In light of the recent wave of violence against Americans and Europeans across the Muslim world, many in America and the West are tempted to paint all Muslims with the same brush. It is easy to jump to the conclusion that all Muslim think the punishment for blasphemy of the prophet Mohamed should be death.
We should keep in mind that those engaged in violence are a very small minority of those engaging in protest and those engaging in protest are a very small minority of the population of their country.
Renowned Islamic scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan has written an article in which he cites verses from the Koran and argues that Prophet Muhammad and his followers are required to adopt a peaceful approach toward cases of blasphemy.
The following are excepts:
"The Koran Mentions... Words Of Abuse Used By Prophets' Contemporaries But Nowhere Does The Koran Prescribe The Punishment Of Lashes, Or Death, Or Any Such Deterrent Punishment"
"This clearly shows that 'abuse of the Prophet' is not a subject of punishment, but is rather a subject of dawah [preaching]. That is, one who is guilty of abusing the Prophet should not have corporal punishment meted out to him: he should rather be given sound arguments in order that his mind may be addressed. In other words, peaceful persuasion should be used to reform the person concerned, rather than attempting to kill him."
"Another important aspect of this matter is that at no point in the Koran is it stated that anyone who uses abusive language about the Prophet should be stopped from doing so, and in case he continues to do so he should be awarded severe punishment. On the contrary, the Koran commands the believer not to use abusive language directed against opponents: 'But do not revile those [beings] whom they invoke instead of God, lest they, in their hostility, revile God and out of ignorance.' (6:108)"
I hope that sane voices like this are being heard in the Muslim world and I hope that in the west we are aware that there are reasonable and sane Muslims. If one gets their news from the anti-Muslim activist in America, one would not know that reasonable and sane Muslims exist. For a link about the article go here or to read the article in full go here.