Karachi: Religious intolerance, Islamophobia, and political extremism are the reasons behind the disrespect of the Quran. There is an attempt to suppress Muslims’ religious honor in the name of freedom of expression. Due to the weakness of the Islamic world, the audacity for disgraceful acts has emerged in the Western world. It is a challenge from the Noble Quran, “Bring forth a Surah like it”, and they have no answer to this.
These are the views expressed by prominent religious scholar and member of the Islamic Ideological Council, Mufti Mohammad Zubair, Chairman of the Islamic Schools Association of Australia, Executive Principal of the Islamic College, and nominated for the Order of Australia for his contribution to community services, Professor Abdullah Khan, who has been associated with teaching for the past 33 years in Australia, along with President of the Islamic History Department at the University of Karachi, Professor Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Sohail Shafiq, boldly answered the question, “What are the causes of continuous disrespect of the Quran in the Western world?”
Mufti Mohammad Zubair stated that in the Western world, one of the major reasons for blasphemy against the Quran is the rapid spread of Islam. Therefore they let out their hatred for Islam under the guise of freedom of expression, they want to malign Islam in a manner that normalizes the disrespect of Allah, the Prophet, and the Quran, making it routine. However, nothing can be more severe and difficult for a Muslim than tolerating blasphemy against the Quran or the Prophet (PBUH). This is the red line for Muslims, which they cannot even imagine someone crossing. He said that at present, Muslims are labeled as extremists, although to this day, no Muslim has ever burned a religious book like the Gita, Torah, Psalms, or the Bible, nor have they ever conceived of insulting them. The reason is clear that Islam teaches respect for other religions, but the hearts of the Muslim community are wounded repeatedly, and this is done to launch an attack on the religion of Muslims and to make them lose their religious dignity. However, a Muslim can never be ready to compromise on this.
Professor Abdullah Khan said that there are several reasons and motives for the disrespect and burning of the Holy Quran by non-Muslims in some Western countries. Here, I will briefly mention them:
- Islamophobia: In France and some other Western countries, there is a significant number of individuals who engage in Islamophobia, which is hatred and violence against Muslims. Their fundamental objective is to provoke the emotions of Muslims and promote hatred.
- Political violence: Some individuals and groups disrespect the Quran for political purposes. It serves as a means to make Muslims a source of violence. It provides them an opportunity to present all Muslims as uniformly extremists.
- Religious bigotry: Religious bigotry is also a reason for some individuals to disrespect the Quran. Based on their religious bias, they disrespect the Quran and consider Muslims as enemies or insignificant.
- Misinterpretation: Some individuals fail to understand the interpretations and concepts of the Quran correctly. This ignorance and misinterpretation lead them to disrespect it. It is crucial to mention that this is not the case in all Western countries, and neither their governments nor societies tolerate such actions. For example, the government of Western Australia has established a council to protect the rights of individuals with diverse cultural backgrounds, of which I am also a member. Before making any new law or policy, the council is consulted to ensure that it does not have any negative impact on Muslims or other communities.
Dr. Muhammad Sohail Shafiq said that this is not just an incident or event; rather, it is a planned conspiracy. The Central Mosque of Sweden and the day of Eid al-Adha were chosen for this heinous act. When a large number of Muslims were present there, the burning of the Quran was announced according to a set plan. Permission was obtained from the court, and the police provided security. The purpose was to hurt the sentiments of Muslims, cause them distress, and incite them. This is not a new phenomenon. Since the beginning of Islam, enemies of Islam have been engaged in such contemptuous actions. Actually, it is a challenge from the Holy Quran that they cannot produce a Surah (chapter) like it, and this is their admission of defeat. Another reason is the weakness of the Muslim world, which has allowed such despicable acts to occur. They want to see how much zeal and fervor remains among Muslims for the sanctity of their religious symbols. Therefore, it is crucial to protest at every level and make it clear that any form of disrespect and mockery of religious sanctities is unacceptable to the Muslim world.