Article by Shaykh Omar S. - Jami'yyatul Ulama Canada (CCMT)
"When living in a community a person comes across many people of different personalities and natures. While some people may be friendly to him others may not choose to be as courteous and instead be hostile towards him. Out of their hostility some maybe rude to him, swear at him and at times even may shout a racial slur at him (if he belongs to a different ethnic group). When being pushed into this type of situation a person tends to react. Sometimes he lets his emotions get the better of him and subsequently responds in an inappropriate manner while at other times he maintains his calm and either puts the whole incident behind him or counsels the offender in a friendly way. While the first mode of action generally produces a negative result, the second conduct, although it maybe difficult to adapt for many in the heat of the moment, eventually opens a new window of opportunity all the time.
As a series of derogatory cartoons depicting out beloved Prophet PUBH as a terrorist and supporter of terrorism was being published in a various European newspapers, Muslims throughout the world felt insulted, offended and became absolutely outraged over these publications. As a result thousands of Muslims in several countries decided to take to the streets and engage in rioting, arson and flag burning while shouting, “Destroy Denmark. Destroy Israel. Destroy George Bush. Destroy America!” and holding placards with typical slogans such as, “Kill those who mock Islam,” “Europe, you will pay, extermination is on the way,” “Europe your 9/11 will come!” Although many other Muslims held peaceful demonstrations and continue to do so in other areas of the world yet it is the improper actions of out people that catches the attention of the general public, leaving a sour taste in their mouths. One journalist wrote, “I am dismayed that a few publishers felt it necessary to give gratuitous offense to 1.1 Billion people. Just because you have the right to say a thing doesn’t always mean you should. Still, what’s more dismaying is the way some in the Muslim world have chosen to respond. At least 10 people have lost their lives in these riots, all over a series of cartoons. And you wonder: Are they so far removed from the realities of the world the rest of us occupy that they don’t’ see the damage they’re doing to their faith, their people, themselves?”
Another columnist wrote, “I’ve long been skeptical of the ‘Religion of Peace’ for at least 3,000 reasons right off the top of my head. I think the evidence is going my way this week.”
However, in the light of the mixed reaction witnessed around the world in recent weeks, one may ask, “How am I supposed to respond to these derogative cartoons which serve no rational purpose whatsoever?” Well, as Muslims, the fist place we’re supposed to resort, when looking for answers, is our manual and guide to life, the Qur’an. This is the book that out creator has described as, “a clarification for all things” (16:89) and is the book that always provides us with the best solution is every circumstance. Allah declares, “Indeed, this Qur’an guides to that which is most suitable…” (17:9)
In regards to how one should respond when being put in a difficult and challenging situation, Allah has instructed us to adopt one of three methods..."