From facebook groups to text messages, everyone is trying to get me to support the protest against the novel by Sherry Jones, Jewel of Medina.
The book, for anyone who lives under a rock, is meant to be a historical novel about the life of Aisha (R.A) and the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH). It is blasphemous, and talks about the intimacy between the Propet Muhammed (PBUH and Aisha (RA). Read the prologue here .
The reason I post is not to go into the content of teh book but rather to question the hype.
Yes, the book insults our Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) and I think that we should always defend what is right and speak out against that which is not. I just don’t think it’s necessary for us to have to stage protests everytime someone says something negative about Islam or The Prophet Muhammed (PBUH). I said this to a group of girls when we were talking about the book and the look of shock horror on their faces was enough to make me look into the mirror to see if I had changed into a monster.
None of them had read the book so essentially they not even sure what it’s all about and yet they are ready to start marching against it. This uninformed behaviour scares me. I find it dangerous that they have no facts on the book and they have no understanding of what they are protesting about. They simply protesting cos the woman ( they dont even know her name) is insulting the Prophet (PBUH). Upon further discussion, I asked them to tell me what they knew of the Prophet’s (PBUH) marriage to Aisha (RA) and I got a few sketchy details. She was the daughter of ABu Bakr (RA) and she was very knowledgeable and she was young was about all they could muster up. They aredefending something that they have no idea about and really speaking they should be having abit more knowledge on the topic as young Muslim girls.
Now we did this with Salmaan Rushdie and we made the man a milionnaire and trust me having read his work he aint no literary genius. We did the same thing when Jyllands- Posten printed the cartoons of our beloved Prophet Muhammed (SAW) and at the end we only succeeded in drawing more attention to their work.
I was angry like everyone else and I was upset but I also believe in freedom of speech and freedom of press. I believe it comes with a responsibility and I believe some people will never take that responsibility.
In South Africa, an organization called the Scholars of the Truth took the matter to court and won the case. The book cannot be distributed now in SA. I think we just served to increase the hype. If someone wants to read the book they going to read it and no amount censorship is going to stop it.
I thought about all the money that was spent on this court case, and all other attempts to get the book banned and I realised that the money could have been put to much better use.
I think that we should use opportunities like these to demonstrate the truth and the beauty of Islam. Use that money to hold forums and invite everyone to it and discuss the book and then show people the truth about the life of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH). Lets lead the discussions and the intelligent debate. Lets make the truth available to people who are interested.
We need to stop being so reactive and start being pro-active.