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How Should Muslims Respond to ‘Free Speech’ Provocation?

We once again have the news of the deaths of two gunmen who attacked an anti- Islam conference in Garland a suburb of Dallas, Texas USA.

This comes only months after the tragic incidence at a magazine offices in Paris, France.

In the Dallas conference, a group critical of Islam was holding a contest for a best drawing of Prophet Mohammad (sa), with a prize of $10 000. The security for this controversial event was high and 200 people were in attendance. The assembly wished to express their right of ‘freedom of speech’.

They fail to accept that abusing someone’s religion is a hate crime rather than ‘freedom of speech’.

Once again we are in the midst of a heated, hostile debate between the ‘freedom of speech’ activists and the defenders of Islam.

The two American gunmen, have been named as Illinois born Elton Simpson and Garland, Dallas born Nasir Soofi. They were both flatmates in Phoenix, Arizona.

Elton was well known to the security services and was under surveillance since 2006. In 2010 he was convicted about lying about plans to go to Somalia, where he intended to join a terror group.

Nadir Soofi’s father was from Pakistan and mother from USA. When his parents divorced he moved to live with his father. Nadir was privately educated in Islamabad. He later returned back to America.

How should peaceful Muslims respond in this situation?

We should not fall prey to taking the law into our own hands and harming or killing the organisers of such a conference. Islam does not teach us to respond in a violent way. Violence leads to more violence and is a vicious cycle. Also the peaceful Muslims living in USA or Europe can face a backlash as a result from the local population.

If extreme citizens physically attack such a controversial conference, it leads to further widespread insults being thrown against Islam.

I have been thought in times of these troubles to repeatedly recite Durad Shareef  -invoking blessings and salutations upon the Holy Prophet (sa). Prayers will lead to Islam’s victory not death and destruction.

It is our responsibility to create peace in our spheres of influence. May Allah the Almighty save the world from a state of anarchy, disorder and strife towards a rapid transformation into peace.

The anti Islam activists continue to cause pain and they are hurtful to the sentiments of any Muslim. However extreme actions against these people should not be our response. We should not fall into the clever trap they have set up.

It gives their cause worldwide publicity and exposure. Hence they become stronger.

Only Islam’s teaching of patience, love and affection brings the world’s people together. It is time for Jihad of the pen not the sword, to spread the true meaning of Islam.

When we come across the ignorant anti Islam ‘free speech’ activists we should just ignore them and walk away. Engaging with such people leads to further abuse against our religion.

Muslims and Islam are strong enough to walk away, and not let the activists have the publicity they thrive upon.

Let us leave the matter with God Almighty, as every individual will eventually return to Him, bearing the consequences of their actions.

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