Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité!

For a nation who’s motto is “Liberty, equality and fraternity”, the shooting of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has caused great distress. Not only in France, but world leaders from all across the world have come forward to express sorrow at the unfortunate events that took place this Wednesday and called on the act as shameful and barbaric.

To be honest, I didn’t even know what Charlie Hebdo was until I heard about the shooting on CNN. Apparently, it’s a satirical magazine that makes fun of all things holy. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think majority of the targets of Charlie Hebdo’s  sarcasm are religions or popular figures of particular religions, since Charlie Hebdo is itself a anti-religious publication.

As I read on about Charlie Hebdo’s published work, I read that in 2011, their office was bombed and website was hacked as a response to a cartoon they made of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Notice the heading? Charia? Like Shariah? Pun intended, most definitely.

Muslims do not have any pictures of Allah, of any Prophet at all, or angels or anything like that. Making drawings or cartoons is looked upon as a sign of disrespect. So it wasn’t the speech mark but the cartoon itself that pissed the Muslims off.

If cartoons of the Prophet (PBUH) are unacceptable, imagine what Muslims may have felt when they saw nude cartoons of the Prophet (PBUH).*

I am not so sure how other Muslims living in Pakistan feel about the whole Charlie Hebdo shootings but I for one condemn it. When I saw the news on TV, I felt devastated for the people who lost their lives because of the freedom to write. It may be just because I too am a writer ( albiet a non famous one) and the thought of not being able to write what I want is sufficient enough to kill me. Not only was I saddened about the deaths, but this incident gives everyone else another reason to judge the Muslim community as a whole as extremists.

Violence is not the solution. It never is. That’s what the Prophet (PBUH) believed in. I grew up listening to the story of a woman who used to throw garbage at the Prophet (PBUH) whenever he passed by her house. Everyday, the same routine, and not once did he change his way or showed any sign of violence or anger. One day when he passed by her house, she didn’t throw anything on him. He went up to her house and saw that she was sick. Instead of taking revenge, he asked after her health. The woman was very touched and people say she converted to Islam after that.

Are we really fighting in his name? Are we really fighting for him? Because the way I see it, he didn’t believe in any violence at all.

Maybe we are just fighting because we lack tolerance for people to have different views than us on religious matters. And that’s just stupid.

I also think everyone, including Muslims, should be allowed to write or voice their opinions. And at the same time, all acts of violence, against anyone at all, including Muslims, should be condemned.

*I tried adding the picture of the nude cartoon here but I couldn’t do so. Hmm, maybe someone is watching.

How do you feel about the Charlie Hebdo shootings? P.S If I get killed for writing this article, you know who to blame.

Zareen Naqvi



  1. What stands outs (for me) in your post is the fact that the word terrorist – a word reserved for Muslims and Arabs – hasn’t been used once; well done. An extremist is an extremist, whether an American killing his schoolmates, an anti-abortionist shooting a doctor in Church, or these aggrieved bastards in Paris. I’m sorry about what happened, but thank God it wasn’t in America, or they’d be planning the drone deaths of 100s maybe ‘000s of innocent people in response.
    Law enforcement (not the army) is handling it quite well in France. As they should.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I try.
      Yeah, France has adopted a good approach to the matter.

      Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂


  2. I am not a proponent of, or an ardent believer in conspiracy theories, but what really irks me is that so much is happening behind closed doors, and under tables and in untapped, secure phone conversations- in the name of power, wealth, domination, control and politics. In most instances religion is just a facade to fool the layperson. The unknowing public, of all races, creeds, color and religion who are just trying to go about heir lives and fight their daily battles!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do agree to some extent. I don’t usually write about such things but sometimes I just can’t keep my thoughts to myself.
      Haha, we always suffer. The common man.
      Thanks for reading and commenting though 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice way of writing on this sensitive topic. It is sad….in my multi ethnic society we are taught racial harmony, respect and co existence and we integrate well. Peace sister 🙂


    1. I do hope the world becomes more tolerant and peaceful this 2015!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. […] was one of those Muslims who strongly condenmed the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Not beacuse I’m anti Muslim or pro French, but because I will never side with injustice done […]


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