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January 12th, 2015

Should I (-Muslim) apologize?

Submitted by Ikram.


Should I (–Muslim) Apologize?

The recent massacre in Paris has brought to front dichotomy of faith and democracy. It raises more question than it answers. If faith is served by killing others in the name of faith, then it is not faith but barbarism. If democracy is to protect freedom of speech then let every expression be allowed in the market place of ideas no matter how painful it maybe to some. Let N-word, K-word and H-Denial and the Hate-Speech be brought out of their protection in the open and be at par with caricature fad that hurts a billion, and there be no suppression of any hate or angry speech. Let anti-Semitism laws be equally applied to protect Muhammad (PBUH) who was a Semite. Let the ideas fight it out. Let freedom of speech define itself and standup to its very definition rather than its selective usage. Will democracies allow it so? Will the political expediency permit it? Haven’t we lost freedom in the name of freedom?

Should a Muslim apologize for lunatic act of another Muslim? Answer is plain no. Let the lunatic suffer the consequence of his or her depravity, the ignominy, both here and in the hereafter. Yes, such an act does create a sense of shame because those of us who have read Muhammad (PBUH) can rightfully believe that neither he, nor Quran permits it. To the victims we offer condolences and heartfelt prayers.

Should I grieve as a human? Yes, because every life is irreplaceable. Victim or a Villain of one side might be hero of another, but it is more of history that judges right from the wrong, than the moment when it occurred. Colonization and Colonial wars, Slavery wars, World Wars, Korean war, Vietnam war, Iraq wars, Afghan wars etc. all started by claiming self-righteousness but history tells us otherwise only after millions perished. Have we learnt our lesson? Irrespective of winner or loser, has any side apologized to the other? Has Catholic Church, Church of England or Dutch Reformed Church apologized to those whom they colonized?

Do the believers of freedoms endorse the fundamental human rights, both in their domestic and foreign policies, starting with: And (all) people are but a single nation (10:19); whoever kills a person, unless it is for manslaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he had killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved the lives of all mankind (5:32); O you who believe, do not let a people laugh at (another) people, perhaps they may be better than they; nor let women (laugh) at women, perhaps they may be better than they. Neither find fault with one another, nor call one another by (offensive) nick-names. Evil is a bad name after faith; and whoever does not repent, these it is that are the wrongdoers (49:11)?

Muslims who feel hurt by disrespectful speech in the name of freedom of press, or otherwise, for them Quran gives guidance:

4:148. Allah does not love the public utterance of hurtful speech, except by one who has been wronged.* And Allah is ever Hearing, Knowing.

* The use of defamatory speech of every kind regarding others is strictly forbidden, but justification for it may exist in case a person has in some way been wronged.

4:149. If you do good openly or keep it secret or pardon an evil, Allah surely is ever Pardoning, Powerful.*

*If you pardon the evil which anyone has done to you, Allah will pardon your evils, and grant you even good reward; He is not only Pardoning, but also Powerful to grant good reward.

The Muslim experience in days of the Prophet may not be different than the modern world, though the modalities have changed. Quran tells us how to endure it:

3:186. You will certainly be tried in your property and your persons. And you will certainly hear from those who have been given the Book before you and from the idolaters much abuse. And if you are patient and keep your duty, surely this is an affair of great resolution.*

*This verse speaks of the future, in fact the distant future. The abuses which have been heaped on Islam in the past two centuries are without a parallel in the whole history of religion. The scurrilous language of Western publications, political as well as Christian, and the vituperations of their imitators elsewhere have exceeded all moral bounds. But Muslims are taught in this verse to bear all such abuse only with patience. (Editor’s Note: Hence it is not at allrequired or even allowed in Islam that Muslims should respond by killing or physically attacking those who vilify Islam and its Holy Prophet. See also 20:130, 33:48, 73:10, 4:140 and 6:68 which lead to the same conclusion.)

20:130. So bear patiently what they say, and celebrate the praise of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting, and glorify (Him) during the hours of the night and parts of the day, that you may be well pleased.*

*The Holy Prophet, while told to bear persecutions patiently for a time, is also told to seek comfort in prayer. And he did find comfort in prayer under the severest persecutions. “The coolness of my eyes is in prayer,” he is reported to have said (Mishkat, 25)…

33:48. And do not obey the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and disregard their annoying talk,* and rely on Allah. And Allah is sufficient as having charge of affairs.

* In the mention of annoying talk there is a clear reference to the carpings of his petty-minded critics, who try to misrepresent the greatest source of righteousness which the world has ever witnessed, as an evil. The Prophet is told to disregard this annoying talk, as the time would come when the question would be asked: how is it that the Prophet illumined the world and opened the floodgates of light to a benighted world, if it was darkness that reigned supreme in his own mind? (Editor’s Note: “Disregard their annoying talk” also shows that a Muslim must not become inflamed by verbal abuse of his religion, and if his reply has no effect on the abuser then he should simply ignore the hurtful comments.)

73:10. And bear patiently what they say and turn away from them with a dignified withdrawal.

4:140. And indeed He has revealed to you in the Book that when you hear Allah’s messages disbelieved in and mocked at, do not sit with them until they enter into some other discourse, for then indeed you would be like them.*

*See 6:68 which was revealed at Makkah. Muslims are told to leave the assembly where truth is derided. Criticism is quite a different thing and a Muslim should always be ready to meet any criticism of his religion. (Editor’s Note: Thus the response when faced with mere ridicule of Islam is to withdraw, temporarily, from that company of people and rejoin them later when they stop their mocking. It is therefore entirely wrong to believe that Muslims are required to attack physically, still less kill, those who deride their religion.)

6:68. And when you see those who talk nonsense about Our messages, withdraw from them until they enter into some other discourse. And if the devil cause you to forget, then do not sit after recollection with the unjust people.

I must also admit that I am writing this all because of democracy, but democracy has still a long way to go.

Reference: The Holy Quran, Translation and Commentary by Maulana Muhammad Ali, Edited by Dr. Zahid Aziz.

20 Responses to “Should I (-Muslim) apologize?”

  1. "… Has Catholic Church (…) apologized to those whom they colonized?"

    Yes, several popes made apologies. It's rather an impressive list when we are talking about John-Paul II:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_apologies_made_by_Pope_John_Paul_II


  2. The Pope is the head of an organization which has officials and members. It has powers of ex-communication. It could have directed them in the past not to do such things, and it is now apologizing for those failures. There is no such organization for all Muslims as for catholics which could bear responsibility for misdeeds of Muslims which it could have prevented.

    Moreover, how can those Muslims apologize who have spent years opposing acts like the Paris killings? Could the French resistance be asked to apologize for the French government which collaborated with the Nazis in the second world war?

    Some have raised the question of whether it is only a small minority of Muslims which supports such brutal crimes. Can one ask how small a minority of the French it was which collaborated with the Nazis? Perhaps no one can put a figure on it. But we do know that in March 1933 Hitler's party came to power by receiving 43% of the vote in a free election in Germany. Would that be sufficiently large to ask the entire population to apologize?


  3. A simple question: Should the world expect the Christians to apologize for Ku Klux Klan or the Atheists all over the world to apologize for Stalin or merely accept the fact that KKK is a racist bunch and Stalin was a mere tyrant and that too a very bad one?

    Another question: Should Muslims apologize for lunatics amongst them?


  4. I apologise if this is in bad taste or irrelevant but should France apologise:

    to Haiti: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/External_debt_of_Haiti

    for stealing from Niger, the poorest country in the world: see link

    for the Paris massacre of 1961 when peaceful Algerian protesters were gunned down: see link

    for their current relations with their former colonies in Africa: see link

    for the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior: see link

    for testing nukes in the Pacific: see link

    I agree with the position of LAM that the Hebdo massacre should be condemned as unIslamic. However, considering the articulation of the appropriate response to mockery and abuse is clearly articulated in Zahid Aziz' "Islam, Peace & Tolerance", no apology is warranted. One needn't apologise for crimes of which one does not approve.


  5. January 14th, 2015 at 4:02 am
    From Rashid Jahangiri:

    Freedom of Speech

    In wake of French satirical magazine  Charlie Hebdo massacre and condemnation of this barbaric act by Muslims, including Muslim heads or state, members of Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement, and participation of at least Turkish Prime Minister in Paris Peace Rally. And then publication of new cartoons of Holy Prophet Muhammad SAWS by the same magazine to injure feelings of Muslims worldwide forces us to think what is limit of freedom of speech. Basic norms of human decency demands that not to blow vehicle horn when passing by a hospital. In fact it is traffic violation and vehicle drivers are ticketed. So, the question is, is it justified to hurt emotional feelings of 1.5 billion LOVERS OF BELOVED HOLY PROPHET MUHAMMAD (SAWS)?

    West needs to understand difference between criticism and mockery. About 120 years ago, when India was under British Raj, European Christian Padres had swamped India. In their efforts to convert Muslim population of India to Christianity when they failed in criticism on life and message of Holy Prophet Muhammad SAWS, they resorted to mocking and hurling abuses in their writings at holy character of Prophet Muhammad SAWS. Following them Hindu (Arya Samaj) Pundits did the same. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib, reformer of 14th Islamic Century, foresaw the disturbance of civil order and mayhem it could have caused. To prevent this logical and expected outcome he wrote a letter to British authorities with thousands of signatures of his followers, asking them to enact laws to prevent fallout of hate literature.  (Request to Dr. Zahid Aziz: Please provide reference to concerned writing of HMGA). Obviously British rulers did not heed to what was requested over a century ago, and now that practice of Christian Padres and Hindu Pundits is followed by Atheists, Christians, and Jewish journalists, and we are seeking results. The practice of publishing more derogatory cartoons of beloved Holy Prophet Muhammad SAWS is not yielding intended result of silencing actions of Muslims who find their beloved is insulted. Every next “revenge” of injured Muslims is more ferocious. In the end it results in more loss of human lives and disturbance of world peace.

    In my suggestion to Muslims, in the West is to play game according to rules in these countries. In these countries there are very powerful laws to prevent anti-Semitism. Under these laws publication and speech against Semites is prohibited and punishable. Google Dictionary defines ‘Semite’: a member of any of the peoples who speak or spoke a Semitic language, including in particular the Jews and Arabs. Since Holy Prophet Muhammad SAWS was a Semite, anti-Semitic laws can not only prevent, but also punish cartoonists, publishers and their supports.  

    In 2006 after publication of Danish Cartoons in USA I was at a debate in USA. My input in debate can be read on following link:

    At a debate in the U.S.A.

    by Rashid Jahangiri, M.D.

    http://www.ahmadiyya.org/uk/light-jun06.pdf

    Uthman Badar at a debate in Australia also has good points:

    God & Prophets should be protected from insult | IQ2 Debate | Uthman Badar

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZGlyymF00I


  6. Regarding the references to writings of Hazrat Mirza sahib requested by Rashid, although there are several such statements by him but I provide here two from his book Kitab-ul-Bariyya (which was translated into English jointly by the late learned Dr Asghar Hameed, last head of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Jamaat, and myself).

    Both are 'notifications' addressed to the British government of India.

    From Notification (1). Please read from under the red line on first page. I have also red-lined relevant texts in the margin.

    Notification (2). This is unique in listing the abuses on the Holy Prophet by opponents of Islam to open people's eyes. Dr Asghar Hameed told me he could not translate the abuse due to feelings of revulsion. I did it, but as I have indicated there I have translated a sample of them from the original notification.  


  7. January 14th, 2015 at 1:53 pm
    From Mohammed Iqbal:

    If caricaturing Moses and Jesus could not be prevented using anti-semitism laws, how could Prophet Mohammad (SAWS) be brought under their ambit?


  8. I was thinking if the Quran says anything about someone being asked to account for the going wrong of others of his religion, where it is clearly not that person's fault.

    1. The Quran says that Allah will question Jesus about whether he taught his followers to worship him (5:116-118). In reply, Jesus is defending himself and giving an explanation of why he is not responsible for their wrongs. Is he pleading for them apologeticly before Allah when he says: "If You punish them, surely they are Your servants; and if You protect them, surely You are the Mighty, the Wise" ?

    2. Aaron was not responsible for calf-worship by the Israelites but he was strongly questioned by Moses and forced to give an explanation: "Son of my mother, do not seize me by my beard, nor by my head. Surely I was afraid you would say: You have caused division among the Children of Israel and not waited for my word." (20:94).

    3. It is an accepted Muslim belief that the Holy Prophet Muhammad will "intercede" for them before Allah on the Day of Judgment. It is said in a hadith:

    "Verily the Prophet of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) recited the words of Allaah, the Great and Glorious, that Ibrahim uttered. My Lord! lo! they have led many of mankind astray:" But whoso followeth me, he verily is of me" (al-Qur'an, xiv. 35) and Jesus (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) said:" If thou punisheth them, lo! they are Thy slaves, and if Thou forgiveth them-verily Thou art the Mighty, the Wise" (al-Qur'an, v 117). Then he raised his hands and said: O Lord, my Ummah, my Ummah, and wept" (Sahih Muslim, Book of Faith, No. 397)

    Is the Holy Prophet not apologizing before Allah for sins of his followers and pleading: Forgive them for my sake?

    The above of course is the case with prophets in relation to their misguided followers. Is it also the case with those who are not prophets but are the knowledgeable ones who seek to guide their people? 

    According to another hadith near this one (No. 373), people would go from prophet to prophet, starting with Adam, asking each to intercede for them but each prophet would recall some "fault" of his own and say that because of that fault he is shy of going before Allah to intercede for them. Finally, they would get intercession from the Holy Prophet. It struck me how responsible these prophets felt for any small shortcoming of their own! Compare with Muslims of today and their lack of feeling of responsibility.

    These are just some thoughts.


  9. Here is another thought. Every Muslim is meant to model himself on the example of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Therefore, is not every Muslim meant to be a living image and picture of the Holy Prophet?

    If so, then those who misbehave, and yet claim to be true followers of the Holy Prophet, are in themselves cartoon caricatures and visual misrepresentations of the Holy Prophet. They are not cartoons on paper but animations in real life! The published cartoons are in fact of these people, not of the Holy Prophet.


  10. January 15th, 2015 at 5:39 am
    From Rashid Jahangiri:

    (A reader of this blog asked me to make text of my debate available in this thread. So, here it is.)

    At a debate in the U.S.A.

    by Rashid Jahangiri, M.D.

    [Note: Our friend Rashid Jahangiri, who is very enthusiastic in propagating Islam and the viewpoint of our Movement in the U.S.A., has sent us a report which we reproduce below.]

    On February 27, 2006 a debate, How Far is Too Far?, over the cartoons controversy was hosted by The Free Library of Philadelphia. A few days before this The Philadelphia Inquirer reproduced the infamous Danish cartoons of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). I believe this is the only major newspaper in U.S.A. to reproduce them. The debate was in a huge hall, packed with an audience, mostly Caucasian Americans, i.e. Jews and Christians. And I believe my wife and I were the only Muslims among the audience (as there were no comments by any attendee who acknowledged being a Muslim or sounded like a Muslim). I got the chance at the end to make a few comments when the microphone was handed to me. I covered and replied to all the major comments made by nonMuslim panel members and audience. I was able to make my comments in an unfriendly environment without any fear, as I followed Hazart Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s approach. I was neither apologetic about Islam and Muslims nor I took the other extreme approach. Hazrat Mirza sahib’s approach was simple: The best way to convince the opponents of Islam and spread Islam in the West is to play according to the rules of the game established by them.

    The Panel included: New Yorker Cartoon Editor Bob Mankoff, Daily News cartoonist Signe Wilkinson, Temple journalism Professor Karen Turner, Dr. Shams Inati, Professor of Islamic Theology at Villanova (she is a Christian, originally from Egypt), and Daisy Khan, Executive Director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement.

    Briefly my points were:

    1. The Prophet Abraham had two sons, Isaac and Ishmael. Among Isaac’s progeny is Moses and among Ishmael’s progeny is Muhammad. So, I consider these cartoons to be anti-Semitic and the publication of these cartoons should be declared an anti-Semitic act and newspapers should be stopped from ublishing this anti-Semitic material. Both Mr. Mankoff and Ms. Wilkinson were not expecting such a comment, and the expressions on their faces acknowledged it.

    2. Muslims revere Prophets Moses and Jesus the same as they revere Prophet Muhammad. So a Muslim will never make cartoons of revered personalities of Jews and Christians.

    3. In almost every Muslim country there are political movements whose leaders are Mullahs (Muslim equivalent of Rabbis). These politicians assert that their political agenda is synonymous with Islam, and to oppose them is to oppose Islam itself. Despite this the newspaper cartoonists in Muslim countries, including Pakistan, make their cartoons. If newspapers in Muslim and Arab countries make cartoons of Jewish Rabbis who represent a Zionist political movement, this does not justify the European newspapers’ decision to publish cartoons mocking Prophet Muhammad. Newspapers should not compare apples to oranges. This comment was in response to an audience member who made a comment about cartoons of Jewish/Israeli Rabbis published in an English language daily in Saudi Arabia.

    4. Muslims love the Prophet Muhammad more than they love their own fathers. And they know details of his life more than they know about their fathers as well. And as they know that whatever these cartoons are presenting is not true, so it hurts every Muslim including the moderate ones. European public should not alienate this moderate and peaceful Muslim majority.

    5. In Islam, the death penalty is reserved only for a murderer, and even in that case the victim’s family is encouraged to forgive and spare the life of the perpetrator. So all these so-called fatwas to kill the author and the publisher of these cartoons have no religious value and no legal value. They are all non-sense and I condemn them. But at the same time we should not ignore human nature. Those who are madly in love cannot think rationally, their statements are not rational, and their actions are not rational. And this is true not only of Muslims but all over the world, including the United States. Muslims are madly in love with their beloved, i.e. Prophet Muhammad. So, all these so-called fatwas are nothing more than “matters of the heart”. This comment was in reply to a member of the audience who referred to fatwas issued by some Muslims.

    I thank Allah for providing me an opportunity to defend the honour of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, in the presence of an educated nonMuslim audience.


  11. I believe that cartoon of Prophet should be classified as “fighting words” under the first amendment doctrine, at least in the U.S. Not all speech is protected. For example, crying “fire” in a crowded theater is not protected. Slanderous or libelous speech is not protected. Calling an African American by a racial slur is not protected. Certain words are classified as “fighting words” which, when uttered,are likely to incite an imminent breach of peace. I condemn all violence, whether by or against Muslims, animals, children, women, environment, humanity. I also think that Mohammad himself would have laughed at these depictions of him and turned the other way. Nonetheless, people have become violent (wrongfully) over the stupid cartoons, and they invariably incite violence, therefore, these cartoons should be banned. Moreover, these cartoons do not serve any overly important scholarly or artistic purpose.


  12. At this link you can read the views of a regular columnist of the British newspaper the Daily Mail. The title is: "I abominate the Charlie Hebdo murderers. I also believe the magazine's malign and bigoted."


  13. “Muslim spokespersons have argued that these insulting publications should be stopped out of respect for Muslims and consideration for their feelings. It would be better to try to build in people’s hearts respect for Islam and the Holy Prophet Muhammad on the basis of the value and worth of their teachings, so that society in general comes to see these insults as vile distortions of the truth, and feels aggrieved by them as Muslims do.”

    http://www.aaiil.org/uk/newsletters/2006/thelightuk0306.pdf (page 4, column 1, last para)

    Please talk more about why this is so important today as stated beautifully above by Dr. Zahid Aziz.


  14. "And never did a messenger come to them but they mocked him. Thus do We make it enter the hearts of the guilty  — they do not believe in it; and the example of the ancients has gone before. And even if We open to them a gate of heaven, and they keep on ascending into it, they would say: Only our eyes have been covered over, rather we are a people under enchantment." (The Quran, 15:11-15)

    "Alas for the servants! Never does a messenger come to them but they mock him." (36:30)

    This shows that being mocked is an occupational hazard for messengers of Allah. The method of dealing with this given to the Holy Prophet is:

    "And bear patiently what they say and turn away from them with a dignified withdrawal. And leave Me and the deniers, possessors of plenty, and give them respite for a little while." (73:10-11)

    "And do not obey the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and disregard their annoying talk, and rely on Allah. And Allah is sufficient as having charge of affairs." (33:48)

    What is happening is described as follows:

    "And among people is he who takes, instead, frivolous discourse to lead astray from Allah’s path without knowledge, and to make it a mockery. For such is a humiliating punishment. And when Our messages are recited to him, he turns back proud­ly, as if he had not heard them, as if there were deafness in his ears; so announce to him a painful punishment." (31:6-7)

    The "punishment" is, of course, not to be applied by any human being taking the law into his own hands, whether the law of Allah or the law of a country. Even the punishment sent by Allah may not be physical, but spiritual or mental, of degradation and humiliation of reputation.


  15. I quote the World-wide Head of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Community, Dr. Abdul Karim Saeed, who delivered an ‘Address in Committee Room 6 of the House of Commons’ in London on 19th November 2014:

    "We strongly condemn the taking of the law into one’s own hands or issuing ‘fatwas’ against those who express liberty of speech. However we do stress that other peoples of the world should reciprocate the same courtesy, not only to Islam but all other religions of the world and their holy, ancient founders. This was the message that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad gave through the last of his 83 books, namely ‘Paigham-e-Sulah’ or ‘Message of Peace’ (link)."

    This lecture is a must read which brings to light the broad perspective of this organization, and the view of this organization on the current issue of this blog. See this link.


  16. January 22nd, 2015 at 6:05 am
    From Rashid Jahangiri:

    George Galloway, MP (UK) Speech on Charlie Hebdo

    Few days ago I sent emails to Respect Party MP (UK) George Galloway, asking him to invoke anti-Semitic laws in European countries to stop publications of cartoons of Holy Prophet Muhammad SAWS. I don’t know if he received my email. Recently he spoke at anti-Charlie Hebdo rally in UK. He plans to bring bill in UK parliament to ban publishing of cartoons of religious personalities. Following is youtube clip:

    George Galloway speech at anti-Charlie Hebdo rally – 17th January 2015

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kycpOE6zkOU


  17. Recent ex-head of MI6 (British Intelligence) Sir John Sawers says: Publishing cartoon of prophet Mohammed was an act of provocation, showing a lack of respect of other peoples’ religion in the West. See link. 


  18. April 5th, 2015 at 9:04 pm
    From Reza Ghafoerkhan:

    Dignified response of sahaba to abuse of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) when called "Muthammam," the dispraised one.

    From "Omar Series". Watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ST9o2aC9mlo (8:58 to 11:27)


  19. April 17th, 2015 at 9:18 pm
    From Zahid Aziz:

    Verse 6:68 has been quoted in the post by Ikram at the top of this thread (close to the end of the post), because it is cross-referenced from the footnote to 4:140 in the Quran translation:

    6:68. And when you see those who talk nonsense about Our messages, withdraw from them until they enter into some other discourse. And if the devil cause you to forget, then do not sit after recollection with the unjust people.

    In my book Islam, Peace and Tolerance, I had quoted 4:140 and merely pointed to 6:68 as a supporting reference by saying: "see also 6:68". Today I realized that 6:69 is also important in this connection:

    "And those who keep their duty are not accountable for them at all but (theirs) is only to remind; perhaps they may guard against evil."

    So a Muslim must not act as if he will be held responsible by God for not stopping the critics, and therefore he must do anything and everything to stop them. The duty of a Muslim, says this verse, is only to remind the abusers as to the truth, and then walk away if they don't accept it and they continue "talking nonsense".


  20. Besides the verses quoted earlier – 3:186, 6:68, 20:130, 33:48, 73:10 and 4:140, the following verses add to the subject matter:

    25:63. And the servants of the Beneficent are they who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, Peace!

    28:55. And when they hear idle talk, they turn aside from it and say: For us are our deeds and for you your deeds. Peace be on you! We do not desire the ignorant.

    The application of these verses is backed by recent research: “When silence is golden – Ostracism as resource conservation during aversive interactions” by Kristin L. Sommer, Juran Yoon (link)

    CBS News reported on the article: The silent treatment is the best way to go when dealing with jerks, a New York-based study finds.

    According to researchers at Baruch College, City University of New York, it's more mentally healthy to abruptly end a conversation with someone obnoxious than to continue speaking with them.

    "It's depleting to force yourself to have difficult conversations when all you want to do is ignore the person," lead author Kristin Sommer, associate professor of psychology at Baruch College in New York, told Canadian wire service Postmedia news. "Ostracism can serve the regulatory goal of allowing people to conserve resources.

    Sommer and her co-author, Juran Yoon, pulled data from two studies and nearly 120 people. Participants were asked to have a dialogue with another person and act either "highly likeable (polite and egalitarian) or highly unlikeable (rude and bigoted) acquaintance." The participants were then taken to a private room to complete an assignment.

    Researchers concluded that participants performed worse on the task after ignoring a likeable person, and performance was better when participants used the silent treatment on an offensive person.


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