Banning a Hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)
In late 2008, some right-wing organizations in the United States forced the Muslim Students’ Association at the University of Southern California to remove some “offensive hadith” from the organization’s website, which was run under the auspices of the university. This university is a private organization and has more freedom in such issues but the entire fiasco does spread some light on the realities of “human rights” today.

The hadiths in question were those related to events that will occur before the Day of Judgment, in which there will be a battle between Muslims and Jews. One such hadith from the website reads, “Abdullah b. 'U mar reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: You and the Jews would fight against one another until a stone would say: Muslim, here is a Jew behind me; come and kill him.” This is a statement from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that simply describes the reality of a future event—much like the story of the Rapture believed in by some Christians that state that all others will perish and be destroyed. There is no command to kill those people today nor is there any command to bring that event about as soon as possible. However, these words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) were greatly distorted in order to bring about an attack on them and force their removal. Thus, David Horowitz referred to them as, “hadith calling for Muslims to murder Jews as a condition for redemption.” The David Horowitz Freedom Center worked with the SimonWiesenthalCenter to draft a letter because they were “disturbed that a call for genocide should be on the USC server.”  The hadith wss indeed duly removed but somehow this entire incident, with its gross distortion of what the hadith stated, barely caused on a blip on the media radar. One would have expected that there would have been at least a stir and media movement from the other student organizations concerning what forms of free speech will be banned next by the university.

That hadith, it was felt, was such that it needed to be removed from an educational website in a society that believes in “free speech.” What then should be the response to cartoons which maliciously depict the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and which it could have been known from the outset would lead to outrage and possibly violence? That incident is the next topic of discussion.