Today, more than 3 million people would be looking at Prophet Muhammad, and still be far away from seeing him.
Today, a publication popularised by the violence of few will be flooding the streets. The ink will be liberal as it goes over the glossy paper over and over again.
A turban, scrawny beard, fearsome eyes, funny nose and all the other typical characteristics apparently found in the desert. A man that many Muslims follow as a unique example will be inked to match the popular stereotype.
Today, our eyes will see what the the mind will not comprehend. The lips will utter words that are of a foreign language. Yet, the image would be purported to be of the one that united tribes scattered over the entire Arabian Peninsula.
Today, the world will watch with pride the resilience of heroes. Heroes with a fixation to offend a man they little understand. Heroes that will garner reactions reeking of villainous contempt.
Today, the Mohammads of Arabia, Asia, Europe and Africa will hear their names called out in vain, perhaps also with outright disrespect.
Today, eyes will be glued on the cover of a magazine that few cared about yesterday. Today, the readers will hear gunshots of yesterday while their eyes remain fixed on an ugly depiction.
Today, Muslims will wonder if they owe the world an apology. Alas, if that stopped the ink from flowing, I’d spend the rest of the night saying sorry.
Today, a man people try to emulate in actions is now emulating a mix of notions and perceptions on attire and expressions. A man people imagine through deeds and actions is living a life of nothingness on paper.
Today, the line of freedom will blur. Offence will overpower the offended, a thinker would be overpowered by a cartoonist. The one with empathy will be accused of not doing enough, the one with a few strokes of the brush will have done everything.
Today, a caricature would leave billions in bad taste, what is meant to leave the subject in a state of discomfit.
It won’t be a statesman laundering money, nor a banker dictatingthe government. The cover will depict a man who’s generosity could rival their appetite for offence.
Today will not be the first when the Prophet will be sold on a magazine. It may be the first when an angry crowd finds in it a response to violence. It’s the first, the work of which people will call its own. With hashtags thrown in to claim ownership, the cartoonist will be one and the endorsers many.
Today, homes will shelter a copy with this depiction. Guests will discuss the incident that got leaders to walk on the streets. From the cushions of their elitist offices to the boulevards of Paris. A rare exertion that deserved a great satire.
Today, more than 3 million will see a face yet not see it.
Today, I fear for everyone who sees the ugly depiction of our Prophet. What would happen when there comes a day to see him and you search for a stereotypical caricature.
Imagine a day when you’re too embarrassed to admit the Prophet is in front of you.
Imagine a day when you’re too embarrassed to agree that he doesn’t look like the cover photo that did not offend you.
Imagine a day when you’re reluctant to see the Prophet, because this time it cannot be bought with a few cents and the emotions of a billion Muslims.
صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم
(May God exalt and bring peace upon the Prophet, his family, and his companions)