by: Maulana Tauqeer Ahmad Qasmi Kandhalvi
The ongoing protests by Muslims across the globe against the republication of the blasphemous cartoons is a clear message that disrespect to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is intolerable. The sinister campaign, with the French president on its front, has been a total failure as it has urged many to find out the truth about the Prophet.
If we have a close look on the past, we will come to know that the prophet Muhammad has been targeted from the very beginning.
Lets see few reports of attacking on the prophet Muhammad.
On Sept. 30, 2005 Jyllands-Posten, a right-of-center Danish newspaper published 12 cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad — one of the cartoons depicted Muhammad wearing a turban shaped as a bomb with a burning fuse.
Danish Papers Reprint Muhammad Cartoon
The Jyllands-Posten newspaper on Feb. 13, 2008 reprinted a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad which two years earlier sparked mass outcry among Muslims around the world.
The history paper for PG students on 30th April 200, a question on the life of the Prophet Muhammad used very insulting language. The question said the Prophet began his life as a trader and ended as a raider.
Producer Van Gogh made a movie in which Qura’anic verses were printed on the body of a naked lady.
Robert Spenser wrote a book "Mohammad, Founder of the world’s most intolerant religion." There is a chapter into this book named Meet the real Mohammad. In this chapter he mentions that whatever situation (kaifiyete Vahi} the prophet told before revealing the revelation, it was just a drama. Then he tried to prove the prophet as the most intolerant human being ever set foot on the earth.
In the satanic verses Salman Rushdie writes, “To early Muslim biographies of Muhammad, Muhammad was tricked into revealing these verses as part of the Qur'an by Satan and he later retracted them, saying the angel Jibreel”
Most likely the reasons behind that are as follows:
(1) The people, who are attacking the prophet, they are afraid of rising Islam in a large number and so speedily. That’s why they want to show an awful picture of the prophet to stop the people entering Islam. For, they know very well that Islam’s foundation lies on the prophet and his teachings. So, if they emerged successful to weaken the foundation of Islam, they on wards can easily damage the whole building of it.
(2) They want to present Muslims before the world as a violent and aggressor nation. For, they are well aware of the Muslims sentiments towards their prophet and they understand well that a Muslim can never bear the insult of his prophet. So, when they target the prophet, Muslims become emotional and, as a result, they take some improper actions against it as a reaction and likewise they get their goal.
(3) They want to gain some cheap publicity by hitting the Prophet’s dignity. Because in the modern age, this is the shortest way to be popular for the publicity hunger people.
(4) They have been trying to keep the Muslims away from the teachings of Islam for the early age of it. They tested the faith of Muslims in many ways but never succeeded. Whenever they do any new experience of this kind and they need to see its influence on Muslims, they do such kind of act. This is the criterion for them to check their success against Islam and Muslims.
We don’t require saying anything on these reasons because they have been prompted by jealousy, hatred and prejudice.
But there might be another reason that they don’t have sufficient knowledge of the prominence of the prophet. That is why they are committing such kind of immoral acts.
If this is the reason, it is considerable and requires us to enlighten the greatness of the prophet to them. So, here are some Non-Muslim scholars views about the prophet Muhammad that bear witness the immensity of the prophet Muhammad.
The non-Muslim verdict on Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
K.S Ramakrishna Rao, an Indian Professor of Philosophy in his booklet, ("Muhammad, The Prophet of Islam") calls him the:
"Perfect model for human life."
Prof. Ramakrishna Rao explains his point by saying:
"The personality of Muhammad (pbuh), it is most difficult to get into the whole truth of it. Only a glimpse of it can I catch. What a dramatic succession of picturesque scenes! There is Muhammad (pbuh), the Prophet. There is Muhammad (pbuh), the Warrior, Muhammad (pbuh), the Businessman;
"Muhammad (pbuh), the Statesman; Muhammad (pbuh), the Orator; Muhammad (pbuh), the Reformer; Muhammad (pbuh), the Protector of Slaves; Muhammad (pbuh), the Emancipator of Women; Muhammad (pbuh), the Judge; Muhammad (pbuh), the Saint. All in all these magnificent roles, in all these departments of human activities, he is like a hero."
Michael Hart in "The 100, A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in the History," New York, 1978. p. 33
"My choice of Muhammad (pbuh) to lead the list of world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in the history who was supremely successful on both the secular and religious level.
"It is probable that the relative influence of Islam has been larger than the combined influence of Jesus Christ and St. Paul on Christianity. It is this unparalleled combination of the secular and religious influence which I feel entitles Muhammad (pbuh) to be considered to be the most influential single figure in human history."
M.K Gandhi, statement published in "Young India," 1924
I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind..........I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and his mission.
"These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the second volume (of the Prophet's biography), I was sorry there was no more for me to read of that great life."
THOMAS CALYLE in his HEROES AND HEROWORSHIP, was simply amazed as to:
"How one man single-handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades."
Sir Bernard Shaw said about him:
He was by far the most remarkable man that ever set foot on this earth. He preached a religion, founded a state, built a nation, laid down a moral code, initiated numerous social and political reforms, established a powerful and dynamic society to practice and represent his teachings and completely revolutionized the worlds of human thought and behavior for all times to come.
Alfonso de Lamar tine, the renowned historian speaking on his greatness wonders:
"Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult without images, the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is MUHAMMAD. As regards all the standards by which Human Greatness may be measured, we may well ask, IS THERE ANY MAN GREATER THAN HE?"
(Alfonso de Lamar tine, HISTOIRE DE LA TURQUIE, Paris, 1854, Vol.II, pp 276-277)
He was the most faithful protector, the Sweetest and most agreeable in conversation. Those who saw him were suddenly filled with reverence, those who came near him loved him; they who described him would say, "I have never seen his like either before or after." He was of great taciturnity, but when he spoke it was with emphasis and deliberation, and no one could forget what he said ...
In 'Speeches and Table Talk of the Prophet Muhammad'
Professor Jules Masserman:
"People like Pasteur and Salk are leaders in the first sense. People like Gandhi and Confucius, on one hand, and Alexander, Caesar and Hitler on the other, are leaders in the second and perhaps the third sense. Jesus and Buddha belong in the third category alone. Perhaps the greatest leader of all times was Mohammed, who combined all three functions.”
Diwan Chand Sharma says:
"Muhammad was the soul of kindness, and his influence was felt and never forgotten by those around him."
(D.C. Sharma, The Prophets of the East, Calcutta 1935, page 122)
John William Draper, M.D., L.L.D.:
"Four years after the death of Justinian, A.D. 569, was born at Mecca, in Arabia the man who, of all men exercised the greatest influence upon the human race . . . Mohammed . . ."
(A History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, London 1875, Vol. 1, pp. 329-330)
In the words of PROF. HURGRONJE:
"The league of nations founded by the prophet of Islam put the principle of international unity and human brotherhood on such universal foundations as to show candle to other nations." He continues: "The fact is that no nation of the world can show a parallel to what Islam has done towards the realization of the idea of the League of Nations."
"It is impossible for anyone who studies the life and character of the great prophet of Arabia, who knows how he taught and how he lived, to feel anything but reverence for that mighty Prophet, one of the great messengers of the Supreme. And although in what I put to you I shall say many things which may be familiar to many, yet I myself feel whenever I re-read them, a new way of admiration, a new of reverence for that mighty Arabian teacher."
(The Life and Teachings of Muhammad, Madras 1932, page 4)
"Muhammad is the most successful of all Prophets and religious personalities."
Rev. R. Bosworth-Smith in "Mohammed and Mohammedanism 1946:"
"By a fortune absolutely unique in history, Mohammed is a threefold founder of a nation, of an empire, and of a religion."
"Head of the State as well as the Church, he was Caesar and Pope in one; but, he was Pope without the Pope's pretensions, and Caesar without the legions of Caesar, without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a police force, without a fixed revenue.
"If ever a man had the right to say that he ruled by a right divine, it was Muhammad, for he had all the powers without their supports. He cared not for the dressings of power. The simplicity of his private life was in keeping with his public life."
I confine here with these few opinions of one of the greatest intellectual people in the world. Otherwise almost all prominent thinkers and philosophers, who have studied the prophet’s life thoroughly, have saluted the distinction of the prophet Muhammad.
*The writer is renowned scholar working at Darul Uloom, Deoband. He can be reached at email@example.com. The article is for information only and in no way an endorsement of the French teacher’s killing or any sort of violence.
By M. Burhanuddin Qasmi*
A sane human cannot oppose everything and anything all the times, nor he or she can support something all the times. No one is saying everything in France is wrong or everything in USA, UK, India or in any Muslim majority country is just right and fine. We are humans and humans may err. All people are not bad and all cannot be equally good too.
Muslims don't like the Prophet's and the Qur'an's disrespect, it's a matter of faith of 2 billion people from around the world. It's a big deal, Muslims love their Prophet (saws), their Book and their believe in monotheism is very very dear to them. They love these things more than even their own souls and their parents. Being a non-Muslim, one may not be able to figure out, how precious and how adoring these things are to every practicing Muslim - male and female, from all corners of the world.
France doesn't understand it and doesn't respect these things by it's social and cultural openness or whatever reason - fair enough. Unfortunately, a notorious newspaper carried abusive cartoons of the Prophet (saws), a few years ago, there was bloodshed in France. Whole world was upset, Muslim world too condemned that attack. Later on, this much sense must prevail in every educated and wise society that it is a serious thing for our Co-citizens in France as well as Muslims from all over the world- one agrees or disagrees- it may create trouble and even may cost human lives. Thus, better avoid playing with guns and live bullets or burning fire, which may cause harm to us and others. Human lives are not joke and not a thing to amuse with and showcase your "art". An art cannot and must not create trouble, if it does, then it is not art but a political tool in disguise. Yet a member of the French far-right group did this notorious provocation in a planned manner, because he announced to do that and he was suggested to avoid it.
However, he did what he wanted, the first wrong. A young man - a teenager, went extremely violent following this incitement and killed that man, which was a crime and nobody justified it, that was the second wrong. Police shot-dead that boy on the spot without arrest and trails, against the standard norm of a free, democratic and secular system. OK, be gone by gone, a crime was punished, let's move on, but that was the third wrong, to be noted.
We know Mr Macron is upset because recently when he went to receive Ms Sophie Petronin, the four-year long captive in Mali and a very high profile lady, at the airport. Petronin was released voluntarily by her kidnappers on request of Christian religious leaders and Church because she was a missionary, doing humanitarian work there in Mali and is 70-year-old.
Nevertheless, Macron invited media cameras and went to take her from the aircraft itself to showcase that he has done it and is a strong "Christian" leader. Everything was being recorded and some channels were even live on-air.
This author was also following that developing story. It was supposed to be a big political achievement for Macron and his party, who actually could not perform up to his voters expectations, to gain some points from communal front and boast in front of his opponents as Obama did a few years ago. But to everyone's surprise and Macron's utter disappointment, Ms Petronin came out from the aircraft while her head was covered as Muslim women do. She waved everyone present down there from within the craft, came down and met Macron just at the aircraft stairs, stopped for a while, looked at his face and said in French, '... I have converted to Islam, I am no longer the previous Sophie Petronin but I am Maryam Petronin now. I did not make this announcement before, so that people should not misunderstand that I might be forced to Islam. I wanted to announce this only when I am free by my own will...and my captives have treated me well...'
This unexpected announcement was something extraordinary for whole of the world and for the extreme rightists in the West, a bitter pill to sallow. For Mr Macron, it might have been a painful shocker and most unfortunate experience, to say the least.
Well, there from, media cameras gradually went off, the breaking, the exclusive and the big news story was played down, blacked out and all marketing plans of Macron was ultimately devasted. He was never expecting in his wildest dream that was going to happen with Petronin's spicy story. He went to gain, he lost, as per his planning.
He might took that in his heart and within days announced that he is going to ban Muslim women's headscarf in France, reason - "democracy", "freedom" and "values" of the West. He said, he is going to change Islamic narratives because it is in "crises".
We know Mr. Macron, you are in pain, things are hard for you to digest - but we can't help. This was an accident for you and things went wrong. But you can't punish your whole Muslim population and abuse whole Islamic world because you are angry for no mistake of 70-year-old Ms Maryam Petronin. Her conversion was her choice and that's the freedom her French Constitution provides.
Following this recent uncalled for series of wrongs in France, any head of the state would generally try to keep cool and bring situation under control. Macron, on the contrary, fueled it further, threw his poisons out in public. He put those highly objectionable cartoons with big screens over public buildings and locked masjids in Paris. Made a fresh series of inflammatory and extremely objectionable statements about Islam, Muslims and their Prophet (saws).
Muslims cannot endorse all these wrongs and remain silent over gross injustice and fanaticism of one person. Macron can't fool people in the name of "freedom" and keep spitting his poison to make this world a hell for all to live.
Enough is enough. Every human life is valuable, every human deserves a free, peaceful and respectable life. Every culture, race, colour, language and religion is respectable to its respective people. Nobody should interfere in other's domain. Live and let live. Give respect, take respect. There is no way out other than this and we all need to understand it.
[This long write up was primarily addressed to Ms Elena Baliotti, London, UK in reply of her comments over one of my earlier Facebook posts.]
*Editor English monthly 'Eastern Crescent' Mumbai and Director of Markazul Maarif Education and Research Centre, Mumbai
Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), the prestigious Central University that we see in India today, was founded on 29 October 1920 at Aligarh with the spirit of nationalism. It was also founded on the lines of a New Education Policy (NEP) under the broader objective of Azad Talim or independent education aimed at achieving certain clearly stated goals, one of which was to prepare the new generation for a future India that would be free from the shackles of British colonialism and its influence and, shape its destiny by its own hands.
It is this ‘quest for self-directed education’ that makes Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) different from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and other educational institutions. The builders and founders of Jamia were freedom fighters and visionaries who had witnessed nationalist uprisings. Shaikhul Hind Maulana Mahmud Hasan is one of them.
Be it any institution or movement, some persons play instrumental role. Jamia’s distinction lies in being a load-stone both as a movement and, later, as an institution. There is a history to it. In his book Nuqoosh-e-Jamia, Ghulam Haider has divided the important figures associated with JMI in its early days in three categories:
(a) Buzurgan-e-Jamia or Elders of Jamia, (b) Hayati Arakin or Life Members, and (c) Karkunan-e-Jamia or the committed Workers/Volunteers of Jamia.
Shaikhul Hind Maulana Mahmud Hasan figures among the highly respected elders of Jamia.
A teacher par excellence and a great theologian Shaikhul Hind Maulana Maulana Mahmud Hasan (1851-1920) occupies a unique position among the founders of Jamia Millia Islamia. He was a great freedom fighter whose movement, called The Silk Letter Movement or ‘Tahreek-e-Reshmi Rumal’, if succeeded, could have got India independence much before it got it in 1947. However, its disclosure led to his arrest in Makkah and imprisonment in Malta from 1917 to 1920.
Maulana Mahmud Hasan holds the rare distinction of being one of those first few lucky students who had joined Darul Uloom Deoband, the historic seminary set up in 1867 by Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanautwi (1832-1880) and others.
Among other objectives, Darul Uloom was also established against the backdrop of struggle for freedom from the oppressive British rule. Mentioning about the historic contribution of Shaikhul Hind in the country’s freedom struggle Syed Ubaidur Rahman writes:
“At the end of 19th century and early 20th century, the foundation of India’s freedom struggle was laid by him and his distinguished students.”
The 1920’s is an important decade in the pre-Independence Indian history. From Mahatma Gandhi’s call for non-cooperation to Khilafat agitation, to the foundation of Jamia Millia Islamia, each is an epoch-making event and, the impressions of Maulana Mahmud Hasan can be seen and felt all over. It was due to his nationalist endeavours that he was conferred the title of “Shaikhul Hind”, meaning Leader of India, by the Khilafat leaders notably by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (1888-1958).
Mahmud Hasan was born in 1851 at Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh. He studied in the first batch of students that attended Darul Uloom Deoband. After graduating from Darul Uloom in 1874, he served as its teacher, then as principal and Shaikhul Hadith for three decades. His father Maulana Zulfiqar Ali was a reputed scholar of Arabic and one of the members of the Advisory Council of Darul Uloom. Not only this, “Maulana Zulfiqar Ali Deobandi” was among those, write Mohammad Shakaib Qasmi and Mohammad Naushad Qasmi, who “participated in the foundation of Darul Uloom.”
The story of establishment of Jamia Millia Islamia is long whose details are skipped here. In short, following few meetings between some prominent Muslims, Friday, October 29 was declared the day for Jamia’s inauguration and Maulana Mahmud Hasan was asked to come to Aligarh and chair the meeting. He did come. However, due to failing health as a result of unbearable and indescribable mental, physical and psychological torture during his three-year-long imprisonment he, leaned against the wall with the support of a pillow and, could not actively participate in its proceedings. His address, read out by one of his prominent disciples Allama Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, announced:
“The foundation of an independent university which has nothing to do with government [read British] subsidy and interference and whose organization is based on Islamic principles and national aspirations.”
According to Nayab Hasan, the speech at Aligarh at the foundation of Jamia Millia Islamia is among the top two best historical and revolutionary speeches of Shaikhul Hind. For Hasan, as for many others, the whole life of Shaikhul Hind revolved around two central points: to prevent and control the crises that gripped Muslims across the world and to seek a way out for them from the depressing defeat and decline. Therefore, he formed “Thamratut Tarbiyat”, “Jam’iatul Ansar” and "Nazaratul Ma’arif Al-Qur’ania” to train Deoband graduates and, stepped up his anti-colonialist campaign.
Having shifted its base from Aligarh to Delhi’s Karol Bagh in July, 1925, Jamia faced many upheavals including especially a grim financial crisis because the spark of the Non-Cooperation Movement had extinguished and financial assistance by the Khilafat Committee had dried up and it was even being considered to close Jamia. In Mushirul Hasan edited Knowledge, Power & Politics: Educational Institutions in India (Delhi, Roli Books, 1998), Mohammad Talib notes it while quoting from another source that:
"In its infancy, Jamia’s definite resources were its ‘unlimited dreams, fervent determination and enthusiastic nationalism."
It was in those days that some committed members and students made the greatest sacrifices to keep Jamia alive. Their sacrifices have earned huge dividends as JMI at its centenary sits atop the Central University rankings in the country.
What remains true for Jamia till today is the nationalist spirit that was the message and guiding principle of Maulana Mahmud Hasan who, just a month later, following the foundation of Jamia, passed away on 30th November, 1920 in Delhi. How deeply his absence was felt can be understood by these anguished words of Hakim Ajmal Khan, who in his speech as the first Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia at its first annual convocation thus stated:
“We are among those unfortunate people whose every moment of joy comes along with some or the other grief. How desperately our eyes in this gathering are searching for Shaikhul Hind but failing to find him.”
Although a lot remains to be achieved, the model of education and the spirit that Shaikhul Hind provided for Jamia, and the sacrifices he made for the nation are enough to guide and inspire generations to uphold Indian nationalism and serve the higher moral and humanitarian objectives. At the centenary year of Jamia Millia Islamia we take pride in and pray to Almighty to shower His blessings on this great son of India!
[Sources: Jamia Millia Islamia Tahreek, Tareekh, Riwayat, Vol. 1, (29 October, 2003, 1st edition, Zakir Husain Institute of Islamic Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia), compiled by Shamim Hanafi, Shahabuddin Ansari and Shamsul Haq Usmani, Nuqoosh-e-Jamia (Jamia ki Kahani Jamia Walon ki Zabani i.e. the Story of Jamia from Jamiites) by Ghulam Haider (2012, Maktaba Jamia Limited in collaboration with National Council for Promotion of Urdu Langue, New Delhi), Aks-o-Naqsh by Nayab Hasan (2017, Markazi Publications, New Delhi).
*Manzar Imam, is a Ph.D. scholar at the MMAJ Academy of International Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia
By M. Burhanuddin Qasmi*
Freedom of speech or freedom of expression is the phrase popular in the Western part of our planet in the recent weeks. People are dancing, singing and shouting; on streets, market places and at newsrooms, social media for a single thing – they call freedom of speech or freedom of art. They say it is their 'democratic value', some even claim it is their 'lifeline'. It is good for all and it is absolute, they say.
On the contrary, there are some others who are dying because of the same phrase. We see wars, bloodsheds, burnings, lootings and all that is classified as crime or uncivilized linked with this very phrase freedom of speech. If it is good for all then how can it cause violence and disorder among us? Or is it essentially an evil that some sick people are dragging us to hell in guise of freedom? What exactly this freedom of speech is!
Ironically some in the East too started suffering from a kind of untreatable intellectual disorder. They say freedom of speech is absolute. You can speak anything against anybody at anytime, anywhere and in anyway; wow - can you?
Does it mean one can abuse others, can insult, can lie, be it an individual, a society or an entity; be it a government, a god-man or God- and what not, one is 'absolutely' free to speak! Does it mean one can propagate against his own country, his faith and even disrespect his parents who have nourished him with care and abuse his Lord who has created him from a drop of water! May be yes for some, because their freedom of speech is 'absolute' – means unlimited, unchecked, thus, 'divine', isn't it?
They lecture for freedom of speech but forget about freedom of life, freedom of individual choice- what to eat, what to wear and how to dress! They may lynch an innocent human just for eating a particular form of meat, kill a poor passenger onboard for merely not singing their religious slogan and even tore apart women bodies for simply wearing headscarf which they don't like. If you object when they burn the Qur'an, your divine scripture, if you pain when they abuse you and your Prophet (saws) who is dearer to you than your own soul, then they term you nothing less than a terrorist. Amazing ideals of their freedom, tolerance and democratic values, aren't they!
However, our freedom of speech is restricted and all we can speak or do is within certain limits. We are just humans, not God who can do anything and everything, nor animals which do not enjoy the faculty of wisdom. We do not find a place in the civilized world to do and say anything or everything being 'absolutely free' other than in a jungle.
What we understand from freedom of speech is a political right to communicate one's opinions and ideas using one's physical means to anyone who is willing to receive them. Every government and every society in the world restricts freedom of speech to a certain degree. You cannot force into one's house and begin doing filth for your amusement. It is not freedom, instead plain madness and a crime.
Common limitations on speech relate to libel, slander, obscenity, pornography, sedition, hate speech, incitement, abuse, fighting words, classified information, copyright violation, trade secrets, non-disclosure agreements, right to privacy, right to be forgotten, public security, public order, and public nuisance and so on. All these are restricted in all sane societies in some or the others ways.
The term "offense principle" was specially added to expand the range of free speech limitations to prohibit forms of expression where they are considered offensive to society, special interest groups or individuals. For example, freedom of speech is limited in many jurisdictions to widely differing degrees by religious legal systems, religious offense or incitement to ethnic or racial hatred laws.
However, freedom itself is not absolute anywhere in the world, let alone freedom of speech, not even in the USA where laws against anti-Semitism are enforced. Not in Islamophobic France where a burqa-clad Muslim woman is considered to be a 'real' threat to its 'secular democratic' pyramid. It is not in Switzerland either where an RCC structure – a minaret of a masjid is considered to be cruise-missile against its 'democratic values'. And more so it is not in the 'symbol of freedom of speech' (sick) Charlie Hebdo magazine - the Wester media, too which fired its own cartoonist- Sine in 2009 just because he had mocked former President Sarkozy's son converting to Judaism for money through his caricature. It was an "art" - a caricature only against the son of a politician which brought heaven down, yet such cynical minds proclaim to be "free"!
We also know that the right to freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 19 of the ICCPR states, "Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference" and "everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression..."
Article 19 goes on to say that the exercise of these rights carries "special duties and responsibilities" and may "therefore be subject to certain restrictions" when necessary "for respect of the rights or reputation of others" or "for the protection of national security or of public order, or of public health or morals".
This is our freedom of speech and is not absolute. It carries certain responsibilities and is not evil or vice.
Killing even a criminal without standard legal proceeding, let alone a common human, is an unjustifiable crime. Each wise and sane person would and should condemn such an act but to ncite 1.9 billion Muslims and insult Prophet Muhammad (saws) is also insanity and criminal provocation; if a state fails to stop it, is a failed or biased state, to say the least.
[*M. Burhanuddin Qasmi is Editor of Eastern Crescent and Director of Markazul Ma'arif Education and Research Centre, Mumbai, India]