Friday, May 12, 2006

Mohammed Hassan Is this guy for real?

This blog has been lying still for quite a while now, since the media coverage of "the Mohammed crisis" as this series of events has been dubbed in Denmark.

As some of you may have seen, a video was released today by a supposed member of the Al-Quida, Mohammed Hassan, calling for violent action towards Norway, Denmark and France.

Google news coverage

What I wonder is: Is this guy for real?
I believe that most people are aware that the publication of the drawings brought unforeseen consequences - both with regards to the perception and emotional response in Islamic communities as well as political and economic implications.
However, it seems that the conflict has cooled down (at least to the extent it is covered in western media) over the last couple of months. Then, along comes this guy with a 35 minute video full of hateful and aggravating messages.

One of the positive results of the discussion started by the Mohammed caricatures (in my opinion, at least) is an increased awareness of the differences within Islamic communities and several Muslims have seen this as an opportunity to verbalise their opinions and speak for them selves.

While this may not have lead to agreement regarding whether it was reasonable to publish the caricatures, it has definitely helped bringing forward a higher awareness of differences in opinion and justifiable responses in the conflict.

Overall I believe that we are the better for this episode, since we now have a whole new range of people that have established a communication channel to make themselves heard in relation to cultural and political issues relating to religion.

Who is this Mohammed Hassan talking to?
And are they listening?
Obviously there might still be certain population groups and communities where these kind of messages might find fertile ground, but it is my personal opinion that this kind of publication should no longer be seen as a "typical" communication from Islamic communities in the world, yet it is clearly easier to get global coverage when the message centres on violence.

Let us try to hear some of the responses from some you that do not agree that this is the image Islam should have in the media!