Thursday, April 22, 2010

Clarifying the South Park Response and Calling on Others to Join in the Defense of the Prophet Muhammad –

In the name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful, all praise is due to Allah the Lord of all that exists, and may blessings and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah Muhammad, and I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except for Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger,
As for what follows,

In light of the volume of attention being given to our response to the recent South Park episode we feel compelled to issue a statement clarifying the issue to both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. We would like to point out that we are not against a rational dialogue with either group and would like to take this opportunity to ask all to read and respond with an objective mind. We live in an age of media concision, and a consequential reality which tends to afford very little opportunity for in depth discussion.

Our intention with this explanation is only, Allah willing, to create the possibility that a deeper and more productive dialogue may be initiated. We seek to create an opportunity for correction of wrongs and the alteration of behavior that many may suggest is insignificant, but nevertheless is a behavior which we hold to be not only sacrilegious, but which we feel typifies a cancer which bites at the root of global injustice. The cancer we are referring to is that of American imperialism and its coincident culture of pagan hedonistic barbarism, a culture which drives to dehumanize the intrinsic morality of the rest of the world. As it stands today the vast majority of the world has witnessed the cloud of American debauchery, and those whom it has not hovered over have at the very least been affected by its dust.

This past week South Park aired an episode which insulted three of our beloved prophets: Musa (Moses), 'Isa (Jesus), and Muhammad, peace be upon them all. Not only did they do this, but within the episode the makers of South Park made it very clear that they knew how the Muslims would feel and potentially respond to their show. In an effort to cover their actual intention to incite, the creators of South Park carefully contrived a plotline that they believed could only stump those Muslim extremists that may arise to defend the honor of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). They wished to degrade and mock a man who is held in highest regard by Muslims and many Non-Muslims alike, and indeed many have categorized Muhammad (peace be upon him) as the most influential human being that ever walked on Earth.
By placing the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in a bear suit, the creators of South Park sought to insult the sacred, and show their blatant and general disregard for religion. By insulting our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) without the outright depicting of his image, the creators of South Park thought that they had found some loophole in the Muslim faith for them to mock.

If you were to ask any American how many people had been killed in the Iraq war, then he would give you some number around 4,000. The reality is that many estimates put the complete death toll of this war at figures above 1,000,000. America is a country which murdered 500,000 Iraqi children in the decade before September 11th, 2001 under the Iraq sanctions. This is a fact which the American Secretary of State at the time Madeleine Albright admitted to. The attacks on September 11th did not even equal a week of the murder inflicted on the Muslim people by the American imperialist agenda, yet the United States unanimously viewed these attacks as a justification to kill additional hundreds of thousands of Muslims. America props up brutal dictators on our soil simply because they are friendly and they control the oil. America’s military supports the Israeli regime which stole the land it controls from Muslims. The closest thing it has done to helping the Palestinian people is to periodically give fewer munitions to Israel for them to kill Palestinians with. How can anyone possibly champion the values of such a people? In the last century only the Soviet regime and the Maoist regime murdered more innocent people than America. Not even the tyrant of the twentieth century, Adolf Hitler, beats out America on this list. However, for some reason the makers of South Park in their self-righteous obscenity feel compelled to impose upon Muslims the values of this regime. Furthermore, they felt compelled to do it through the mocking of the man whom we hold in the highest esteem, whose honor we would die for, the Messenger of Allah Muhammad bin ‘Abdullah (peace be upon him).

Furthermore this is a regime which openly says it is in a “battle of the hearts and minds” to change Islam in its policy papers, but then its leaders stand on the pulpit and deny this. For one to understand this literal war on Islam, then I refer you to the document, “Civil Democratic Islam” by the RAND Institute. There are many more documents of this nature even emanating from organizations such as the Air Force. If America was openly engaged in a campaign to change Christianity or Judaism, do you not think there would be outrage and sensitivity from these communities? It sounds like a conspiracy theory, but anyone with half an hour of free time can easily find these comments in any number of policy documents. Furthermore they can find evidence of America supporting certain scholars of Islam and hiding others with American taxpayer dollars. It is only natural for a group which is under an ideological assault from the United States to be hostile toward anything coming from an American citizen which is mocking this group.

While the makers of South Park are probably unaware of these issues, and they are merely pawns in a dangerous game, they are playing right into the hands of those who wish to change our religion. The destruction of the Islamic identity is not something which Muslims can tolerate, and this is something being directly funded by the American regime. It is no secret that America’s military uses American goods to spread its culture and propaganda in order to create docile societies. Just look at Somalia where the World Food Program refused to buy domestic food in favor of American food. How do you think Obama would feel if the flag of Al-Qa’ida was stamped on his coffee mug and there was nothing he could do about it? The issue of the honor of our Prophet (peace be upon him) is an issue of honor for this entire nation. Perhaps honor is a dead value in the West, but it will never die in the hearts of this Ummah (nation).

Free speech is a vital tool in the staving of oppression, but this function has its limits. It is hard to understand how one can feel self-righteous while defending somebody as an "equal opportunity offender." Such an illogical state of mind could only emanate from a selfish culture in which the suffering of the many is justified by the enjoyment of the few. And it may be an American "value" that all speech should be free including that which is obscene and aimed at emotionally oppressing a specific group of people, but this is not a value that the Muslims share with America as a whole. In fact, one of the major reasons there is such little opposition to American domination today is the reality that the principle of free speech, as envisioned by the founding fathers of the United States and by wise men and women throughout the ages, is a universal principle that may protect citizens from political, economic, or religious persecution. Today it is understood much differently; today “free speech” is interpreted as the right to promote pornography, homosexuality, slander, and libel against even that which is considered sacred. Indeed, it is in the shifting away from this conceptualization that America first deviated from its position as republic and assumed the role of global empire.

Is there a purpose, other than evil, in insulting something someone holds sacred? While insulting Jesus, Moses, or any other prophet would remove someone from Islam, we Muslims are also forbidden to insult the deities that other religions hold in high esteem. Allah says in the Qur'an:

وَلاَ تَسُبُّواْ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ فَيَسُبُّواْ اللّهَ عَدْوًا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ

Revile not those unto whom they pray beside Allah lest they wrongfully revile Allah through ignorance
Therefore, as Muslims we do not define speech which has no place in a moral society as "free speech." Furthermore, we will never tolerate the mocking or insulting of any one of the prophets, peace be upon them, from any source even if it was the Caliph (leader) of the entire Muslim world. It is truly sad that we did not speak out when they first insulted 'Isa (Jesus), Musa (Moses), or even the first time they mocked the final prophet Muhammad, peace be upon them all. However, simply because they have done something in the past and there was no outcry does not justify our silence in the present.

As for the Islamic ruling on the situation, then this is clear. There is no difference of opinion from those with any degree of a reputation that the punishment is death. Ibn Taymiyyah a great scholar of Islam says, "Whoever curses the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) -a Muslim or a non Muslim- then he must be killed...and this is the opinion of the general body of Islamic scholars.”

Likewise Ibn Mundhir, another classical scholar, said, "It is the consensus (ijma’) of our scholars that the one who curses the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) should be executed!"

This is also the opinion of Imams Malik, al-Laith, Ahmed, Ishaq, Shafi'i, and Numan Abu Haneefah.

This shows that taking this stance is virtually obligatory, but it does not mean that our taking this stance is in some way an absolute call toward the requirement that the creators of South Park must be killed, nor a deliberate attempt at incitement, it is only to declare the truth regardless of consequence and to offer an awareness in the mind of Westerners when they consider doing the same thing.

Many are proclaiming that the South Park episode’s insult was minimal and some might inquire about a situation where the insult is not that great. The renowned scholar Imam Malik said, "If someone says that the button of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is dirty, then he should be executed!"

And then Qadi I'yad says, "And we don't know any different opinion, this is a consensus and we don't know any different opinion!"

Before continuing it must be made clear that anyone who knows anything about Usool ul-Fiqh (the fundamentals of jurisprudence) knows that ijma' (consensus) is a hujjah (proof) as the Prophet, salaa Allahu 'alayhi wa salam, said, "My Ummah cannot have consensus on something that is wrong." This means that the above opinions are the accepted opinions and these statements are proof that this is the case. While the details of this conversation may have lost our non-Muslim audience in evidences from the religion we implore you to read on and advise you that the system of law in Islam, known as shariah, is the most amazing thing the mind could ever encounter.

In the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) two key events stand out that provide evidence for the permissibility and indeed preference for retaliation against those that insult him. In the first, a blind Muslim man who had a Jewish wife (and some say servant) assassinated his wife when she continuously cursed and mocked Muhammad (peace be upon him). In the other, a Jewish poet by the name of Ka’b bin al-Ashraf was killed for his poetry insulting the Prophet even though he was living under peaceful covenant with the Muslims and was within his own territory. If anyone is in need of details and sources for these occurrences feel free to contact us and we will forward them to serious inquirers. At this point, it must be known that this is the position in Islam, that there is consensus in it and that for those that argue the harm coming as a consequence exceeds the benefit, then they should know that this is at best an argument that entails a difference of opinion although the evidence suggests that adopting the platform that we ourselves have taken is best.

The law, known as shariah, in Islam is sacred and it is for no man to change, alter, or disregard when reacting to events like the recent degrading of the Prophet Muhammad (saws) on South Park. Indeed there is an Islamic ruling on nearly every affair and Muslims must seek their response in the religion and not in the personal desire and false manipulation of subjective introspection via philosophy or, as in most cases, emotional attachment to socialized norms.
Allah says in the Quran, “And do not clothe the truth with the falsehood, nor hide the truth while you know (2:42).”

It is not for us to convey what we desire but to convey the religion in its entirety no matter the consequence.

Allah also says in the Quran, “Surely you can have no true faith until you refer to the Prophet Muhammad in all your affairs. (4:65).”

Thus the postings that have caused so much controversy on with regard to this matter were actually not the publication of the opinion of some Muslims but a referral and deferment to Islamic Law, thus fulfilling our divine obligation to command the good and forbid the evil by teaching and preaching the religion of Islam no matter how strange that way of life may seem to some. This is a divine order, obligatory for at least some Muslims in any community to fulfill. Allah says,

وَلْتَكُن مِّنكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain felicity. (3:104)
Ibn Kathir, in his renown exogenesis of the Holy Quran says that this is not restricted to people with official authority, or in this case is not restricted to those that are seeking appeasements with the American Empire who are in actuality from amongst its staunchest allies, those who despite this claim to be Muslim and have been granted positions of leadership here in this country. Ibn Kathir states, “The objective of this Ayah is that there should be a segment of this Muslim Ummah fulfilling this task, even though it is also an obligation on every member of this Ummah, each according to his ability. Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَنْ رَأَى مِنْكُمْ مُنْكَرًا فَلْيُغَيِّرْهُ بِيَدِهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِلِسَانِهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِع فَبِقَلْبِهِ، وَذلِكَ أَضْعَفُ الْإِيمَان

“Whoever among you witnesses an evil, let him change it with his hand. If he is unable, then let him change it with his tongue. If he is unable, then let him change it with his heart, and this is the weakest faith.”

Speaking out against ending this kind of insult toward the Prophet Muhammad is completely in line with the tenets of the religion. Indeed we find it to be a tragedy that there has been virtually no reaction from the so-called leaders of the Muslim community whom CNN and other organizations tout as representing “mainstream Islam.” We are saddened by the fact that this story is about what we have said rather than the impact it has on the Muslims as a whole.
Thus our position remains that it is likely the creators of South Park will indeed end up like Theo Van Gogh. This is a reality. The story is already getting international attention and the journalism oversees is not as objective as it is here. In fact, we can tell you with certainty that at least one Dutch newspaper has completely made up quotations to make their story more sensational. We are not trying to directly incite violence, but we are trying to explain the gravity of the situation and prevent this from occurring ever again. As stated in the words of the Prophet (peace be upon him) above, if one cannot alter the situation with their hand then they must speak out against it and try to change it that way.

We would also like Mr. Parker and Mr. Stone to understand the tastelessness of their portrayal, apologize and reflect on the words that follow. An apology or at least recognition of bad taste might not remedy the situation, but it would go a long way toward turning this situation from a gaping wound into an ugly scar. Any Muslim that condones this type of behavior or minimizes it does not fulfill the obligation of hating it with his or her heart and thus, as is stated emphatically in the hadith, may fall outside the necessary status of holding onto even the weakest of faith. Many conquered peopled become completely oblivious to the function of their oppressor in enslaving their minds so we seek no harm against them, but do hope that they may be inspired to adopt a proactive stance and work alongside us in the struggle to liberate Islam and Muslims from foreign control.

Individual Muslims may react in quite the same manner as those non-Muslims, claiming that we are making Islam look backwards and ancient, overreacting and bringing about more harm than good. These same individuals decry every act of so-called terrorism while remaining completely silent in the face of U.S. terror; every time a leader of those courageously defending occupied Muslim lands from occupation is killed or captured they applaud. They constantly sit silent as tanks and troopers are deployed and have little to say as the empire expands. In fact, they hurry to the American Empire to let them know they are with them, at least in some of the matter. Today, as Obama perpetuates a War on Islam, they perpetuate the tale that the United States is at war with a fringe group of extremists. Allah explains this phenomenon in the Quran by saying,

فَتَرَى الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ يُسَارِعُونَ فِيهِمْ يَقُولُونَ نَخْشَى أَن تُصِيبَنَا دَآئِرَةٌ فَعَسَى اللّهُ أَن يَأْتِيَ
بِالْفَتْحِ أَوْ أَمْرٍ مِّنْ عِندِهِ فَيُصْبِحُواْ عَلَى مَا أَسَرُّواْ فِي أَنْفُسِهِمْ نَادِمِينَ

Those in whose hearts is a disease - you see how eagerly they run about amongst them, saying: "We do fear that a change of fortune may bring us disaster." Ah! perhaps Allah will give you victory, or a decision according to His will. Then will they repent of the thoughts which they secretly harbored in their hearts

Today Muslims the world over run and say that Muslims like us do not represent Islam, as if in some way speaking out against imperialism is in fact causing it. In order to survive, empires must conscript support, and they usually impose loyal indigenous elite over the lands they conquer. Oftentimes these loyal elite find ways of influencing the home front as well. Empire is primarily concerned with preserving political, economic, and military dominance and therefore tends to portray itself as tolerant and pluralistic of the cultures and customs of they come to conquer. However, a closer objective analysis always reveals that this tolerance is a guise of strategy and is only apparent where the conquered are willing to retain personal customs and control in exchange for the sacrifice of indigenous sovereignty over wealth, natural resource, and political decision. Thus while empires rape and extract the material wealth of the people they dominate, they grant the seeming retention of indigenous language, custom, religion and the like.
In reality, this focus on power and control leads to the actual loss of spiritual, psychological, and emotional health and, as an oligarchy is imposed, the educated class is granted modest concessions and then political and economic rights of the general people are violated for the long term. This requires that what a conquered people consider sacred must be portrayed as backwards. While this process tends to occur subconsciously it leads to a sense of power and privilege on the home shores of the imperialist, and that serves as a justification for the atrocities committed and thereby minimized on the frontier. The term “sand-nigger” or “camel jockey” did not start with American soldiers on the ground in Iraq, but was a phrase coined during Britain’s imperialist adventure in the Middle East. The ‘other’s’ culture and custom must always be degraded in order to retain a justification for physical domination. Media always plays a role in perpetuating these ideas.

The process of imperialism thereafter splits a conquered people up into two camps: the good and the bad. The good are those who accept domination and vie for safety by adopting the position that the Empire is not an imperialist entity at all, but rather a liberator – the bad are those that refuse to sacrifice autonomy and continue to fight on… Americans should be all too familiar with the process; the very foundation of their nation is built upon the genocide of the indigenous Native Americans. So too then in its occurrence, ‘good’ Indians collaborated with American settlers against the ‘bad’ Indians; they demonized them for fighting and not accepting defeat and were subsequently displayed by the imperialist power as proof for the benign nature of America’s early expansion. The genocide of Indians would have been impossible without their collaboration. We face similar situations as Muslims today.

This phenomenon is true of Babylonian, Greek, Roman, Persian, Dutch, and British empires as well. Indeed all imperialist powers employ the same means of control. The creators of South Park so too emulate this process in their work and in their own right contribute greatly to the passive acceptance of a sick status quo. The contemporary American Empire is dependent on a hedonistic, consumerist mindset that effectively numbs the general world populace and keeps them ignorant and oblivious to the imperialist reality.

We saw this clearly when the attacks on September 11th, 2001 occurred. Americans were told that this was due to Muslims hating their freedom and democracy, and they were never told that the perpetrators of the attack cited the death of millions of Muslims at the hands of U.S. foreign policy. With the help of media, Americans are kept oblivious to the heinous crimes of the empire overseas and especially in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past eight years by a complacent news media and garbage consumerist television shows like South Park which serve as the new opiate of the masses. All one has to do to see the impact Matt Stone and Trey Parker have had in spreading Islamophobia already is to go on any rightwing extremist website like the Jawa Report and count the number of times the words “Derka Derka Muhammad Jihad” are written. Furthermore, when one logs on to these sites they will see the inconceivable volume of people who call for the eradication of all Muslims around the world.

While we are often labeled a hate site, we do not call people to this type of filth. In the past some members did do that and we wish to distance ourselves from that at this point. The genocide of the Jews was a terrible event that should never be allowed to repeat itself. However, their genocide is not a justification to replicate the Warsaw Ghetto in the city of Gaza. Similarly it is a justification for neither imposing an apartheid rule on a people nor even forcing them to change their preferred system of government.

One of the only ways we could ever end American Imperialism would be to take away the ideological justification it finds through its mainstream media outlets. It should be apparent that we perceive this incident not in isolation, but as part of a broader narrative that is part and parcel of a much more complex and deeply seeded crisis.

Thomas Friedman, a proponent of this empire, explains the contemporary order is sustained by, “the presence of American power and America’s willingness to use that power against those who would threaten the system of globalization… The hidden hand of the market will never work without the fist,” but it is also true that the hidden hand of the market would never work without a mind-numbing American media that can help to pacify those that would otherwise stand opposed to the economic domination and the military domination it is dependent upon. The stance that we have taken is a derivative of this much deeper war, and our intention is not only to fulfill the command of forbidding evil in Islam but to engage both Muslims and non-Muslims alike in a much deeper discussion. Certainly, the mainstream media will never allow that to happen, but there are massive alternative opportunities in this era known as the Age of Information. It should be understood that we will not lie down and accept America’s imperialist conquest of Muslim lands. We will speak against any and all activities that lead to the perpetuation of this empire. The South Park episode does that by portraying the most important individual for Muslims, presently the predominant one’s being conquered, as backwards and irrational. This gives cause and justification to the narrative the empire is not conquering at all and instead is attempting to liberate and this reality must be addressed and confronted head on.

Finally, Allah says in the Quran,

انْفِرُواْ خِفَافًا وَثِقَالاً وَجَاهِدُواْ بِأَمْوَالِكُمْ وَأَنفُسِكُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

Go forth, whether light or heavy, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the way of Allah! That is best for you if you but knew.

In the end, we seek justice and preservation of Islamic religious beliefs and culture. We will not stand passive and silent in these tumultuous times. We implore conscious people everywhere to do the same and we are open to the advice, suggestions, and general conversation with all those that would like to engage in detailed discussion, we plan on hosting some open dialogue opportunities as soon as our website is back up and running. We call humanity to the solution that is the religion of Islam and to recognize the beauty of this fabulous religion given by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to the entire world.

We hope that the creators of South Park may read this and respond, that before sending hate mail and condemning us that we may partake in dialogue, and that the Western media’s degradation of the most blessed of men ceases. Otherwise we warn all that many reactions will not involve speech, and that defending those that insult, belittle, or degrade the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is a requirement of the religion. As Osama bin Laden said with regard to the cartoons of Denmark, “If there is no check in the freedom of your words, then let your hearts be open to the freedom of our actions.”

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