Saudi Arabia/GCC: A Free for All

Current events in the Middle East presently disrupting and placing 22 US embassies abroad at high alert and danger are all due to the circulation of an American made documentary against the Prophet Muhammad.  (PBUH).  An American ambassador and others have lost their life due to the emotional outrage the documentary has created.  Events are still escalating, not only through the Middle East but rest of the world, Muslim oriented or not.

A reader suggested that I put this post out here for a discussion.  A discussion on how to reign back in sanity and discuss what has taken place without getting over-emotional.  I’m willing to promote discussion for sure.  Due to the extreme emotions and views on the topic, I don’t know how dispassionate individuals will be able to comment.  Yet if we do not know then nothing has been ventured.

Let’s try to discuss what has happened in an abstract and constructive manner.  It can start with what many Americans take as basic freedoms of speech but must that now be regulated?  How does one stop the violent and knee jerk reaction to a freedom of expression?  Why should  innocent Americans be targeted for the words and actions of someone else?

How does one rebuild tolerance and understanding?  Also, let’s hear it from Muslims on why there is such a strong reaction to any words against their Prophet.  Do they or do they not believe that a Prophet can rise above the worse of words?



21 Responses

  1. My boyfriend is an Iraqi Non-practicing Muslim and we had a discussion regarding this issue. He says, the video “pushed their buttons”. And people should have seen it coming.

    I think it’s insane. If you’re confident in your beliefs and your religion who cares what people say about it? Yes, what was said was absolutely horrid but to kill innocent people because of that?

    And the fascination that so much the Muslim world has with putting people to DEATH over everything is just asinine.

  2. @Jenn,
    Please remember that in some countries, people dying in the streets is a “normal” part of everyday life because people become desensitized to death. Now, take some of these people that have become desensitized to death, in a way, and tell them that someone has just offended them in the ultimate way. How would you expect such a person to react? I’m not saying it’s right; in fact, I think it’s very wrong. Human life is something that should be valued highly. However, I think this is part of the psychology behind why some people would kill others over something that seems rather trivial. Yet another reason to be happy to be in a country such as the US.

  3. And I don’t mean that people don’t care that others are dying, but people have to develop some sort of coping mechanism to deal with it otherwise they’d all go insane. I used to think that murders happening on a regular basis was normal and that’s why people took safety precautions such as parking in well-lit areas. As I got older, I realized that that wasn’t necessarily normal, and I happened to grow up in the ghetto. But when I was younger, I just thought that was normal. It was sad when someone got killed, but what could people do other than to be careful and look after loved ones as best as possible? It’s a completely different way of looking at life.

  4. As a Muslim, I of course don’t like it when people speak ill of
    Islam, but what can you do? Acting crazy and violent is not going to make America say “No more talking bad about Islam” so any anger is in vain. Why bother? For me, that movie was not even worth it and people can say what they want, it doesn’t change what Islam is for me.

    However, people who are getting mad…it’s because for some people Islam is their whole identity, they live and breathe it, and insulting the prophet is worse than calling their mother a u-know-what. That doesn’t justify violence, I know, but the concept of “taking a jab at religion is freedom of speech” is not compatible with the middle east. It’s just taboo, you don’t go there. Religion is so embedded in this region. So for people to do it is seen as complete disrespect.

  5. re: being desensitized to death — If some of these same people will kill their own daughters for the “sake of honor,” how can we expect them to value other human life? Killing your own children has to be among the most despicable things ever.

  6. very good point, Susanne

  7. Absolutely, I’m not saying at all that these aren’t normal things to these people. I’m saying they are mentally deranged and their culture breeds that type of behavior.

  8. In this world, there is a general lack of what The Revelation of Arès calls “penitence”. This means changing within so as to be and do Good by practicing love, forgiveness, peacemaking, freeing ourselves from prejudice and developing our spiritual intelligence.

  9. Hi everyone,

    I am a Saudi muslim living in the Uinted States. I watched the trailer to this movie and I thought it looked very low budget and most of it made me laugh because of it’s stupidity.

    First off their are so many movies/documentaries that are anti Islam, but some how this particular movie has made all the so called muslims so anger that they are killing innocent people who have nothing to do with this movie. Not I think you sould kill someone for making a movie that people might not agree with. That’s what makes America great freedom of speech, I wish Saudi Arabia had freedom of speech.

    Honestly I think these people are an embarrassment to all muslims in the world, I don’t even consider them as muslims. They are doing exactly what the producer wants, making us look like idots in the west. I mean didn’t we already have enough embarrassment with 9/11?

  10. There many things produced in the US, or at least promoted in the US, that are intentionally done to criticize Islam, ridicule it or even promote hatred. One good example is the video Fitna. Like it or not it has an audience. One can quibble with its completeness, but it is no worse than much tv journalism. It uses what appear to be real quotes from Muslim speakers. Another example was the Danish Muhammed cartoons, unlike Fitna, they weren’t directly promoted in the US, but they are a good example of something designed to ridicule.

    What is so wierd about the video is that it isn’t even a complete product. Parts of it look like a porn video and parts look like the lowest of low budget movies. Since it isn’t finished it isn’t like a pornagraphic magazine that one can buy. It isn’t published in any normal sense.

    For Muslims to get angry at Americans at the level they do is similar to how Americans blame all Muslims for the Sept 11th attacks. Were all Muslim responsible for that, no. Was America responsible for the video, no. If Muslims cannot get past that then people like Robert Spencer will win in the US.

  11. This is not the type of discussion that Muslims like. Period. When it comes to Islam, the only acceptable discussion is islamophobia and the constant persecution of Muslims.

    Carol, A post like this will win you no friends and bring no solutions. It will be two sides talking through each other. There is little common ground, I fear. Still, only you have the fortitude to do this, even if pointless.

    I would like to ask Muslims here how they deal with the fact that their own writings say that Mohammed did some terrible things. In fact, these things are the same incidents used to make this silly video and every other “anti-Islam” video out there (as well as books). The fact is that your prophet did things that if done by others against Muslims would bring immediate condemnation.

    In reality, it seems that Muslim rage is just an excuse to send a message to infidels (“fear us, we are crazy”) and a mechanism to cope with things Muslims would very much prefer to ignore.

    In any case, this dilemma causes both a lack of honesty that deforms the Muslim mind and creates an intellectual paralysis that explains many of the ills that plague the Muslim / Arab world.

    I am trying to say this as nice as I can. I am mystified by the fact that Muslims will not critically discuss Mohammed’s wars on his neighbors or talk about the consequences of the slander against non-Muslims in the Quran. Do they think these are not a major factor in the unease that non-Muslims have with Islam?

    To me, the whole issue is one of honesty, nothing more, nothing less. There I nothing more dangerous – or rare – than an honest person

  12. They live and breathe Islam yet are unaware that killing is wrong? Again I mention that I doubt any of those rampaging Muslims even watched the video…so their manufactured rage was based only on hearsay. People died over rumors, nothing more. As someone mentioned…if Muslims bothered to actually read historical text on Islam, not the whitewashed…everything was peace and love version…much of that created outrage and so called insult would be abject shame instead. As someone recently said, if your religion is worth killing for…start with yourself.

  13. You’re right, Jay. This is not a topic that inspires dialogue although I think the comments are very revealing from both perspectives — Muslim and non-Muslim.

  14. Carol, I am guessing that you wont get many comments here in this post. It is too ‘hot’ for most to handle. Maybe we should do a post about “Lawrence of Arabia” or who really killed Uthman.

    I was always intrigued by a man named Abdur Rahman. He was given the task of killing Ali but meets and falls in love with a beautiful Kharijite girl named Qataum (“She had a face as beautiful as the moon, with flowing jet black tresses”) whose father and brother had been killed in the Battle of Nahrawan by Ali. Qataum says she will marry Abdur Rahman if he gives her the Caliph’s head as her dowry (Qataum must have been a distant relative of Salome). No problema, says the young man, he was going to kill Ali anyway and now he is get a nice piece arse (as the Australians say) as an incentive package for doing what be intended to do anyway.. I ramble. What I am saying is the history of the Rashidun is interesting and Muslims don’t really want to talk about their prophet, anyway.

    I ramble, still. Anyway, next year, if within 100 miles of wherever I will be, god willing, se deus quiser, I will look you up, carol.

    PS: To make a long story short, on an early morning of the seventeenth day of the month of Ramadan, Abdur and two conspirators attacked Ali in the main mosque of Kufa, wounding him in the head with a poisoned sword. No antidote could be found to counter affect the poison and Ali dies in 661. He was buried in an unmarked grave so that it would not be desecrated, mourned by four wives (including Umamad, Mohammad’s granddaughter through Zaynab), eleven sons, sixteen concubines and 15 daughters. Abdur Rahman never got his incentive package.

  15. Jay, if you don’t mind my asking: what part of NC will you be in next year for the wedding? I hope you and Carol will get to meet. 😀

  16. Susy, Not sure. My son gave me a name but it didn’t stick. I am not taking too much notice yet, but by Thanksgiving I must start making arrangements, if this wedding is to be.

    All I remember is that it will be in some historical barn near a farm where the girl’s family is from. I will probably need more information before the wedding.

    I really hope I can meet Carol. It would be great — after what 6 years of leaving tasteless comments on her blog. I don’t know if I can make it up to her.

  17. Strangest thing about this is that here in Saudi there hasn’t been any public demonstration of anger… At least not that I know of. People should be more worried about improving their lives in most of these Muslim countries. I don’t see any Muslims doing anything concrete about Syria, right?

  18. “some historical barn near a farm where the girl’s family is from”

    Oh, that narrowed it down! 😉 😀

    Carol is so gracious, I know she will enjoy meeting the guy who enriched her blog with his comments. I’d love to read about y’all meeting. 🙂

  19. Rahma, it is strange, isn’t it. Just goes to show that there is always an exception to the rule – always. I can’t think of a single stereotype that is always true (80%, 90%, but never the big 100%).

  20. Rahma, so true! Instead of wasting time protesting about an idiot who made a talentless, tasteless, not to forget false movie, Muslims would be better off focusing on helping our brothers and sisters in Syria!

  21. Indeed….the idiot producer is NOT representative of America or Americans. He’s not worth the protests.

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