Sam Bacille and the Mohammed Movie

Posted: September 17, 2012 in controversy, peace and love

Turn your television on and go to a news channel.  Any news channel you want.  What will you see?  Violent protests by Muslims across the world in response to a YouTube video about the prophet Mohammed.  So what is the bloody problem?  Why are people killing each other all over the world because of a short video with bad acting and a lame sense of humour?

The Images of Mohammed Issue

Basically, there is a big problem.  According to the Muslim faith, nobody has ever seen Mohammed and because he is of a divine nature, no mere mortal is allowed to make a visual representation of him.  This is sacrilegious, horrible and generally one of the biggest insults in the Muslim world.

I have some personal issues with this.  First of all, Mohammed was around on our planet, so somebody did know what he looked like, at least at some point.  Secondly, many Arab nations revere red hair, because it is said that the Prophet had red hair.  How do they know if there are no visual representations?

Now, I have since been told that this part of my idea wasn’t actually correct.  It has to do with not being allowed to make idols, and making a visual representation of Mohammed could lead to some idolosing him.  However, it is also important to know that there are certain strands within Islam where depictions of Mohammed are allowed, because they feel they are confident enough within their faith not to turn him into an idol.  It is, at best, a confusing issue that only those who are in the religion itself are able to understand I think.

However, and this is a big issue, if a religion has certain beliefs, they should be allowed to follow these beliefs.  There are some limits of course.  If you believe it’s ok to kill children or something like that, then the world should speak out.  But, if you think that it’s not ok to make pictures of a religious figure, you aren’t really harming anyone are you?  So, could Muslims not just, I don’t know, NOT WATCH the video?

The Identity Crisis

There are a few things that people don’t realize.  Muslims don’t often have a cultural identity other than their religion.  For Christians, they are often first and foremost American, French, Italian or whatever and only then do they identify with their religion.  Arabs and Muslims don’t really have this.  Their first and foremost identity is their religion.  Now picture a real nationalistic British person, for instance, and badmouth their Queen.  You will be in a heap of trouble!  In fact, sticking a stamp upside down on an envelope, a stamp having an image of the Queen of course, is technically still classed as treason and punishable by death.  For real.  So, in terms of Muslims, if you go and insult the Prophet, you are insulting their entire identity and that is bound to make a few people angry.

Why Do they Have to Watch it?

Is it really as simple as saying, don’t watch the video?  Technically yes, but then you are really missing the bigger picture.  The bigger picture is that the guy who made this video didn’t think he was doing something funny.  He did something deliberately to piss a bunch of people of.  He purposefully threw a lighter into a bucket of oil basically.  If you want to know if Muslims can’t just not watch it, you can also ask whether he couldn’t just not have made the video.  It isn’t about having a sense of humour or ignoring something you don’t like.  This is an all-out attack on a nation that is already in turmoil, with relationships between “the West” and the Muslim world strained at best.

There is more as well.  Remember  the protests in Egypt a year and a half ago, the ones that brought down the government?  That is the way Muslims prefer to protest.  Silently and peacefully.  Islam is, in essence, a peaceful religion.  Of course, this isn’t what the media want us to think.  There is far too much money in war and it is very important that relationships between Muslims and the West remain tense, otherwise the governments won’t be able to justify their various wars anymore.

So, go back to your telly and switch that news item on again.  Now count how many people are on your screen actually shouting for beheadings and doing things that are less than appropriate.  Because, let’s be honest, some of the behaviour we have seen in response to the video is despicable.  But humour me and count them.  Perhaps you will see 20 people on your screen, perhaps even 100.  But probably no more.  There are over ONE BILLION Muslims in the world today.  Don’t believe that what the media shows you is an adequate representation of 100 million people.  That’s like saying all British people are drunken hooligans with no other interest than pulling their trousers down and getting  into bar fights.  Don’t let the actions of a minority determine your view of the entire group.  Look around you, you are likely to live near to or work with a Muslim family.  Speak to them and get their views.  Don’t believe what the media shows you, but listen to what they have to say.

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