An Indian Cleric Issued a Fatwa Against Oscar-award winning music composer AR Rahman. His Response Was Perfect.
Composer A.R. Rahman is no stranger to attention. The winner of numerous awards including two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, four National Film Awards has an impressive career for his work on productions that have captivated global audiences. Recently, though, he found himself the recipient of a different kind of attention when he was targeted in a fatwa issued by Muhammad Akhtar, the Chief Mufti of Mumbai, for scoring the music for the new Iranian film, Muhammad: Messenger of God. Today, Rahman published a response on his Facebook page, and it is perfect:
Regarding recent incidents defaming Islam, Rahman says, “These abhorrent comments are no doubt due to a lack of understanding. I have always felt that we must counter this reaction with love and kindness, and through the audio-visual media reach out to people who wish to broaden their understanding.”
This could easily be applied to those whose misguided attempts to protect the honor of Islam and its prophet feed misconceptions that Islam is a religion of violence and intolerance. In this way, A.R. Rahman’s response to Muhammad Akhtar’s fatwa is perfect. It is not through threats and violence that religion is protected, but through “religious freedom…where the aim of all communities is to live in peace and harmony sans confusion and violence.”