During September 2012 Muslims carried out a noisy, violent protest in Sydney ostensibly about a critical movie about the life of Muhammad. The protesters carried banners and shouted slogans that are really offensive. This is the ugly face of Islam. The protesters demanded critics of Muhammad be punished using the methods Muhammad himself used against his critics and opponents. They should be murdered and beheaded.
There were many articles written about this including one by Mohamad Tabbaa for the Sydney Morning Herald titled He's my brother - why angry Muslim youth are protesting in Sydney which included the following rationale:
The reference to corpses made by these protesters is not at all surprising to anybody who has worked closely with the Muslim community. They are referring to those killed in the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq; they are referring to the many children killed by US drone attacks; they are referring to the Rohingya Muslims burnt to death in Burma; they are referring to Uyghur Muslims being persecuted in China; they are referring to the daily oppression of Palestinians; they are referring to the war on terrorism which they see as targeting Muslims; they are referring to Kashmir, Guantanamo Bay, Chechnya, and the many other places around the world where they witness injustice and persecution.
So no, this is not entirely about some poor-quality YouTube clip. These youth are basically protesting against the broader context of islamophobia, within which this clip is not only being produced and propagated, but also defended as freedom of speech. Beginning to make sense?
No, actually it makes no sense at all. The death and destruction visited upon the Muslim world by "the West" is a small fraction of the death and destruction Muslims have done to each other. The injustice, persecution and oppression in the Muslim world by "the West" is a small fraction of the injustice, persecution and oppression Muslims have done and continue to do to each other and to non-Muslims. No real injustice, persecution and oppression has been done to Muslims in "the West." I'm inclined to think that they are basically protesting about these real problems that they cannot actually publicly acknowledge.
Waleed Aly also wrote an article The Incredible Muslim Hulk proves to be no friend of Islam either which did at least point out some of the absurdities of the protesters' mindset:
The protesters - at least the ones quoted in news reports - know nothing except how offended they are. … It doesn't matter that they protest using offensive slogans and signs, while protesting against people's right to offend. It doesn't matter that they object to insulting people on the basis of their religion, while declaring Christians have no morals.
… when Gallup polled 35 Muslim majority countries, it found that of all the gripes the Muslim world has against the West, among the most pervasive is the West's "disrespect for Islam".
Randa Abdel-Fattah wrote an article on the ABC website: The Privilege to Insult: Freedom of Speech and its Contradictions
Nobody should die for expressing an opinion, no matter how racist and vile that opinion may be. That such murder occurred in purported defence of the Prophet Mohammed's honour speaks to the twisted and depraved mindset of the perpetrators and proves their credentials, not as enactors of Islamic teachings, but violators.
Ms Randa Abdel-Fattah's article was an impassioned attack on criticism of Islam and Western hypocrisy and bigotry.
It would be far more convincing if Ms Abdel-Fattah had explained why murder in defence of Muhammad's honour was twisted and depraved now but not when Muhammad ordered such killing himself or during the last 1200 years and why it is not depraved and twisted when it is enshrined in Shariah Law? Am I missing something here? She could also explain why her anger at "Western" killing of Muslims is not matched by her anger at the far, far greater murder of Muslims by other Muslims and why Muslims are far freer in the West than they are in Muslim countries ruled by Muslim governments.
In the logic of Sheehan's world, Muslims seem too uncivilised and primitive to engage in any sophisticated way with the koranic text. Never mind the dynamism inherent in over 1400 years of Islamic jurisprudence, or the continuing dynamic engagement with the koranic text, it is enough for "Sheikh" Sheehan to pull out some verses from the Koran to support his "Islam is evil" rant. The sheer intellectual dishonesty and shameful absurdity of this approach is evident if we approach the Bible in the same way. For one could just as easily cite out-of-context passages from the Bible to mount an argument that Christianity is a violent faith
Ms Abdel-Fattah seems to be saying that it has taken 1400 years of Islamic jurisprudence and interpretation of the Quran to allow Muslim to override the simple and straightforward calls of the Quran to violent conquest. Unfortunately only a minority of Muslims accept this interpretation of tolerance and peace. She also shows her ignorance of the Bible and Christianity. There are any number of quotes from the Old Testament available to make YHWH appear a monstrous, genocidal God but the reality is that the Israelites were a small, powerless group at the mercy of the great powers of the day and the texts are myths attempting to shore up the power of the Jerusalem priesthood with little or no basis in the real world of the times. Finding quotes from the New Testament advocating violence is nearly impossible though there are some that prophesy violence during the future apocalyptic destruction of the world by God. Many Islamic apologists quote Jesus saying "I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." These verses are obviously metaphorical unless apologists actually think he was referring to sword fights to the death in kitchens between mothers and daughters and mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law. As we know, the early Christians did not begin military campaigns to conquer the world at the behest of the Gospels unlike the results of Allah's commandments from the Quran which began over 1200 years of warfare to conquer the world and enslave non-Muslims and only ended when their military power collapsed. That's probably why Muslim scholars began interpreting the Quran in a peaceful way though the Caliphate declared a fatwa for Holy War (jihad) against the Allied nations in 1914.
After defeat at the battle of Uhud Muhammad told Umar to answer the crowing of the Meccan commander and Umar shouted out "Our dead are in paradise, your dead are in hell." So though the Muslims began the war their dead go to paradise and those defending themselves go to hell. Typical Islam. In my darker moods I'm inclined to think Muslim protesters are angry about the failure of jihad to conquer the world and Islam's obvious powerlessness in a military and political sense. You don't have to buy many books from an Islamic bookstore or spend much time on the internet to see that Muslims are incredibly arrogant about their religion and morality, and go apeshit that we don't give a shit. Most Australians don't disrespect Islam, they just don't give a fuck about it but to the Muslim world view that's an insult.