The Quran has many verses that command a courteous response to even a terrible insult to Islam.
By Mustafa Akyol, who is a contributing op ed writer.
Until the night of Jan. 18, Mila Orriols, a 16-year-old lesbian and atheist schoolgirl from southern France, probably did not expect to initiate a national controversy. But that is what happened when she live-streamed herself on Instagram while applying makeup, only to get into a quarrel with a man who, in her words, began “hitting on her heavily.” The online fight soon turned into matters of identity, and at some point the angry Mila said, “the Quran is a religion of hatred,” and used a vile vulgarity to describe Islam.
The very fact that she defined the Quran as “a religion” was a sign that Mila was not in touch with Islamic theology. (The Quran is the holy book of Islam, the religion). Yet still, her comment, which quickly spread on social media, was taken seriously by many French Muslims, some of whom reacted with anger. “I receive 200 messages of hate each minute,” Mila said, before she was put under police protection against death threats and went into hiding.
Suggested reading by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times
Since then, the Mila affair has become a national controversy in France, with numerous media stories, comments from President Emmanuel Macron, Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet, and the far-right leader Marine Le Pen. Countless Twitter posts adopted the hashtag JeSuisMila# (“I am Mila”), evoking #JeSuisCharlie, the motto for supporting the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo after Islamist terrorists claiming ties to Al Qaeda in 2015 attacked its office and murdered 12 people.
In other words, the Mila affair has become yet another episode in an oft-repeated pattern: A Westerner mocks or openly demeans Islam, often labeling it as a harsh, intolerant and violent religion. In return, some Muslims have harsh, intolerant or even violent reactions — without realizing that they only seem to confirm the accusation.
Additional reading suggested by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times, to see the silver lining and a message of hope
— Zia H Shah (@ZiahShah1) October 9, 2015