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Unacceptable - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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In all battles, there are victims. We all remember the major campaign that had been launched to support and defend the Prophet Mohammed after blasphemous caricatures depicting him had been published in some European newspapers. The campaign had called for a boycott of Danish products, however, in this campaign, a number of companies that had no part in the irreverent depictions, nor were they affiliated with Denmark, were boycotted and accordingly suffered heavy losses and had their reputations tarnished. Some ignorant people, who joined this campaign, had sporadically encouraged a boycott against many parties including innocent companies and this accordingly led to the dismissal of a number of employees of these companies.

SADAFCO, which is a completely Saudi Arabian company, had declared that it would release a number of its employees due to the decrease in trade, which has caused a major drop in sales of unprecedented levels.

A number of lawsuits are presently being filed against the company as it had dismissed a large number of employees. Nevertheless, what is odd in this case is that the international campaign in support of the Prophet did not defend the innocent company or even attempt to stop the depletion and losses that some ignorant people (who claim to defend the Prophet) had caused. It seems that these ignorant people have forgotten the sayings of Prophet Mohammed who said, “God helps those who help their brothers” and,” Whoever helps to relieve the anguish of a believer will be relieved of anguish by God on the Day of Judgment.”

These people fail to see the importance of the survival of their fellow brothers that carries more weight than denouncing some Muslims as infidels, resisting anything that would serve the interests of women or even inciting hatred and anger towards the west. The truth is that the real crime that had been committed against this company, and which has led to the dismissal of numerous company employees, has been caused by those who called for a boycott without identifying the targeted companies. The least that could be done now is that another campaign is launched to rectify this misunderstanding and not by simply publishing a small advertisement in a limited number of newspapers for one day.

Islam does not accept putting one’s livelihood at risk; however, it seems that this teaching has been forgotten by some people who have chosen to politicize an admirable campaign aimed at defending the honorable Prophet Mohammed. Those people allowed a violation against innocent people to occur; an action that Prophet Mohammed would have never approved of. A major fault has occurred and a horrible silence around this continues, as if what has happened is of nobody’s concern and as if the issue is not as important as other news items that impose themselves on the front pages and on satellite channels. We need a moral stand to support those who were dismissed due to hasty action, because the persistence of this mockery defames us all. May God forgive the foolishness of our fellow brothers.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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