Sheikh Saleh Al-Talib, imam and khatib at the Grand Mosque, condemned yesterday the unfair approach of Western countries denigrating the Prophet (peace be upon him).
“What is the meaning of freedom of expression when international organizations and Western governments chase and prosecute anyone who denies the Holocaust or even expresses any doubt about the Jewish ordeal?” Al-Talib said during the Friday sermon. “On the other hand, anyone who ridicules and vilifies the great Prophet (pbuh) are protected by law.”
The sheikh’s sermon follows the release of the recent anti-Islam film mocking the Prophet (pbuh), which was circulated on YouTube and produced in the United States, and the publication of similarly themed French cartoons.
Although many Western countries have hate speech laws, the United States has none.
The sheikh said it is impossible for a “civilized human being with (a minuscule of) intelligence” to hate Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
The sheikh warned Western decision makers and political leaders that nobody would be able to check the anger unleashed by the attack on the Prophet (pbuh).
“Perhaps it has already gone out of control,” he said. “No word of wisdom is heard from the West when the sacred symbols of the Ummah are abused.” The sheikh urged Westerners to stop the foolish people who ignite the fire of hatred.
Al-Talib added that Muslims will not accept any mockery of their religion even though there is a call for dialogue between various religions.
“Such calls will be of no use if some people are spawning hatred and creating animosity against Islam, the Prophet (pbuh) and Muslims,” the sheikh said.
He also wondered why world institutions that penalize hatred and racial discrimination are not interested in making any move against the ongoing campaign of hatred against Islam.
The sheikh urged the world organizations to issue a charter of honor and legislate laws that would ban and criminalize abuse of any Abrahimic religion, prophets and messengers.
He said Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has been calling on religious leaders to engage in dialogues among the religions and among civilizations so that all people accept the principles of justice and mutual understanding and sympathy.
The sheikh also appealed to Muslims not to react with violence in which innocent people are killed and properties wrecked.
Instead, he urged the Muslims to adhere to the teachings of the Prophet (pbuh), follow in his footsteps and refute the allegations in a peaceful manner.
He also suspected that the enemies of Islam in the West are attempting to drive Muslim communities to violence so that right-wing parties in the West can justify their hostile acts against Muslims and stop the spread of Islam in their countries.