The recent acts of sacrilege by a number of western journalists against the sentiments of the Muslims by publishing disrespectful material about the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) is a big blow to the cause of ‘Interfaith harmony’ which is so vital to today’s polarised and belligerant world.
A Danish news paper getting encouraged by negative remarks about Islam by the Danish queen in her recently published book, went a step ahead and prodded the Muslims into anger by making cartoons of their Prophet. Following the cue, journalists from some other countries reproduced the same material or added to it.
Some criticism to this outrageous act did come from the west but not in a manner and strength as the magnitude of this irresponsible act demanded. Even though the Vatican did denounce this act but in a whimpered tone, which was not enough and in line with the expectations of the Muslims of the world.
If the Western world wants interfaith harmony it should learn to respect the beliefs and sentiments of the Muslims. If the Muslims rever their prophet beyond every thing else, be it so, how does it bother the critics? This is a rather poor argument that the Christians make films and cartoons of Jesus Christ (PBUH), therefore they don’t consider such things as serious. If the Christians make films and cartoons of Christ, the Muslims don’t and neither would they accept anyone being disrespectful to Jesus.
Some commentators try to relate this incident to the freedom of expression . Again a very naive point of view. There can never be absolute freedom for human beings -the most prominent attribute that differentiates them from animals. Does the freedom of expression mean a person can do anything he feels like at any time?. It is just not possible. Imagine a person squatting on the road in a busy street and attending the call of nature on the pretext of freedom. Who will accept it?
It is imperative that the West, particularly the religious leaders of the Christians and the Jews preach self restraint, tolerance to other’s beliefs and spread the message of love to promote the much needed Inter faith harmony in the world.