On September 28, 2015 in the television talk show “Hart aber Fair” (hard but fair), Zekeriya Altug from the Muslim association DITIB, demanded „that sacred things like the Koran or the prophets should be respected and not insulted.“
When the political scientist Hamed Abdel-Samad then asked whether this meant he had no right to write a biography of Mohammed (i.e. “Muhammed –A Reckoning”), he was given a clear reply:
„A critical book, yes; but a pamphlet such as you’ve written – I don’t think so.“
According to Zekeriya Altug, Hamed Abdel-Samad doesn’t have the right to publish a biography of Mohammed, because it should rather be a pamphlet! What a pamphlet is, of course, depends on the opinion of Zekeriya Altug in his capacity as Muslim Inquisitor. This reminds me of two other pamphlets.
First: „J’accuse“ by the French writer Émile Zola. In that pamphlet, the author denounced the contemporary hatred of Jews in his country. On account of this pamphlet, Zola had to go into exile for some time.
Secondly: Martin Luther’s illustrated lampoons of the Pope. For these ten woodcuts dating from 1545, he got himself into real trouble with the Catholic Church.
When it comes to lampoons, a religious fanatic reacts with thoughts of banning them. A fundamentalist can’t tolerate another person who may not share the same idea of what’s sacred – but that’s how it is sometimes! Some like Coke, others prefer Pepsi. Then there are those who reject all that sugary stuff. It’s the same with religion. Coke has Santa Claus, Islam has Muhammad. It’s all a matter of taste! Basically, Islam is like Pepsi. There are good and bad aspects, and both Islam and Pepsi have spread surprisingly quickly all over the world, in spite of undeniable severe competition.
Did I just insult Islam? رغم ذلك
Imagine, Hamed Abdel-Samad had written a book critical of Charlemagne and then someone comes along – let’s call him Zekeriya Altklug (German: precocious) – and decided Abdel-Samad should not be allowed to write so critically about the Frankish king because he considers Karl holy. In his opinion, offending Karl is the same as insulting his mother. And whoever provokes with a cartoon of him, then it’s Karlahu akbar!
What a nut job! A clear majority of people in Germany would then picture Altklug (“precocious”) standing on a beer crate and gesticulating wildly in some seedy area of Dortmund.
Everyone has the right to think anything is sacred. There are even people who worship cows! Then there are Catholics, for example, who revere thin wafers as God! No kidding. At the Feast of Corpus Christi, Catholics carry a so-called monstrance, in which a wafer – thanks to the miracle of transubstantiation – transforms in substance to form of the body of Christ! Catholics believe that at communion they’re eating God in the form of the flesh of a Jew who died two thousand years ago! You can read that in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. If you don’t believe, then you’re not a real Catholic!
”CANON I.-If any one denieth, that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, are contained truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue; let him be anathema.” (THE COUNCIL OF TRENT, Session XIII – The third under the Supreme Pontiff, Julius III, celebrated on the eleventh day of October, 1551
The Catholic Church tosses two thousand year old meat around! Now, if that’s not a rotten meat scandal. Any Turkish snack stand would be closed down for much less cause! I wonder how Catholic vegetarians get by. Are there meatless Hosts? A tofu Jesus or perhaps a veggy Christ? On top of that, the Catholic Church offers wine from the year 33 AD. Does the Church have a liquor license?
Did I just insult Catholicism? Omnibus idem!
Martin Luther didn’t believe in the Feast of Corpus Christi or that Jesus was stuck in a piece of unleavened bread. Luther wrote several pamphlets against that idea. Pamphlets are perfectly fine! Recently a friend of mine wrote on Facebook:
„We can’t progress if Alevis are criticizing Sunnis or vice versa. This also applies to (Orthodox) Christians. We must respect all religious beliefs!“
My commentary on that:
„I think it’s totally okay to mock religions, especially in light of what their proponents have done and still do. I think mere mockery of religious ideas can be enlightening! Many people choose arms as weapons. But I choose words. There’s nothing bad about that. I consider it disrespectful to tell me to shut up.“
Maybe that’s the trick? You have to add some ideas into a mixture, call it a religion, demand respect and be quick to take offense, and then get special treatment. Therefore, I’ll invent a new religion and call it Osmeum (“os meum”)!
An Osmeum believes that God reveals himself in free speech. Therefore, Zekeriya Altug has offended my faith deeply with his „I don’t think so“ comment. I demand that he should apologize and resign from all offices. Osmeumphobe people like Zekeriya Altug shouldn’t be invited to German television talk shows. What? You say, that contradicts the essence of my own faith? What I say is not the true Osmeum? Want a punch in the nose, or what?
Everyone can consider sacred whatever they wish, but nobody should expect me to agree and follow along.
Mohammed is not sacred to me. For my part, he is neither a prophet nor a role model, but just a historical figure like Cleopatra or Hitler – probably something closer to Hitler, considering his gender.
Mohammed was a military commander. He won battles, killed people, kept slaves and raped women. He was a child of the times; a soldier who lived about fourteen hundred years ago in Arabia. Mohammed is not more important than any arbitrary baker from Mecca – on the contrary: I prefer fresh buns over the Koran!
Those who believe Mohammed was a prophet, who traveled to heaven and split the moon, may do so, but I have every right to consider the whole story blatantly ridiculous!
I think it’s silly to bow down and pray five times a day in the direction of a place from which Mohammed supposedly rode to heaven – and I might add – on a white horse-like creature with wings and a human head. I also find it strange that at the end of those prayers, Muslims look at their left and right shoulders in order to greet the angels sitting there. Although I am a big fan of the Muppets, that’s just too gay even for me!
Whoops, did I just mock Islam again?
أنا لا تعطي اللعنة
(Translation: William Wires)