Perverted people are an exception yet they exist in all ages. They get a sadistic pleasure in denigrating others.
It is unfortunate that the record of the West has not been commendable in this respect, especially in relation to Islam, the Muslims and the most venerated personality of Prophet Muhammad. Two years back, in September 2005, it was daily Jyllands-Posten of Denmark, its irresponsible editor and more irresponsible cartoonist who printed derogatory cartoons of Prophet Muhammad, may peace and blessings of God be upon him. They attracted worldwide condemnation and most shamelessly refused to apologise. Now it is another set of blasphemers led by Ulf Johanssen, the Chief Editor of Swedish newspaper Nerikes Allehanda, who published a very derogatory and scurrilous cartoon of Prophet Muhammad drawn by Lars Vilks. They have made it ample clear that they are not ashamed of the blasphemy and do not propose to tender any apology for it. Their attitude is quite expected because what they have done is premeditated, calculated and well thought out. They deserve to be universally condemned, left to stew in their own mental filth and made to wait for divine retribution either in this life or in the hereafter.
This blasphemy has been severely condemned by Muslim countries and representatives of Muslim organisations. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Secretary-General of 57-nation Organisation of Islamic Conference, while condemning the blasphemy, has asked for an apology from the culprits and the Swedish government which is harbouring them. He has asked the West to act in a responsible manner where Islamic values are concerned. He further said that such insults are reoccurring and becoming intolerable. He has also said that those who are indulging in such vile and uncivilized attacks cannot hide themselves behind the principle of freedom of expression.
The Western thinkers and opinion makers must give serious thought to the deplorable attitude of irresponsible people among them. Is it the proper use of freedom of expression to revile and ridicule the most venerated Prophet of Islam? Will it help us in building bridges of understanding among the people of the world? Further, has any Muslim ever indulged in any such attacks on any prophet or religious figure? Can even a single example of such vile and vicious nature be presented from Muslim world? Islam stands for respect to God, His prophets and all human beings. The West also has laws to defend the dignity of an individual. Why such laws are not used against these enemies of decency and civilized behaviour who time and again injure the hearts of 150 crore Muslims of the world.
The Muslims must not lose their cool. They should be prepared to face and counter more such attacks. Their reaction should be cool and measured. They need to face such challenges with equanimity and turn their energies to constructive work. First, we should learn more about the great Messenger of God, follow his teachings with greater dedication in our entire life, introduce him and his message to the people of the world, remove misunderstandings spread against him and make him even in the eyes of his denigrators the most venerated personality as he really happens to be. Let us imbibe the sprit of Islam, sincerely follow into the footsteps of the Prophet and present the best and most enviable example of human character which has been taught to us by the greatest benefactor of humanity, Prophet Muhammad.