Extremists Stabbing Islam In The Back:- Anwar Ibrahim
Islamic terror groups, the self-righteous and self-proclaimed defenders of the faith, are stabbing the religion in the back by preaching intolerance and animosity, said opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
In his opening speech at the International Youth Gathering 2015 in Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, today, Anwar said these groups, using jihad as an excuse to justify their act of violence, were trying to outdo one another in their demonstration of faith.
“Who can kill more, be more violent and as uncompromising as possible? Who are the champion in creating fear among those who do not subscribe to their beliefs?” Calling all Muslims to condemn such acts in the name of the faith, Anwar said Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) was to date at the forefront of this vicious cycle with issuance of ultimatums, beheadings and mass executions.
He said these groups went against what Prophet Muhammad had done, who despite facing many difficulties and obstacles during the spread of Islam, had showed compassion, tolerance and commitment for dakwah, not violence.
“Where does it say that Muslims should avenge the Prophet by attacking and going on a killing spree? The Prophet’s heart is always filled with love for human kind,” said Anwar. “So our response to the killings in Africa, France, Afghanistan or Syria must also be unequivocal condemnation. It was cold-blooded murder, plain and simple.
There is nothing to justify. It is also a time for moralising and condemn the French foreign policy,” said Anwar, referring to the Charlie Hebdo killing in early January, the massacre of schoolchildren in Pakistan, and the abduction and killings in Nigeria by Boko Haram.
Anwar said that Islam has survived for almost 1,500 years without these “self-righteous self-proclaimed defenders of the faith” and can certainly go on for another thousand years and more without them. “The Prophet was sent unto mankind as a blessing and guidance, not a preacher of terrorism,” Anwar pointed out.
On issues of freedom of expression, Anwar said that there is no such thing as absolute freedom of expression. “Not even in Europe and certainly not in France. When the comic book on the life of the Prophet was first published in France two years ago, I had deplored it as sacrilege against Islam.
“Indeed, I had called for calm and rationality in response, even as we should denounce the cartoons as vile and contemptible. “To my mind, the Danish cartoons, Charlie Hebdo caricatures and the rest of the tasteless and insensitive publications ridiculing Islam and the Prophet are mere manifestations of Islamophobia in all its varied guises,” he said. Anwar said that there should be a clear line drawn between freedom of expression and hate crimes.
He also took a swipe at the French government for not doing anything to the act of profanity found in Charlie Hebdo cartoons which was highly offensive to many Muslims. “So, while I condemn the Paris killings, I cannot subscribe to the chant of “je suis Charlie” because I do not support the portrayal of the image of the Prophet, let alone caricaturing him in any way. “Likewise, I do not support blasphemy against Christians, Jews or any other religion.
Neither do I support the freedom to incite hatred against anyone or community on account of religion, ethnicity or culture.” said Anwar. He further said that in the aftermath of the Paris massacre, just a few days later the magazine republished the offensive cartoons and this was officially sanctioned by the French authorities. These are blatant acts of provocation and must be condemned.
“The issue here is: should there be freedom to commit blasphemy and incite communal hatred? It is true that crimes such as incitement to racial discrimination or hatred will always be challenged as a violation of the right to freedom of expression.
“But if someone makes a speech clearly liable to arouse feelings of distrust, rejection or even hatred towards a particular group of people of a particular ethnic background, it is incitement to racial hatred.” said Anwar.
He said freedom of expression must then become secondary to the right to dignity and freedom from harassment or vilification on account of ethnic or religious differences. He added that there has also been a sudden rise in hate crimes against Muslims in France after the Paris killings.
“It is therefore not only wrong, but harmful to frame the Charlie Hebdo killings as a clash between Islam and freedom of speech, and hence the chanting of “je suis Charlie”. Such a narrative can only add to Islamophobia,” said Anwar. He said that Islam and Muslims are not part of this ‘battle’.
“Terrorists and murderers are. And they will continue to kill and maim not just to do battle against freedom of speech, but against generally the free world, including Muslims.” said Anwar. – February 1, 2015. Source: The Malaysian Insider