Koran or Human Life: Which one is more important to Muslims?

I have been asking myself this question for some time but I have now decided to ask it out loud following the chilling news coming out of Afghanistan. The news is not something new. It has become a recurrent feature in many Islamic countries.

Yes, my question is this – which one is more valuable to our muslim friends – is it the Koran, or human life? Is it Islamic piety or respect for this one life we have? Is it this real temporary life in this world or the imaginary eternal life in the hereafter?

Because it is now confirmed that at least 10 more people have been killed and over 45 injured in Southern Afghanistan during a protest by muslims against the burning of the Koran in the US.  Some UN workers were among those beheaded by Muslim protesters – who I guess are now expecting bountiful reward from Allah when they die!

I think, given the evolutionary stage of Muslim pride, patience, temper, comportment and sensibility, to burn a copy of the Koran is provocative. But that is not a justification for this madness and senseless bloodletting by Islamic mobs. Personally I have followed with utmost shock and disgust the violent reactions of Muslims in Nigeria, Africa, the Middle East and Europe, to anything that they consider provocative or offensive or as they often say ‘an insult to Islam’. Muslims easily resort to killing, maiming, destruction and bloodshed to register their anger, opposition and objection to an issue. And in the course of protesting against the burning of a Koran in the US, they beheaded UN workers and killed other persons. While I really do not support anyone burning the Koran (I think rather that the Koran should  be critically evaluated, revised, or be re-written or be seen and read as a piece of ancient literature), I dont think such an act should warrant anyone beheading people or shedding human blood in protest. What is the connection between the person who burnt the Koran in the US and those killed in Afghanistan by the protesters? None. Will the blood shed in Afghanistan restore the Koran burnt in the US? No. A copy of the Koran burnt – even a thousand copies burnt – can be replaced, but those lives wasted by these bigots cannot be ‘replaced’.

It has become the case that the mere act of cartooning Prophet Muhammad or making some innocuous comment about his love life or criticizing the Koran has caused Muslims to riot and rampage across the world leaving death, destruction and blood in their wake. These violent reactions are expressions and manifestions of the prevailing mindset in Islamic societies. It is a clear sign that all is not well with how most Muslims are brought up in this 21st century. Surely Muslims have the right to protest or to march in demostration of whatever they oppose or disapprove of – whether it is the burning of the Koran or the cartooning of the ‘Allah’s messenger’. But they should not in the course of doing that deny others their rights, as is often the case – as it is in this case.  So this idea of Muslims always resorting to killing and beheading to express their anger or Islamic offence should be condemned and not condoned by the civilized world. Such criminal acts should not go unpunished. Today, the civilized world should be able to tell Islamic societies to their face: ‘Enough is enough’. Enough of this outrageous behaviour. Enough of this distortion of human values. Enough of this religious madness. Enough of this nonsense and bloodshed. Enough of this mob action and fanatical hatred.

For it is clear that today the Islamic world attaches more importance to the Koran than to human life, to the name or image of prophet Muhammad – who is dead and gone – than to any living human being. Muslims attach more value to Islam than to human rights. Human beings have little or no value. Human life is nothing. Islam is everything. The Koran is everything. Allah is all in all. Human life can be sacrificed for the sake of Islam, for the furtherance of Islam or in reaction to an insult to Islam. The lives of those we know, see and touch can be snuffed out in reverence of somebody or the imagined sensibilities of someone whom we do not know, see or touch. These are the misconceptions at the root of Islamic fanaticism and terrorism. These are the misguided doctrines most Muslims are brainwashed with from cradle to the grave. These are the dogmas that darken the lives of Muslims. These are the dogmas Muslim fanatics use to destroy other lives.

The Islamic world must purge itself of this fanatical strand which has alienated it from the civilized world and made life ‘nasty, brutish, and short’ for its people. The Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) should wake up from its slumber and take up this task of self renewal. The OIC should abandon the jihad it is championing at the UN through the infamous resolution on the defamation of religion (Islam). The OIC should strive and get all Islamic countries to attach more value to human life and the human being, than to the Koran.

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