Parts of Bengal continue to remain tense with fresh incidents of skirmishes and reports of police resorting to firing teargas shells.
Clearly, it all started with a Facebook post by a 17-year-old boy, who allegedly posted a Photoshopped image of Prophet Muhammad(Peace Be Upon Him -PBUH). There’s no denying the truth that the Holy Prophet is the most revered figure for Muslims after God, but can this justify the riots simply because someone ridiculed him with a photoshopped image?
Absolutely not and it’s time we in the community told the truth.
The Prophet (PBUH) was abused and humiliated many a time during his life. He didn’t cause violence. Why is it so difficult for Muslims to not learn from his life?
Causing violence in the name of the Prophet (PBUH) is an utterly disgusting act! His stature is not that fragile that a Facebook post can damage! If anything, by resorting to violence in the face of provocation, Muslims are falling into a trap of the right-wing brigade! Let’s not forget that polarisation is their agenda!
To Muslims in Bashirhat and its adjoining places in Bengal, your violent reaction to a Facebook post makes you no different to those goons who kill Muslims in the name of beef and cows.
My sense is that that if the Prophet (PBUH) was alive today, he would have responded with a smile at the Facebook post that Muslims are so enraged about! He would have even opposed the 17-year-old boy’s arrest and possibly volunteered to furnish his bail bond!
The Quran, the Islamic holy book, is replete with verses directing us to show compassion and forgiveness.
The first chapter of the Quran starts with a verse “Praise be to God, Lord of all the worlds.” No, it doesn’t say that your Allah is exclusively for Muslims. The second verse of the same chapter describes God as ‘The Compassionate, the Merciful.’
Chpater 21, verse 107 of the Quran says in reference to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), ‘We sent you as a Mercy for all creation.’ Again, it didn’t say that the Prophet was sent as a mercy for just Muslims. How can Muslims then resort to violence, burn people’s homes and even kill in his name?
Muslims must also read the incident of Taif where Prophet (PBUH) was abused, mocked and assaulted! According to some narrations, his shoes were soaked with blood. The Prophet (PBUH) later called it the most difficult moment of his life, even worse than the battle of Uhad, where he sustained injuries and even lost some teeth.
But even in the face of utter pain and insult, he refused to curse, let alone contemplate a revenge. All he did was to pray for the tribe of Saqeef, at whose behest, he was brutally attacked.
There are countless similar stories related to the Prophet that Muslims ought to draw inspiration from when their blood ‘boils’ due to a Facebook post or a cartoon.
I wonder why their blood never boils on the lack of education plaguing the community, for the first word of the Quran revealed on Prophet (PBUH) was ‘Iqra(Read)’ laying the emphasis of education in Islam.
Please don’t ruin the communal harmony of my Bengal, for not only was I born there but also completed my higher education from Kolkata. Let me recount a personal experience that I witnessed post the Babri masjid demolition in December 1992.
We would often go to a mosque, which was located in a predominantly Hindu-dominated area. With tension running high, we all dreaded to visit the mosque to offer Friday prayers on 11 December. To our surprise,the Hindus living in the vicinity of the mosque had formed a cordon to guard us so that we could offer our namaaz without any fear.
Few days ago, we all took to Jantar Mantar shouting aloud #NotInMyName. Let’s not forget that Not In My Name campaign also holds true for Muslim rioters of Bengal or anyone who commits mindless violence including in the name of religion! Please don’t profess and propagate violence in the name of Islam and the Prophet PBUH.
Truth be told, your acts are causing more harm to Islam than any good. In my opinion, the Hindu boy did not insult Islam, but you did.