Angry Muslims are finding guidance from moderate preachers in the row over the US-made film against Islam – Published on Al-Ahram weekly, by Gihan Shahine, 20 – 26 September 2012
“We must not get trapped,” warned popular Islamic preacher Amr Khaled on Facebook this week, his comments coming in reaction to the US-made anti-Islam film that has sparked massive protests around the world, leaving the US ambassador to Libya dead and the US flag burnt in front of the US embassy in Cairo.
“This film is aimed at provoking Muslims into angry reactions that could portray them as backward, barbaric and even as posing a danger to the West, in order to justify whatever plans there are to attack Muslims,” Khaled said … //
… Many Islamist members of the Constituent Assembly tasked with writing Egypt’s new post-revolutionary constitution are pushing for a clause that would criminalise those who insult religion. This would mean that Copts living abroad who had been involved in the making of this anti-Islamic film could be prosecuted at home.
Legalities aside, Islamic preachers and scholars agree that educating the world about Islam is now urgent.
“Ignorance is the greatest enemy, and by this I mean lack of information,” Suleiman said, adding that the film was one of many incidents in which Islam and Muslims had been insulted, humiliated or portrayed as terrorists since the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington.
“To stop the recurrence of such incidences, we should design a plan,” he said, explaining that he had already distributed 300,000 free DVDs of a three-part series entitled Islam in Brief, a documentary providing information on Islam in 30 different languages [www.youtube.com/islaminbrief].
The material had brought about many conversions to Islam, Suleiman said, including in Israel. His organisation has also produced another documentary, entitled Jihad on Terrorism, 120,000 copies of which have been distributed across the world.
He is working on a documentary entitled Islam and Women, which investigates the fact that 75 per cent of those converting to Islam, especially in the United Kingdom, are women, despite the Western view that Islam discriminates against women.
“The film is in need of financial support, however,” Suleiman said.
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