There's no room for retaliation in Islam
This won't be very long; I'm exhausted, overwhelmed.
Tired of the debilitating effects of enduring the news of one tragedy after another. But when you're in the news and media industry, you have to sew your heart a bit. You have to remind yourself why you're here, or the heaviness will drown you.
The fatal uproar that followed the published cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo, was a disgrace to the prophet's name, and a disgrace to freedom of expression.
Sympathizers of the extreme reactions say there is no place for freedom of expression in Islam, anyways. But what a statement to make when the intrinsic nature of the rich Islamic history was fed and fueled by creativity and invention.
What a claim to make when the Prophet Muhammad himself endured so many insults. Did the perpetrators at all recall the onerous humiliation the Prophet himself underwent at the spark of his faith? Hundreds of treasured, preserved anecdotes about him tell of the dung that was thrown onto his back as he knelt in prayer, to which he never retaliated. Or the time when he tore off the sleeve of his cloak so as not to wake a sleeping kitten that lay on it. Or the time when he stood up during the passing funeral of a Jew because, as he said, "Is it not a human soul?"
He once said, "Be kind, for whenever kindness becomes part of something, it beautifies it. Whenever it is taken from something, it leaves it tarnished."
If he responded with beautiful patience when he was alive and breathing, withstanding insults with poised resilience, who are we to rise in uproar out of "respect" for him?
A scribble humoring anyone — including the Prophet Muhammad — will only be as nominal as the ink with which it's printed. It doesn't take away the mark the beloved has left on the world.
My deep prayers and condolences for the lives lost and affected — the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, the French Muslims facing hate crimes — in this long-winded adversity.
Can we each hope and pray to collectively adorn our hearts with whatever strength is needed to maintain borderless solidarity?
Nada Hassanein is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @nhassanein_ or email her at NadaH@CentralFloridaFuture.com.