A letter to the Danish PM
- Link: http://www.thedailystar.net/2006/03/01/d60301110594.htm
A letter to the Danish PM
Abdullah Al Rahim ,Yemeni political writer
In the spirit of 'Freedom of Expression' that you and we all value so
much, I have taken the liberty to write this letter to you.
You stand as the leader of a democratic society, which has promoted
itself as a peace-loving member of the international community of
nations, valuing the spirit of human coexistence. Yet, recently,
both, you as the leader, and your country have failed the test.
Under the pretext of freedom of expression, you have allowed with
impunity freedom of insolence, totally disregarding the fundamental
requirement of harmony and peaceful coexistence. Mr. Prime Minister,
allow me to quote to you an edict from the Quran, which is compelled
upon Muslims in the chapter Al Ana'am verse 108. "Do not insult those
who call upon gods other than Allah." This legal provision will
prosecute any Muslim who abuses the religious sanctities of others.
This is a divine proclamation that was revealed to the same Holy
Prophet upon whose dignified head your 'freedom of expression' has
drawn a time bomb and whose sacred faith you have made a mockery of.
Now ponder this legal provision, which requires its adherents to
coexist with others and compare it with the value system you proudly
When the Taliban destroyed the statues of Buddha, I addressed to them
a letter in another English language publication in the UAE
condemning that atrocity based on this very Qur'anic edict 108. As a
Muslim, and like you, also proud of my heritage, I was not only
defending the sanctities of others, but also defending the very
values of my heritage, which were violated by the Taliban's deed.
Decency requires that we stand and be counted, perhaps more so, when
one of our own commits a wrong. The Taliban did not represent my
faith, I made that clear. However, your defense of your newspaper,
and your refusal to apologise for its sacrilege, clearly indicates
that it does represent your values.
Your defense has been based on the pretext of `freedom of
expression'. Which 'freedom of expression' allow you to permit your
subjects to transgress upon others? Is it 'freedom of expression' for
me to permit my child to insult our neighbour? In many countries in
Europe, this 'freedom of expression' pretext seems to be the basis on
which all attacks on Islam are made. Yet, in Austria, Belgium,
Germany, France, Poland, Switzerland and Holland, the law will
prosecute and indeed throw in jail an individual who questions the
Holocaust. It seems freedom of expression has its limits even in your
part of the world. It is, however, unfortunate that these limitations
do not include religious sensitivities.
We hope you also share that value and you are capable of the higher
calling of mutual respect and peaceful coexistence.