(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - An article on popular news website Yahoo News on Monday has drawn widespread criticism from Turkish theologians for its blasphemous content and manipulation of fundamental Islamic principles.
The controversial article, written by Donald Pennington, refers to Islam in its headline as “dangerous” and “outdated” and suggests that it should be rejected by all. Referring to the conviction of a Kuwaiti man, Hamad al-Naqi, to a 10-year jail sentence for insulting the Prophet Muhammad, it describes Islam as a threat to the freedom of expression.
Professor Hamdi Döndüren, a theologian, said the allegations in Pennington’s article are groundless and based on ignorance about fundamental Islamic principles.
Döndüren warned that the publication of such articles that insult Islam and the Prophet Muhammad foment Islamophobia in the West.
Pennington’s article also referred to the protests in the Islamic world in response to a Danish cartoonist’s publication of images of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005. He claimed that the controversy showed that “any religion with such vehement hatred for free expression must be kept in check.”
Professor Ömer Faruk Harman, another theologian, said he supports freedom of expression, but this does not mean that people are free to insult the values of another person.
“One can enjoy freedom of expression as long as they do not violate the freedom of others. For instance, a Muslim cannot use insulting statements about Jesus Christ,” Harman said. According to Harman, the reason for frequent attempts among Western writers to present their own misinterpretation of Islam is because Islam has since its birth been seen as a threat to the spread of Christianity.