CAIRO - Setting an example for Muslims worldwide, Indian Muslims have chosen to follow the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) while protesting a US film defaming the prophet.
When the Qur'an is burned, or this kind of film is made, we don't like it, but we don't support what [the protesters] are doing, Maulana Asghar Ali, the general secretary of Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadees Hind, a nationwide Salafi organization, told Time Magazine on Monday, October 1.
Massive protests rocked several countries around the world over an American-made film insulting Prophet Muhammad.
Produced by an American-Israeli real estate developer, the film, Innocence of Muslims, depicts the prophet as womanizers and a religious fake.
The movie drew attention last month when an Egyptian-American Christian Copt produced a trailer in an Arabic-language blog post and e-mail newsletter publicizing it.
Scores of people were killed in the protests over the film, including the American ambassador to Libya.
But the situation was quite different in India, where Muslims held peaceful protests against the insulting material.
Muslim protestors in India avoided any violence and shied away from attacking foreign facilities, in line with the teachings of Prophet Muhammad.
We are strict followers of the Prophet's teaching, Maulana Asghar said.
All the things the protesters are doing taking to the streets, destroying things the Prophet has not taught us.
Muslims account for 160 million of India's 1.1 billion people, the world's third-largest Muslim population after those of Indonesia and Pakistan.
Finding another alternative to protests, Indian Muslim leaders called for meetings at which followers can air their frustration over the insulting film.
If we are able to be good Muslims, the propaganda will not succeed, said Hussain Madavoor, general secretary of the Indian Islahi Movement, a Salafi group in south-west state of Kerala.
More efforts should be exerted among intellectuals and media [to disseminate] the true picture of Islam so that these willful attacks would be staved off.
In Indian-ruled Kashmir, senior Salafi leader Maulana Gulam Nabi Shah said Muslims were hurt by the anti-prophet film.
We're not anti-US, but it is so painful for us that people [in the US] make fun of our Prophet, he said.
When it comes to our beloved Prophet we all are together.
We'll sacrifice our lives even to protect the honor and holiness of Prophet Muhammad's shoe.
While condemning the provocative film, Muslim leaders around the world have denounced attacks on foreign diplomatic missions, calling for a measured response to the movie.
Saudi Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Sheikh said Saturday that attacks on foreign embassies over the film run counter to the peaceful teachings of Islam."Such acts damage the Muslim religion, are not permitted by God and are incompatible with the teachings of the Prophet, he said.