The Qur’aan Majeed says: “(O Muhammad!) Say (to the Munaafiqeen): ‘Mock (as you wish!). Verily,
Allah will expose that which you fear most.’ And, if you should ask them (about their lampooning,
mockery and insult), they will most certainly say: ‘We were only engaging (in light humour) and joking
(displaying a sense of humour). Say (to them, O Muhammad!): ‘What! Were you mocking (and joking)
with Allah, His verses and His Messenger?’
Do not make excuses, for verily, you have most assuredly committed kufr after your Imaan…” (Surah
Taubah, Aayaat 64 and 65) This latter verse refers particularly to the murtaddeen who still sport
Muslim names and do not find the vile cartoon offensive.
“And, they (the unbelievers like the editor of Mail & Guardian and Zappiro) make a mockery of MY
aayaat and with that (punishment) with which they have been warned.” (Surah Kahaf, Aayat 56)
“Verily, We have placed seals on their hearts (blocking off guidance) so that they will not understand
it (Allah’s Law), and We have plugged corks into their ears. Therefore, if you call them to guidance,
never ever will they be guided. (Surah Kahaf, Aayat 57)
“And, when they come to know something of Our Aayaat, they make a mockery of it. For them there is
a disgraceful punishment.” (Surah Jaathiyah, Aayat 9)
The blasphemous cartoon of the miserable Zappiro, published by the miserable Mail & Guardian
tabloid while lamentable, causing grief and pain to all Muslims, except those who have committed
irtidaad, is not surprising. These cartoons like the Danish and other kuffaar cartoons are merely an
extension of the Crusader plot on a different level. There are a variety of dimensions in the master
plot of the western Kuffaar to destroy Islam. Besides the Crusader dimension, the other sinister
agenda is to disturb and disrupt the good relationship which the Muslim community enjoys in this
Mockery and insult of Islam and its holy personages in general, and of Rasulullah (sallallahu
alayhi wasallam) in particular, while condonable in the kuffaar concept of ‘humour’ and ‘freedom
of speech’, are NEVER acceptable and tolerable to Muslims. In fact, it is in diametric conflict with
even the secular constitution of the country which enshrines the principle of freedom of religion, to
impose alien concepts of humour and freedom of speech on Muslims. Shoving down our throats
the vile sense of humour of the miserable character Zappiro, and the warped concept of freedom of
speech of the Mail & Guardian and of others of this evil ilk, is to deny our constitutional right of
freedom of religion with its necessary corollary of respect and dignity for our beliefs and religious
sentiments and emotions.
If for example, branding Zappiro to be the illegitimate child of Satan in Chief, and lampooning
the editor of the Mail & Guardian as being the gay spouse of the Devil are acceptable in their
concept of ‘freedom of speech’ and ‘sense of humour’, we say unequivocally that lampooning our
Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in vile cartoons or even ‘praising’ him in any form of
pictorial depiction with the sincere intent of honour and praise, are abominable and unacceptable to
Islam and Muslims. A pictorial depiction of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) for even
veneration is prohibited. To a far greater degree is the prohibition emphasised when the depiction is
a portrayal of mock and insult. The Qur’aan emphatically condemns this form of mocking.
The aforementioned verses of the Qur’aan Majeed, as well as many other verses, deprecates and
prohibits any form of mocking and lampooning any item of the Islamic religion. The highest and
the loftiest Item of our religion after Allah Azza Wa Jal is our Nabi Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi
wasallam). It is therefore essential that Zappiro and the newspapers he works for understand well
that with these vile cartoons of mock and jeer they are stabbing the hearts of Muslims. If causing
such hurt and offense was the motive underlying the publication of these satanic cartoons, then let
them know that they have succeeded in their nefarious agenda. At the same time they should
understand that the divine chastisement is swift and silent. Allah Ta’ala has His own ways of
extracting retribution from His enemies.
The former editor of the Mail & Guardian, we are told was one murtaddah. During her tenure of
kufr she had published the vile Danish cartoons which later the High Court banned. She is no
longer the editor. However, we are informed that she is perishing with cancer. We are sure the
thousands or millions of curses which emanate from the hearts of Muslims for Zappiro and the
publishers of the tabloid will not go unheard in the Divine Court.
Freedom of speech too has its limits. We are sure that if Zappiro calls his mother a ‘whore’, no
one will justify such calumny in the name of ‘freedom of speech’. An act which may be humourous
in a culture may be blasphemous in another culture. Freedom of speech has to necessarily be
limited with tolerance – tolerance of the religious feelings and beliefs of co-citizens. The tabloid’s
editor’s inability to understand the logic underlying our revulsion, annoyance and anger at the
publication of the evil cartoon which was calculated to mock and insult our Nabi (sallallahu alayhi
wasallam) and Islam, does not assuage the tremendous hurt, anger and grief he and the miserable
cartoonist have caused the Muslim community.
His inability to understand our thinking is the effect of him being a non-Muslim. It is not possible
for those bereft of Imaan such as born non-Muslims and murtads to comprehend the spiritual logic
which arises from the fountain of Imaan. Nevertheless, despite this inability, intelligence and
responsibility demand that editors of newspapers make endeavours to probe Muslim culture so as
to establish which acts and statements cause offence and anger to us. Once this has been
established, it will be most irresponsible and satanic to embark on a path designed to deliberately
inflame the emotions of a whole community.
It is time that the government redefines the constitutional concept of ‘freedom of speech’. In the
interests of maintaining peace and the happiness of a segment of the population, it devolves on the
government as an incumbent obligation to amplify the current constitutional limitations of freedom
of speech to include the religious dimension, viz. that speech and acts which offend religious
beliefs and inflames religious emotions be banned.
If the Mail & Guardian has any understanding of responsibility, it should offer the Muslim
community the assurance that it will not repeat in future any pictorial depiction of Islam’s
Holy Personages. It has been brought to our notice that the editor of this tabloid justified the
publication by means of the following crooked and absurd analogy: Muslims believe that pork is
unlawful. If I eat pork, they are not offended. But, if I publish a picture which is unlawful for them,
they are offended. I cannot understand this. There is a huge difference in the editor’s consumption
of pork and his insulting our Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). By consuming pork and
poison he will not be mocking and insulting Islam despite the prohibition of these substances in
Islam. But, lampooning our Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is blasphemous and causes immense
hurt to our hearts, for we love the Nabi more than our love for our parents and children.
Furthermore, the Qur’aan reviles such mocking and lampooning. It prohibits mockery of our Deen.
If the Mail & Guardian fails to assure Muslims that there will be no repetition of cartoons of
this nature, the Muslim community should initiate a total boycott of all newspapers featuring
Zappiro’s cartoons. Despite the small percentage of Muslims, there are large concentrations of
Muslims in Natal, Gauteng and Western Cape. It is the Waajib obligation of every Muslim to
stand up to defend the honour of our beloved Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
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