Taking Law into One’s Own Hands Unwelcome, Whether in India or France

Iraqi people shout slogans during a protest against the publications of a cartoon of Prophet Muhammad in France and French President Emmanuel Macron’s comments, outside the French embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, October 26, 2020. — Reuters

It is this minority section of jealous people who are destroying mosques by setting them on fire, and killing innocent worshippers as seen in France

Maulana Arshad Madani

FRANCE is a country in Europe that ruled over Muslim countries such as Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. Many Muslims went to France to earn livelihood, settled there and are now lawful citizens of the European country.

In addition, with international laws allowing Muslims and people from other religions to go to other countries, many people  went to Europe, including France, and even the United States,  and decided to settle in those countries due to hardships in their own home countries. These immigrants, especially in Europe, have more or less the same rights as Europeans and, if they don’t have them now, they will get these rights sooner or later.

The governments of these countries accepted them and provided them with the same facilities as the Europeans have. Those who migrated worked hard in their jobs, professions or businesses and gradually attained huge success, instigating envy and jealousy in a section of local people. These envious feelings led to sectarian mentality among them.

After all, the locals, as is the human nature, feel jealous to witness the progress made by strangers or Blacks as in the US, is a short span, thus also influencing the economy of the host country. It is this minority section of jealous people who are destroying mosques by setting them on fire, and killing innocent worshippers as seen in France.

It is worth noting that what is happening in France at the moment has two sides: one is the stand of the government which allows freedom of expression, unlimited freedom of language and pen only to destroy the honour and dignity of men, women, elders and ancestors. This freedom allows anyone to make cartoons of any of the purest people in the world as one wishes, thanks to freedom of speech or expression which sets him free from the grip of any law.

Moreover, it is more surprising that even a country like India supports the same freedom of speech and expression. The government does not understand that this meaning of freedom of speech and expression, if applied in a country of different religions like India, can lead to chaos. Will there be peace even for a single day in Indian regions?

But due to the bad mentality of prejudice and hatred, the government supported unlimited freedom of speech without considering the bad consequences of it. And this despite some courts in India having slammed some biased media houses for supporting unlimited freedom of speech being used for targeting a particular religion.

A petition in this regard has been filed in the Supreme Court by Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind. It is expected that the court order will be against the unlimited freedom of speech, after which, if Allah wills, the process of hurting the devout believers on the basis of religion will be legally stopped.

The other side of the coin is knife attacks that are taking place one after the other in France and other countries of the world in which fewer offenders are but more innocent men and women are dying. Could anyone be given permission to take the law of the land into one’s own hands even in one’s love? And could taking the law into their own hands by a few reckless Muslims be good for the millions of Muslims living in the Christian countries of the world?

Well, after such incidents, if the sectarian organisations growing up in these countries become active against the Muslim minority, what will happen to millions of Muslims and their children living in these countries? While, in France, some 5.7 million Muslims (about 9% of population) have settled, the number of Muslims in its neighbouring countries are: Germany 5 million (about 6%), the UK 4.1 Million (6.3%), 0.8 million in Sweden, (8.1%), 0.7 million in Austria (8%), 2.9  million in Italy (5%), 0.8 million in the Netherlands (5.1%) (Source: Wikipedia, Islam By Country).

Now, not once, but ten times, it is worth thinking that due to breaking the law by a few angry Muslims, if the sectarian forces there gain strength, and if they would get the patronage of the governments behind the scenes, what will be the future of Muslims spread all over Europe?

I am not saying that you should not protest against a black law or the hateful ideology of a teacher or a company, but I think that breaking the law, and causing unrest and killings do not represent a true picture of Islam in these countries nor does it make the future of the millions of Muslims living there peaceful.

I am saying this because we have been suffering from similar politics in our country for 50 years. In our country, Hindus worship cows, and on the basis of cow slaughtering by a Muslim or even for transporting cattle, cow vigilantes took the law into their own hands and the result was that many Muslims were lynched.

If we oppose taking the law of land our into own hands, why will we not oppose it in France? Muslims all over the world are protesting against France today but had they stood up against unlimited freedom of speech in the years gone by, we would not have witnessed the current controversy over blasphemous cartoons.

In short, I believe that today, as a result of worldwide protests, when the President of France is also moving towards a U-Turn, the Indian government and those in power, considering the population and diversity of our country, would also do well to step back from its supportive stand towards France, and avoid hurting the hearts of billions of Muslims.



Maulana Arshad Madani is President of the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind.


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