Myanmar: Muslim charges hate speech against pol who said if someone insulted Muhammad, “Muhammad will bomb them”

U Hla Swe said: “They [the US] can insult three out of four religions. But do they dare touch Muhammad? I doubt the US is that brave. If they do, Muhammad will bomb them with an airplane. They are afraid of that.”

That’s what he is being sued for. U San Aung said: “As a Muslim, I can’t accept that he said that the Prophet Muhammad would carry out a terrorist bomb attack. That’s why I am filing a complaint. No insult to any religion, including Buddhism, is acceptable. I want the law to be properly enforced.”

But is what U Hla Swe said really inaccurate? Of course there were no bombs or airplanes in Muhammad’s time, but there is abundant evidence from core Islamic sources that Muhammad reacted violently to being insulted. Abu Afak was a poet who was over one hundred years old, and he had mocked Muhammad in his verses. Muhammad asked the “companions” (sahaba), his closest followers: “Who will avenge me on this scoundrel?” One of the companions murdered Abu Afak in his sleep.

Likewise with another poet who mocked him, Asma bint Marwan. Muhammad cried out: “Will no one rid me of this daughter of Marwan?” One of the companions, Umayr ibn Adi, went to her house that night, where he found her sleeping next to her children. The youngest, a nursing babe, was in her arms. But that didn’t stop Umayr from murdering her and the baby as well.

Muhammad commended him:

You have done a great service to Allah and His Messenger, Umayr! (Ibn Ishaq, 674-676)

Then there was Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf. Muhammad again asked his companions: “Who is willing to kill Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?” One of the Sahaba, Muhammad bin Maslama, answered: “O Allah’s Apostle! Would you like that I kill him?”

Muhammad said that he would.

Muhammad bin Maslama said: “Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to deceive Kab).” Muhammad responded: “You may say it.” Muhammad bin Maslama duly lied to Ka’b, luring him into his trap, and murdered him. (Bukhari 5.59.369)

In light of all this (and there is more), U Hla Swe can easily defend himself by showing how Muhammad really reacted to insults. This could be quite interesting, with international implications.

“Muslim Leader Files Suit Against Ex-Officer for ‘Hate Speech’ Against Islam,” by Htun Htun, The Irrawaddy,

YANGON—Muslim spiritual leader U San Aung said he is in the process of filing a lawsuit against U Hla Swe, an ex-military officer who represented the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) in the country’s Upper House under the U Thein Sein administration, accusing him of hate speech against Islam.

U San Aung filed the lawsuit under Article 295(a) of the Penal Code with Mayangon Township Court on Tuesday, but the court ordered that the case be filed with the court in Kyauktada Township, where U Hla Swe spoke during a rally condemning the US’ imposition of sanctions against Myanmar military (or Tatmadaw) leaders on Aug. 3 in front of Yangon City Hall.

The article criminalizes deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage the feelings of any group by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.

“As a Muslim, I can’t accept that he said that the Prophet Muhammad would carry out a terrorist bomb attack. That’s why I am filing a complaint. No insult to any religion, including Buddhism, is acceptable. I want the law to be properly enforced,” U San Aung said.

During his Aug. 3 speech, U Hla Swe, who retired from the military as a lieutenant colonel to join the military’s proxy USDP before the 2010 general elections, said, “They [the US] can insult three out of four religions. But do they dare touch Muhammad? I doubt the US is that brave. If they do, Muhammad will bomb them with an airplane. They are afraid of that.”…

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