I earlier posted the relevant hadith tfrom the Sahih Bukhari about Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf.
I post here the stories of Abu ‘Afak and Asma bint Marwan, the first a 120-year-old Jewish man, the second a female poetess – who mocked Muhammad and were, according to Ibn Ishaq (who wrote the first biography of Muhammad) murdered for it.
When Fareed Zakaria blithely tells his audience that the Qur’an does not mention “blasphemy” he forgets the most important thing: the Sunnah, which for many Muslims is as important as the Qur’an, and for many Muslims, it has been noted by scholars, is even more important than the Qur’an, acting as the essential gloss on it. Zakaria was born into a Muslim family; he offers himself up as a great expert on world affairs, our guide, our GPS to the universe, to what happens in the world. In the one thing, the only thing, that he has to offer that in his early sammy-glick climb to stardom, what distinguished him, and made him interesting to his future employers, was that Muslim background, that hint that he would know and make plain all the mysteries of that presumably occult cult — a cult wide open not just to more than a billion believers, but to any intelligent non-Muslim who takes the time to read and comporehend. But Fareed Zakaria, in his busy life, has shown that he does not understand the significance of the Sunnah, does not grasp the effect of it on the minds of the Believers, does not understand the importance of the Hadith, or their methods employed by the muhaddithin to rank them, nor does he appear to grasp that the Sira, the biography of Muhammad, which tells us about what offended him, and for what he ordered people to be murdered — see Ibn Ishaq — is essential to understand what Muslims think, and what some of them, as in Paris the other day, or in Pakistan all the time, are prepared to do with someone who they think has “blasphemed” the Prophet.
What good is Fareed Zakaria? I know a major network has invested in him, as all the networks do in all their talking-heads, and create little pretend-bubbles of expertise and a cult of personality, and they don’t want to have wasted all that money. But really, don’t any of them think back to Edward R. Murrow, or Walter Cronkhite, don’t any of them think they need to hire people who know what they presume to talk about? Zakaria an embarrassment. And the stakes are too high, when it comes to informning people about Islam. He may not be a deliberate dispenser of Taqiyya, he may simply be fantastically, and complacently, ignorant — but who cares? Wouldn’;t it be wonderful if he were discharged for ignorance and misleading the public? I’d feel as good about that as I would wereI to wake up and read over coffee and oranges in a sunny chair that Nicholas Kristof and Tom Friedman had just been let go by The Times because the owner of the paper found them insufferably stupid.
People are over-complicating the situation. It is clear from Islamic teachings that mocking Mohammad is blasphemous and a capital crime. One would think that explaining the obvious here was like talking about sexual perversion in church. Instead of calmly pointing out the discrepancy of this Islamic tenet with modern free speech and democracy, we have to wade through a swamp of obfuscation. Jefferson and Adams got it, but humanity has since devolved.