A SERIOUS ISSUE FOR ALL MUSLIMS
Date: 9/29/00 12:58:05 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: Undisclosed-Recipients
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Islam,
The purpose of this email is to bring to your attention an act of Satan in which Muslims are the biggest and probably the only aids. Almost every other day you get an email that gives a link to some website that has insulted Islam, the beloved Prophet Muhammad (saws), his companions, or the Muslim nation. A very important and a must feature of such an email is the emphasis that you forward this email to as many Muslims (not just anyone, but Muslims) as possible so that the website can be removed by the ISP on their request.
On receiving such an email here is what we typically do. We read it, go to the mentioned website, read all the contempt that is displayed, get mad about it and sometimes confused.
After this, perceiving it as our religious obligation, we forward this email to all the Muslims we know. Next, some of us simply move on to the next email in the Inbox while some others write to the person responsible for that website or the ISP that hosts the site to stop the nonsense right away or else…
There are a few things that Muslims need to realize here. First of all, it is very rare that such a website gets deleted. If you are threatening the person of the “dire consequences”, then please note that he went through all the pain of making the website and is probably willing to face those “consequences”. If you are contacting the ISP then you should know about “freedom of speech” concept.
An ISP cannot predominate your concern over its customer’s freedom of speech.
The cases where there was success were the ones involving big names like Yahoo etc. They provide FREE web hosting and don’t mind deleting a user’s site in interest of their image. On the other hand a smaller ISP, which takes money from the user will never delete the site just because the Muslim community got offended.
Next and more importantly, we need to know how these web sites surface and what keeps them there. While making a search, the Internet search engines do not simply check the text on that site. Now a great deal of emphasis is being laid on the amount of Internet traffic for a particular site.
So every time you go to that site, “just to see what’s there”, you increase the traffic record of that web site. Then all your Muslims friends go there and end up doing the same. Consequently, next time when someone makes a search using Islamic keywords, this site comes up as it has been visited very frequently and hence must have what the person making the search is looking for.
Do you know that simply writing the address of a website in your email, increases the chances of it being picked up by a search engine? So even if you do not go to the site, but forward it to other Muslims, and then they do the same, you are basically increasing the chances of that site to surface.
Normally web companies spend a lot of money for their sites to surface, but for these enemies of Islam, we provide this service free of charge.
The next very crucial point is that in this age of the Internet, it is very difficult to establish the authenticity of what you are reading. You might be a very learned person about Islam and might be able to distinguish between right and wrong as if it were black and white. I on the other hand, might be a person with a weak faith and a slight knowledge of Islam. On reading what you introduced me to, the Satan is more likely to convince me into believing some of that nonsense, or at least be more confused about it.
A non-muslim, on the other hand is less likely to go to such a site because remember, you sent out all the emails to your Muslim friends and the only reason why they went to this site was that email. So we should realize that such sites are not addressed to the non-believers, but the Muslims. It is only when we make them surface, the non-believers get to see them too. Without a slightest doubt in my mind, I attest that we have been ordered to fight non-believers, but in this case we are only helping it out.
It is also very probable that the Webmaster himself implanted the email and while we go around spreading the word about it, he sits back, and is surprised to see his mischief become a success.
Now here is the remedy. We should delete the email as soon as we get it (especially for web based accounts like hotmail, netaddress, etc). Never go to that site “just to take a look at what’s it all about”. Never forward the email to anyone.
Do not even reply to the sender using the same email (never Autoreply). Instead you can forward all the recipients this email so as to prevent further propagation.
In the end have faith in Allah (SWT) who says in Quran: “It is he whom Allah guides, that is on true Guidance; but he whom He leaves astray – for such wilt thou find no protector besides Him”. (17:97)
And “If Allah so willed, He could make you all one people: But He leaves straying whom He pleases, and He guides whom He pleases: but ye shall certainly be called to account for all your actions.” (16:93)
This email is something that you MUST forward to all the MUSLIMS you know. I cannot stress more that you should not let this email sit in your mailbox and let this nonsense, in the name of protecting Islam, to continue.