A Muslim dissident speaks out.
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.)
Those who defame the Prophet are they who issue fatwas sanctioning “adult breastfeeding,” who claim that drinking the Prophet’s urine is a blessing, and allow such hadiths to be taught in schools and religious universities—including the hadith of the fly and other hadiths advocating humiliating the People of the Book [Christians and Jews] and treating them with contempt; the hadith of “paradise is under the shades of swords,” and thousands of other hadiths, the mere existence of which defame the Prophet and Islam.
Those who defame the Prophet are they who teach children in Islamic schools to hate Christians, that befriending them is forbidden (“your enemy is the enemy of your religion”)—as one niqab-wearing teacher taught my friend’s ten-year-old daughter at Al Fateh Islamic Schools in Maadi; and when the parents complained they were told “This is Islam.”
Those who defame the Prophet are they who believe that outward appearances—such as beards, zibibas [callous mark, or “raisin,” on forehead from prayer], and Islamic female dress—are part of the statutes of Islam, and they accuse people of being infidels and kill them in their cause.
Those who defame the Prophet are they who deem women defective, equating them with dogs and donkeys in that they invalidate prayer, as per the famous Sahih Muslim hadith. They believe that women are brainless and impious—forgetting that women are mothers, sisters, sweethearts, daughters, and wives, and are on an equal par with men. What is even sadder is that the majority of Muslim women believe in the authenticity of such hadiths that disparage them.
Those who defame the Prophet are men like [Dr.] Zaghloul El Naggar, who have a claim to knowledge, yet proclaim natural disasters such as hurricanes, volcanoes, and floods as Allah’s punishment for sinners, and denigrate both the Bible and Torah, claiming that they are fabricated books. And he does all this under the banner of the Prophet and in the name of Islam, and many rabble emulate him.
Those who defame the Prophet are they who propagate myths among the Muslims—such as the “Prophet’s medicine” and dream interpretation—and call their followers to replicate the Prophet’s traditions [Sunna], thus promoting ignorance and retrogression among Muslims, who fall easy prey into their wicked web.
Those who defame the Prophet are the rulers and sheikhs of the Arab world who have transformed their countries into the last strongholds of tyranny and dictatorship in the world and who manipulate religious texts to justify their crimes.
Those who defame the Prophet are not in the West, but rather 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 on the pretext of defending the Umma’s [Islamic world’s] precepts, which mean only regression and ossification.
They [Western people] only defame and combat the model that we—and no one else—created.
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