Freedom of Expression: Another Avenue for Insulting the Prophet Muhammad (Saw)

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The murder of Samuel Paty, a French middle-school teacher, was received with fierce reactions within and outside of France. Paty was beheaded by an 18-year-old Muslim Russian-born refugee of Chechen descent. The motive for the murder was that Paty had, in a class on freedom of expression, shown his students cartoon of the naked man claimed to be the prophet Muhammad.

French President Emmanuel Macron said that the incident was “a typical Islamist terrorist attack”, and added that “our compatriot was killed for teaching children freedom of speech”.   French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer called the killing an “attack on the French nation as a whole”. United high representative Miguel Moratinos condemned the murdering. There have been rallies in protest against the murder across France with protesters chanting freedom of expression should be respected.

The International media outlets particularly the western through the call for freedom of expression has been defaming and mocking Islam and its sanctities. The France government has been on a frontline of attacking the Hijab, insulting the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W) as well as having racist sentiments against its own citizens particularly of Islamic countries origin. In 2012, the Charlie-Hebdo magazine published cartoon depicting Prophet Muhammad a nude man. The act caused reactions from Muslims faithful across the globe which in 2015 the Paris headquarters of Charlie-Hebdo was attacked which left 12 men killed. The Muslim women are stigmatized by simply wearing the Niqab.

Upon scrutiny, we will find mocking of Islam does not only end in the media arena but rather it goes further into political spectrum. The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson mocked the Muslim women by calling bank robbers! Ironically this all happen in the so –called civilized world. It is crystal that western countries have a hatred against Muslims and have set up policies and terminologies upon which take them as platforms to show the open hatred to Muslims. Allah says:

قَدْ بَدَتِ ٱلْبَغْضَآءُ مِنْ أَفْوَٰهِهِمْ وَمَا تُخْفِى صُدُورُهُمْ أَكْبَرُ ۚ

Their hatred is clearly manifest in what they say, and what their breasts conceal is even greater.

Despite this, freedom of expression which has been made a universal notion stems from the belief that Man has an absolute authority to make his own laws by his mind while disregarding the sharia of Allah SWT that is fully guidance to all aspects of life. This belief is called secularism. It is through this invalid creed that they have crowned themselves in setting standards for the people!  It is in this context where secularists mock sharia of Allah Swt while glorifying the man-made cannons.  In the wake of this call, the western leaders call their citizens to mock Islam. Apparently, this is a sign of their intellectual bankruptcy as they cannot engage and challenge Muslims ideologically. Notably, Islam has no problem in engaging non-Muslims in a productive debates but to their intellectual bankruptcy they are afraid of Islamic ideas which are stronger than the corrupt ideas of their rotten system of Capitalism. Any government based on a bankruptcy system usually spread hatred that fosters sectarian strife among its citizens yet considering itself as civilized society!

Ironically the west who  claim to glorify the concept  of freedom of speech and thus promoting their people to insult the Prophet Muhammad SAW, on the other hand have set up draconian  laws and policies to silence Muslims and movements that oppose political, economic and social oppression. Consequently, those calling to the Islamic ideas the resumption the Khilafah, Hijab, Jihad and other laws are arrested and imprisoned and no government official defends Muslims in letting their voice heard. This is the highest level of hypocrisy of capitalist leaders and their concept of freedom of expression.

Islam allows a Muslim to express his opinion about any issue so longs it is within the Islamic boundaries. Hence Islam has obliged Muslims to account the ruler if he abuses his authority. Therefore, anything that contradicts Islam is not permitted to be called for. For example calling racism, tribalism gender equality and classism all are not allowed in Islam and there is no room to call for such corrupt ideas under the pretext of freedom of expression.

Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) occupies an integral part of the Islamic faith, such that one cannot become a Muslim except by believing in Allah together with the belief in the prophethood of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It is a grave sin disrespect the dignity of the Prophet Muhammad(S.a.w) as Allah Himself has declared that the Prophet SAAW is in good character. In this sense, Muslims are obliged to love the Prophet ( more than any other person.

((لا يؤمن أحدكم حتى أكون أحبَّ إليه من ولده ووالده والناس أجمعين

None of you will have faith till he loves me more than his children, his father and all mankind.

By Shabani Mwalimu

Media Representative Hizb ut-Tahrir Kenya