November 6, 2020
In Blog News
The status of the Prophet in the eyes of Muslims
[…] This great Prophet is regarded by the unanimity of Muslims throughout history, until this day and until Judgment Day —it will always be like this—, as worthy of all their love, passion, respect, consideration and sanctification, more than anything they can feel for any other human being in terms of love, respect and sanctification. No other Prophet, Messenger, Close Friend of God, Imam, Righteous or Chosen one throughout history (has such a lofty status). All Muslims have an exceptional esteem, a special faith, a very unique love for this person, this man, this personality.
Muslims can differ on many things, and this has happened (many times) throughout history: they have differed on all kinds of issues, whether disputes of thought and intellect, of dogma, of jurisprudence, about what is lawful and what is forbidden, about the evaluation of events in the history of the Muslim world and the status of some personalities, etc. Today, in our time, important and major political questions can separate and oppose Muslims, even struggles and (inter-Muslim) wars, etc. But there are points and questions on which there is unanimity, on which Muslims have never been divided throughout history, and which will remain unchanged until Judgment Day. One of the most important points of convergence, which unanimously unites Muslims, is their faith in Muhammad son of Abdallah, peace and blessings of God upon him and his family, their faith in his quality as Messenger and Prophet, in his unique character, in his (supreme) status and in his (unparalleled) place. Muslims consider him as the Seal of the Prophets —there will be no Prophet after him—, the Master of Messengers, the best of creatures, the most perfect creation, the most perfect and noblest man (of all), the creature closest to God the Most High and the Exalted, the one whom God loves and cherishes the most. This is how Muslims regard this Messenger and this Prophet.
This faith is so great, the love of Muslims for the Prophet is such that they are ready to sacrifice their blood, their flesh, their whole being to him, they are ready to sacrifice their life, their soul, their mind, their heart. This is not a theoretical, philosophical, cultural or intellectual faith, no. There is an emotional and sentimental relationship, an (exceptional) attachment of soul and spirit (of every Muslim) for the Messenger of God, peace and blessings of God upon him and his family, (which manifests itself) when required, and it will always be required. They have the greatest respect for him here on earth, and know his status and his preeminent place in the Hereafter (alongside God). All of this should be kept in mind in the points I will now address. Because the consequence of all this is that it is impossible for Muslims to tolerate the slightest insult, the least offense against this greatest Prophet. Because (all) Muslims consider that defending the dignity of their Prophet is the highest priority, which takes precedence over all other calculations, over all other interests –whether political, economic, concerning means of subsistence, etc. Absolutely no concern can come before this issue. This is the highest priority for Muslims, (under all circumstances). Muslims can not (ever) tolerate or forgive attacks on the dignity of their Prophet, nor never be silent in the face of such attacks, and that is why they react (with great virulence) to any action or behavior that involves an insult, outrage or offense against the greatest of God’s Messengers, peace and blessings of God upon him and his family.
The situation in France: condemnation of the attack in Nice
I now come to the first point of my speech this evening, namely the current problem… This is not a problem limited to one country, or to Muslims in a specific country, but it concerns all Muslims in the world. I am talking about the current problem that the highest French authorities have with Islam and with Muslims. And I will express myself in a calm, precise and rational manner, in order to dissect this problem and seek ways of solving it. My goal is to find a solution, not to reinforce enmities or hostilities, nor to seek new enemies.
I will start by (evoking) the last event, so that the false does not mix with the truth, nor the truth with the false, which would annihilate all truth and justice. I begin with the event in the city of Nice, in France, where a Muslim man killed three people and injured others. This attack —I start from the end to go back to the beginning—, we condemn it (very) strongly, and the Muslims (clearly) condemned it, each from his position: whether they are scholars, religious dignitaries or politicians, the entire Muslim world and the Muslim authorities in France and in Europe and everywhere else (have clearly condemned it). This attack is rejected and condemned by Islam itself, and no one should attribute it to Islam. Islam and the Muslim religion reject it, because they (formally) prohibit killing the innocent, attacking them or inflicting any harm on them, whatever their beliefs or convictions. And any similar attack that has taken place in the past, or that will happen in the future, will always be in our eyes, Muslims, and primarily from the point of view of Islam, rejected and condemned (with the greatest firmness), wherever it occurs, whatever the target, whether in France or anywhere else in the world. This point must be clearly established, as a principle and as a basis, so that our position is quite clear thereafter.
Terrorism and Islam: the unacceptable confusion of the French authorities
My second point concerning this question is that the French authorities, and all the other authorities, do not have the right to pin the responsibility for a crime perpetrated by a single person on his religion, nor on the followers of the religion to which he belongs. To put it more clearly, if a crime is perpetrated by a Muslim, no one has the right to blame Islam for that crime, and no one has the right to blame it on Muslims in France or around the world. Because it is an incorrect, unfair, illegitimate, illegal and immoral attitude. When a person commits a crime, it is he who must be held responsible for that crime, whatever his motivations, even if that person considers himself driven by religious considerations. If, for example, and these are things that are happening in France and in Europe, and elsewhere in the world —I am going to speak only of Muslims and Christians, I will not speak of Jews—, if a Christian man commits such a crime, which has already happened in France —and in France, most crimes are not committed by Muslims, even if the media insist on Muslim crimes and hide others, but those who follow this closely and check the statistics know it—, would it be right for anyone to pin the responsibility of this crime on our Master (Jesus Christ) the Messiah, peace be upon him, God forbid? Would it be right to blame it on the Christian religion, or on Christians around the world? Or on the Christians in the country in which the crime was committed? No one would accept such a confusion. But unfortunately, this is how the French authorities behave (towards Muslims). When President Macron and other French officials speak of “Islamist terrorism”, which someone translated as “Islamic terrorism”, which is the same thing, when they speak of “Islamist terrorism” or “Islamist fascism”… There is no such thing! “Islamist terrorism”, no more than “Islamist fascism”, do not exist. If someone commits a terrorist act, he is the terrorist. If anyone commits a crime, he is the criminal. But to speak of “Islamist terrorism” or “Islamist fascism” (is misleading & unacceptable).
Today, the United States are carrying out massacres all over the world. Since 2000 alone, since September 11, 2001, the wars they have waged in Afghanistan, Iraq and the entire Middle East, not to mention the world wars, Hiroshima, etc. Let’s only talk about what the current generations have gone through. Millions of people have been killed in these wars, and Americans admit killing hundreds of thousands of people, sometimes claiming it was by mistake, like the bombing of wedding ceremonies in Afghanistan, or as a deliberate act. Does anyone claim, because the American President and his administration are of the Christian religion [and often use biblical rhetoric], as are the majority of American soldiers [at least culturally], is anyone claiming that American terrorism is Christian terrorism? Does anyone claim that the responsible for these massacres is our Master the Messiah, God forbid, or the Christian religion, whose values and teachings (clearly) oppose these terrorist acts? Not to mention what the European armies, including the French army, did when they invaded Algeria and perpetrated atrocious crimes there, and what others have done in Libya and elsewhere in our region. No Muslim has denounced “Christian terrorism” or blamed the Christian religion [or Republican & Democratic ideals] for these crimes, never. And if anyone made such a claim, he would be sorely mistaken. But there is no such tendency (to accuse Christianity) in the Muslim world.
Therefore, it is unacceptable, when a Muslim, a Christian, a Jew or a follower of any religion or thought, commits a crime, to attach the responsibility for it on his religion, or on the Prophet of his religion, or on the community that believes in this religion. To impute responsibility & liability to a whole group or religion is a (serious) mistake. And it must stop. But unfortunately, France and its officials make this confusion every day. After that, they claim that they respect the Muslim religion, but if this is really the case, they must give up the expression “Islamist terrorism” or “Islamist fascism”, and stop following Trump, who has made his specialty of this type of expression.
ISIS and Charlie Hebdo are both despicable
Third, in the last few days, we have heard a lot of criticism that instead of being concerned about some people who insult the Prophet and Islam, Muslims had better deal first with the Muslims who smear Islam and the Prophet (by their behavior). I would like to say on this subject that it is obvious that some Muslims smear Islam, that some Muslims smear the Prophet of Islam, peace and blessings of God be upon him and his family, and that some commit very, very, very, very, very dangerous (and serious) offenses (against Islam). What we have seen in recent years in terms of terrorist acts, crimes, destruction of mosques, churches, historical remains, murders, beheadings, butchered chests, assassinations of innocent people from various peoples and various beliefs, slaughtered like sheep, so many atrocious images that the western media have also spread to the world, this is undoubtedly a very great insult that was done (by ISIS) to our religion and to our Prophet. We strongly opposed this, and clearly condemned it (in addition to having fought and defeated ISIS in Syria, Iraq, etc.).
But even in the hypothesis —and this is not a mere hypothesis, it is a reality— where some Muslims smear our Prophet, that is no reason for you to smear our Prophet too. If some of you blaspheme what you consider holy, does that give us the right to do the same? It is completely absurd. Prophets, Messengers, religions, religious symbols and all that is holy must be respected, even if some followers of these religions sully and desecrate them.
Terrorists are the West’s creatures, not Islam’s
Fourth, and I continue to address French officials and the public opinion, instead of blaming Islam and Muslims for these terrorist acts that occur in France, Europe and elsewhere, let us rather seek together your responsibility, your own responsibility for these acts and the (existence of) these (terrorist) groups. Let’s go back (in time) a bit. Again, no need to go back 50 years, just go back ten years, to 2011. There is a takfiri and terrorist thought that supports the murder of anyone who has a difference of opinion, of thought, of dogma, of religious school, of politics or on the smallest other detail. And the followers of this thought perpetrate monstrous crimes. You are the ones who protected this thought, you Americans, the American administration, the French government, the European governments. You protected them. You gave them all the help in the world. For those who are followers of other thoughts, it is very difficult to obtain visas to come and work in your countries. But as for the followers of takfiri thought, all the doors were opened to them, and they were protected. These groups which have been formed and which are followers of this takfiri thought, it is you who facilitated their access to Syria and Iraq. You have contributed to their support, their funding and their armament, to the point that they have acquired experience, expertise, a fighting spirit, etc. And I ask you the question: after all this, are you surprised that there are slaughterings, beheadings? But where did it start? It started in our region, in our countries. Who committed these acts? The very terrorist groups that you have supported politically, financially, in the media, in terms of communication… You have granted them international protection, you have organized international conferences to support them. You opened up all the borders to them, you provided them with passports, and you made it easier for them to come to the region. So start by looking for your own responsibility. Ask yourself how responsible you are for all of this.
I invite you to consult the archives for the years 2011-2012, whether in my statements or those of other people. We have urged you many times, especially the Europeans, not to participate in this world war against Syria, against Iraq and against our region —they failed to extend it to Lebanon (thanks to Hezbollah). We have told you many times not to embrace these terrorist groups, not to support them, not to facilitate their coming (from all over the world) and their strengthening. Because you will lose this battle, and these terrorists will turn against you. This (takfiri) thought will turn against you. These groups and these fighters will return to your countries and sow terror and chaos there. And whatever they’ve done in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and elsewhere, they’re going to come back to you.
And that day, we told you clearly that the United States was very far, and that Europe was the area closest to our region (and would therefore be the preferred destination of these terrorists), and that the greatest threat therefore hung over Europe. We have warned you and urged you to be cautious. But you got carried away by your arrogance and your malice, and did not accept our exhortations. You thought you were going to win this war, and we know the outcome you were hoping for.
Today, you also need to question your own responsibility, and stop blaming those who have no responsibility. What is the relation between the Prophet of Islam, Mohammad b. Abdillah, peace and blessings be upon him, and these crimes? What is the relation between his religion, his Islam and his Quran with these crimes? What is the relation between the Muslim Community of 2 billion Muslims and these crimes? Those who are responsible for these crimes are people you embraced, protected, raised, to whom you have granted all the help in the world, whom you have brought (to Syria & Irak from everywhere). And it is this policy that must be reconsidered, because until now, you persist in this direction, you still carry out the same policies.
Otherwise… I repeat with the same words I used then (in 2012), when we chose our side: I said we would never be on the side of the head-cutters, the chest-rippers, the (human) liver-eaters, the cut-throats. These people were your allies, the groups that you supported, that you protected. Therefore, it is you, the French, the Europeans, the Americans and their allies in the region who must reconsider your actions and behavior, and renounce the use of these terrorist groups as instruments in the service of (your) political projects and (your) war projects. And you never learn (from your mistakes). In Afghanistan, that is what you did (against the USSR), and you paid the price on September 11 (2001). You made those mistakes, and you make them again, always the same mistakes, the same mistakes, the same mistakes. The use of these kinds of (terrorist) groups as instruments must stop, otherwise you will also pay the price for these mistakes.
France embarks on an insane crusade against Islam
Fifth, the French authorities have launched a battle against Islam and Muslims for illusory, and sometimes incomprehensible reasons. They dragged France as a whole in this battle, and they are trying to drag all of Europe behind them. I speak with caution, and I’m not here to score points. What is the cause of the recent problem, the recent developments that we have seen in the last few weeks? So much so that it became clear that France, its President, its government, its ministers, Parliament, the media, the street, etc., are very clearly engaged in an open war (against Islam and Muslims). What’s the cause? Who started this problem? Who assaulted the other? Who insulted the other?
The problem started when this hypocritical and infamous French newspaper (Charlie Hebdo) started piblishing cartoons insulting the Prophet of Islam, peace and blessings of God upon him and his family. And now Muslims are denouncing it in many parts of the world. Then it developed into several events, up to the History Professor who was killed and beheaded. Instead of trying to solve this problem, get it under control and take a fair and measured stance, consisting in preventing the confusion of the true and the false and to mix everything, as they say in Lebanon, (by spreading confusion between Islam and terrorism, free speech and hate speech…), because there is an essential cause which led to all these developments…
Instead of acting on the causes (I will come back to this at the end of my speech), the French authorities have acted on the consequences. Unfortunately, what happened is that the French authorities, instead of solving this problem, declared war on Islam and Muslims, and stubbornly and obstinately stuck (to their error), claiming that it was all about freedom of speech, and that France would persist in exercising this freedom of speech, in protecting & publishing those outrageous cartoons, which is absolutely insane (it is a capital mistake). France wants to persist in protecting & publishing those outrageous cartoons. So what is your message to 2 billion Muslims around the world? Because we are not talking about politics, money, economy, security struggle, etc., no! We are talking about the Prophet, the Messenger, the Master of Muslims, and I explained very well at the beginning of my speech what he represents for them. So what is the thing that would deserve these sacrifices on your part (state of maximum alert, loss of human life, etc.), O French authorities? What is it that justifies you endorsing it all, justifying it and defending it, protecting it by starting such a battle, embracing it? You claim that it is in the name of your values, including freedom of speech, and that you do not want to give up those values. All right, let’s debate that then. I said from the start that I wanted to speak in a calm and rational manner.
Freedom of speech has no limits only when speaking about Muslims
The first debate is about the way (this principle) is exercised, and the confrontation of your statements (in favor of freedom of speech) with reality. If things were really as you say, if things were really that way in France or in Europe (that is to say if freedom of speech was total there), perhaps we could say that indeed, the problem should be solved differently (than by banning these cartoons). But this is not the case. You must first convince Muslims that your claims are true and sincere, which is by no means a given, because Muslims do not accept your claims as a reality. Your claim is neither true nor sincere. We have a large amount of evidence and examples in France and in Europe where official actions have prevented freedom of speech, and even suppressed freedom of speech, for things that are much less sensitive than an issue that touches a Prophet in whom 2 billion people in the world believe.
In order not to waste too much time, I will be satisfied with a single example, well known, and which does not need much explanation, namely the French philosopher Roger Garaudy. One can easily find (the details of this case) in archives, televisions, official documents, videos, statements, etc. It all exists. All this man did was write a book, a study, on the founding myths of the Israeli genocide, namely the Holocaust. He proposed a rational debate, putting forward figures and discussing them, proposing a scientific and academic reflection on this subject, and speaking of the political instrumentalisation of this event. And let us recall that to this day, Europe and in particular Germany are still victims of a racketeering of international Zionism because of this issue. This man (Garaudy) neither insulted, offended, denigrated nor caricatured anyone, nor did he mention the Jewish religion. He only discussed an important event that happened in Europe.
What did the French authorities do in the face of this French philosopher? Judicial proceedings were launched against him, he was tried, and sentenced to prison. It was perhaps his advanced age that prevented him from serving his prison sentence. This man was (severely) repressed. Is this freedom of expression? Is this the value that you (claim) to defend? Because in reality, what we can say (to accurately describe the reality) is that when a certain community is affected (the Jews), when it comes to Israel or the Zionists, there are clear limits imposed to the freedom of speech. But when it comes to another community, an entire Ummah, 2 billion people, when it comes to their holiest things, then there is total freedom of speech.
The example of Roger Garaudy, and many other examples that may be compiled on another occasion, confirms that freedom of speech in France and in Europe is not absolute, but hampered by legal, political, security limits, etc. [let us remind that in France, anything that can disturb public order, even without being illegal, can be prohibited]. This claim that freedom of speech is total (in France), and that anyone can say and do whatever they want, that any newspaper can disparagingly caricature the Prophet of Islam, or that someone could make a movie in which they make fun of the Prophet of Islam, this would not pose any problem, because freedom (of speech) is absolute, this claim is false. And if you want, some another time, we can present you with countless examples (of repression of freedom of speech in France). That is why this argument is inadmissible, and the whole battle you are waging today (against Islam) is based on non-existent and unreal foundations. The situation in France is not one of unlimited freedom of speech. We can make a whole list of your censorship of TV channels, newspapers, magazines, etc., on the pretext that they support a particular thought, or have broadcast particular programs and series (see for example the ban on the Al-Manar channel on the pretext of anti-Semitism). All of this can easily be found in the archives. So much for the first point.
On September 18, 2012, following the broadcast of excerpts from a blasphemous film about the Prophet produced in the United States, entitled Innocence of Muslims, Hezbollah called its supporters to a huge demonstration to denounce this attack on Islam and Muslims. Over a hundred thousand people took to the streets of Beirut to proclaim their attachment to the Prophet and their rejection of any attack on his dignity. To everyone’s surprise, Nasrallah participated in person (remember that the Israeli, Western and Gulf secret services have made his elimination a priority), and delivered the above speech, one of the most vocal to date. Without the ravages of the coronavirus, it is likely that Hezbollah & Iran would have expressed outrage against Charlie Hebdo and Macron in a similar fashion.
The Rational and Moral Limits of Freedom of Speech
The second aspect (of this argument), which is equally important, is that even if this value of free speech was (really) fundamental and absolute to you, can it be considered as such when it is exercised in this form? Coming back to fundamental humanitarian and ethical values, can we claim that there should be absolute freedom of speech? Should it not refrain from crossing certain limits? Why must freedom of speech stop in the face of anti-Semitism? Does freedom of speech make it possible to insult others, to humiliate them, to undermine their dignity, to defame them, to slander them, to falsely blame them for crimes for example [cf. the Charlie Hebdo cartoons representing the Prophet, and therefore all Muslims, as a terrorist, and his religion as sh***]? And would it be fair to tolerate it? [Let us remember that Charlie Hebdo has been condemned 9 times by French Courts for libel].
If a person, in the name of freedom of speech, disseminates State secrets and facts that undermine national security, how will you react? How do the United States and the West behave in these situations [cf. the martyrdom of Julian Assange, a real case of freedom of expression completely censored by the media]? If anyone is doing, declaring or announcing things, or writing about matters which can create internal strife, a civil war, a danger to national security, how will you behave in the face of it? The freedom of speech does not stop then in front of the honor of anybody [in 1970, Charlie Hebdo’s ancestor, Hara-Kiri, was forbidden by the Interior Minister after a cartoon offensive to Charles de Gaulle who had just died]? (If this is really the case), we hope and call for you to reconsider things because it is not a human value, it is against human values. It is not an ethical value, it is contrary to all ethics and to all moral values. Therefore, we have to reconsider.
A call to reason
In conclusion, I would like to address the French authorities and tell them this: you see, today, in the Muslim world, nobody is looking for new enemies, nor new battles. I do not think that the state of mind of 2 billion Muslims is belligerent, on the contrary: Muslims are working to reduce hostilities in this world, and to remove from them the specter of wars and confrontations for which they always (are the first to) pay the price. You have to think about how to correct the mistake, the huge mistake you made. I heard the French leaders say: “We will not give in to terrorism”. No one is asking you to give in to terrorism. What you are being asked to do is correct your mistake. Righting one’s faults does not mean submitting to terrorism. On the contrary, persisting in your mistakes and engaging in confrontations that are not in the interest of anyone, this is submitting to terrorism, this is playing into the hands of terrorism and terrorists who want to blow up the whole world. You have to go back to the basic principles, and fix this fault, which is not like submitting to terrorism. This idea (of free speech), first of all, you exercise it in a wrong way, so exercise it in a right way. Apply it to Muslims as you apply it to non-Muslims (and Jews in particular). Be fair, be honest. Insulting our dignity, the dignity of our Prophets, of our Prophet, this cannot be tolerated by any Muslim in the world.
And I want to tell you in all clarity: even the political regimes of the Arab-Muslim world, which can buy and sell (anything), and find pretexts in front of their people to engage in plots, concessions and betrayals (of Palestine, etc.), they cannot, in front of their people, be silent or cover up the attack on the Prophet of these people, whom they respect, sanctify and love passionately. This is why this battle (against Islam and Muslims) that you insist on waging and in which you persist is a losing battle for you. Where are the interests of France and the French people? (What will happen) to your political and economic interests, to your relations with the Muslim peoples, with the Muslim world, if the French authorities wish to persist in this direction? This issue needs to be resolved, and you are able to find a (reasonable) solution to it.
Towards international legislation banning blasphemy
I conclude by telling you that instead of trying to resolve the consequences, to put more and more soldiers and security services on alert to prevent such terrorist acts, forget the empty pretexts and solve the root of the problem. Do not allow this denigration, this humiliation to persist, this aggression, this attack (against Islam and Muslims). Only then will the whole world be with you. Anyway, terrorist acts are (clearly) condemned, as I said at the start of my remarks. But your responsibility and everyone’s responsibility is to get to the root of the problem and solve it (once and for all). In this regard, it is possible to rely on the proposal of His Eminence the Sheikh of Al-Azhar, and his call for international legislation banning such attacks against Muslims and the Muslim community. It is possible to rely on a similar formulation, for example an international law criminalizing the attack against the Prophets and Messengers, or attack against heavenly religions, or attack against what the Communities consider sacred, for example. Anything like this would do. Of course, if such international legislation is enacted, it will constitute a legal framework for freedom of speech, and a way out (which will allow the) French government (to break the stalemate while saving face) and for all other governments who claim to protect freedom of speech and claim that it is part of their values and laws.
A way out must be found to this problem. It is not tolerable (to let it go on), the world having enough problems, confrontations and wars already. It is not tolerable, on the pretext of vain, ridiculous and doubtful claims as to their humanity, their morals and their legality, to push the world and the peoples of the world, and especially our Muslim community, as well as the countries of Europe which have this position and this status, to confrontations and wars of this type. The responsibility for solving this problem now lies with the French authorities in the first place. Everyone must cooperate to resolve this issue and put an end to this source of sedition. […]
Nasrallah concluded his speech by giving the example of Yemen, where despite the war and the catastrophic humanitarian situation, millions of people participated in the demonstrations commemorating the birth of the Prophet, denouncing France and affirming their readiness to defend the dignity of the Prophet. and the holy places of Islam, especially Palestine. He invited the Lebanese to scrupulously respect the health rules (masks, hand sanitizer, social distancing) against the coronavirus.
See also Nasrallah’s 2014 speech about ISIS & Islam: