by: Shamsi Ali*
Two days ago, a possibly psychotic (mentally ill) Swedish man named Rasmus Paludan, who claims to be the leader of “StramsKurs”, a hardliner group in that country, burnt a quran in front of the Embassy of Turkey in Sweden. Sadly, this stupid action is considered legal with a permit by the Swedish government and from the Swedish police.
This type of blatantly stupid and uncivilized act of some Europeans, who claim to be more educated and civilized, is not the first one. It has happened many times before in different European countries, often in the name of freedom of expression. It reminds me of what the Danish journalist did some years ago with so called the prophet cartoon.
This type of behavior, not only is highly insensitive and provocative, but it is also deeply ignorant and stupid on many levels. It’s perpetrator is low and uncivilized. Even (possibly) suffers of mental health sickness as many others do in the western society.
Let it be known, no one will be forever able to burn the Holy Quran. You may burn a book, even thousands of books, but the holy Quran can not be burnt. It’s preserved and will be forever preserved by the Most Powerful in protection, the Creator of the heavens and the earth.
Let it also be known, we Muslims respect dearly the Holy Books. And I mean all Holy Books of God that have been revealed to Moses, Jesus and Muhammad and to all Prophets of God (Peace be upon them all). But our respect is not only to the physical books. We deeply respect the Light of those Holy Books.
Therefore you can burn a book, but you will fail to burn the (Light) of the Holy Quran. And be assured, you will regret for what you have done. And at the end of the day you will be amazed by the fact that this Light will penetrate into the hearts of thousands or even millions in your country and continent.
The reality is that your hatred and anger toward this faith has been historic. But the more you hate it, the more you try to prevent it, the more it grows powerfully. In fact, Islam is the fastest growing religion not only in Europe, but in the whole world. This reality inflames further your hatred and fear
But don’t worry my friend. Islam and its Holy Book (the Quran) is a faith with heart and compassion. The more it is present and growing in your midst, the more you will be saved and happy. The Holy Quran has come to you to bring you “compassion” and to bring back the hearts you have lost.
Lastly, I just wanted to remind you that it’s a twisted idea to think that “freedom” means lacking any boundaries. Freedom is limited by other’s rights. As I am free to speak, I am also limited by my moral conscience to control my speech not to insult or dishonor others and their faiths.
So by dishonoring a Prophet or a holy Book in the name of freedom actually your action has nothing to do with freedom. It’s an insult. It is an act of ignorance and stupidity. In fact, it is an oppression towards others and their rights and honor. Sadly, by the people who claim to be more civilized….
Just learn more and stop your ignorance!
Manhatttan City, 25 January 2023
- An Imam in New York, USA (Director of Jamaica Muslim Center & President of Nusantara Foundation).