As I have written several times over the years, the Koran bans unequivocally any negative reaction to perceived or real insults to Islam, its prophet, or even to its deity.
There are no exceptions, no ifs or buts.
However, despite this very clear edict from Allah (whose voice is what Muslims hear in the Koran) there is not a single Muslim-majority country in the world without very strict and harsh blasphemy laws in its books.
In places like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries even expressing a mild disagreement with the pronouncements of the Ulema could cost you your life or at the very least your liberty for a very long time.
And elsewhere things are not rosier.
Take Indonesia, a multi-ethnic, multi-party, pluralistic country. Last year, Jakarta's Christian governor Ahok was charged with blasphemy for questioning some politicians use of a Koranic verse about Muslims not bound by the authority of non-Muslims. That was enough for massive uprisings by Islamists and a tearful defense by him in court.
The jury is still out. Literally.
These governments and their Islamist followers defend themselves by arguing that there is nothing more sacred for them than their religion and they would go to any length to protect it from any disrespect and insult.
Even disobey Allah in the process.
And that's a tall order in Islam.
Enter Donald Trump.
On the campaign trail, he constantly claimed that Islam was a violent religion and Muslims were terrorists, Islamist terrorism was the biggest threat to the US and he would take drastic measures to protect the American people from bloodthirsty Muslims.
Do you remember how the King of Saudi Arabia, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, reacted to these statements?
How about the two Sunni powerhouses in the region?
There is Erdogan, Turkey's bombastic president who is so touchy about the term Islamist terrorism. And Egyptian strongman al Sisi, a devout Muslim who is very close to the House of Saud.
Nary a peep.
And when Donald J Trump became president he implemented what he promised. He placed a complete travel ban for seven Muslim-majority countries.
And what did all these extremely touchy governments about perceived attacks on Islam?
Saudi Arabia was eerily silent.
Actually, that is not true, a Princess belonging to the Royal family went on TV to defend Donald Trump and the travel ban.
I guess they couldn't find a Prince to do this job.
How about Egypt?
Not a word.
In fact, they volunteered to help out the President-elect by trying to postpone a UN resolution critical of Israeli settlements when they knew that the US was not going to use its veto to spare Israel.
Yes, you read that right. They were assisting Trump to protect Israeli settlers.
United Arab Emirates?
Not only did they not say anything, actually, their foreign minister Abdullah bin Zayed defended the ban and argued that it was not Islamophobic.
Turkey's President who routinely chastises any foreign dignitaries about the use of the term Islamist terrorism had no reaction to Trump using the very term to ban Muslims from travelling to the US.
Pakistan, where they frequently persecute and kill Christians for blasphemy, the government was initially mum about Trump's ban. But when rumors began to circulate that Pakistan could be next on the list, their Minister of the Interior meekly stated that the ban was not helping the Global War on Terror.
You have to wonder why Asia Bibi was sentenced to death but Trump could not even be criticized.
Indonesia and Malaysia? They were not just silent, they actually urged their population to shut up about the ban.
This is why this blog always maintains that nothing is essentially about ideas, religion, morality or whatever.
As both Karl Marx and Bill Clinton put it: