Hundreds of people marched in a peaceful rally from the Omar bin Khattab mosque to the American embassy in Doha yesterday afternoon soon after the Friday prayer to protest against a film denigrating the Prophet of Islam.
Expressing their resentment over the attempt to malign Islam by tarnishing the image of the Prophet, the protesters called for revenge against those who made the movie. “No Muslim will tolerate such a cowardly and lewd form of depicting the Prophet’s personal life. It is unfortunate that America and Europe have become the breeding ground for hatred against Islam and Islamic values and Islamic way of life” said one of the protesters, Abdullah al-Mutawwa.
Prior to the rally, Islamic scholar and chairman of the International Union of Ulema, Dr Sheikh Yousuf al-Qaradawi, strongly criticised the film in his Friday sermon at the Omar bin Khattab mosque.
“The movie seeks to destroy the image of the Prophet of Islam in a very mean way,” he said. “It reflects racialism and ignorance. It cannot be described as a work of art permissible under the pretext freedom of expression,” he added. “We have been used to such acts of maligning from the West oft and on. Some people in America and Europe are bent on hurting the sentiments of 1.6bn Muslims all over the world.”
He, however, stressed that protests should be peaceful. “Our manner of protesting should reflect sense and reason. We cannot throw the blame on the United States as a whole. Nor should we physically attack the US embassies in our region. People in high positions in the West realise the stupidity of such attempts to destroy to the image of Islam.” He reminded that the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, had already described the film as “disgusting and reprehensible”.
“We need to counter such work by producing a movie presenting the Islam in a true frame.”
The Peninsula quotes Qaradawi as stating in his sermon that “Defending the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) cannot be done by chanting slogans, killing diplomats or burning embassies”.