Again today I received an e-mail with a link to visit a website on the life and teachings of Prophet Mohamed… and again I checked it out, though I already knew of its contents, and again I found myself getting upset and then deterred away from the website.
Following the Danish controversy, many Muslim groups came to the conclusion that they need to fix their “image”. While the effort is needed I wonder if it is in its place… Those who invested in the webpage still see matter from their point of view and this is where their arguments stem from. This also makes for very weak arguments. Who are the audience of the website
In theory Islam is a wonderful religion, but Muslims fail miserably when it comes to application and practice…
The website does not teach Muslims, who are in desperate need of, tolerance or acceptance of others who are different. They continuously compare Islam to Judaism and Christianity. This, they believe, will strengthen Islam’s position as the one and only true religion, while in reality it just preaches superiority and intolerance. For example, in the website, Jews of Al-Madina are still seen as infiltrators who “had it coming”. One rule of managing/ mediating conflict is never to dig into history because it will only make matter worse. This apparently is the case with the Jews of Al-Madina. Both Muslims and Jews refer to a 1400 year old incident in order to defame the other. So, why not put history to the side for change, or at least see matters from different perspectives!
On another page, which deals with, or rather glorifies, polygamy, “He used to spend one day and one night with each wife except when Lady Sauda Bint Zam’a reached old age and no longer had sexual desire.” Those with some sense would instantly question at what age does a woman lose her sexual desire? Science will defiantly not support such claim. Unfortunately such narration does not defend the Prophet, nor gives a clear image of Islam. Instead, it portrays Islam as a sexist and misogynist religion and the Prophet as a man driven by his urges.
It is also peculiar that many Muslims, who work under the motto “defending the Prophet”, make a distinction between Mohamed, as a person or a prophet, and how Islam is understood, interpreted and applied today. The two, however, represent the same thing. Prophet Mohamed and his teachings represent Islam. He is a role model for Muslims. Subsequently, when Islam is misunderstood, so is its Prophet, and vice versa.
What many Muslims refuse to understand is that the Danish caricatures, and its likes, do not target Mohamed, the Prophet, specifically, as much as it targets a religion seen as hateful and intolerant. Non-Muslims have a negative perception of Islam because of how it is interpreted and represented. To them, the Prophet is a symbol of everything that is wrong with Islam… To me, the Prophet is a symbol of a religion misinterpreted by it followers and non-followers alike.
A remaining question would be, whose fault is it that Islam and the Prophet are misunderstood? But perhaps that question is not as important as what Muslims are willing to do about it?