What can we do in face of the current turmoil in the Muslim world and in the world at large?
Well, you have to be involved with the media, we cannot run away from the media. We do have to participate and try to bring our belief, our concepts, our correct image to bear on the media. Of course many of the writers, reporters etc., will not be interested, they won’t write what you say, but not every reporter is biased. You find among them some who are fair and they will try to express our views properly. So such people we give them support, we encourage them and utilize them to present the correct religion of Islam in the media, we have to do this in the media.
Do you know what is actually happening in Denmark and Germany where Muslim communities are afraid of the media? Completely afraid. They didn’t want the media. When they invited me to lecture, they didn’t want the media to even come into the lecture, they banned them, barred them from even entering into lecture hall. I told them, “You don’t need to do this, allow them in, let them report.” It’s good when they all come because if there are discrepancies etc., it could appear in the news. This one looks claimed and this was said or whatever, no, don’t let it look like this is something else. So to expose to those papers etc., that are likely to disturb the image therein. So I encouraged meeting the press but the community feared for the press because we know in Denmark this year, there was a cartoon drawing pictures of Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ), there was attempted assassination of the people that were involved, and bombing on the newspapers that have published them etc. So it was something of a volatile situation. However, I told to the press on my way back after giving the lecture that I will speak to them afterwards, I will give them full opportunity to ask the questions they wish. So after the lecture, which was on Islamophobia, I talked to them, I answered all the questions they wanted, they recorded, put in prints etc. And what showed up in print was very positive, they said this person is falsely accused, he is not saying this, people are claiming so and so, they made a very positive picture of Islam in the paper and they even sent the TV crew down to the Islamic Center where I was to interview Muslim Danish converts and the community. It was an immediate success. And the brothers and sisters were shocked. How? Why have they come to bother you? No, they have never done this before. But the point is that Muslims have always been running away from them. And they, of course, people feel that since they are always running away, they have something to hide, must be something wrong there, so they can’t find it, they make it up. So, of course, the Muslims, as I said, we can’t run away we have to meet the press.
Also politically, Muslims have to be involved in politics, they also cannot run away from the political process, either because decisions are made which can affect the Muslim society, whether they are majority situation or minority situation. So where they find candidates that are openly speaking about Islam, and other candidates that are moderate in their speech and supportive or whatever, then you support by voting the moderate one, you want to move with a peer to look out for their future. It is necessary for Muslims to be involved in the process because if they don’t get involved, and then the parties that are coming that have very negative attitude towards Islam end up in power, then the Muslims that are not voting are at fault. They have brought it upon themselves. So this is something necessary as a strategy, in order to deal with the problems that we are facing today.< Back to Questions