Would Prophet Muhammad say ‘Je Suis Charlie’?

Khaled Diab asks: Would the prophet forgive Charlie Hebdo’s lampooning of him and his religion? If he were alive today, would he tweet his solidarity with the slain cartoonists?

My own reading of Muhammad’s life and history leads me to conclude that although the prophet may not have tweeted “#JeSuisCharlie,” he would have condemned these savage murders and even forgiven French satirists no matter what insult was directed his way.

While some might find my assertion hard to believe, it is backed up by Muhammad’s own actions and convictions. Although the prophet’s contemporary self-appointed defenders take offence on his behalf and believe they are doing his will by protesting perceived insults or punishing those who commit them, their actions could not be further from the truth.

During the vulnerable early years of Islam, the Islamic prophet endured and tolerated mockery and disdain. Even in victory, Muhammad wisely advised to exercise tolerance. Upon his triumphant return to Mecca, he forgave the inhabitants of the city which had been home to his fiercest enemies. He even pardoned a member of his inner circle, Abdullah Ibn Saad, who denounced the prophet as a charlatan.

More importantly, the Islam Muhammad preached recognised the pluralistic nature of society and guaranteed freedom of belief. Surat al-Baqara of the Quran reminds Muslims: “There shall be no compulsion in religion.” [Continue reading…]

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