Friday, August 03, 2012

Insulting other people’s deities / gods

As human beings, we will always differ amongst ourselves, from small things to the big, likewise. This is true, including when it comes to what we believe in. All of us have a degree of certainty in what we believe in, based on what we know and understand, despite it having the possibility of being right or wrong.

At times, our differences can cause friction and tension between us. It’s natural, as long we don't go overboard with it. But unfortunately, we often do (go overboard with it). In the name of freedom of speech, we often disrespect and insult the party that we differ with. So much so we curse that what is most sacred to our opposition.

We see this all the time. As a Muslim, I often feel angry, sad and depressed when people mock at what I believe in. This feeling is perhaps mutual amongst Muslims everywhere. And unfortunately, instead of giving a noble response (to explain clearly why we are offended and try to build bridges to eradicate the misunderstanding), we often get trapped into becoming as bad as the people who insulted us, i.e. we also insult what is sacred to them.

It is a common sight where burning or abusing the national flag becomes a form of retaliation towards insults by a person of a certain nationality. I remember a couple of years ago when the infamous comics from Denmark came out. Muslims were understandably angry and hurt by the incident. But it still doesn't justify acts of flag burnings and the sorts.

We are strictly ordered to not insult or mock what other people deem as sacred, and the national flag is one example. Many people still deem the national flag as a kind of deity that they worship (consciously or not). The Olympics that is taking place is a testimony of this.

What is most important is to try and build bridges and introduce Islam to people who are misinformed. But this is an impossible task to accomplish if we ourselves are ignorant of what we say is our way of life.