An Open Letter to Rasmus Paludan

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
 
From Senator Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri, member of the House of Senate, Malaysia to Rasmus Paludan, leader of Hard Line, Denmark. Peace be upon he who follows the guidance.
 
I have been closely following several events involving you which include the burning of the Quran that led to demonstrations for years. This is clearly an act of incitement and provocation. This deplorable act runs counter to international efforts to combat extremism and terrorism while at the same time promoting peace and tolerance.
 
The Quran was revealed over a period of 23 years to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The Quran’s first readers were Arab desert dwellers who were proud of their linguistic prowess yet living in barbarism. The main goal of the revelation of the Quran is to transform lives and bring mankind out of darkness (ignorance/barbarism or jahiliyyah in Arabic) into light; to lead them down the straight path of moral conduct and to solve their issues. The Qur’an transformed the Arabs’ life and transformed them into a literary nation with high moral standards. It motivated them to become the forefathers of Islamic civilization, the greatest civilization in human history.
 
As with other Islamophobes, you may argue with a few “hostile” verses in Quran towards non-Muslims. However, those verses are conditional rather than absolute. When we examine the exegesis (tafsīr) of those verses critically, we can determine that those verses are specifically referring to non-Muslims who wish to harm the Muslim community. Furthermore, it was revealed in the midst of political strife, not during a period of peace.
 
A careful assessment of the Quran’s overall message, as well as numerous practices of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, would be valid grounds to reject any restricted, extremist or exclusivist interpretations of these verses. Several verses in the Quran exhort us to do good and be kind towards people of other faiths and to create positive relationships with them.
 
Muslims have lived as minorities and majorities throughout Islamic history to date, and in both cases, Muslims have coexisted with communities of other faiths and religions. Muslim and non-Muslim Andalusians coexisted peacefully in the 7th century. In 9th and 10th century Cordoba, the La Convivencia defined the ties between Muslims, Jews, and Christians. With the spirit of Quran, Christians and Jews were accepted as members of the Andalusian community, with Christians and Jews being nominated to the Royal Court and contributing to the society’s intellectual and cultural development.
 
The global citizens regardless of religions and beliefs are now heading toward peaceful co-existence. We live on this world for a shared purpose, and we are descended patrilineally and matrilineally from a single couple, Adam and Eve.
 
As we progress, we must recognise that as a family of global citizenship, we must become far more integrated and stronger. We need to take a closer look at the diverse characteristics that make up our global family. It is no longer sufficient to tolerate differences; instead, we must learn to celebrate them and treat them with genuine attention and respect.
 
You can burn the musḥaf as many as you can, but you cannot burn our dedication in spreading the beauty of the Quran. God bless you.
 
Regards,
SENATOR DR. ZULKIFLI MOHAMAD AL-BAKRI
Member of the House of Senate, Malaysia

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