The whole world is witnessing the clash of civilization riots these days in the wake of Innocence of Muslims movie trailer. A Muslim has tweeted the situation as "There was no movie about #Muhammad(SAW), it was just a trailer. The protests Muslims are holding are the movie."
The proponents of the riots and protests don't call it a clash of civilization rather call it a "hate propaganda against Islam." That was the title of Muslims' peaceful protest in Toronto too. There were no burning of cars or stoning the building scenario here but a participant spoke to the media and expressed his wishes as reported in the Sun Media, ""We're very angry," protester Syed Ali said. "We want to kill this guy, hang him in front of everybody.""
A flyer was distributed amongst about 2000 participants of the protest which reads "After the devilish act of Danish Cartoonist against the prophet of Islam causing hundreds of casualties another Satanic effort by the American-Jew film maker, who made a movie against the Prophet of Islam is another step to divert the attention." The flyer stated further in caps, "THE JEWISH PURPOSE THUS SERVED."
While knowing the fact that the filmmaker is not a Jew and Israel or Jews have nothing to do this movie, the participants were chanting the slogan "Shame Shame Israel."
On one hand, the protestors in the Muslim mob exercise their freedom of expression by twisting the fact that the movie was made by a Jew, which is not true. On the other hand the same mob dismisses others' opinion in the form of Prophet Muhammad's caricatures or the trailer of the movie and calls them a kind of hate propaganda rather than a right to freedom of expression.
So the Islamic nations are coming forward one more time in order to push international bodies such as the UN for introducing blasphemy laws all across the globe. Unfortunately, similar prevailing blasphemy laws in Islamic countries are already crushing the religious rights of non-Muslims and even the minority sects of Islam such as Shias and Ahmadies.
A general perception of blasphemy in Muslim countries is blasphemy of Islam and the Prophet, not the blasphemy of Muslims towards other faiths.
For instance, Pakistan's constitution calls Ahmaddies non-Muslims in spite of their insistence that they belong to Islam. Shias are considered infidel because they are blasphemous to the companions of prophet in majority's views. Pakistan's text books call bad names to Hindus, Jews, Christians and others. Saudi Arabia funds mosques and Islamic Centres all across the world but don't allow Christians, Hindus and others to build their worship places in the country.
But still Muslim T.V. anchors are insisting in their shows that there should be a limit on the rights of freedom of expression because "devilish acts" such as "Danish Cartoons" and Innocence of Muslims hurt the feeling of 1.6 billion Muslims. What happens when a guest panelist on TV confronts such an anchor about Muslims' official disrespect to others in their respective countries? The anchor wants to change the topic.
In this scenario, Islamic media people need to understand the fact that if they want others to not be blasphemous to their religion, they and their mobs needed to be respectful to others' faiths.
If they don't understand this basic reality then they are pushing their mobs towards clash of civilization where according to them 1.6 billion Muslims want to live in dark ages and rest of the four billion or so enjoying freedom of religion for all and freedom from religion for all on the other side.
Tahir Gora is a secular and progressive Pakistani-Canadian writer. Follow him at twitter @TahirGora
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