Late yesterday evening, or early this morning, we all woke up to the terrible news of the embassy killings in Libya and damages to the embassy in Egypt. These acts were apparently undertaken in response to some obscure film-maker’s attempt to make a name for himself by insulting Islam. Those who believe that they are defending the nobility of Islam and the honor of our beloved Prophet Muhammed Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam by taking lives have to realize three things:
- Another’s opinions of our faith are immaterial to the value of our faith. Our beliefs and our degree of faithfulness are not dependent on whether or not we respond to provocation, insults, and the like. In fact, in Islamic history, through the life of the Prophet (SAW) we see examples of the Prophet (SAW) himself bearing insults to himself and the message of Islam with great forbearance. These examples exist to be imitated by believers.
- In Islam, it is our duty to protect places of diplomacy. Storming an embassy and killing any of the people within, be they civilians or diplomats, is unacceptable. Violating such places under the guise of “but they are not civilians” does not take into consideration the need for maintaining the sanctity of positive diplomatic relationships and the future impact of such acts on civilians.
- The people who were targeted and killed in this senseless act of violence were not even the people who committed the offense in the first place. Rather than making a point of how much of a defender of the faith the killers were, all they did was play into the film-maker’s hands, and those like him, who are always desperate to prove the violent tendencies of Islam and Muslims. Now, for the rest of the year, Muslims the world over will need to apologize for an act they do not condone, to defend against statements like “Violence is in the DNA of Islam! Look here what they did this time!” There is no good, on any level, that comes from violence, no matter what is used to justify it.
Muslims all over, including the Greater Salt Lake, condemn the violence perpetrated against innocents in all situations around the world. We take this moment to extend our condolences to Muslims and non-Muslims alike who are bearing the losses of innocent family members, and pray that Allah grants them peace in this world and the next. Ameen.