Eighteen years ago Rushdie's blasphemous novel insulting the beloved Prophet (saw) was published. It caused outrage among Muslims everywhere who value the honour and dignity of their Prophet (saw) over and above even their own lives. Whilst Muslims are ever willing to enter intellectual debate and dialogue about Islam, Rushdie's novel was a cheap attempt at insulting and slandering the beliefs of millions in the name of ‘free speech.'
The British government's recent decision to honour the author with a knighthood was an insult intended to open old wounds. Why after 18 years and the publishing of eight further books was a decision suddenly made to honour this author? Clearly, the decision was politically motivated and not as they claim for ‘for services to literature.' It is well known that the archaic honours system is used to for political purposes, to reward individuals who have given money and support.
Of course, Rushdie's knighthood closely follows the publication of cartoons of the Prophet (saw) in Danish and European newspapers and the Pope's comments against the Messenger (saw). In the same week as Rushdie was honoured a new organisation was launched in Britain called the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB). Although the council has only 25 members in a country where hundreds embrace Islam each year, its launch is part of a concerted campaign to undermine and vilify Islam.
The wider context to this is that since western governments launched their so-called ‘war on terror' the propaganda against Islam has increased dramatically. The UK governments and US have been instrumental in demonising Muslims and Islam to their people so as to justify their wars. America and Britain have the Muslim world squarely in their sights and want to ensure they can continue to exploit the resources of the Muslim world for their own interests, whilst propping up the tyrannical leaders of the Islamic world.
The war on terror has already seen the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan; the green light given to Israel to carpet bomb civilians in Lebanon, Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, extraordinary rendition, and the arbitrary arrest and imprisonment of thousands.
The leaders in the Muslim world are accomplices in the West's war on terror. When Bush said after 9/11 that ‘you are either with us or with the terrorists', the governments feared America rather than Allah (swt) and sided with the US aggressors. Musharraf ordered the Pakistan army away from Kashmir to fight against Muslims in the Northwest frontier. The governments of Egypt, Syria and Jordan opened their prisons for the rendition of terror suspects to be brutally tortured for the Americans. The Gulf countries allowed their oil and lands to be used for aiding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Those who harbour hatred towards the Muslim world are fully aware that attacking our beloved Prophet (saw) is an easy way of provoking the Muslim world and creating tensions to further fuel the propaganda war against Islam.
In 1913 when the Uthmani Khilafah was in a weakened state, the English author George Bernard Shaw contemplated the writing of a book against the Prophet Muhammad (saw). But the existence of the Khilafah was enough of a deterrent to stop him from this.
In Shaw's diary of 1913 he writes: ‘I had long desired to dramatise the life of Mahomet. But the possibility of a protest from the Turkish Ambassador – or the fear of it – causing the Lord Chamberlain to refuse to license such a play, deterred me.' [Hesketh Pearson's biography of George Bernard Shaw]
If the Muslim world continues to be divided and ruled by these western backed dictatorships the attacks against our Messenger (saw) and the believers will only continue. Only with the re-establishment of the Khilafah and the implementation of Allah (swt) laws can the honour and dignity of the Messenger (saw) be protected. It is the Khilafah State which will truly protect the deen from abuse and ridicule.