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Fri Mar 06 07:58:08 SAST 2015

Islam is stronger than the 'zealots' killing on its behalf

The Times Editorial | 19 September, 2012 00:10

The Times Editorial: The violence that has been unleashed in Muslim countries since the release of the Innocence of Muslims film trailer has been shocking - but felt far removed from South Africa.

Not only has the condemnation been directed at the US but the sweeping violence has been largely restricted to Islamic countries.

After US ambassador Chris Stevens was killed in Libya, President Barack Obama said: "While the US rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants."

Yesterday, it became South Africa's turn to mourn eight of its citizens after a bomb exploded in the Afghanistan capital, Kabul.

According to the reports, a woman bomber carried out the attack that was meant as revenge for the film.

Hezb-i-Islami, a radical group, has claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying: "The bombing was in retaliation for the insult on our prophet."

The amateurish film, which depicts the prophet Mohammed in an extremely insulting manner, has been banned from websites in several countries already.

But can we absolve the suicide bomber - driven by an extreme sense of injustice - from responsibility for plunging eight South African families into grief? Does a religious insult permit indiscriminate murder?

Yesterday, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, the billionaire nephew of Saudi Arabia's king, said: "I hope these demonstrations will subside. You have to remember [that] those who go on the street and shout are the minority. Islam is a lot stronger and resilient."

This is precisely what we must hope will happen - that no religion will feel itself under such extreme threat over a film that is a crude and ill-informed piece of rubbish. And that Muslims will know that this is not how they are viewed in the world.


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