pass off as an article, but what would be the point in that aside from a bit of fun for myself. You lack true insight… If I were more inclined to waste my time informing you as to why this is the case, I would draft a proper response to your article… but instead I’ll leave you with this. Your’ self righteousness and bitter hatred will keep you warm long after your death. Those same two loathsome traits will help you to find that death in a speedy fashion… and no, that’s not a threat… I’m simply saying that you don’t do yourself and no one else any good by spewing such venomous, cancerous ideals into the wind. Your arrogance combined with your insecurity shall be your downfall. .. So try being a bit more introspective before you are foolish enough to admonish some one for imposing their values on you when you are doing the exact same thing yourself. Have fun thinking that you are superior I’m going to go have a beer.

    No way am I leaving me email address here. LOLRecommend

  • Christian

    Thought your report or opinion might I say was very well put. The one good thing about it was your own. The internet was created so that people could express themselves whoever they want. Islam is your chosen religion, wether its a good religion or not its yours. The person who created this film is a total waste of life but he has his own way of expressing himself. What is up with those physico lybians who killed those americans who had nothing to do with the film. If thats what Islam is about then you should ask yourself who the sick people are.Recommend

  • Saad

    Just a piece of advice for writer:
    When you write sarcastic articles,make sure that they make a strong point beneath the sarcasm.Unfortunately,your articles lacked any objective or point.It was just extemprary rambling to me.Pretty average writing from where I see it.Some of the points you made were quite annoying actually.Almost as if you wanted to say that killing of US ambassador was justified beccause it was done in “anger’.Dont know what you wanted to convey to that writer on slate.com.But you definitely made a negative impact!!Recommend

  • nomi

    Not once did you condemn the violence that ensued.

    The western world is portraying us as barbarians and this episode has favoured extremist more on both sides.

    They are civilised ways to deal with this. Unfortunately, I see very little hope for the muslim nations. Recommend

  • manish

    @Muslim:

    even god cannot help those who do not want to help themselves.

    women, black, homosexual, jews have all suffered discrimination, just because of them being women, black, homosexual, jews, almost universally cutting across religion and society. it was sociological problem.

    so, some rules have been framed to stop discrimination against them.

    and, it in no way is related to discrimination against your prophet. Recommend

  • Bina Shah

    Thank you for your comments, all. With this blog post, what I intended was to explain exactly why this is such a big deal to many Muslims. Because that angle seems to be missing from the discourse. So far it’s been a discussion of extremes: the right to ridicule religion/religious figures verses the extreme reaction to that ridicule of destroying property and killing people. Non-Muslims aren’t attempting to see why Muslims feel the way they do, and Muslims aren’t attempting to see why non-Muslims feel the way they do. There are many moderate Muslims who feel they have been baited and provoked on this and many other occasions; it’s not something we can just sweep under the carpet – and it needs to be brought out into the open.

    As for people asking me why I’m not “condemning the violence”, I was trying not to infantilize my audience by mouthing platitudes about how rioting in the streets and taking lives is wrong – I’m assuming we, the privileged folks with access to the Internet, already know that (and many others without access to the Internet know it too). If you read my article properly you’d see that I already said that, when I describe how our Prophet would have dealt with this kind of insult.

    But if you just want to bash me, go right ahead. Insults to me, I can “get over” pretty easily.Recommend

  • neon

    @Muslim: “When u attack your Country, They call it “Terrorism”,” no when you attack a country that’s called declaring war, but you can’t go to war with an entire population because a bunch of dopes in a cave did it.

    Plus black people,being a woman and being gay are generally considered not a choice by sane rational individuals, while being Jewish, muslim, christian and a terrorist are – ergo not hate speech.Recommend

  • frank

    @Mj:
    the comments on this page are amazing ….Recommend

  • Nigel Hendricks
  • antony

    @Muslim,
    ” When u attack your Country, They call it “Terrorism”, Well you are asking sympathy that when you bomb pakistan your beloved country you should not be called “Terrorist” in the same logic that its not freedom of speech to insult the dignity of your Prophet.. Anger has blinded your logic ..Buddha ,Jesus ,Saibaba and many more preached peace and learn their teachings to find the cure for blasphemy issue… “Turn the other cheek” in spiritual translation “turn the other way and move on and the abuser will feel shame and stop”Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/249/ahmad-fuad/ Ahmad Fuad

    Thank you for writing on this issue, Bina.
    I don’t really understand how a Theist can support such a movie.
    We, the muslims respect Prophets and even we do not think of ridiculing greats of other religions. I believe, it is not a matter of “Freedom of Expression” or anything around it. It is a matter of simple human ethics.
    Can you make such a movie about your parents. NO, they how can you do that for your holy souls?
    God bless them & us…Recommend

  • realist

    @BlackJack:
    “I think the film was a travesty and don’t support its production or release, but am coming around to the view that this needs to happen more frequently so that muslims realize that they cannot get by endlessly with blackmailing the rest of the world.”

    I completely agree with you. Muslims just cant hold the entire world hostage to their sensitivities about the Prophet.Recommend

  • anon

    @Khurram: Smartest thing I’ve read in regards to this whole insane situation. Well done and God bless. :)Recommend

  • Ray

    Get over it lady.

    Check out the situation in Syria if you have nothing better to do.Recommend

  • anon

    I find this whole article childish and the uproar over this amateur nonsense of a “film” utterly ludicrous.

    Anybody (regardless of religious beliefs) who does anything wrong and claims to be acting in the name of God will spend a nice little eternity burning in the same hell they’ve fabricated out of their backsides, supposedly for “infidels”.

    By reacting violently, like only a handful of muslims are (I am well aware not all apples on a tree are bad), they’re only propelling the misguided stereotypes.

    NOBODY has the damn right to impose their beliefs on anybody else; christians, muslims, jews, hindus or anybody else. Nobody is better than anybody else; quite the opposite. God made us all in HER image and we’re all equal, right?
    So those who impose their beliefs on others and make bogus jihad claims are disgustingly wrong.

    If i were a praying man, I would pray to God and ask HER to rid us of all morons whom confuse religion with a right to bring hate to this world.

    So, young Bina (i’m assuming you’re young due to your immature article), instead of fanning the flames of hate, how about you cut the hypocrisy and demonstrate peace and harmony as I know your Quran ACTUALLY tells you to, because I am damn sure it doesn’t tell you to kill innocent people.Recommend

  • muslim

    well written miss bina.The fury inside us will not settle unless we let them know how better we are at using pen for jihad.It is not something to get over with,it is something to get over at and teach them how islam teaches tolerance towards other religions n how they are supposed to behave for our beloved Prophet(s.a.w).Those film makers will suffer such a horrible fate that the world will see,inshAllah.Recommend

  • anon

    @mappear: 2 words mate – LEARN. ENGLISH.Recommend

  • Nouman

    I feel sorry Bina as most of the comments on this article are from goofsRecommend

  • Faaltu mein khwam kha

    and here i am who thought this article to be sarcasm, until i reached comment section……Recommend

  • Zalim Singh

    c’mon . get over it.Recommend

  • PK Liberal

    What a colossal piece of c**p article!Recommend

  • Kash316

    The Best Answer by Muslim World is “SILENCE”

    We Know The Prophet

    We Know The Culture

    We Know The ReligionRecommend

  • gp65

    So you plan to “Not get over it”. What are next steps?

    1) Continue violence and killing of innocent Westerners who may unfortunately have been in some Muslim majority country at the time that this incident occurred. IF this is what you are recommending, know that you are recommending hate speech. Being familiar with your opinioin and blogs in the past, I am guessing that this is NOT what you intend.

    2) Get countries like US/Denmark to pass anti-blasphemy laws to protect the feelings of the Muslims. Well news for you. You can commit ‘blasphemy’ against Christianity in US and no laws would prevent that (please google search atheist stand up comedy and see what you come up with). The freedom of expression in US is absolute and not qualified. Oh and the US DOES NOT have holocaust denial laws neither does Denmark. So even if you succeeded in getting anti-blasphemy laws in all countries that have holocaust denial laws, the cartoons would still be published and the movie would still be made with NO legal remedy.

    3) What will Pakistan offer in return for people of other religion in return for them being sensitive to your feelings. Will you get rid of laws against Ahmadiyas? Will you reform your anti-blasphemy las so that they are not abused against religious minorities in your country? Will you make it illegal for mullahs to call non-Muslims kafir (because that hurts feelings of other religions too)?

    ET : Many of my posts have been filtered but my language here is very measured and related directly to the article. Please let it through.Recommend

  • http://na deep

    Some of these comments are seriously funny – love the Lucy the Ape reference, love the ‘Islam in the blood’ reference. But on a serious note, Bina – prophet’s descendent or not, here are a few things to reflect on:
    1. You may revere the prophet – there are many things to admire about him but that should not stop you from questioning. Islam has virtually killed creative thought in some parts of the world – be careful what you wish for when you ask for this film albeit disgusting film to be censored
    2. Your middle name is possibly the prophet’s favourite wife – but reflect on the effect it has had on modern day muslims as they justify child marriages
    3. violence on the street begins with violent, intolerant thoughts – stop looking at yourself only as a muslim – start looking at yourself as a woman, a citizen of pakistan, an educated woman, a writer possibly… and slowly the world will become a broader more tolerant place for you. When you identify so narrowly, your mind narrows down accordingly.Recommend

  • gp65

    @naveed ahmed: “first of all i would like to say all non Muslim who belong to any religious i respect, because Islam message to respect to all religious. ”
    1) What about atheists?
    2) What about Ahmadis?
    3) What about Hinduism where we have statues of Gods and Goddesses. Do you want to tell me who was the very first butt shikan?
    4) You permit conversion from other religions to Islam. Do you permit the reverse? If you respected them, you should.Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma

    @author: ” … Innocence of Muslims: No, I will not ‘get over it’ … ”

    Why not ? Pakistanis routinely expect Indians to ‘get over Mumbai’. Our outrage is no less than yours. We love our Bharat/India the way you love your Prophet.Recommend

  • gp65

    @Muslim: ““FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION GO TO HELL”
    When u attack black people, They call it “Racism”,
    When u attack Jewish people, They call it “Antisemitism”,
    When u attack Women, They call it “Gender discrimination”,
    When u attack Homosexuality, They call it “Intolerance”,
    When u attack your Country, They call it “Terrorism”,
    When u attack a Religious sect, they call it “Hate speech”,
    But when They attack at the dignity of our Prophet MUHAMMAD (P.B.U.H)
    They call it “Freedom of Expression”
    Share if you can!
    Raise your voice if it exists, At-least its the lowest level of JIHAD.
    Jazak-Allah”

    IT is only violent physical attacks or incitement to physical attacks that you are prevented from.You can certainly say homosexuality is unnatural or gay marriages should not be permitted. HEck many preachers in US churches say exactly that. No one is prevented from saying that. If you kill people in your country or other countries, that will be described as terrorism but if you simply criticize another country or even make a movie about that country it does not qualify as terrorism. Also remember this. You want US to stop speech that offends Muslims in their country, if US asks you to stop speech against Jews, gays in your country will you do that?Recommend

  • Ali Ahsan

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/12/us/12hate.html?pagewanted=all

    Under the First Amendment, newspapers and magazines can say what they like about minorities and religions — even false, provocative or hateful things — without legal consequence.

    “In much of the developed world, one uses racial epithets at one’s legal peril, one displays Nazi regalia and the other trappings of ethnic hatred at significant legal risk, and one urges discrimination against religious minorities under threat of fine or imprisonment,” Frederick Schauer, a professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, wrote in a recent essay called “The Exceptional First Amendment.”

    “But in the United States,” Professor Schauer continued, “all such speech remains constitutionally protected.”

    But merely saying hateful things about minorities, even with the intent to cause their members distress and to generate contempt and loathing, is protected by the First Amendment.

    In 1969, for instance, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned the conviction of a leader of a Ku Klux Klan group under an Ohio statute that banned the advocacy of terrorism. The Klan leader, Clarence Brandenburg, had urged his followers at a rally to “send the Jews back to Israel,” to “bury” blacks, though he did not call them that, and to consider “revengeance” against politicians and judges who were unsympathetic to whites.Recommend

  • Sara

    Thumbs up for you Bina Shah. I an shocked that any Muslim cares about writing skills here overlooking the sentiment? Well its her sentiment that is beyond any writing skill… We shall not get over it.. We are not dead nation… He (PBUH) is the most sacred being in the whole universe and commenting over writing skills and overlooking his sake is not a very good or impressive gesture at ALL…Recommend

  • Rebuttal

    @Khurram:
    ‘Proud’ here means ‘extremely happy’, not ‘arrogance’. It’s connotative, not denotative. I think I get what you mean, though. You think she should be extremely grateful to be Muslim, not ‘proud’. Correct?Recommend

  • Rebuttal

    @Vivek:
    I agree that innocent people were targeted as a result of this film. The protest, although completely justified, should have been peaceful and representative of the values that Islam stands for. However, this religion was not man made.Recommend

  • Rebuttal

    @tj:
    And you claim to be better, I suppose? It’s not the words, it’s the argument that matters here.Recommend

  • Rebuttal

    @Jat:
    All the more reason for her to defend her Prophet (SAW), don’t you think?Recommend

  • Junaid

    What a waste of time it wasRecommend

  • Rebuttal

    The best way to respond to this hideous film was what some Muslims did: they did not start burning down embassies or killing innocent people. What they did was that they started distributing free copies of the biography of the Holy Prophet (SAW) in supermarkets and other public places so that the world would really know who our Prophet (SAW) was. They made the best out of the opportunity; even though I’m sure that they too, were enraged. We need to learn our Islam and the Muslim manners before we act rashly. All we end up doing is throwing mud on the name of peace that Islam stands for. May Allah reward these peaceful protesters InshaAllah.Recommend