Ever since social networking websites and blogs have come into being, we have seen a different face of internet. Within a lapse of two decades internet has revolutionized our lives. From telemedicine to online news bulletins, videoconferencing to Google earth and GPS, Skype to eBay, and Orkut to Facebook, human life is dipped into millions of internet applications. With the decreasing size of devices and increasing coverage areas of telecom signals no one can resist it anymore. Internet has proved to be a media of great potentials for mankind. It has made great contributions to health, education, communication and world peace. The nomination of internet for Nobel peace prize 2010 is a sign of acknowledgement for the same.
Besides bringing people closer, helping initiate a dialogue between religions and civilizations and other contributions to world peace, internet has also become a source of spreading conspiracies and misleading stories about issues and non issues and committing crimes of all kinds. While it would be useless to criticize the minority of people who take advantage of this great human invention to spread hate and intolerance, the attitude of the great majority of people who render themselves hostages to such propaganda, however, deserves criticism. In another way it is the only side of the picture where we have better chances to expect an improvement.
People from Europe and America started benefiting from electronic globalization before rest of the world. So they were first to fell a prey to capitalist propaganda for waging war all over the world. And although the lies that they were spoken to, have started to surface, yet the public opinion doesn’t seem to wake up from the dream. On the other hand, a handful of individuals from Middle East, who dedicated their lives to the solve their problems by some unpopular means a few decades ago, find themselves in real peace by attracting sympathies of people from all over the world to their (no more unpopular) strategies.
Drawing images of Holy Prophet PBUH has been one such issue in recent years. People of Muslim faith have been hurt by this offensive, without any distinction between those who have extremist ideas and those who don’t. But the sentiments haven't been acknowledged accordingly. It has been repeated again and again yet no effort has been made to stop it from happening. This apathy in the name of freedom of expression from the western world has only helped the extremist party win more popular opinion on the subject that west is particularly targeting their faith and there is nothing wrong about their extremist modus operandi. Facebook has been part of latest controversy about drawing similar images. Someone from across the globe has been so persistent in his bid to spread hate that he has gone on to holding a competition to draw such images. Thousands of entries on Facebook, twitter, blogs and emails are being made to protest against it. People are campaigning to boycott the forum on certain dates, others are choosing to deactivate or even delete their accounts. But there is no listening to it. Offensively titled group have been there already but no effort has ever been made to correct this. Ban on minarets and veil, discrimination at workplaces and airports and indiscrimination between terrorists and innocents in war zones have only helped the extremist party win more hearts than they could ever do. The prevalent opinion is that rather than being a minority of people in west who have hatred against Islam, it is the majority who is responsible for electing those who implement such agenda of hate and discrimination.For us, the question is, is it the majority in west only that has been behaving irresponsibly? Let’s have a look at this.
A criminal mind, a negative thinker, an evil genius, a racist, an advocate of hate, a malicious disrespectful man or whoever we think he is, does he deserve this much attention that we are paying? Had it been overlooked at the first place and not been reacted to at all, would he ever dare to repeat it? What impact would it make on the person involving this act if someone deletes his or her account on Facebook? Would it stop it from happening? Would holding out manifestations and agitation help solve this issue? Would imposing a ban on Facebook or issuing a verdict against its use improve the situation? In my opinion, it wouldn’t help at all as it hasn’t been helping in the past. We must define our circle of influence out of our circle of concern and react intelligently to such inflammatory stimuli. I would rather say, let’s ignore it. There are countless other ways to show that we love Hazrat Muhammad PBUH. We can save our time, adrenaline and energy by refusing to act the way they want us to. Let’s not fell a prey to conspiracies. Let’s not render ourselves hostages to either of them. Let’s give it a try.