Islamist-propagandized rioters have attacked and burned European diplomatic missions and other outposts in the Middle East. Their outrage, they claim, comes from the blasphemous depiction of the Prophet Muhammad in a few Danish newspaper cartoons.
But what if the Prophet Muhammad himself re-appeared today. Would he applaud the rioters who are fulfilling negative Western stereotypes of the violent nature of Islam?
My guess is that the Prophet Muhammad might side with the Danish cartoonists. Here’s why.
Muhammad was a monotheist who opposed idolatry. He removed and smashed the pagan idols that once occupied the Kabbah in Mecca.
The debatable Muslim notion of making no depictions of Allah or living creatures was to avoid the creation of new idols and idolatries. (The same issue arose in Byzantine Christianity between those who favored religious icons and the iconoclasts who smashed such religious images.)
As he neared death, the Prophet Muhammad gave strict instructions that he was to be buried in secret. No tomb was to be erected for him because this would tempt the faithful to worship Muhammad instead of Allah.
Moments after the Prophet’s passing, his chief lieutenant and successor Abu Bakr addressed the crowd of more than 100,000 that had gathered near the death bed: “Those of you who worshipped Muhammad, Muhammad is dead,” Abu Bakr told the crowd. “Those of you who worship God, God is alive and lives forever.”
It used to be that the worst insult one could make to a Muslim was to call him a “Mohammedan,” implying that he worshipped Muhammad. This is rather like saying that Roman Catholics worship the Pope instead of God, or that Jews are “Mosesites,” worshippers of God’s prophet and agent Moses. Genuine monotheists never commit the sin of worshipping God’s servants instead of the God who is One.
But now, with Islam wallowing in its own Dark Ages of confusion, neo-pagan Islamists who distort the Koran into a political ideology for their own selfish motives have manipulated thousands of once-devout Muslims into idolatry.
The Islamists – agents of Satan, enemies of Allah, perverters of true Islam – have tricked thousands of the faithful into making a pagan idol out of the Prophet Muhammad. The Islamists do this despite the Prophet’s and Abu Bakr’s careful teaching that Muslims should worship ONLY Allah, not the mere mortal human being who briefly served as Allah’s scribe and agent. Turning the Prophet Muhammad into an idol is idolatry.
From some eternal place the Prophet Muhammad must be calling out to true Muslims to reject the hypnotic spell of pagan Islamists and to turn their minds and hearts back to Allah and to their brotherhood with fellow People of the Book, monotheistic Jews and Christians.
“It doesn’t matter if these European cartoonists mock me. That is not blasphemy,” one can hear the Prophet Muhammad saying.
“Oh, Muslims, it’s God you should worship, not me. These silly cartoons should remind you of that and turn you to prayer, not rioting.
“Stop letting those agents of Satan, the Islamists, deceive you into making an idolatrous image of me….and trick you into forgetting Allah!” the Prophet would be saying.
“The Islamists are the real enemy. They are tricking you into turning Islam itself into a cartoon, an ugly false image in the eyes of the world.”
(Senior cleric Mohammed Usman of the Ulama Council in Kabul, Afghanistan, understands this. By their violence over these cartoons, he this week declared, “these rioters are defaming the name of Islam.”)
“Oh, Muslims, it is the Islamists who are the real blasphemers,” the Prophet Muhammad must be crying out from the beyond. “They are stealing and damning your eternal souls by turning you towards paganism. If you are to throw stones, then stone these Islamist agents of the devil who pretend to be Muslims while seducing you away from Allah.”
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