On the 30 October, the Muslim Brotherhood’s London-based weekly bulletin Risalat Al-Ikhwan published a statement titled: ‘On French and European offences against Islam, its Prophet and Book’. Among other matters, the Muslim Brotherhood’s statement praises the uprising [intifada] of the peoples of the Muslim world and the defence of their sanctities “by every peaceful civilised means”. An intifada is best understood as a sustained ‘uprising’. It may or may not be intermittent, and is often marked by violence – although the level of violence may vary.
The following is a translation from Arabic of the Muslim Brotherhood’s statement:
The Muslim Brotherhood criticises the escalating campaign of hatred – especially in France – against Islam, the Qur’an and our Messenger (pbuh), by; repeatedly publishing cartoons insulting the prophet (pbuh); burning copies of the HolyQur’an; continuing to spread slanders and lies to generate fear in western societies about Muslims; creating a tense atmosphere; taking a series of unjust measures which led to the closure of many mosques and Islamic institutions; attacking several Islamic institutions and peaceful Muslim citizens, especially veiled women — via widespread toxic calls to undermine the rights of Muslims, and their legitimate presence in the country. The Muslim Brotherhood views all these developments as a major threat to societal peace, and a violation of human rights and of all humanity.
The Muslim Brotherhood regrets theFrench President’s leadership of this campaign–whichdeals a mortal wound to the principle of religious freedom; treats with disdain widerhuman values, freedom of religion, and respect for the faiths of nations and peoples; and challenges and provokes the feelings of more than 1.8 billion Muslims and many other millions worldwide who follow other religions and other faiths.
The announcement by President Macron — in his country, France — of his support for the publication of the offensive cartoons of the prophet (pbuh), categorising them under freedom of opinion, reflects a hateful, racist stance, which contradicts the principles of the French Republic, which call for freedom of belief and respect for religions. It offends the moral meaning of freedoms, and reaffirms a double standard and deviation from their original concept in France.
Such racist stances and campaigns help fuel an atmosphere of hostility and hatred among human beings, and createconflict between peoples and societies — this at a time when all institutions and governments should be extending bridges of cooperation and mutual understanding and respect for religious beliefs and sanctities, and working to achieve stability and peace between the peoples of the world.
The Brotherhood affirms its categorical rejection of offense — indirectly or directly — against the most noble being in creation, Muhammad (pbuh) — at a time of the commemoration of his birth — and for whom every Muslim sacrifices himself, his family and money, out of love and not fanaticism; out of belief in him and not out of partisanship. Such offences do not diminish the power of our prophet in any way, and his place is preserved in the earth and the heavens in the Qur’anic verses:
Surely We will be sufficient for you against the mockers (Al-Hijr: 95)
Only the one who hates you is truly cut off from any goodness (Al-Kawthar: 3)
The Muslim Brotherhood appreciates the uprising [intifada] of the peoples of the Muslim world and their defence of their sanctities by every peaceful civilised means — the first of which is the boycott of all those who commit hostility against Muslims. It demands that the Arab and Muslim governments officially protest to France against this campaign, which incite racism and extremism. It calls on the president and the French government to respect the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights, which established that “insulting the messenger of Allah, Muhammad, (pbuh) cannot be categorised as freedom of expression”. The Muslim Brotherhood demands an apology for all the abuses committed against the prophet of mercy (pbuh), and also requires all countries in which a racist tendency against Islam and Muslims is increasing to stop and prevent such occurrences.
Sources: Risalat Al-Ikhwan (London), no. 1095, 30 October 2020, and Ikhwanonline.net, 27 October 2020.