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.