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Editor’s note: Raymond Ibrahim provided the translation and introduction to the article below, originally published by the Stonegate Institute.
The following op-ed, written by Ahmed El Aswany, appeared in the popular news website El Bashayer, December 22, 2011, following several lawsuits against Egypt’s Christians, most notably billionaire Naguib Sawiris, who allegedly “defamed Islam” by posting on his twitter account an illustration of Mickey Mouse with a beard and Minnie Mouse veiled, accompanied by the comment “Mickey and Minnie after” [the Islamist takeover]. Hard-hitting and self-critical, the op-ed deals with an important question: exactly who is it that defames Islam and its prophet Muhammad? Many in the Muslim world insist it is the West, specifically non-Muslims—whether through cartoons, books, or simply free speech. However, as El Aswany boldly argues, no one defames Islam as much as “we Muslims, for imposing a terroristic, hypocritical, and life-hating model of Islam that feeds on killing others in the name of jihad and fighting freedom of expression…”
I do not believe that cartoons, books, or movies can defame any religion or affect the faith of its adherents and true believers.
Those who defame the Prophet are they who slaughter and bomb innocent people all over the world—in New York, Madrid, London, Bali, Riyadh, Cairo, Kabul and Baghdad—while citing the name of Allah and his Prophet and under the banner of Islamic jihad. Ongoing demonstrations follow in support of their acts, while Internet sites sing praises of the “knight” Osama bin Laden, the “hero of the two raids on New York and Washington [i.e., the strikes of 9/11].”
Those who defame the Prophet include men like [Yusif] Qaradawi [the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader], who incite killing Jewish babies in their mothers’ wombs (his lecture at the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate in 1996), and who incite and support suicide bombings and declared jihad in Iraq, in the name of religion and the Prophet, leading to the killing of innocent people.
Those who defame the Prophet are they who demand the world to enact resolutions against the “defamation of religion,” while they practice this defamation in every prayer in their mosques, schools, and satellite stations—especially against Christians and Jews, whom they curse in every prayer. (After the Islamic Human Rights Commission of the United Nations motioned this resolution against “Defamation of Religion,” according to the Saudi internet site ArabiaNet, the Saudi Shura [Consultative] Council opposed the resolution—because defaming other religions is a rite and part of the rituals of Islam.)
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