The Path of Hatred

In the Name of the Compassionate and Infinitely Merciful Precious Beloved

The attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Egypt (the land of my ancestry) and the U.S. Consulate in Libya, where the U.S. Ambassador was killed, leave me doubly outraged. First, as an American, I am outraged that our diplomatic missions were attacked in so brazen a manner, with no regard to civility or morality. No matter what, nothing justifies the murder of innocent people: no matter who they are, where they are, or what faith they profess. Period.

At the same time, the fact that this violence was apparently in response to a hateful anti-Islam film also outrages me, as a Muslim: because, again, attacking innocent people is not the way to "defend" the Prophet Muhammad or honor his memory. If these barbarian attackers think they served God by their actions, they thought wrong. They only served the way of Satan.

Yet, this entire mess - the film and the violent response to it - highlights the fruits of the path of hatred. Make no mistake about it: this film was born of hatred. The filmmaker, apparently an Egyptian-American using the pseudonym Sam Bacile, told the Wall Street Journal: "Islam is a cancer. The movie is a political movie. It's not a religious movie."

Note: he didn't say that "radical Muslims" are a cancer, which they are; he didn't say that "violent extremism" is a cancer, which it defintiely is. No, he said "Islam is a cancer." He followed the path of hatred.

And this path of hatred led the filmmaker to deceive the actors and crew who worked on the film:

A casting call published in July 2011 in Backstage magazine and in other publications for actors identifies the working title of the movie as "Desert Warrior" and describes it as a "historical Arabian Desert adventure film." An actress in the film who asked not to be identified said the original script did not include a Prophet Muhammed character. She added that she and other actors complained that their lines had been changed.

Clearly, this man hates Islam and wanted the film to reflect his hatred.

On the same token, the attackers of the Embassy and Consulate also followed the path of hatred. The Americans in the Embassy and Consulate are not responsible for the pathetic film of a bigoted Islamophobe. They do not deserve to be attacked or punished for the actions of a hateful American fillmmaker.

Attacking them is just as absurd as attacking an American mosque for the actions of terrorists who maim and murder abroad. Attacking any American anywhere for the perceived "sins and crimes of America" is wrong, just as attacking any Muslim anywhere for the "sins and crimes of Islamic terrorists" is wrong. That is the path of hatred, and it is exactly the path from which our Lord told us to stay away.

Our Lord told us: "Never let your hatred of a people lead you to commit injustice..." (5:8).

No matter how much we hate terrorists who commit violence in the name of Islam, we must never let our hatred of them make us smear all of Islam with their sins; we must never let our hatred of the terrorists make us attack innocent American Muslims who have nothing to do with terrorism in Islam's name.

No matter how much they may hate America's foreign policy or her actions abroad, they must never let their hatred of that policy make them attack innocent Americans who were trying to do good in the world; they must never let their hatred of American policy make them kill innocent Americans who have nothing to do with the foreign policy of their government.

This is the path of God: a path of love, harmony, and mutual respect. I pray that more people - of all faiths, nations, and backgrounds - take to this path and forsake the path of hatred.

Leave a comment