September 12th, 2012
12:06 PM ET
Ambassador's killing shines light on Muslim sensitivities around Prophet Mohammed
By Dan Gilgoff and Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editors
(CNN) – Violence over depictions of the Prophet Mohammed may mystify many non-Muslims, but it speaks to a central tenet of Islam: that the Prophet was a man, not God, and that portraying him threatens to lead to worshiping a human instead of Allah.
“It's all rooted in the notion of idol worship,” says Akbar Ahmed, who chairs the Islamic Studies department at American University. “In Islam, the notion of God versus any depiction of God or any sacred figure is very strong."
“The Prophet himself was aware that if people saw his face portrayed by people, they would soon start worshiping him,” Ahmed says. “So he himself spoke against such images, saying ‘I’m just a man.’”
The prohibition against such portrayals was on stark display Tuesday, as mobs in Egypt and Libya attacked U.S. compounds in response to a film that vilifies the Prophet Mohammed, who founded Islam in the 7th century. The attack on the U.S. personnel in Benghazi, Libya, was orchestrated by extremists who used the protests as a diversion, U.S. sources told CNN Wednesday.
The attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi killed J. Christopher Stevens, Washington's ambassador to Libya, as well as three other Americans at the compound.
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The film that’s believed to have inspired the violence depicts the Prophet Mohammed as a child molester, womanizer and ruthless killer, going a big step beyond violating the basic Muslim prohibition against depicting the Prophet, even in a favorable light.
There are questions about who is behind the movie. Initial reports identified a supposedly Israeli-American real-estate developer named Sam Bacile, but it's unclear if that person even exists. A member of the film's production staff told CNN that the producer's name was listed as Abenob Nakoula Basseley.
In Sunni mosques, the largest branch of the faith, there are no images of people of any kind. The spaces are often decorated with verses from the Quran.
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Mohamed Magid, an imam who leads the Islamic Society of North America, says the Muslim prohibition on depicting prophets extends to Jesus and Moses, who Islam treats as prophets.
“Pictures and images are prohibited from being worshiped,” Magid says.
There have been historical instances of Muslims depicting the Prophet, says Omid Safi, a religious studies professor at the University of North Carolina who has studied the issue.
"We have had visual depictions of the Prophet in the form of miniatures and pictures in the Iranian context, the Turkish context, the central Asian Context,” says Safi, author of the book "Memories of Mohammed." “The one significant context where depictions of the Prophet have not been image-related has been in the Arab context.”
“As you go farther east, away from the Arabian Peninsula, you find depictions of the prophet in art,” said Johari Abdul-Malik, the imam for Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia. He noted that images of the teachings of the prophet were sometimes used to bridge gaps in illiteracy.
But even depictions of the Prophet by Muslim artists has been a sensitive issue.
Akbar, a former Pakistani ambassador to the United Kingdom, says that Muslim artists in the 15th and 16th centuries would depict the Prophet but took pains to avoid drawing his face.
“It would be as if he was wearing a veil on his face, so the really orthodox could not object – that was the solution they found," Akbar says.
In a Muslim film called “The Messenger,” which circulated throughout the Muslim world in the 1970s and 1980s, the Prophet is depicted only as a shadow.
Adbul-Malik said that in the Quran, there is “no statement from the prophet requesting his image not be recorded.” The passages relating to a ban on creating images of the prophets come from the hadith, recordings of the sayings of the Prophet Mohammed and his closest companions. The hadith is not viewed on the same plane as the Quran but as important to understanding the Quran.
Scholars of religion say Muslim opposition to portraying Mohammed wasn’t generally violated in earlier centuries because of a gulf between much of the Muslim world and the West.
In the age of globalization, non-Muslims and critics of Islam have felt free to depict Mohammed, including in offensive ways.
In 2006, a Danish cartoonist’s depiction of the Prophet wearing a bomb as a turban with a lit fuse provoked demonstrations across the world.
Akbar says that until relatively recently, depictions of Jesus tended to be reverential, but Christianity has had a decades-long head start in dealing with negative portrayals of Jesus in film and art.
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.
The Word of the Lord got to Isaiah, 2800 years ago, and God revealed Himself to Isaiah.
It can be easily thought that it is another fiction but the proof lays in that all of the prophecies of the Bible have come true and few are left for Jesus Second Coming. Isaiah's prophecy's have come true unlike anything else in other religions. God is not religion, but religion is mankind's effort to reach God. Cain's way.
Isaiah lived 2800 years ago!!! That was way before any Islam was born. God revealed Himself to Isaiah 2800 years ago and stated there is no other God but YHWH. So if someone comes around centuries later and proclaims a new god wouldn't it mean that it is a false god? Remember God already showed up 1400 years before Islam. And God did warn of the many false prophets which would invade God's truth. Let yourself ponder on this. ANd then on the fruits of the Spirit which is the way to identify the real God and His followers.
God is pure, He demands today no one murdering, and anyone who demands murder is not of God at all.
Maria, not being sarcastic, but now after saying all of this, why do you hold jesus as not a false god, he was only talked about around the 3rd or 4thcentury, and christianity was legalized by a man named constantine in 311bce, to control the masses; Isaiah was in the 8th. century. And according to Deuteronomy 4, we were to not add, or diminish YHWHs law. And we were taught also in Deut. 4, by YHWH his true name, for anyone can be called god,God, but that no images of a man, or a woman, etc..shall be similitude to YHWH or the heavens, but the NT, does it anyway, 'images' of mary, and jc, angels, after the Almighty said not to. Doesn't that raise a red flag to you somehow?
The only savior, and redeemer we have is in Isaiah 49:26, and Isaiah 60:16,and other scriptures, Isaiah 43,the truth. YHWH bless, His name was taken out 6800 times replaced by god, God, Lord, etc..to mislead people. All praise go to YHWH the divine, look it up.
The botom line is that muslims are consistent wih themselves, ultimately violent from inside. I think the real issue is that ithe movie might show that they have been fools to believe in a man who was nothing else than a man. I do not believe in being provocative, but this is an occasion to get a good look at an invasive, very agressive religion, led by self deceived people, who are ready to kill for their own infamy. Sons of Cain and Ishmael. Your redemption is not in religon (catholicism, protestantism, judaism, etc) but in a person, Jesus Christ, God incarnate., and only way to peace, because HE is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah9:5), and the one who makes pece available to any human being (Ephesians 2).
Paul – ordinary man if he existed.
Jesus – ordinary man if he existed.
All religion is a lie. A political ploy from long ago that is much like the political lies we must weed through today.
Sorry – try again.
The bottom line is that very likely there are no gods and that anyone who believes in supernatural beings is delusional, in need of deprogramming to escape the cult they are a member of.
Plus you do realize if you are only subscribing to Jesus that by using Ephesians, you are going through Paul and Catholicism to describe Jesus, right? (Not that I subscribe to any of it, but I thought it was odd that you mention leaving out Catholicism and going just for Jesus.)
Christ teaches us to pray for those who persecute you and spitefully use you and to love your neighbor as yourself.
This is a far cry from behead those who persecute you....
I hope you can discern the signs of the times people of all nations. Every knee show bow.
Isaiah 45:5 "I, even I am God, and besides Me there is no other god"
"Isaiah 45:5 "I, even I am God, and besides Me there is no other god"
"So get out there and kill my (our) enemies. Booyah!" - It was ancient ethnocentric Hebrew propaganda. There is not a shred of verified evidence than any supernatural being ever said or did anything, back then, or ever.
It's really best for all people including children to have an agnostic approach to god, and an atheistic approach to all religion. It keeps things simple for kids, and lets them be all that they can be. They just need to be taught that some things, like all religion, were just made up by salesmen and politicians from long ago. (Yes, charlatan folklore and spam started long before the Bible; what would make you think they hadn't??) And they need to be taught that other things, like God, we really don't know a damn thing about.
Atheists have strong minds and don't need a religion. Many religious folk have the best intentions. But too often, religious folk run and hide their misdeeds within their religion (and by doing so, they disserve society). And too often, religious folk are easily offended when someone mocks their make-believe characters – and, as we can see they can get really CRAZY!
Although there are many religious folk with good intentions – some selflessly helping others, religions and religious organizations are, as a whole, just big old clubs – each trying to out do each other and inspiring hate and division (often disguised as love) along the way. The problem is that people too easily buy into religion and don't realize how unfounded it all is. And when they buy into it, they buy into a lot of really old, really weird tenets that are nothing but harmful for the human species.
Take Christianity, for instance. Just look at all the things that Christians argue about amongst themselves today – abortion, men's and women's roles in the church, celibacy, contraception, acceptance of gays, etc. Most of these issues have their roots in the conflicted, unfounded tenets of early Christianity. Non-Mormons harp on Joseph Smith these days. But we really don't have any more proof at all to believe that Paul, the self-proclaimed "apostle" was anything more than an ordinary man who needed to make up religious "sales literature" to survive and spread his own personal beliefs. And yet a good chunk of the NT is attributed to Paul and accepted by many Christians. And a lot of what he wrote about has to do with many of the issues I mentioned above that have Christians fighting amongst themselves hundreds of years later. It's way too unfounded to argue over.
Get a good cup of tea, and sit down and collect your thoughts. If you find it helpful to pray to a god (something you know nothing about), fine. But it is really healthier for the mind to leave behind all the characters that people over the centuries have invented or given powers to, for which there is little or no foundation. Because with those invented characters and powers – that's where division and hate join the little party in your mind. That's where, in your mind, you are inheriting the division and hate from ordinary politicians, lobbyists and salesmen from long ago. My goodness.
Should children be indoctrinated into agnosticism, or should they have all the options spread before them and guided to choose that which most appeals to them? It's quite possible that their choices will depend on their age. Why do you think the Gideons try to reach children at a certain age?
You are still trying to propogate the myth that the attack that killed the American ambassador was a spontaenous response to the stupid home-made film posted on Youtube? That the orchestrated attack and murder of these American citizens was the result of a bunch of sensitive, peace-loving Muslims that were butthurt because their beloved prophet was poked fun at? There isn't any damage control for this one, Barrack!
You may be right about the confusion of two issues. still, the terrorist leaders must be rejoicing for the great benefits they get as a result of the movie.
The Hindus and Buddhists have a concept called "Dharma," which means that some things are as they are and as they ought to be. The concept is in all other religions as well, although, in them it does not have a specific terminology. Breaking Dharma is doing something that "just is not done." Insulting the prophet Muhammad is such a thing. Free speech is no excuse for ignorant and hateful behavior.
OK, so if some feel so strongly about not depicting the Prophet in any way, especiallly in ways that demean him, let them not do that. But the US was founded on the right to free speech, and it is a right that is under attack from many sources. Fear from many fronts is causing us to forget the need to protect that right from whatever threatens it. Religion included. Right now we are being asked to fear everything and behave ourselves lest we stir up trouble with our words. Honestly, the film that started all this seems to be stupid and ugly. The film maker appears to be a publicity seeker with no taste or judgment. He still has the right, in our country, to express what he wants. I would never watch his garbage, just as I detest the filth and garbage thrown at us every day through the media. But I'd rather live in a nation that allows free speech, hoping that one day we'll be evolved enough to use that right to finer purpose, than to go back to the age of fear and tyranny. Am I offended by much of what I see? You betcha! Do I do violence because of it? Of course not. There is no excuse for the violence–none. Let the devout follow their rules, and let the rest of us live in peace.
Humm, this kind of reminds me of the stereotypical approaches that are used everyday in America, and the violence that follows it, depicting slander on others, mainly the poor, such as Trevon Martin, who was shot because he wore a hood jacket, being stereotyped, we're all crazy today. It's all because we don't do the law of righteousness, the 10 commandments, to do right, so we're all 'whatever goes' as prophesied we would,calling bad good with rewards, in the latter days in Malachi 3:13-15, prophecy fulfilled.
But in Deuteronomy 4 it does teach us not to make images of a man, and of a woman, or of anything relating to the heavens, or YHWH(God), but we do it anyway, as you say freedom of speech. I suppose some countries really stand on their ground when it comes to their gods. Personally, I found in reading Genesis-Malachi that all religions are idolatry, and pagan, and not of YHWH the Creator of Adam, and Eve, and all life anyway, taught to us in Deuteronomy 32:17, by Moses, and in the book of Daniel 11:36-45. All Praise goes to YHWH, the only savior, and redeemer in Isaiah 49:26. YHWH Bless.
More drivel from Loopy Lorraine.
You know what I don't get?
If it is so offensive to even draw a picture of the guy, because that elevates him to the level of idol worship or something like that, how come they have to problem with naming every other kid after him?
Which is more offensive- a low budget movie that makes Mohammed look bad, or a dozen guys named Mohammed burning a foreign embassy and shouting about how they want to kill Americans.
*no problem naming
I think its time the West ( or rest of the world ) stopped pumping our hard earned tax money into these countries it doesnt seem to be doing any good yeah sure it might feed a few but hey if the ball was on the other foot we would all die of no food as you could bet your last dollar they wouldnt help out , and as far as who's god is the real one who the Fu** cares anyway this is the 21st century not the bloody dark ages , the only issue with this so called terror war in afghanistan etc is its lasted some 8 or 9 years longer than was needed , we should just pull all US & NATO forces out of there asap
The idea of not creating images for worship is a valid one. The idea of not creating images to defame may or may not fall into that category, but obviously that is not the motive of this film maker or any European cartoonist; nor is it the motive of angry Muslims who feel they must act out to decry the slandering of the prophet. Much like the separation of Church and State in the Americas, it was originally intended protect freedom of religion- to prevent the State from establishing a state religion- not to limit religion or prevent any religious activity within state politics.
They go on killing sprees because they want to show the world that they are indeed a religion of love and peace.
In search of weapons of mass destruction that were never found, hundreds of thousands of people lost lives in Iraq and in each passing week, hundreds of people die through drone attacks in Pakistan in the name of ‘collateral damage’ and no discourse, critique and question is raised against it. What exactly is freedom then?
Check out what Pat Condell has to say about the latest muslim riots. Just BRILLIANT!
Well put my man , you know the bit that really gets me is they flee their own countries and then claim to be refugees sailing the seas in clapped out fishing boats that wouldnt even be good as fire wood , crawling to us for help and money ,then given what they need at the first chance of rioting for no F88888g reason they are all in the good bad and the ugly , in an attempt to lower the standards of where we live to theirs , not on, should not be allowed , any of these people found to be active in riots should be sent back to where they came from no excuses just gone next boat or plane
OMG ahahah this simply BRILLIANTLY put it!!
This is what we need stop being so politically correct and say it like it is.
Two Thumbs UP!!
ahahha burning their own streets in protest ahahah. Idiots.
"Prophet Mohammed, who founded Islam in the 7th century." <---– incorrect. "Islam" is an Arabic word meaning religion of peace, so no he did not found Islam but re-introduced it to his fellow Arabs. Religion of peace (Islam) has existed before the 7th century.
Islam is not peace nor does it mean peace; it means submission. According to islam, there will only be peace once all non-muslims are either dead, pay a high tax (jijza) or convert to islam..
Islam needs to be destroyed.
I am really tired of the politically correct lie being repeated..."Islam is a religion of peace;the word islam means peace"...well my uneducated friends, the word islam means submission...no matter how many people want it to mean peace, the true translation is submission...
Combat lies not with rage, but with the truth.
read at legeci.com/the-inspiration/
Then they say... burn my Quran, I send grandson into crowd of American troops and blow everyone up.
I think the New Rules should be if you believe so strongly in your religion or God and you want to 'fight the infidels', then you should renounce your citizenship, go over to the Middle East, show them what a bada$$ you are by burning the Quran in front of them, and then enjoy the last 30 seconds of your life.
NO MORE WAR OVER WHOSE GOD HAS THE BIGGEST JOHNSON!!!
Geeze, you people are ALL insane.
Why aren't Americans protesting what is happening in the middle east? Why aren't we burning the flags of Lybia and Iran and Syria and other Axis of Evil Nations? President Obama needs to address this situation now! This must not continue any longer. Where they are protesting, those nations aren't democratic, they are Islamic! There is no "Power to the People!" Our influence should be swaying their governments to disband those Muslim criminals or we should post sanctions or get the hell out. To hell with their so-called religion. It's a farce.
I agree. And using that same line of reasoning, we should attack ourselves at the first opportunity. Those crazies from Kansas are at it again protesting funerals... and when these people are protesting, they are no longer Americans, they are Christians, therefore in need of attacking.
Do you see how retarded that fu%#@ing is?
I say you burn my flag, I burn your Quran
Did anyone notice the guy in the first picture standing in front of the fire is wearing what appear to be high heels?
I am intellectual and I have the right offend. I am rich and have a university degree unlike these Muslims. Freedom to hurt peoples feelings is real freedom. I will only get offended if you insult my intellectual pride and freedom to express. I wish there were no laws.
Who did the Mass murdered JEWS ? Holocaust ? Did muslim extremists did it ? Or Christaian Extremists ? OK that was years decades ago , but then Who invaded vietnam and carpet bombed those jungles with women and children ? Did muslim extremists did it or Christian extremists ? Ok What about the Russian War in Afghanistan ? Didint Christian america made and created An army of fighters in pakistani afghani border using resources and leaders of these poor countries ? Who was the supporter of Alqaida in 1989 when it was fighting with RUSSIA ? Who invaded and lied about weapons of mass destruction in iraq ? Who invaded Afghanistan and brutally murdered human beings with same flesh and bones like any other christain american or weterner during last two decades ? All these years America and West have one excuse and then they get another excuse but the wars and fightings keep going on and on YTet extremists are Muslims and Not Western Superpowers fighting for supremacy over last 50 years .... Oh God , when i read views of american poeple here i get so Hurt becuase i thought only the American and wetern governments werre the culprits but Now i see that lot of public is supporting their governments acts also , So shameful and Bad for World peace ... God Help Us .... ...... ..... .......
Are You an Athiest ? If yes then My brother please listen , i want good for you and thatswhy write all this : Suppose their is a mobile phone , and someone brings it to you and says that it created Automaticcally on its own , Would you believe it ? Obviously No one would believe it , their should be a creator , like Nokia , Samsung etc. . Now if someone says that Actually after biillions of years and lots of rain and climate change and this and that , slowly human beings came into Being , obviously thats not possible and doesnt makes sense , their needs to be a creator , no matter how many years of rain or climate changes . When we look around our world it clearly shows us that thier is One , Very powerfuland intelligent Creator , and when you will study what knowledge / and mysteries exist at the moment , you will understand that all over the world , in India , Middle east , West , everywhere , after every few decades came people who claimed to be Prophets of God and their message was to believe in One God . The Holy Quran , The Last and final Direct Word of God , in it Almighty God says that he created us to check who is better in deeds and to make us Worship him and Follow Commandments of Almighty God and live peacfully in this planet without hurting and killing other fellow human beings . ( tubeislam.com ) . I end it with this pray , Almighty God if you are thier , Guide us ...
I wonder if these little frogs hiding behind their computer screens supporting the idea of "free speech" can face a real human being. I say nothing is worse than getting torched for eternity. They would wish they had believed and respected the Prophet of God. One thing the little Atheist frogs / Coptic Christians / Jews don't realize is that death is not the end of their lives. A very painful ending is waiting for them unless they start believing and being tolerant of other peoples beliefs.
Whatever happened to tolerance and "co-existence" that Atheist imbeciles like to preach. Freakin hypocrites.
Atheists want peace but they don't want to follow the rules that bring about peace.
Hey, Tie-Dumb, got any proof that death isn't the end? Post it. Cite your sources.
Brownie, why don't you post the "rules"? Go ahead.
Why do Atheists act like such children? Prophet Muhammad is not a public figure for Muslims, he is very personal and beloved individual to Muslims. How can you make peace with people you can't respect? Why is there so much pride in kuffar that they insist on hating and mocking? Does it really make you feel good? Really?
Why can't you answer the question I asked, you phony?
I see hundreds of non-Muslims convert to Islam on a daily basis. Muslims preach their religion with truth, and non-Muslims hate/lie/provoke just because they think its cool to be "free" and noting should offend anybody. Yeah right. People in America can't even take personal insults face to face, but talk big behind their computer screens in closed doors.
"The cradle rocks above the abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness. Although the two are identical twins, man, as a rule, views the prenatal abyss with more calm than the one he is heading for (at some forty-five hundred heartbeats an hour)."
I hate these intolerant Atheists. I always thought they were nice people. But they are not. Usually when people run low on intellectual arguments and sincere debates, they start drawing offensive cartoons, cursing, lying etc. All of this proves that it is the non-Musims that are intolerant and hateful. I've never seen so much time and effort dedicated to offend people. We have so many world problems and the pathetic Atheists/non-believers/pagans are worried about "freedom to offend". Get a life and worry about your own self.
Any more sock puppets need to vent their spleens? Really, you idiots, get a clue. You're not fooling anyone.
Suppose their is a mobile phone , and someone brings it to you and says that it created Automaticcally on its own , Would you believe it ? Obviously No one would believe it , their should be a creator , like Nokia , Samsung etc. . Now if someone says that Actually after biillions of years and lots of rain and climate change and this and that , slowly human beings came into Being , obviously thats not possible and doesnt makes sense , their needs to be a creator , no matter how many years of rain or climate changes . When we look around our world it clearly shows us that thier is One , Very powerfuland intelligent Creator , and when you will study what knowledge / and mysteries exist at the moment , you will understand that all over the world , in India , Middle east , West , everywhere , after every few decades came people who claimed to be Prophets of God and their message was to believe in One God . The Holy Quran , The Last and final Direct Word of God , in it Almighty God says that he created us to check who is better in deeds and to make us Worship him and Follow Commandments of Almighty God and live peacfully in this planet without hurting and killing other fellow human beings . ( tubeislam.com ) . I end it with this pray , Almighty God if you are thier , Guide us ..
Though the media is reporting the violent outbreaks over the details of this movie, I would like to state that those who are reacting are not violent because Islam prescribes it. They are violent because it is a part of their own inner culture. There is a distinction between the regional cultures over the religious culture. Islam does not in any way, shape or form, call for such violence. I think people enjoy connecting one with the other just to satisfy their own prejudiced agendas. I can safely acknowledge I do not connect one with the other because I understand the difference. Too many are quick to judge what they see from smaller groups or individuals as a truth for the whole population.
Reblogged this on The World Outside of Yourself.