Jared Petrovich stays fit behind bars by working out with the approximately 20 pounds of legal paperwork in his cell. “You go until you can’t go no more. You can go all day,” he said. The paperwork has largely accumulated over four years since Petrovich was accused of being the ringleader of one of the Orange County Jail’s most transformative events – the only killing in the jail in more than a decade. He has pleaded not guilty.

Killing people because they insulted your prophet, how can we progress from this sort of attitude?

I’ve often asked Muslims this question and the answers I get would surprise most people out there who never interact with any Muslims. Of course, my intention is to see progress and to be honest I feel like it is possible, but it is only possible if people can engage with one another.

As we may have noticed in the past few years there have been Muslims who attacked embassies and foreigners all because someone insulted Muhammad, or drew a picture of him. We can easily acknowledge how outrageous this is, but what do ordinary Muslims think of this and how can this problem be solved?

I have decided to ask Muslims in Canada, as well as some on my trip to Malaysia and Singapore earlier this year. Out of the dozens I asked not a single one said they approve of the violence. There were a couple of individuals who said they were harshly offended and believed the person who did this should either pay a fine or go through a legal process to be persecuted, but the overwhelming majority said even though they were offended the violence was uncalled for. So how can we address this? How can we fix this problem? Where does it even come from?

One thing we all agreed on was that in all cases it is important for Muslims to stage peaceful protests against anyone who carries out such brutal tactics. Many have told me and I partly do agree that this all stems from the Wahabbi mentality of a specific group of people in Saudi Arabia, and in order to assess the problem we need to go to the roots, which is why they are so outraged by the unilateral support that the government of United States gives to Saudi Arabia, and of course, so am I!

So in the hopes of moving forward, I think it’s important for more and more Muslims to be able to look at a case where someone decides to insult your prophet, and think to yourself that this person is most likely just trying to provoke you, the intention is to get you angry, so why play into it? Why not fight back by peacefully saying that the person has freedom of speech and you will just ignore them for that. Present your case in a calm manner, there is not need to be angry or offended. Didn’t one of Muhammad’s companions say the greatest answer to a fool is silence?

If you have other suggestions and solutions as far as how we can move forward and progress to come up with a solution regarding this issue I welcome you feedback. So far I’ve only received great answers from the believers out there, even those who said they were harshly offended made some excellent points.

In the end, such conflicts are ridiculous, we need to learn to love one another, but also we need to be more patient. Isn’t patience one of the greatest virtues? Hate will only make the problem worse, approach it with love.

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