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No he wasn’t. Or to be factually correct, they weren’t. Now, a little background. ‘The Nation’, a Pakistani newspaper published a news item quoting a Saudi newspaper that the editor of Danish newspaper ‘Jyllands Posten’ was burnt to death.
The editor of the Danish newspaper ‘Jyllands Posten’ was burnt to death when a fire mysteriously broke out in his bedroom, a Saudi newspaper claims.
According to the newspaper, the editor was sleeping in his bedroom when the fire ravaged his bedroom. He and his newspaper became controversial when it had published blasphemous caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Through Yahoo messenger offlines and SMS text messages, the editor soon became THE cartoonist (so what if there were 12 of them) and the rumour spread all over the Muslim world. So much for the background. Now, I am yet to see the name of the Saudi newspaper. Even ‘The Nation’ does not name the source and that tells us something about the journalistic standards of our times. The news editor of ‘The Nation’ actually thought that such a big news would be blanked by the world media and would find outlet in an obscure (and unknown, till now) newspaper (of all places) in Saudi Arabia. Obviously, he believed that the Danish government was trying to cover up the news of the death, as the news item further states. Conspiracy theories such as these are not uncommon and have become quite popular these days with internet and email contributing their bit. So, why am I writing about this?
Because I got the following message. Third time in three days.
the artist who drew the pictures of the Prophet Muhammed (S.A.W)has died in a fire. He was burnt alive. Denmark government is hiding the news from the public and everyone has got to know. Plz spread this…. (its the price one must pay 4 the insult of Allahs Prophet(S.A.W) plz copy and paste this as many ppl ignore forwaded mails… thank you for your co operation subhan ALLAH ghgustakhay RASOOL ka hashar akheratt mai tu bura hoga he liken ALLAH pak nay RASOOL (S.A.W) kay ghustakk ka hasharr dunya mai he dekha deya ……….gustakh RASOOL aur bughsia RASOOL rakhnay waloon ka ye hashar hooga ………….ALLAH hum sab ke bukhsish farmai (ameen)
The first part of the message is obviously a lie and a dangerous one at that. Anyone with a keyboard, sinister mind and bad vocabulary could compose it. The real surprise were the people it came from. These are educated people, graduates and involved in research activities. If they wouldn’t verify the authenticity of such a message before passing it on to others, then who will?
The second part of the message is more worrisome. Here is a rough translation:
People disrespecting the Prophet have to pay for their acts in the after-life but Allah has shown the fate of such people in this life as well. People disprecting and maligning the Prophet would have this fate. May Allah forgive all our sins. Amen.
It is sickening to see some Muslims revelling in the death of others. It is as un-Islamic as it gets and as distant from the path of the Prophet Muhammad as it goes. There is that oft-quoted and quite inspiring story of a lady in Mecca throwing rubbish on Prophet whenever he passed her house because she did not like the his message of Islam. The Prophet never said anything to her. One day she wasn’t there to throw the rubbish and so the Prophet went to her house to enquire about her well-being. She was so impressed by his behavior that she accepted his message.