This is in the news everywhere at the moment, but if you are not sure of the details, yesterday, three Islamic extremists stormed into the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, killing four cartoonists, 6 others and two policemen. These men claimed to be ‘avenging the Prophet Muhammad’, after the satirical magazine published pictures depicting the Prophet in pretty offensive manners. However, the magazine is not targeted specifically at Islam and also regularly posts controversial and satirical cartoons of political leaders, as well as portraying an anti-religion stance. Sure, a lot of Muslims would find it pretty controversial, but death? That was highly uncalled for and an insult to a democratic state.
I would have to admit that I didn’t necessarily see the humor in depicting a man that moderate and peace loving Muslims respect as some joke, but if that’s what fulfilled his life, and what he enjoyed doing, despite the inevitable backlash, then I guess that was his will, and I wouldn’t confront his freedom of expression. I personally have never heard of him until yesterday, and have heard that the circulation of the newspaper was fairly moderate, at 40,000 copies per week,so I assume he was known to French Muslims, and not to Muslims across the rest of the world. Therefore, this massacre has only just increased his popularity. What I find so crazy about the attack is that it’s only just now that such an attack has occurred, despite having published for years, and so it goes to show the planning these gunmen must’ve established, before committing such a brutal act.
In my opinion, I think the Muslim fanatics who did this missed the whole point of Islam and the actions of the Prophet. He was brutally beaten and harmed for his founding of Islam, so I doubt a cartoon would knock him down. Wars and conflict across the world, including Muslims killing Muslims, as seen with the Peshwar Taliban attack, are far more traumatic than any cartoon will ever be, and religion may be all they have to get them through such struggles.The killing of a harmless person has offended the majority of Muslims far more than any cartoon. I do not agree with a lot of Charlie’s depictions, but I do not oppose democracy, and will ALWAYS fight for freedom of expression which doesn’t physically hurt anyone.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Religion is very easy, and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded.” Bukhari:V1N38
The misinterpretations of Jihad, as well as the wrong killings of innocent people has gotten to a point where Islam has been re-enforced as a religion of complete submission, war and violence, truly destroying the principles and basic foundations of peace and love it is based on, like many religions. It’s meanings seem to have been lost on it’s way, giving extremists the chance to make profit from religion and use it for their own political ends, seen across the world with groups like Al-Qaeda. This situation however, was worrying because those behind it seemed to genuinely believe that they were avenging the Prophet, when the Prophet himself would’ve walked away. In fact, the very idea of not drawing the Prophet is out of respect, alongside not keeping human figures in the home. There seems to be a distorted perception of Islamic values, and seem to commonly be given by those who have never studied the Quraan or Islamic history.
But, with all that aside, the fact that someone was killed so brutally, with no justification in Islam, and especially because it was in France,which is not an Islamic state, but a secular democracy, makes it intolerable and we shouldn’t have to accept these killings in the name of religion. Co-existence and unification between those of ALL religions, who uphold peaceful intentions and good morals should always be united. It should never be muslims vs everybody else, but rather extremists vs everybody else. Terrorism has NO religion, and no place in a democracy, and no place in Islam.
And on a final note, sticking to the idea of peaceful co-existence between moderates of ALL religions, twitter hashtags such as #KillAllMuslims are definitely not the way to go about it, and ironically, despite it supposedly being a ‘counter protest’ against supposed ‘islamic values’, it’s puts you into the same boat and mindset of the killers behind the Charlie Hebdo attack. The Sydney Siege recently, with the hashtag #IllRideWithYou was a far better example of those who will not allow fanatics with political or twisted religious justifications for violence come between anyone, associated with whatever religion to come between a united, democratic society.
Fight against extremism – attack them with what they hate most – peace and unity.