I hope the rejection sends a clear message to other nations that even the President of America cannot meddle with the freedom of speech guaranteed in our constitution. So, it is not America, it was the individual who made the movie, that is our culture and that is a norm in our society.
In behalf of the World Muslim Congress, a think tank and a discussion forum, I condemn the movie, a disgusting movie. The killing of our Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Benghazi and his staff is not acceptable and the criminals must be hunted down and punished. The violence that has erupted from the trailer of the film Mohammad is abhorrent and condemned by Muslims without a reserve.
Those Muslims who murdered Ambassador Christopher Stevens and four staff members, were purportedly defending the name of Prophet Muhammad, have done the exact opposite of their intention; tarnish the name of the prophet.
We cannot compromise on the core value of our civilization; freedom of expression. It is not what the bad guys say or do, it is what "you do” that matters. Quraan has great advice on that - to paraphrase the verse; if someone mocks God and the prophet, politely get out of the discussion, and it further advises, if you mock other people's way of worship, they are bound to say similar things about your faith and the situation gets worse.
The freedom ultimately triumphs, restrictions are not good for anyone in the long haul. I would not want America to be any different than the America that beckoned me. I don’t want America to become a Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Sudan or an Iran where harassment of the minorities is routine. Shamelessly the harassment is part of their constitution. Once again, it is against the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, who said no man is superior to the other and runs like the equal opportunity statement.
As an American and a Muslim, I will stand by the wisdom of the founding fathers of this nation. No compromise on free speech, even if it maligns my faith. By the way my faith is not weak to get maligned by idiots, its been around for 1400 years and God willing it will be there through the Day of Judgment, and no one can hurt it. God protects it.
The violent eruptions in the world cannot go on, and together, we the community of nations must close the loop, and restore justice to build a cohesive world, where no one, (particularly the minorities) has to live in fear of the other.
In the long run, we should never compromise on a good thing that is the bedrock of civilizations; freedom of expression.
The Muslim Brotherhood surprised me with the following statement by Dr. Mahmoud Hussein, Secretary-General of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, “affirmed that when the group called for today’s rallies in front of mosques across Egypt, in honor of the Messenger of God, its objective was to allow all Egyptians to express the anger and outrage felt by all Egyptians, in peaceful demonstrations outside mosques all over the country, and not focus on Tahrir Square alone.” They even guaranteed freedom of expression.
John Stuart Mill published a book on liberty in 1859 that has become a classic defense of the right to freedom of expression. “Mill argued that truth drives out falsity, therefore the free expression of ideas, true or false, should not be feared.” Mill also argued that “free discussion is necessary to prevent the deep slumber of a decided opinion". And, “An opinion only carries intrinsic value to the owner of that opinion, thus silencing the expression of that opinion is an injustice to a basic human right.” For Mill, the only instance in which speech can be justifiably suppressed is in order to prevent harm from a clear and direct threat. Neither economic nor moral implications, nor the speakers own well-being would justify suppression of speech."
Blaming Islam is the useless thing to do, Islam did not authorize them do the wrong they have done. They have done it on their own. Each one of the 312 Million Americans follows the same criminals laws, 99% of us obey them, where 1% doesn’t. We don’t’ blame our laws for those that don't abide by them; we blame the bad guys and incarcerate them.
The criminals are always good in blaming someone else, in this case Islam. We should not be gullible enough to buy their argument and start barking at religion instead of the criminals.
Prophet Muhammad had said, “if you are unjust to a fellow being, a non-Muslim, by God on the Day of Judgment, I will stand against your and stand up with the victim.” That was a strong warning that these criminals did not heed.
Quraan 5:8, "O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah , witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is acquainted with what you do. (al-Ma'edah 5:8)"
Had Muslims not made a big deal out of it, no one would have known about the film and no one would have seen Muslims in bad light.
Islam is the biggest beneficiary of free speech. Can you imagine a Christian, Hindu or other preaching his religion openly in Muslim nations? On the other hand, it is the free speech in Europe and Americas that has allowed allowed the business of conversions to thrive.
Islam is a beautiful religion to me, to make me a better human and a better citizen. Islam is not about governance, as we stand, we cannot and will not have the Islamic government in the spirit it was conceived, all we get would be ugly versions of imposing and dictating others and telling who or who is not a Muslim.
Our values are agreed upon through consensus, Ijma as we call it in Islam, and will keep the society in equilibrium and as God created us; free.
Freedom of expression must be defended and protected.
Mike Ghouse is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is a professional speaker, thinker and a writer onpluralism, politics, civic affairs, Islam, India, Israel, peace and justice. Mike is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News and regularly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. The blogwww.TheGhousediary.com is updated daily. Talk/Text (214) 325-1916
Google rejects White House request to pull Mohammad film clip
SAN FRANCISCO |
(Reuters) - Google Inc rejected a request by the White House on Friday to reconsider its decision to keep online a controversial YouTube movie clip that has ignited anti-American protests in the Middle East.
The Internet company said it was censoring the video in India and Indonesia after blocking it on Wednesday in Egypt and Libya, where U.S. embassies have been stormed by protestors enraged over depiction of the Prophet Mohammad as a fraud and philanderer.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed in a fiery siege on the embassy in Benghazi.
Google said was further restricting the clip to comply with local law rather than as a response to political pressure.
"We've restricted access to it in countries where it is illegal such as India and Indonesia, as well as in Libya and Egypt, given the very sensitive situations in these two countries," the company said. "This approach is entirely consistent with principles we first laid out in 2007."
White House officials had asked Google earlier on Friday to reconsider whether the video had violated YouTube's terms of service. The guidelines can be viewed here
Google said on Wednesday that the video was within its guidelines.
U.S. authorities said on Friday that they were investigating whether the film's producer, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year old Egyptian Coptic Christian living in Southern California, had violated terms of his prison release. Basseley was convicted in 2010 for bank fraud and released from prison on probation last June.
(Reporting By Gerry Shih; Editing by Toni Reinhold)