Hundreds march in peaceful Doha rally

15 September, 2012

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.

The faithful proceeding in a procession to the US embassy yesterday after the Friday prayers.

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.”

Dr Sheikh Yousuf al-Qaradawi giving his Friday sermon yesterday.

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”.

Meanwhile, the International Union of Ulema has demanded Pope Benedict XVI apologise to Muslims over inflammatory remarks he had made in 2006. 

The union accused the Pope of fuelling “sedition” between Muslims and Christians, in a statement coinciding with the start of the Pontiff’s three-day visit to Lebanon. 

The union “demands the Pope of the Vatican apologise to Muslims over what he said during his speech in Germany… just as he had apologised to Jews,” said a statement. 

In 2006, Benedict offended Muslims by appearing to link Islam with violence in a speech at his former university in Regensburg, southern Germany. 

The union, chaired by al-Qaradawi, said it had “tried to open dialogue with the Vatican” without success and had demanded that he “apologise but he did not”. 

It accused Benedict of “fuelling sedition between partners in the same country”, referring to Muslims and Christians in Lebanon, by “planning to sign an apostolic exhortation that contains dangerous messages and ideas”. 

The messages included a “warning from the Islamisation of the society and spreading fear among Christians from political Islam in the region”, said the statement. 

“It is strange that at the time the Pope warns from political Islam, he himself practices large-scale political Christianity,” it added, urging Benedict not to sign the “apostolic exhortation because it carries wrong (and) false information and is intended to cause sedition between Muslims and Christians.”


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